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Posts tagged ‘WWE’


WW-Eek! Violence in the media

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>


The Oil and Glitter of Politrix.

Warning: this could get really convoluted, but there’s logic in here somewhere.

So earlier today, my husband fired General Bheki Cele and replaced him with new police commissioner Mangwashi Phiyega. It was suitably dramatic and I know when he gets home later there will fireworks in the bedroom. But it got me thinking…

Recently I attended the Franschhoek Literary Festival. I didn’t have anything to report back at the time because, while it was amazing for a young writer, I didn’t feel there was anything worthwhile for anyone other than myself.  Then I thought back.

So I got the amazing opportunity to attend the talk on the second day of the weekend and it was called “From Page to Stage” hosted by director Janice Honeyman. It was a talk with Pieter Dirk-Uys, Craig Higginson and Mike Van Graan, three acclaimed South African writer-directors.

What got me thinking about this was, like it always does, the state of our nation. For those of you who don’t know (and shame on you for that) Dirk-Uys is the country’s most famous drag queen, although many would dispute this. This is so simply because Tannie Evita Bezuidenhout has such a personality of her own that even the most butchest of Afrikaner men would call her “Tannie” (for those of you who don’t know, this is a term of endearment for older women, translated means “Auntie”)

He dresses up (sometimes even on stage like when I saw him in Oudshoorn for his show “The End is Naai”) and transforms into a whole new person. Now this is nothing new for drag performers; however Pieter is one of the best satirists we have. And the way he transforms himself into herself made me realise that, whether he intended to or not, he is taking a dig at politicians who dress up themselves, for the benefit of the show.   I do not only mean outward dress, but way of speaking, mannerisms and all the pomp and glam that go with leading the people.

Whenever I see a politician on TV, I wonder how they are at home. As the sixth Zuma wife, I can tell you that Jakie is as charming and eloquent in bed, I mean home as he is in the public eye. Of course he makes us all call him Mr President and “better than Thabo” but that’s standard procedure, right? Just doing our bits for the bits of our nation.

And these guys sure do put on an act. One minute partying with their comrades, the next dancing with the locals, always dressed appropriately for the part, of course.  So why do any of us, not just the stupid general public, bother giving these chameleons the time of day?  Because we like a show, that’s why. We love watching someone try to woo us, we love the lights, the romance, the action, the melodrama, the glitter, the balls, the testosterone, the duels, the speeches, oh god do we love the speeches. Haven’t we all been wooed by someone before with sweet talk and tears, strong words that make us weak at the knees and obvious lies that impress us with their passion?

In a way, their lives are from the page, to our stage.

I’m sure most people have seen the “wrestling” of the WWE. There is a reason why this particular “sport” has not been admitted in the Olympics. No, not because of the steroid consumption and overacting, but the oil budget would be through the roof. These guys are no different from politicians; they put on a show, they jump around, flex their muscles, talk some trash.

Malema would not be where he was today if not for that fiery irreverence that kept us all glued to his moist lips. If he were level headed and rational while saying the foolish things he said, do you think we would give two shits? NO. Hitler would not be what he was without the frothing and the arm flex. The same way go-go dancers would not be what they were without the flexing legs and frothing… personalities. Let us all now see this world for what it really is- one big production. And a 5 6 7 8!

You were warned.


<p>Author <a href=”https://plus.google.com/102128103971030481396” target=”blank” rel=”author”>Jerome Cornelius</a></p>

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