|Hey kids, I'm here to pile drive my way |
into your nightmares.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Doink the Clown a.k.a. What Nightmares Are Made Of
Doink the Clown was one of the most horrifying figures in American professional wrestling. He was a heel that lived up to the expectations--pure, unmistakable evil, using every dirty trick in the book to ensure a win. What makes him so terrifying is that he dresses up as something that should be childlike and innocent and fun, but is instead the core of every person's nightmares. What makes this even more horrifying is that he's (unofficially) based off of a real-life serial killer. John Wayne Gacy. The man who murdered 33 young men and also just happened to entertain young children by dressing up as a clown.
What makes him even more horrifying (and yes, it is possible) is what his character represents: the futile attempt to conquer evil because the bad guy will get what he wants by cheating and you will suffer despite your honesty and hard work. According to John Campbell, "Doink shows [wrestling fans] what they already know. That life is unfair and that the evil and ugly do prosper" (Why the Bad Guy Wins, p. 131). What adds to this view is his match against The Big Boss Man. A representative of law, order, and fairness, he struggles to defeat evil with good and ends up getting blinded in the process. Doink crawls to the corner of the ring, retrieves a squirt gun from his bag, and squirts a green substance into the eyes of the Boss Man. He proceeds to destroy, degrade, and humiliate our hero while the referee stands by, unable to help. He cannot provide the justice that he is supposed to. Which brings us back to the idea we were discussing in class last week. Perhaps the referees are symbols of an inadequate government and justice system. And maybe that's why wrestling fans shout in desperation at the refs during a match that's going downhill quick--because we want so badly for the authorities to give us the justice we so greatly deserve. But they don't, and we keep on watching in the hopes that maybe one day things will change.