“You see,” a fan said to me one time: “What difference does it make if the whole thing in the ring is rigged. Real or not, what is happening is that the kind of guys you want to win aren’t winning, and that’s how it is everywhere. I want my kids to go to college, but the cards are stacked against them. The guys with brains and bank accounts and whatever other kinds of shortcuts they can find to get their way and get in the way of mine gives them control. So’s who’s telling me what’s happening at the wrestling isn’t real?”
—Jim Freedman, Drawing Heat
People come to watch wrestling because it resonates with their lives. This point has been raised time and time again, but it remains true. St. James, a man that Freedman encounters and speaks with, fits this description, though his view on wrestling is unique. Instead of seeing someone hurting another, he sees only the one being hurt. This is a powerful lesson in compassion, and it stems from St. James’s youth, when he himself was the one receiving the hurt.
Mr. White, the postman, was also a wrestling fan. He’s a quiet one: calm and “casper-milktoast” -like. Wrestling brings out another side of Mr. White, however. He would stiffen and raise his voice when speaking of the injustice served in the ring. "That must be stopped," he said with righteous indignation.
|Caspar Milquetoast, from series the Timid Soul.|
"The Man Who Speaks Softly and Gets Hit with a Big Stick"
"Fans do not feed on violence. They rather have an eye for righting wrongs," says Freedman. Even a mild-mannered postman like Mr. White will get worked up when justice is not delivered, and someone with whom the message resonates so deeply will empathize with the down-trodden. As long as there is an imbalance of justice in the ring, there will be wrestling fans there to ensure that the balance is rectified. Justice must be served.