Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Emotive Effects of Saturday Night Wrestling

Looking back, I realize that when I was an adolescent, there were many times when my mom possessed the patience of a saint.  One such time seemed to occur every Saturday night, when me and my next youngest brother would park ourselves in front of the TV in the living room to watch Saturday Night Wrestling.  What inevitably happened was that for 45 minutes or so, we would fill the house with the noise of our screaming and shouting at the TV as we watched the good guys we had been told to root for as they were being beaten half to death by some Scary Big Bad Guys.  My mom never got into the screaming and shouting, nor did she ever watch Saturday Night Wrestling, as far as I know.  But she did sometimes poke fun at the emotive action-adventure shows we liked to watch.  (I particularly remember her stand-up parody of someone being shot by a phaser - but I digress.)

You see, by the time me and my brother discovered Saturday Night Wrestling, my mom had become in many ways a hard-edged realist.  It wasn't until much later that I myself began to reflect on some of the "pro wrestlers" I had seen and began to realize that even though they seemed to get the living daylights kicked out of them every Saturday night, they kept coming back week by week.  None of them died from wrestling, although several of them died from cardiovascular disease, and one of them suffered a fate worse than death - he became a state politician.

I was thinking about Saturday Night Wrestling and its connection to fights which are highly dramatized, even though the combatants don't do any real damage to each other.  For instance, take Trump's order to fire cruise missiles at a Syrian air base last week.  The Tomahawk cruise missile is supposed to have the capability for a high degree of accuracy, and the United States has a number of intelligence assets which could have been used to augment their accuracy - yet last week's missile strike did almost no damage.  (See this also.)  Second, take the fact that Trump informed the Russians of the impending strike before the first missile was launched.  (That means that Russian expressions of "surprise" at the missile strike are in fact disingenuous.)  Third, take the fact that before last weekend, Trump was in definite political danger in the U.S., and Putin was becoming increasingly unpopular in his own country.  Lastly, take the questions which have been raised by a number of commentators on whether or not Syria actually still has any remaining stocks of chemical weapons.

If you consider all these points, you may conclude, as I have begun to conclude, that last weekend's little show was an international version of Saturday Night Wrestling.  (Although I really do believe someone did use chemical weapons to kill innocent Syrians.  It always stinks when innocent bystanders are dragged against their will into someone else's TV show.)  If last weekend's action really was the beginning of a rift between Trump and Putin, I would expect to see long-term, deep, irreversible effects to manifest themselves - in such things as the cash flows between Trump and his Russian business contacts, or long-term adjustments or revisions to American economic policy toward Russia.  Absent that, I might be forced to conclude that last weekend's drama was about as real as the injury done to a pro wrestler who is body-slammed onto the mat, yet gets back up again for more action.

Maybe Trump and Putin should dress up in wrestling tights when they hold news conferences.  It would not hurt their credibility in my eyes, since Trump never had any credibility to begin with, and as far as Putin, one of his lackey mouthpieces once wrote that "a reputation is something you lose only once."  Putin has lost his.  Take this whole fight against terror, for instance.  Russia waged an information war accusing the U.S. of manufacturing ISIS in order to provide a pretext for military intervention in the Mideast.  Yet Russia has now been intervening in the same way in the same region for over a year, and by now should have destroyed ISIS itself - yet we keep hearing of ISIS attacks, in Egypt, and now in Germany.  What if ISIS is a convenient sock puppet for the Russians also, to aid their implementation of a Duginist agenda in Europe - an agenda which involves making Europe an unsafe place for any non-European person or Muslim to live?

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