December 29th, 2021
It’s kinda funny that, as the world learns how to describe things in increasing detail, as we create smaller and smaller boxes to put our interests in, humans become gatekeepers for drama.
Wrestling is just a soap opera. Soap operas are just comic books without the superpowers. Comic books are just reality shows in a different reality. Reality shows are just period pieces without the funny wigs. Period pieces are just modern dramas that take place in the past. Modern dramas are just sporting events without any equipment. Sporting events… well, they’re just games invented for children that people inject drama into so they can forget that they’re just games invented for children.
These stories are all the same.
They are the stories of human beings. Their trials and errors, their great loves and darkest fears, their elevated peaks of joy and deepest griefs, their relationships with family and friends and lovers and enemies and strangers…
And yet we have a basic need to say some of these stories are better than others. Shakespeare is clearly art and the WWF is offensively not.
Though today, my friend Maurice showed me a comic book that was Macbeth told through the lens of professional wrestling.
And it reminded me that they’re the same damn thing.
I’ve always looked at stories this way. I try to treat Sesame Street with the same kind of thought I would The Iliad & The Odyssey. And honestly, does the Greek Homer have so many more insights than the great Homer Simpson?
I would argue that they both have a lot to say on the human condition, and they need not be mutually exclusive in understanding it.
Thinking this way has allowed me to experience stories in many more ways than I think some people will allow themselves to. Genre exists as a flavor for the same food. There are still things I don’t like. Or even really get. But when I start to take off the outside parts of any of these tale-telling machines, I find the same human engines inside.
This is all to say that even though the people around you might get their stories in a different way, what they want are the exact same things you want — if only a little deeper under the surface.
We can be satisfied and disappointed and enraged and elated by genre.
But it’s the love of a story that makes us ridiculously human.