EDITORIAL: Alternative truth and wrestling
By ROBERT JUMPER
ONE FEATHER EDITOR
Back in the day, I would watch professional wrestling with a certain amount of awe and fascination. It was almost like an old western showdown, black hats and white hats symbolized evil and good, respectively. I think we like our lives like that. We like to be able to clearly see who the bad guy is and who the good is. Professional wrestling was fake. That’s right…fake. I am not saying that the men and woman who performed were fake. Many were superior athletes and all had to be great actors to pull off making professional wrestling a success. But, the matches were staged and their “in the ring” personas were picked for them by the producers of professional wrestling. And, based on what the producers thought would please the crowd-and make them more money, your favorite wrestler might wear a white hat one night and a black hat the next.
Many fans of the art form of pro wrestling were so in to the sport that they believed it to be the real deal. Grannies would swing their purses at Black Jack Mulligan if he dared get close enough for them to have a go at him. Men, women and children would cuss, spit and kick at the Undertaker as he entered the arena. And, on the flipside, women would swoon as Rick “The Nature Boy” Flair pranced and “Wooooh’d” his way into their hearts (Rick played the role of good and bad boy intermittently during his long career).
The point is, people believe this stuff; so much so that, as in other professional sports, we will buy products, not based on the quality of product, but how much we like the entertainer who endorses it. This individual may not have any knowledge of the quality of the product or even have used it at any time. We are so enamored with the actor or athlete, we are willing to buy-in to anything they promote.
I am not saying that these entertainers (and I lump all into one pot, both actor and professional athlete practice their craft to gain the approval and payment of patrons) are stupid or unethical. I am just saying that their motivation to promote a particular product or cause may not be what you think it is.
There are a number of entertainers that are coming out to speak on subjects ranging from the political to the moral. And, it is their right as citizens to voice their opinion about any and all subjects. After all, we all search for validation in different ways.
Several weeks ago, we discussed the topic of situational truth and, sure enough, the topic has risen to the forefront in the modern political arena. To the top rungs of the political ladder, the term “alternative truth” has become the new phrase used to contest a certain worldview. And, yes, it is also being touted as a way to “lie” about a situation without admitting to a lie. But, situational truth goes beyond intent.
People’s perspectives will color what they see as truth. The current debate over immigration is a good example. One faction believes that regardless of how a person immigrated to America, if they are being productive and as long as they do not commit crime, they are good citizens of America. And, that is their truth. Another faction believes that if a person immigrates to America without following the processes prescribed by government, then they enter the country as illegal and criminal, and are not good citizens of America. And, that is their truth. Who is right and what is the truth in that situation?
In the search for the truth, you will hear many voices, all telling you that they know the truth and are more than happy to share it with you. The problem is that many of the people behind those voices have little or no clue what the truth is and, if they do, will twist that truth to serve themselves.
Don’t let entertainers, who have a bully pulpit, but do not have any more insight into truth than you do, manipulate you into believing their positions, their alternative truth. Keep in mind that many of these actors and professional athletes are multi-millionaires who made their money by performing for you. They won a popularity contest, which does not guarantee that they know very much more than how to manipulate money out of your pocket. And, if they are speaking to you about an ethical or moral topic, that should give you pause.
From news anchors to pro basketball stars, the entertainment industry is making a play for your attention. And, when they get your attention, they are now not only reaching into your pocket for ticket money, they are trying to drive the social agenda, and where they drive you will be based on their world view, not necessarily yours.
Next time I am tasked with casting a vote or making a decision on an important social issue in my life, I think I will ask Rick Flair. Then again, I better check to see which hat he is wearing before I ask.