I was working on a great post about the Constitution and what an evil Constitution-crumpling super-villain Dick Cheney is, but I can’t stop thinking about Chris Benoit, who, over the weekend, killed his wife and child and yesterday hung himself.
Chris Benoit was one of my favorite wrestlers. I can remember when he and Dean Malenko, Perry Saturn, and Eddie Guerrero showed up at the WWF after leaving the WCW and how, to me, that really signaled the end of the WCW. They were solid wresters, probably not large enough or showy enough to reach the top card, but solid, technically sound wrestlers.
That was back in 2000.
I don’t know. I started blogging in part because I wanted to keep in touch with friends and in part because I was reading and loving these crazy ass wrestling columns written by folks like Chris Hyatt and Eric… I can’t remember his last name, but he was constantly leaving his jobs in various meat packing plants. I would read them and laugh and get informed and I enjoyed watching them strut around the internet, picking fights and acting like jackasses.
And I think some of the attitude here at Tiny Cat Pants is born from the influence those writers had on me.
And yet, those were some fucked up dudes. Who were writing about fucked up dudes. Shoot, I dated an amateur professional wrestler once and even he was fucked up.
I think it must be hard to get up there every week and enact for an audience their most crude (and I mean that in the sense of being ancient and unrefined) fantasies and fears–that you are almost invincible, that things that would kill an ordinary person don’t harm you, that you are a big, strong man who can kick ass, that you can beat the shit out of the people who bother you, that you can earn the respect of your enemies, that your friends might turn on you, etc.
But not only that, you must always pretend to be that crude fantasy.
An actor leaves the stage and is no longer Hamlet. If someone were to mistake him for Hamlet, we wouldn’t expect the actor to play along. But a wrestler is expected to always be in character, at least somewhat and the lines between who the person in is the ring and who they are in real life are constantly and often intentionally blurred.
I think it would be hard to live like that.
You might ask around about the kinds of men who are abusive. About how charming some of them can be, or how ordinary, how their friends and loved ones can adore them and literally have no idea that something is wrong.
I guess what I want to say is that it bums me out that a person who’s work I respected turns out to be the kind of guy who would kill his wife and child. And yet, there is no specific “kind of guy” who would kill his wife a child–either the answer is much to broad too be of much use–husbands kill wives (but not all husbands kill all wives and not all wives who are killed are killed by husbands)–or too narrow to be satisfying–all we can say is that this husband killed this wife.
It’s just such a stupid waste.