The dialectics between fist and face: An examination of wrestling and ideology

After editor Jack Brindelli’s Bray Wyatt article published in the Norwich Radical, writers seem to have treated it as a “want some, come get some” open challenge in the pages of Hollywood Hegemony. The most recent, and extensive of these, comes two days before an “Elimination Chamber” pay-per-view – in which individuals inescapably collide amidst an “evil structure” of steel – places ideology, wrestling, and academia in a frantic cage of pain, and forces them to face one-another. In the article that follows, Charlie Giggle makes what can only be described as a landmark contribution to the academic side of the WWE-culture-debate, not equalled since Barthes himself. 

JAHN CEENAH! I WILL FORCE YOU TO CONSIDER THE IDEOLOGICAL RAMIFICATIONS OF WRESTLING.

JAHN CEENAH! I WILL FORCE YOU TO CONSIDER THE IDEOLOGICAL RAMIFICATIONS OF WRESTLING.

The relationship between academia and professional wrestling is not complicated. There isn’t one. There have been brief forays (MIT courses, passing mentions of Brecht on documentaries trying to excuse their subject matter in the overture, or whatever the starting bit is referred to) but the lack of communication between people wanting to take it seriously has lead to three depressingly solipsistic basic themes of analysis, and all of them represent propaganda about the subject at large in their own right more so than actual descriptions of what is happening when we watch a wrestling show. I understand that I am not doing anything astonishingly radical in accusing academia of disappearing up it’s own backside, but I’m also suggesting something more like a bizarre good cop/bad cop routine wherein the officers have argued so hard-headedly that they’ve lost track of the criminal and he’s already escaped through an air vent. Continue reading

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Movies That Attempted to Make a Difference

On Sunday the 14th of June, Sunday Assembly Norwich – an organisation who live according to the motto “Live better, help often, wonder more”, will be hosting an event examining the golden moments where film has shaped our feelings and lives. The Assembly will be hosted by Cinema City lecturer Nigel Herwin, and he has also written us a marvellous run-down of his favourite movies that tried to “make a difference.” 

There are plenty of political movies.  I could write a long list of all the films featuring American Presidents, from biopics (Nixon) to fictional (Dave), but that would get really tedious.  Equally, another list could be compiled about films which feature trade unions, ranging from positive depictions (Made in Dagenham) to negative (Carry On At Your Convenience – a film which managed to insult the series’ core audience!).  Again, this could get a bit tedious…

What’s more interesting are the movies that attempted to make a difference: the films that make you leave the cinema pumped up and ready to change the world, or, at the very least, applauding what you’ve just seen.  Here’s a list of ten films that tried to make the world a better place.  Not all of them are overtly political, and they all had varying degrees of success in what they tried to do, but all are well worth a watch.  (I should add that the following are all personal choices, so apologies for any obvious omissions!) Continue reading

Finishing the fight: We Are Many (2015)

One of the most infuriating myths peddled as received wisdom by arm-chair Nick Robinsons across the nation is that protests never change anything. The second most infuriating un-truth they then point to, to justify this is pessimism clothed as realism, is the historic Stop the War march of 2003. Because the war in Iraq still happened, and Britain still took part in it. So there you go, over a million ordinary people rallied to defend the unseen lives of millions in Iraq, and it was pointless. Might as well buy shares in BAE systems and put your feet up.

War, huh, what is it good for?

War, huh, what is it good for?

We Are Many (2015), Amir Amirani’s moving tribute to the unquantifiable millions who marched on February 15th is perhaps the most compelling antithesis to that hackneyed lie. Continue reading

Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck (2015)

Has teenage angst paid off well, or is it bored and old? Adam Hofmeister takes a look at a very different and very powerful documentary.

kurt_cobain

I was only four years old when Kurt Cobain ended his life, but it wasn’t until I was fifteen that I discovered the music of Nirvana. During a time in which my depression and anxiety were just beginning to take over my life, Cobain’s music provided a voice to channel those demons away from myself. His music took away some of the pain, and opened me up to a wider world of sound. Continue reading

Even Darkness Must Pass

After Thursday’s results confirmed a majority Conservative government for the next five years, we could all use a little Samwise in our lives. We are living through dark times – but even against seemingly hopeless odds, we can crawl our way back into the light. Stay strong for each other, folks – there’s still some good in the world, and it’s worth fighting for. -JB

Continue reading

“As God As My Witness, He’s Broken in Half!” or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Wrestling

Is there more to professional wrestling than perhaps we think? Recent convert and Macho Madness Syndrome sufferer Adam Hofmeister gives us his thoughts on the joy of staged violence and whether it deserves its low status.

SavageElbow

It is impossible to deny that violence is a fundamental part of human existence. Every culture has been formed on it and attempted to understand and represent it via artistic expression, whether it’s through the horrific paintings of Goya, the bloody plays of William Shakespeare, or any of the depictions of scenes from the Bible. But enough about all that angsty, teenage nonsense; I’m going to talk about wrestling. Continue reading