Saturday, July 2, 2011

wrasslin, nostalgia and my escalating rage

In 5,000 words or so you will question my sanity, and I will smile...

My likes have calcified. This is the sure sign that I've gotten old. Yes I'm an old man at 30 or whatever it is that I am now. 30 will do. There was a time when I loved pro-wrestling. Well, everything that's old is new again. I feel younger already.

I'd like to share how truly, epically, fantastically (and any other vaguely relevant hyperbolic superlative you can think of), ridiculous my life is. I have come to the conclusion that religion and science are non-overlapping majesteria after all. Science is about finding the truth of how the universe works (notice the little 't') and religion (or spirituality if you're averse to the institutionalization of personal values) is about defining meaning. But that's not the ridiculous part, this is were wrestling comes in...

Whenever the topic of my liking wrestling comes up, the most common question I get is "You know it's fake, right?" Always delivered with a tinge of doubt in the inquirer's voice. Did you know movies are fake? Angelina Jolie's collagen laced lips: fake. Snooki's orange complexion: fake. Your girlfriend's orgasm last night: you get the idea. Yep, I have a fair idea, so it's ironic (we should get used to the fact this is just the way people are going to use this word now. The Alanis Morissette way) that this is the most real thing I've heard in long time (and I don't even watch wrestling anymore, I happened upon this because of an article on

Now without any context to go on, or knowledge about the players involved this will all be an incoherent rant, but right here CM Punk does something that I truly respect, and that I think is all too rare: he told the truth. Sure, it was probably a work, but he touched on many things that resonate with me: his critique of mass consumerism, his anti-authoritarian bent, his lack of overacting, his full head of hair.

In the moment that I watched this CM Punk, a wrestler whom I had never seen before, instantly became my favourite of all time. His actions we're heroic, authentic and pedestrian (he's talking on a microphone) all at the same time. This is courage. This is manhood. This is what I am not. I'm feeling all religious; I want to believe this is true, even if it isn't real.

Born Again Wrestling fan phase 2:

A quick history lesson. WWF Wrestlers in the 80's were typified by oiled up, chemically enhanced physiques (was Hogan subtly referencing his steroid use, with his constant implorations to "take your vitamins"?), and cartoonish gimmicks. In the 90's the ECW came along. It was to the WWF what Grunge was to Hair Metal Bands. One of the new aspects that the upstart company introduced was the shoot interview, where actual events outside of the ring were referenced (another use of the term includes "going off script") blurring the lines between reality and the fantasy world of wrestling. Goodbye Kayfabe. So, during my little youtube wrestling revival, that followed CM Punk's tirade I came across this old shoot by a then not very famous Steve Austin (who later moved on to the WWF/WWE and became their biggest box office draw ever).

He called himself the best and ended up being the best, something I admire. Now we can't all be the best, it's kind of an exclusive position, but we're all naturally good at something. Not even compared to others, just compared to ourselves. There are certain ways of thinking that we favour, and certain activities that we are drawn to. Me for instance, I'm drawn to mediocrity and doing as little as possible. I don't think this attitude is going to cut it anymore. Thank the flying spaghetti monster for wrestling.

Comparing yourself to others isn't always the most productive way to go about life, but I'm a product of evolution. Competition is part of my nature. Usually the only time I like to toot my own horn is when I'm rubbing one out, in this case however I'll make an exception. I am an athletic freak, there I said it, at a conservative estimate I'd put myself in the 90th percentile of raw athleticism *everyone shifts uncomfortably in their seats* not bad for a white guy. I also have approximately a 140 IQ *more squirming from the crowd*. Guess what I do for a job? I'm a labourer. Not that there's anything wrong with being a labourer. Who am I kidding, labouring sucks ass. Hmmm, how the fuck did this happen? You'd think with some fairly decent natural gifts I could have placed myself better.

In New Zealand self agrandizing statements are frowned upon (it's just as well I moved to Australia, otherwise I'd be lynched, actually the only mouthing off that Aussie's like is when they're the ones doing it). These "tall-poppies" are quickly chopped down to size through belittling taunts and other forms of social control. In the little area where I grew up the celebration of stupidity and false humility had reached epidemic proportions. Not only was bragging ridiculed, but so was actually doing well at anything academically. Now I don't blame these people for my current situation, my penchant for laziness took care of that all by itself. All I'm saying is that humans are strange creatures, perhaps especially the ones that I hang around. Nobody really failed at anything because no one really tried, and if anyone did we laughed at them. Seriously, our mums went through 9 months of shit in order shit out us useless pieces of shit? Extreme self-loathing is also one of my many gifts.

So I was walking through this clusterfuck wasteland and then CM Punk happened and I was saved. I think the best part about blogging is that there's no intonation or indicators where you can tell exactly which parts of my writing I'm actually serious about. Blurring the lines of fantasy and reality, it's beautiful. You know how evangelicals can pull out an atomic clock and tell you to the millisecond when their personal Lord and Saviour rescued them? I get it now. I just don't understand it. Something seriously strange happened this week. I feel energized about life for the first time since I can't remember when (am I or was I depressed?). Is this some kind of bizarro menopause? I actually feel like kicking the world's arse. This is awesome.

I'm even going straight edge for a while, which is like living the Word of Wisdom without the dogma, but with really bad punk music instead. I'm doing this for a few of reasons: 1. Because by all accounts I'm a bad drunk, of course I never remember the dumb stuff that I do, but damn it's still embarrassing. 2. My bodies tolerance for alcohol is decreasing, I spew after every drink up now. 3. I get to draw an x on the back of my hand which looks bad ass. Experiencing adolescence in your 30's is fun, you get to try on all these different identities and everybody thinks your crazy. You can't please everyone.

Well, that's the story of how I overcame years of apathy and actually started caring enough to do something. This could change at any time I'm aware. I guess sometimes you can't just go with how you feel. Even if you're run down, got a shit job, or have any other sad sap tale of woe you still gotta find your reason for being here, or create it. Nostalgia helped me find my way out of nowhere (through wrestling!?!), but it could equally pull me back into my old ways (procrastination and laziness). Wish me luck.

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