More than that, wrestling provides its fans and performers a medium for thinking about "getting over" in America today. This spectacle of excess may be the apotheosis of American imbecility, but it is also defiant, hopeful, liberating, and unifying -- a throwback to the raucous pleasures of early theater. Fans aren't detached connoisseurs, looking satirically down on life, concealing their anxieties in the cold comforts of irony. They are total participants in a carnival of their own making, shouting epithets, throwing chairs, expatiating their worries in a crowd's triumphant foolishness.
It is, "Slaphappy" concludes, all the stuff of human culture. Where does fantasy end and reality begin? Where does the performance stop and life take over? Writing with affection and discernment, Hackett gets deep into the culture, discoveringthat the make-believe competition of wrestling is indeed "real" for millions of young men -- real in the sense that something real and important is at stake: their worth as men.
|Paperback Book, 288 pages||English|
|General Popular Culture Social Science|