Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Justice (and the Mail) Must be Delivered

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.


Sam Ford said...

I particularly appreciated that Jim went back among the fans after his in-depth time touring with the wrestlers. And he talks about how silly it is, from his viewpoint, to meet wrestlers who think they are duping the fans or who spend their time doing all they can to obsess over making sure the fans don't find out. Freedman says it doesn't matter, because the suffering is real. That the matches are fixed just makes it all the more true...You know the hero will never consistently win, that another atrocity is waiting around the corner, because the story is rigged to be that way...

Katie Clark said...

Yes! I love the point you've made here. It is so easy to claim that wrestling encourages violence. Rather, it encourages justice; it keeps people fighting for justice to be served. Wrestling is an outlet in which fans get so passionate about fighting for what's right (to them). And what's so wonderfully fascinating are all the different ideas people have of what's "right."

Marshall Metcalf said...

LOVE IT! I think this point is amazing. Mr. White gives a whole new perspective to Pro Wrestling! I can totally understand, though. Through the many wrestling matches that I've sat through to watch, I have always felt bad for the guy that lost. Partly because it looks like he's being hurt. Also, though, because I feel bad for him being the one scripted to lose. My feelings would always be hurt every time the writers demanded me to lose the match.

Sam Ford said...

I love this point, Marshall...and this is brought up in Drawing Heat...Knowing the game is rigged makes thinking about the guy who is scripted to lose all the more tragic, especially--as you can see really happen--when they start losing often and see their career start to fail because of how they are being scripted...(Conversely, see how outraged wrestling fans get when a guy they don't think deserve it gets scripted to go on a "winning streak"...)