Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Trujillo and his co-researcher's piece, "A Night with The Narcissist and the Nasty Boys: Interpreting the World Wrestling Federation," was incredibly fascinating. Not only because there were multiple researchers, each one giving their own unique point of view, but also because of the ideas they developed. I continue to be intrigued by the amount of people who think that wrestling fans are all uneducated and lower class, particularly fitting this "white trash" persona. While I am lower class (starving college student life, hey!), I am not uneducated. Not to toot my own horn, but I'm pretty intelligent. And I think a lot of wrestling fans are. Atticus has introduced me to many other fellow wrestling fans and they're all quite intelligent. (I follow some of their blogs and keep up with them on Facebook and they all tend to be really amazing writers.) And looking at many wrestling fan sites and forums, there are a lot of creative people who are amazing writers and give very intellectual critiques of the shows. Now, I'm not saying that there are no wrestling fans that are a bit on the...uneducated/bigoted/offensive side (because there definitely are), but I think people tend to overlook the fact that there is a lot of intelligent discussion to be had in regards to the wrestling universe. And I think, in their piece, the researchers all came to understand that in the end.

1 comment:

Sam Ford said...

I have always hypothesized that one of the ways that wrestling can draw on so many different demographic types at once is because of the varying levels of stories it tells. Henry Jenkins gets at this in the piece we're discussing today. There is the immediately intelligible, stereotyped characters and storylines, as well as the narrative of the single match: a simple narrative that is meant to allow people who know nothing about the characters to be able to watch and understand (say, at a house show) and that makes it easier for children, mentally handicapped fans, and people of varying educations to enjoy wrestling. But, then there are the serialized stories that build over time. For "smart" fans, there's also the backstage intrigue to follow, keeping up with the backstage politics vis-a-vis what is seen on stage. These varying layers of storytelling certainly allow for multiple modes of engagement and "reading" of the text that, I think, allows for very different types of fans to be involved. In fact, one of the things I enjoy most about wrestling is the diversity of the audience I end up chatting with and that this common cultural text could bring together such diversely different people who watch and engage in a wide span of ways.