The Author in this piece wrote about wresting and how the story lines in wresting have always gone along with and even to an extent mirrored what was actually happening around us in real life. Chris Hedges does a very good job of showing how wresting has blurred fantasy with reality so closely with their storylines they have been able to draw people in.to what is happening. People will follow these events that happen blindly because they draw from what is actually happening around us and use real events into fooling the viewers into thinking these story lines are actually important. Hedges goes on to say “ The Narratives of emotional wreckage reflected in the wrestlers stage biographies mirror the emotional wreckage of the fans. This is the deep appeal of professional wrestling.”
The Author then goes on to lump in Jerry Springer, Oprah Winfrey and reality television into the same category as professional wrestling. I can’t say I disagree with this as they are all very similar and try their best to pull us in by trying to relate with us on emotional levels. They do such a good job of it that they all have gained millions of loyal followers who swear by these shows. We grow such deep attachments to storylines because we can vicariously live through the people being portrayed on the screen. You lost your job because of the economy and you can’t really do anything about it? Well there are storylines in wrestling that are quite similar and you can see someone physically assault the people “responsible” for it.
I haven’t personally watches professional wrestling for the last 12 or so years (It has become a soap opera for men) but I can see how others can relate to it. I do however watch a few select reality shows and I understand that the author was more or less saying we use these to mindlessly get away. I get that, but I don’t think there is a whole lot wrong with occasionally watching something purely entertaining that doesn’t require a lot of thought. Our tv watching should be similar to our diets. We can watch good things or things with high nutritional value, but every once in a while you want the cinematic equivalent of ice cream. Yes it’s not good for you if this is all you consume but if it’s done responsibly in small quantities it can be beneficial to us.
I enjoyed this chapter of Hedges book and would like to read the rest of it sometime. I agree with a lot of the broader points he made. In some cases it can border on obsession with certain people. They watch these shows and get addicted to them and sometimes have trouble separating fiction from reality. I’ve had friends who watch wrestling talk about it like event in wrestling like it was really happening and had effect on our real lives. I think reality television and things of that nature are fine but mostly in small dosages. They aren’t something you want to indulge in on a regular basis or something you want to believe too much.