Thursday, December 11, 2014

How to teach children that violence pays.

For many years I was a fan of Saturday afternoon wrestling on British TV - 'the grunt-'n-groan boys' as they were called. It was skilful, extrenely amusing, and with relatively little violence; simply whatever was necessary to score a fall. The American wresling shown now on TV is really appalling (though you will notice I still watch it, or how would I know?) There are occasional bouts which show some skill, but violence is the keynote, and sometimes is allowed to erupt outside the ring as well as inside. The referees really need scarcely be there at all for all the attention anyone pays them; wrestlers' managers are allowed at ring-side and often interfere in the action; and from time to time four or five guys gang up on someone who has won a bout and beat him into submission. I suppose the actual violence can't be as bad as it looks - no-one appears to suffer from broken bones, unless this is carefully edited out; but the general idea that violence is the way to win is certainly the keynote, and what that dioes to or for American yougnstes I can't imagine.

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