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  1. delacroix

    Pet Peeves in Wrestling

    I don’t think that’s entirely fair— some of them do a fine Shatner impression.
  2. delacroix

    Pet Peeves in Wrestling

    Related to this, the nearly identical cadence used in the majority of promos makes me tune right out. It’s not just in WWE, but they’re certainly the most conspicuous with the unnatural, self-consciously dramatic style that everyone seems to use now. It’s that thing where there’s constant pauses for drama and emphasis. No one sounds like a real person talking, ever. When I first saw Matt Riddle, I wondered why people were so into him, and the first thing that occurred to me was that at least he doesn’t talk exactly like everyone else and maybe that was being mistaken for charisma.
  3. delacroix

    Comments that don't warrant a thread - Part 4

    @Log— ngl, i’ve always kind of taken it that way.
  4. delacroix

    Comments that don't warrant a thread - Part 4

    When I was in my early twenties, I worked at a movie theater. One of the assistant managers, Juan, was kind of a tool, and he always seemed to have some minor and confusing problem with me. In this dream I had, there were people from corporate making a visit to the theater one day, and one of them happened to be Ric Flair. At this theater, there was this tiny window looking out from the upstairs office onto the floor, right over the concession stand and facing the entrance, I guess so that the manager could keep tabs on the floor and yell down to the floor staff if necessary. As I was sweeping up popcorn from the floor in front of concession, I could hear Flair, up in the office, ‘Woo!’-ing vigorously every so often. I was pretty excited, because, Ric Flair was at the theater (I didn’t even know he worked for Cinemark), but Juan was a serious jerkoff and passive-aggressively scolded me in front of all of them for some petty, nonexistent infraction, just to humiliate me. However, Ric pulled me aside as they were leaving, putting his hand on my shoulder and telling me “Don’t worry about him, you’re doing great. Just keep doing what you’re doing.” He walked out the door, strutted in front of the box office, and left. And I felt great.
  5. I think you are probably right about ending this specific avenue of discussion, but I would like to draw out one final point: When you say that there are thousands of ‘micro-contexts,’ you are right, of course. However, I believe you are overstating how independent they are of the larger, dominant cultural context. Often, I think, they simply reproduce the systemic inequalities of the dominant culture in their own ways and with their own idiosyncrasies. Certainly, professional wrestling is, if anything, somehow even more oppressive and abusive to women than the larger culture, and, this being the specific micro-context under examination, then I would argue even more forcefully that seemingly benign expressions like ‘She’s super hot’ are problematic. You’re right that words are, in and of themselves, neutral, but I don’t think they can ever exist outside of these contexts. The reason that these words matter is because they reflect systems of oppression and exploitation. It’s about power, who has it, and who doesn’t. We can argue that individuals are able to break free of these constraints (maybe this is the ‘I don’t see color’ position?), but I don’t buy that. And even if they are, I would argue that they still need to be mindful of how others hear their words, regardless, because those words can still have unintended effects. Again, I know that this is possibly going to be an unpopular opinion, but I felt like it should be in the mix. (In addition, as you say, this is a complex theory discussion, and I’m not really a theory guy, so it’s likely that I’m not expressing my own points very well, despite it being my first language.)
  6. You may feel i have misunderstood you again, but I’m confused here: If language doesn’t work in a vacuum (a belief I share), then I’m kind of unsure about your final point here. Why does it matter if, in a vacuum, any word can be innocuous? We live in a specific context, and these words have a significance that we ignore at our own peril— this is my entire argument, I thought. (My position, however, is that we don’t get to insist on our own ‘intended’ meaning.) I don’t want to get into a debate, because we are seeing this issue completely differently, but this part is unclear to me.
  7. I mostly lurk on the forum, but this conversation is important enough that I’d like to make a quick contribution. It sounds like you are coming at this from a different perspective, but I would disagree with this, at the very least as it refers to public speech. If I’m understanding you correctly, this suggests that the individual has absolute control over the meaning, which is never true. In a culture that values women primarily (if not solely) for how their bodies are useful to men, saying ‘She’s super hot’ cannot possibly be an innocuous declaration— especially it’s the first thing that you think to say. Which, of course, it always is, for every one of us. I’m a great fan of Asuka, and I have to constantly recognize the fact that, regardless of how much I admire her talents as an athlete and a performer, I also, instinctively, notice that I think she’s fucking hot as hell, and I notice it before anything else. I don’t want to judge her in those terms, because she deserves better and I wouldn’t like to think of myself as someone who would objectify her and discount her talent like that, but it just happens, because I have internalized these attitudes. The best I can do is to recognize it, be honest about it, and address it. We can say “that’s not the same thing as rape” (which it obviously isn’t the same) and even “that’s not the same thing as saying ‘I wanna rape her’” (not so convinced on that one), but they’re absolutely related. All three are defining women by their sexuality and how it is useful to men. As was noted, each one one points the way, inevitably, to the next. ‘Intent’ is irrelevant, because the individual doesn’t have power to define these things for others (or, I would argue, even for themselves), regardless of how ‘pure’ the motives are. I can appreciate why this argument isn’t palatable, as it basically means that anything short of changing the entire foundation of civilization is inadequate, because it draws an arbitrary line and says some things are okay and others aren’t, based on nothing more than what we’re personally comfortable with in the moment. I am suggesting we throw the baby out with the bath water, essentially. We won’t, obviously, but I honestly don’t see anything else as anything more than just re-drawing our collective arbitrary lines that will, eventually, show themselves to be just as inadequate and damaging.
  8. delacroix

    Where is the line?

    i'm in agreement that the problem isn't the topics, it's the tone. these larger phenomena affect us, and they affect professional wrestling, and to try to draw a line that keeps them out (or pretends to, since what it will really do is keep them from being acknowledged- well, it could keep out some less popular perspectives) keeps discussion from going too far beyond benign nostalgia (which, don't get me wrong, i like just fine, too) and, pardon the term, wankery. if this results in conflict, well, yeah. of course it does, but that's not a bad thing at all, as long as people can maintain respect and civility.
  9. Absolutely, this is the whole point. This thread has been fun and interesting to follow, apart from the folks who just want to delegitimizatize the underlying basis for the discussion. And, honestly, even with those points, tone is the issue more than the argument, as they're coming across more as attempts to shut everything down, rather than offer a coherent viewpoint. I tend to sympathize with overbooked's perspective number two, which is strongly connected to the much-derided 'cultural imperialism' argument, but there are multiple defensible perspectives being offered in the thread, even when they aren't being explained in the most effective way (to me). This is an interesting, important topic for discussion, and threads like this are why I choose to lurk here so much. A definitive answer is not going be reached from this discussion, and even consensus isn't going to happen, but since when is that necessary? Insisting on a single, stable truth (whether that's a definition for what wrestling is or what topics of discussion are suitable) isn't super useful for anyone, except, of course, for the people getting to define these 'truths,' since they get to avoid being uncomfortable. It's not very interesting, and certainly not fun.
  10. This is pretty close to spot-on, I think. Reading through the thread, I've noticed that pretty much everyone is starting from the same point- lucha libre is, for whatever reason, difficult to get into, because it's hard to 'get.' From there, broadly, there's two responses: 1.) those who react to this by believing that they are missing something, that it's their responsibility to try to understand and appreciate what's going on (whether they're actually going to follow through on this or not - see 2b above) and 2.) those who dismiss it, with the implication (or outright claim) that the wrestling is faulty, that the style they don't understand/appreciate is doing it wrong. Both are understandable reactions to something unfamiliar. The sjw tangent is off-topic, but I can see where it's coming from, because the second reaction, depending on how it's articulated, can easily come across as anti-intellectualism, since it suggests an unwillingness to engage with perspectives outside your own: 'SJWs are crybabies. If I don't see oppression, then it's not there' being the rough equivalent of 'Lucha makes no sense. If I don't see x, y, and z, then it sucks/is not real wrestling/etc.' This reaction is the prerogative of anyone, of course, but it's obviously problematic coming from those in privileged groups. Anyway, back to lurking.
  11. delacroix

    Bret Hart vs Steve Austin

    This is probably my all-time favorite feud/rivalry. I have a hard time thinking of another story in wrestling that is so perfectly character-driven and consistent in that regard. With both Austin and Hart, both of their characters are really pushed and developed (and defined and redefined) in uncommon depth. They are both allowed to exhibit babyface and heel qualities simultaneously, and not in a tweener fashion where they're attempting to straddle a line or appear cool. Both characters are complex individuals, noble in some respects and fatally flawed in others. (My investment in Austin actually decreased in later years as the more problematic aspects of his character were glossed over or phased out entirely. It just made him less interesting to me, even if he was still great.) One of my favorite moments that hasn't been mentioned yet is the very end of the Raw where Austin attacks Hart in the ambulance. HBK chases off the Hart Foundation who had been beating down Austin in the ring. The show looks like it will go off the air with Austin pulling himself together after the beating (a subdued to a wild two hours), but then Brian Pillman appears out of nowhere to attack Austin, returning for revenge after Austin destroyed his ankle with the chair (and leading to Pillman joining the Hart Foundation). Vince McMahon has this great line about Pillman being certifiable. It was totally shocking, but made complete sense, and I could not wait for next week. Also, it's been mentioned, but Hart's entrance into the Royal Rumble was another awesome moment for me. Austin's shock was great as a flash of panic and self-doubt before he pulls it together and starts motioning for Hart to bring it. Totally gave me chills watching it live.
  12. delacroix

    Beginner's Guide to Analyzing Wrestling?

    This is a good list, and I think the first couple things listed are a good starting point- doing this consistently will help you define concretely for yourself what you like and don't like, which will help you start to analyze why certain matches work for you and others don't, as well as to help you understand the opinions of others and measure their opinions against your own. The next question, about the story being told in the match, suggests another way to approach things- what was the goal of the match, and how effectively did they accomplish that goal? Like, if it was a squash and the goal was to make Wrestler X look like a world-beater, how effective was it in accomplishing that goal? What did they do that helped accomplish the purpose and what detracted from it, and why? (This one seems more objective on its face, but it's still subjective, because it's all open to personal interpretation- what I see as a flaw that detracts from the match's goals, you may very well see as a strength, and neither one of us is wrong, because, again this kind of analysis is always based on what you value).
  13. delacroix

    Ridiculous quotes from WO.com columnists

    did he ever do a full bio for sherri martel? i'm very possibly just remembering wrong, but i thought she got lost in the shuffle because she died right when the benoit stuff happened.
  14. delacroix

    protecting the business

    that makes me really interested to hear him talk about it. one of my main points is this idea that, to outsiders, this stuff seems so outlandish, but for those who are part of the culture, it's completely natural and unquestioned. a person who can actually function fully as a member of the culture, while at the same time retaining the ability to think about it critically, is rare.
  15. delacroix

    protecting the business

    i'm not super familiar with mendoza, was he just a mexico guy, or is this stuff that happened in the us? (this paper is focused on this country) that does sound really great, though, since i'm assuming that his actions were not only condoned, but lauded.