Sunday, November 30, 2014

Mick's counter study

Though I applaud Mick Foley for taking the initiative to launch his own study in response to the one conducted by Indiana University, I think it has some fundamental issues that would skew the data. Prompted by Indiana University's over-thoroughness when counting instances of inappropriate content, I understand why Mick would think the results of the study were unfair and want to cross-check the findings, but I think he isn't being fair either. He takes too many things for granted, the most glaring being the fact that he didn't watch all the episodes in the sample IU utilized. How can he expect to have accurate numbers from multiplying twenty episodes to equal the content of a year? Within a serial program like Raw or SmackDown!, the storylines are constantly changing, and with them the content. He qualifies that a lot of the content that didn't appear in his study was due to the wrestlers who are the biggest offenders (Undertaker and the occult, Stone Cold and his middle fingers) weren't involved in the episodes he was watching and I think that's unfairly skewing the data regardless of whether he makes note of it or not. There could have been gratuitous "inappropriate" content in some of the episodes that Mick didn't get to, and averaging them all out seems like a pretty basic scientific no-no. While not many people other than wrestling fans will ever read it, the failure to be thorough and impartial hurts his rebuttal. If Indiana University was intentionally nit-picking and over-reporting, then Mick was intentionally under-reporting. One man watching the entire year of programming is way too much of an undertaking and I understand that, but his study just comes off as similarly skewed, and can't be taken as credible. That being said, Indiana University's study definitely illustrates academics going into a study attempting to prove their thesis as opposed to searching for the truth, and using every opportunity to bolster their argument. Also, Mick's comparisons of the inappropriate content of wrestling to other televisions shows and the Home Alone series really make a good point, and I think there's a lot to think about in the way we portray cartoon violence involving children as opposed to giant men in tights. I know the take-away for those films for me was that I can't inflict hilarious pain on any bad guys who wanted to bust into my house, and booby-trapped things for a short time in my youth. The epilogue systematically destroys many of the arguments against wrestling and skillfully undermines the PTC. Mick's humor and intelligence made this book by far the most entertaining one I've read all year.

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