It Used to be Better: The Death of Masculinity in Professional Wrestling

“If you take a thing apart or modify it, there are certain aspects which must remain intact for it to retain its identity. Without certain parts, it becomes something else.”

So it’s a lazy Sunday night, I did my dishes, tidied up, and I’ve got some time to kill. Time to hunker down in front of my TV and let the clown and puppet show melt my brain when it occurs to me- it’s a pay-per-view Sunday, brother!

The pro-wrestling pay-per-view Sunday was a highlight of my childhood. Months of intricate story lines, peppered with plot twists, met with my own, personal, mental preparation for the big day which would ultimately culminate in…. nothing. My parents weren’t going pay for a play-fighting television show (“pay for TV!?”).

But those times when I carefully wore away their resolve with begging and pleading- usually with highly detailed explanations of all the moments that led to this happening, where on this particular Sunday night everything would be coming to a head, and nothing would ever be the same in the entire world (wrestling federation).

I needed to be in front of my aging 27″ to take it all in… and those times where they yielded to my lust for staged grappling were fucking beautiful.

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“Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire” (1989) and the Diminished Respect for Fatherhood

The very first episode of The Simpsons, “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire” debuted the series on December 17th, 1989– roughly twenty-five years ago (I was there watching it live), launching the series and the family into the forever consciousness of pop-culture. I recently re-watched the episode and it shocked me how different the series was when it initially aired.

Watching an episode of today’s Simpsons reveals an entirely different show. The Homer character, while likable and endearing, is emasculated, negligent of others, and mentally handicapped.

Upon re-watching the first episode, Homer is instead presented as a sympathetic, under appreciated father whom, despite his best efforts, finds tremendous difficulty in providing a perfect family life for his wife and children.

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