Reader’s Response blog #4

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 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.

2 thoughts on “Reader’s Response blog #4

  1. ryandiulus

    I agree with you about there being nothing wrong with watching some reality tv, some of it is actually interesting. I think Big Brother, while it does have a lot of drama, is so far removed and superior to most other reality shows. Life is what we are taught and what we make of it. I think it’s perfectly normal to have a “hero” of sorts, as long as everything is within reason.

  2. mpete75

    I have to say that I found this particular segment of the chapter to be quite disturbing. I have probably never watched wrestling and was completely unaware of the storylines being so sickening. I feel like they were exploiting the the people who actually experience these things and making a mockery of their misfortunes. They downplay these real life situation and use sex and violence as an anecdote. This could cause portions of the audience, especially the younger ones, to get the idea or see it as socially acceptable to take out their frustrations on others through sex or violence.


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