Can WWF Fans Be Educated?

I’m stealing this topic from an argument I read in a GD thread. It seemed like a delightful topic for the Pit.

Seriously, I’m curious as to what people think about the prospects of transforming WWF and Monster Truck enthusiasts into lovers of learning and passionate pursuers of knowledge.

Ha! Shows what you know! WWF Steals plotlines form classical literature and is mirror into the visceral soul of modern cultural fears and mores.

What in the blue hell is that supposed to mean?

Just because I happen to enjoy professional wrestling, I must be some kind of uneducated dolt?

In what way does an appreciation of the particular skills of Ric Flair and Chris Benoit preclude learning and the pursuit of knowledge?

Explain yourself, Hairy.

He’s learning already!

Hi, my name is ultrafilter. I’m a fan of the WWF, although I haven’t watched recently, and I love monster trucks, although I’ve never really followed through on that. For what it’s worth, I also love heavy metal and Adam Sandler movies. I’m fascinated by the cars in auto racing, although I don’t have the attention span to watch

I’m also about to graduate with a B.A. in pure mathematics, and a minor in computer science. I buy every cheap math book I can get my hands on, even if I can’t read it right now, because I know I can read it later. I hope to be a PhD mathematician at some point in my life. Once upon a time, I spoke two different classical languages. I also read French well enough to go through most websites, although I have trouble with the vocabulary from time to time. I’m a voracious reader when I have the time; my favorite authors are Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., and Samuel Beckett. I also used to attend my university’s drama department productions regularly, although I don’t have time to do so anymore. I have a decent understanding of evolutionary biology and general relativity, and I can make reasonably intelligent statements about subjects from the social sciences. My favorite painters are Salvador Dali and Rene Magritte.

Lest anyone think I’m bragging, let me also mention that I’ve never learned to tie my shoes properly. :slight_smile:

So the answer to your question is yes. The image of WWF fans as morons who only want to see someone get body-slammed real good is a stereotype. It may be valid for some people, but not for everyone.

::rubs hands together::

I am a proud wrestling fan. My username is a reference to a wrestler named Jeff Hardy, as a matter of fact.

I am also a fraud analyst at one of the top five Visa/Mastercard issuers in the world. I am fluent in Spanish and ASL. I was in the top 5% of my class.

So…kind of blows your little theory out of the water, m’kay?

I watch wrestling, knowing that it is scripted. I watch with full knowledge that the outcomes are predetermined.

If we judged people solely by their hobbies… I have a friend who is a baseball fanatic. Would you hold him to the same sort of scorn?

Crochetaddict, also known as the lovely and ferocious Mrs. Drillrod, was logged on when I made the reply listed as hers.
The words were mine, not hers. Damn, I wasted her first post. Now I feel bad.
I’m not making a real good argument for my case here, am I?

Oh well. Time to go confess to her now.


I like WWF, although I haven’t watched recently.

I love NASCAR.

My idea of the perfect Saturday night is going to the dirt track, having a beer, then cuddling with my baby in his Chevy Nova.

I live in Mississippi.

I MUST be a stupid, uneducated fuck!

Except… er… I’m not. I’m a National Merit scholar and got near-perfect on every test they threw at me, for what it’s worth. I enjoy reading, I’m always on the lookout for interesting new literature, I’m an artist, yadayadayada blibbityboo.

So, er, would a “fuck your theory” be appropriate?

While hardygrrl, ultrafilter, and racinchikki are certainly in no need of any transformation as suggested by the OP, neither are they representative of the great masses of common wrestling fans. I would argue that the average wrestling fan is young, blue-collar, marginally educated, and possessing a relatively narrow entertainment worldview. While, as Scylla points out, one may find another level in professional wrestling, I think this testifies to the universal, inescapable nature of classic themes, not any conscious effort on the on the part of scriptwriters. I also doubt the majority of the audience is in any way aware of this extra level, nor desirous of such awareness.

Personally, I’ve always found wrestling to be ridiculous, polarized melodrama glorifying physical struggle and perpetuating the anarchistic idea of the lone hero triumphing through straightforward violence. There is no shading, there is no complexity, there is simply gladitorial combat without the unscripted blood and drama that made such combat entertaining to the ancients. Bullying and childish ridicule are elevated to a minor art, an art that we as a culture could do without. I am not so prudish to claim that children watching wrestling causes violence, but it certainly feeds a worldview that is, at best, unproductive. Better to show actual contests of skill, where victory is uncertain and suffering is necessary and for a purpose. The victories are honest, the drama greater, and the action is more than a vain display of uncontested skill.

Is it possible that the examples in this thread are exceptions to the rule? I went to a few WWF live events when I was a teenager (yes, I was a fan back then, yes I was smart back then) and I don’t want to use too broad a brush, but it seemed to me that many people with me in that audience thought Plato was a distant cousin of silly putty.

(Of course, it is probably hard to look educated while screaming for someone’s head to be fake-slammed into a turnbuckle)

(but then, I did have many people try to tell me that it wasn’t scripted at all)

(but then in the seventh grade I traded my tape of Wrestlemania VI - or so - for three Playboy centerfolds; so I will always have a warm spot in my heart for the WWF)

Gee, stereotype-much, anyone? (To the OP)

(assuming I’m the baseball fanatic in question - cuz I’m paranoid enough to think it’s always about me)

What the blue hell is that supposed to mean?

Everyone knows baseball is a thinking man’s sport of strategy and um, and ball hitting… Well there’s strategy in the National League anyway, where’s there’s no DH.

Anyway, I’m here to make fun of you WWF fans. No, actually I’m here to make fun of hardygrrl. Though, truth be told, I’m here to warn Harry Potter that harygrrl is gonna beat him with her hockey stick until his eyesockets bleed, but she seems to have restrained herself.

So in short, I’m just here.

I guess I’ll say something worthwhile.

Harry, I don’t follow pro wrestling myself, but I have a lot of family in KY who love it. (I know, I’m feeding into your stereotype, just hear me out.) I watched a WWF wrestling match with my cousin Chris and his wife on my last visit. They know it’s scripted. They know it’s choreographed. It’s fun to watch though, especially when Chris does the ‘dialogue’ for the wrestlers. Not real dialogue, mind you, but jokes Chris would say as if the wrestlers were talking to one another - a lot like Joel and the robots making fun of a movie on MST3K.

It’s just a form of entertainment. The implications of your OP is akin to saying a person who enjoyed Jurassic Park should be converted to “lovers of learning and passionate pursuers of knowledge.”

It’s just entertainment man, it’s a chance to just sit back and enjoy something. Not everything has to be an intellectual endeavor.

Trucido - Well said - I couldn’t agree with you more. Obviously there are exceptions (see above), but in general WWF aims for the lowest common denominator. In fact, there have been studies relating audience education and economics to viewership. (They use the data and demographics for selling ads.) One extreme in the studies watches WWF; the other The West Wing. Wanna guess which one? :slight_smile:

i’ll add another exception to this. my dad has many, many, many patents…is a prominent scientist with a degree from a rather nice school and he is a devout fan of this tripe. far as i know he is not a dunce. my cousin is studying for his mba at Wharton, holds a double engineering degree from a nice school and is a devout fan.

Seriously, I’m curious if your always such a self rightious ass clown.
Wrestling is a form of entertainment I enjoy. I also go through 3-4 books a week on a variety of subjects. Currently I’m reading a book about expiditions to the south pole, if you’d like, we can have a wonderful conversation about that.
Perhaps you’d like to talk about the last broadway play you’ve seen. I don’t get there nearly enough, but I do enjoy going into the city, I just don’t always have the money.

Hey Racin, notice no one is sticking up for NASCAR?

And BTW, Hairy. since I reread the Divine Comedy recently, I’m thinking Dante forgot the circle of hell reserved for those who generalize.

Oh joy, O fountain of wisdom that is HairyPotter

Seriously, I’m curious as to whether or not you generalize like this all the time. Anytime this topic comes up, people assume you are a moron if you admit to being a fan.

I enjoy Steinbeck and a whole lot of other literature. I know SQL. I can debate. I know calculus. I know some physics. I can program in C++ (it’s been a while, but…). I know Spanish. I scored in the 99th percentile nationally on standardized testing in logic and critcal thinking. I can play three different insturments.

And I like the WWF.

So, HairyPotter in closing, two things–

  1. Please tell me where I need to be educated. (I know of several areas where I can be, but it should be screamingly obvious to you since I’m not “a lover of learning”.)

  2. When you get done doing that, c’mere and lick my bag. (apologies to Brian)

Did any other net wrestling fans think this was gonna be about making the fans pop for more than just finishers?

Hey, hardygrrl, I never could get through Dante. Can you check for me if there’s a circle reserved for people who seem to be reeeeaaally proud of their own accomplishments? Kidding! I’m kidding here! [sub]OUCH, quit with the sticks![/sub]

Oh, and FWIW, I’m obviously with Trucido and leander. I’m not saying there’s no redeeming value here, I just think there are plenty o’ better choices.

And lord KNOWS I’m not about to start making generalizations about the watching populace. :smiley: