Volume 94, Issue 62
Friday, January 12, 2000
The World Wrestling Federation - epic drama or just trash TV?
Campus and Culture Editor
If by some random circumstance the World Wrestling Federation were to add moral standards or real talent to the ongoing facade of "raw" sport, my persona for the wrestling world would have to be "Damage Control" Duignan.
"Finally" I would reveal the dark side and damaging image the WWF emits "and that's the bottom line." Not because "Stone Cold says so," but because the damage must be controlled, so I guess my battle would be one of words instead of bodyslams and DDT's.
"It's true, it's true," the power the WWF holds over the minds of children and men alike is a force to reckon with. But why?
The WWF is not real, the plot and surrounding stories are fake, the acting is brutal, and the content should definitely advise "parental discretion." The WWF is a soap opera.
My qualm with the soap opera genre adapted by the WWF is this: Do we really NEED another soap on television? Also, Vince McMahon's assimilation of Aaron Spelling's role in the whole brainless television show industry is unoriginal and petty.
Unlike normal daytime soaps, however, all conflicts are resolved through violence. Not that I would necessarily advocate children watching a regular soap opera, but I would be especially weary of a child learning that violence IS the answer to any problem.
Plus the way the action in the WWF unfolds, how would a child know what is real and what is not? If anything, the WWF is advocating a kind of violence that is ongoing and unproductive. In a society that continually condemns the violent actions of youths in schools, why escalate the violent influences they see around them?
One of the most obscene aspects of the WWF is its representation of women. I'm not a raging feminist, but even I can see how stereotyped and marginalized the scantily clad women of the WWF are. Again, where is the leadership and credibility behind their portrayal?
Not only does the WWF advocate violence and a misled vision of women's roles, but there is an aspect of public showcasing that is revolting. The fact that Owen Hart's unfortunate death was documented and televised infront of a huge audience is immoral and further accentuates the need for censorship in the WWF. Hart's accident should not have been played over as an act of a wrestling hero who put his life on the line for his work.
Instead, we should look upon an event like that as an example of how dangerous this fake sport has become.
The bright lights propaganda surrounding the WWF are contrived out of a greedy desire to make money with a shallow and frivolous idea. Repulsive as well the simple fact that the WWF is a multi million dollar industry.
So, if the WWF is the male answer to an innate need for a soap opera, there must be something to say for the resulting femininity of this need. The fact that the WWF is a soap opera must therefore mean the WWF is just as "girly" as Days, Y&R and Passions.
And at least those soaps are entertaining.
My grandmother loved Lucy. My mom had J.R., and young ladies with big dictionaries have Dawson. I want what's coming to me.
For years women have had the chance to live vicariously though characters on TV and now thanks to ultimate script writer Vince McMahon, men have a chance to experience cheap thrills for two hours a night with minimal effort. We have feelings too, you know.
Men and women have different needs, while women desire the intimate encounters with a man who actually listens, men dream about the day they have their boss in a headlock. This is where the World Wrestling Federation comes in.
While I'm certain women have issues of their own with their various employers, they may be more inclined to talk about their problems and find a rational solution. We just want to see what the bastard looks like after a 'Stone Cold Stunner'. Hell ya!
WWF performers are actors, and damn fine ones at that. Anybody who has ever seen the finest WWF employee, 'The Rock', in action knows it would not have taken him a lifetime to win a daytime Emmy like that sorry Susan Lucci.
What makes the performances of the WWF superstars even more impressive is that their are no second takes. The only cuts are the real life ones suffered in the squared circle, where these men put their bodies on the line night after night.
Wrestling is the equivalent of a girls night out for men. It gives us a chance to come together. Traditional forms of male bonding are fading; fishing takes patience, hunting takes effort, and those are two things we don't have in abundance. Wrestling, unlike a Leafs game, guarantees entertainment, and while the action might not be real, the experience of sitting in a room full of other men and never having to utter any words with more than two syllables is definitely real.
But hold on ladies, Mr. McMahon has not forgotten about you. How often do we hear about women being exploited in the media by being scantily dressed and valued only for their bodies? The WWF is just role reversal. Here is your chance to sink to our level and admire a toned, essentially unachievable body in minimal clothing.
And the giving doesn't end there. While the WWF has been home to such one-name knockouts as Sunny, Sable and Deborah, they are by no means the only version of women we see. McMahon's own daughter Stephanie is a central figure in the ongoing saga and is a healthy, naturally curvaceous, girl-next-door type, completely devoid of tucks or silicone.
Many will argue the WWF is too violent. Physical dominance is a main theme no doubt, but it is also an artificial one and everyone watching knows it. The WWF makes no secret of the fact that the events are staged and should not be imitated.
Men need an excuse to be around other men, and let's face it the conversations we have will rarely do the trick. The WWF merely represents the two hours in a week when we want a little FWW Fun Without Women of course.
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