Thursday, December 01, 2005

Smart Marks

The majority of pro-wrestling fans, real pro-wrestling fan, know that the matches are predetermined. Non-wrestling fans don't use the word predetermined: they use the word "fake." Pro-wrestling is no more fake than an episode of "Friends" or "Will and Grace" or "Law and Order," and just as the fans of scripted shows like these willingly and happily and hopefully suspend their disbelief and buy into the fiction, so do wrestling fans.

And, just like fans of "Law and Order," fans of professional wrestling co-exist symbiotically with the viewed product. There is contract: play us for smart marks - swerve us, lie to us, astonish us, frustrate us, please us - just do it respectfully, smartly. Just because we enjoy the fiction, it doesn't mean that we don't recognize it as fiction. You, the producer of the product, cannot give us repeated story lines, poor acting, bad-faith writing, and worse, keep repeating those sins, and continue to expect us to buy your product.

The number one sin: to forget that we are smart marks, or to remember we are smart marks but insist on pandering to the dumb marks, or to - worse sin of all - convince yourself that there are no smart marks. We can take being played, we enjoy a good shoot, love a good swerve, wait for new angle that makes us wonder if it's a shoot or a swerve. What we can't take is being played for fools.

Pro-wrestling fans, they can turn off the TV, not buy the pay-per-view, not buy a ticket to the arena, when they stop giving a shit after being insulted for the umpteenth time. What about the body politic? Did you know that there's a privileged white male nominated for the Supreme Court of the United States who aims to enact as much as possible all tenets of privileged white male fatbastardness he can?

I no longer think that Bushco does ANYTHING competently enough to have masterminded the emergence of mass apathy as a methodology of gov't. They're so imcompetent, if they HAD contrived to do it, they'd have screwed it up. This is an administration that has such a deep disdain for its audience that it thought, Let's put Bush up on a platform with "Plan for Victory" painted for every conceivable camera angle and have him repeat the same tag lines for the 436th time, and THAT will change the debate.

If enough people stop watching the WWE because its product sucks, the WWE will go out of business. If enough people stop watching our gov't because of its product, we may stop watching, but the gov't's still in business, and there are people out there, controlling what's important, who may or may not have planned on getting to this moment, who certainly see the benefits of what happens when the smart marks stop watching.


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