This is the post that I messed up last week. Here’s hoping all goes well.
Below is a piece which I wrote a while ago. I thought I’d give it a bump seeing as I mentioned the WWE in a recent post. Most of the info is still relevant. So, see in me…
When given the task of investigating the role in which violence in the media has in society using the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) programmes, naturally I was excited. Nothing would be easier; after all, it is only television.
I got ready to watch an episode of RAW (or was it Smackdown? Possibly Afterburn? Aftershock? Rope burn? I stand to be corrected.) The scene was set, I had a beer or three, shaved my head and made sure to not think or say anything reasonably intelligent for the next hour of entertainment.
Half way through, my mother interrupted me to ask if I would like to eat, so I body slammed her through the coffee table. She understood that it was done in the name of entertainment. And it certainly was entertaining. It seemed more like a summers day at Cliton’s Third Beach; muscular men covered in oil, wearing skin-tight costumes, rolling around over one another, partaking in staged confrontations with over-acting worthy of any soap opera. And of course, fighting.
It certainly became apparent why this show is so popular amongst males aged eighteen to forty-nine. The fighting in itself is certainly unique. The wrestlers ran around the ring and appeared to just fall short of hitting each other, simply grazing the competitor while letting his foot make more noise than anything by stomping on the ring as he hit.
But was this violence affecting me? I pondered this question in morning traffic and as my mind wandered I was cut off by another car. So I climbed out, got on to my car and dived onto my transgressor as WWE Heavyweight champion Jeff Hardy would have done.
Was this phenomenon really about violence?
If so, would there not have been as much a furore about professional boxing and other contact sports such as martial arts? Mind numbingly senseless as many find WWE to be, the billion dollar bank balance of CEO Vince McMahon is a testament to the popularity of the show. Between one and five million viewers watch these shows every night. And the main objective of the show also becomes as glaringly obvious as the lights and pyrotechnics. Money.
These wrestlers are willing to portray characters who oversimplify violence for the sake of ratings. By glorifying this sport and making wrestlers seem extraordinary makes them as appealing to people, especially children, as deep fried dollar bills.
Another medium which is incredibly popular is that of video gaming. It hads been well documented that the students implicated in the Columbine shootings were enthusiasts of violent games which involved shooting guns.
Psychologist Dave Grossman highlighted the insanity of the link between the media and violence.
He says that “[a]dults can do whatever they want… they have guns, pornography, alcohol, drugs, sex. Cars. But if anybody gives those things to a child, then they’re criminal. So why would we market murder simulators to children?”
So clearly he has no idea what he is talking about.
The video game industry has become so successful that it is practically a part of American society. The same society which is home to Sarah Palin and the NRA. Maybe if these kids watched more wrestling there would have been more broken necks and a lot less anger.
Many might argue that the WWE is harmless fun, but it may not be harmless to the young people who buy into the false reality that is being created.
As many “don’t try this at home” warnings will not prevent the injuries, or worse, which will doubtlessly will occur as a result of trying to emulate these oiled superstars.
That being said, although I may have exaggerated ever so slightly in this piece, I now owe my mother an apology and a new coffee table.
<p>Author <a href=”https://plus.google.com/102128103971030481396” target=”blank” rel=”author”>Jerome Cornelius</a></p>