Late Sunday Random Blog Generator Author: clintsterDate:10/24/2011 01:30:18
To be honest, I'm only posting this because I didn't see a blog entry for today, and late as it is, I didn't want this Sunday to be completely empty. So, I'm just gonna ramble on about a few topics. Indulge me, won't you?
I was puttering around the house today, and thinking about my professional wrestling fandom back in the day. I remembered a group called the Four Horsemen. They were a group of rulebreakers in the Southern-based NWA organization, whose schtick was that they were high-flying, jet-setting party boys who spent money like water and flaunted their wealth. Their leader, Ric Flair, was especially ostentatious in displaying his wealth.
Roughly at the same time, the rival WWE (then known as the WWF) had a wrestler named Ted DiBiase who was also known as the "Million Dollar Man". DiBiase, trailed by his valet Virgil, shot several promos where he would use his wealth to buy influence. Whether it was buying his place into wrestling tournaments, or offering a kid $100 to dribble a basketball 15 times (only to kick it away at 14), he would engage in a wrestling version of class warfare. The following was one of his most "heinous" actions:
It always struck me how Flair and DiBiase essentially played the same character, yet while DiBiase was booed mercilessly when he set foot in the ring, Flair and his associates were cheered when they appeared. Some fans even showed up at ringside, dressed in suits, holding oversized cell phones, and winning the approval of what was ostensibly an EVIL wrestling group.
Looking back, it seems to be a bit emblematic of the differences between North and South. The South has always lagged behind the North when it comes to union organization and standing up for the rights of workers. Hell, part of the narrative of the Civil War was poor white men fighting for the right of rich white men to own black men. There has always been a twisted respect in Southern society for those of the "upper class", whether deserved or not. Meantime, many of the major manufacturing jobs in the Northeast were unionized, and people from those states expressed a certain pride in having begun the American Revolution. These attitudes seem to have been reflected in the two major wrestling companies of the day.
I'm sure there is a tie here to the Occupy Wall Street (or a location near you) movement, and how it's percieved in different parts of the country, but it's late and I have to get to bed for a new week. Maybe in honor of this blog, I'll enter my room to the strains of "Also Sprach Zarathustra" and smack some people around with a folding chair. Meh, it's a thought.