This is actually a remarkably fair and accurate primer for anyone interested in the field of John Cena Studies.
Shit, you might want to watch these quick. I think the WWE might be deleting all of OSW's stuff again; one of the ECW vids I was watching last night turned up blocked this morning.
Fred 3: Camp Fred
I think I watched this and found it to be pretty lame. Although it's written pretty badly, content-wise, this is by far the most terrific article on why people hate John Cena:
This sort of wrestling meta-watching is weird. It's not taking it at face value, it's watching it *as* a spectacle; watching oneself watching it. Wrestling used to be a mirror of society–evil foreigner characters during the cold war. But that sort of relies on taking it seriously. Is it really possible for something we're all ironically watching ourselves watching to be really "about" anything other than itself?
Three points, Mr Ashtar. First, "meta-watching", or as wrestling nerds might call it, "smarking", is not a new phenomenon. While wrestling was taken at face value for much of its early history, the kayfabe nature of wrestling had become common knowledge by the 1980s, when interest in wrestling began to peak. Few of us here, and I'd venture to guess not one of the OSW reviewers, were even alive when wrestling was still a purely face-valued experience. Even the markiest of young children were aware, on some level, that they were watching wrestling as spectacle.
Two, are you really suggesting that there is some conflict between meta-watching and wrestling's ability to tell stories that reflect upon society? Why? How? All great fiction - from Shakespearean drama to the epics of Homer (Simpson) - takes as a given the audience's ability to engross themselves in a narrative, while still being cognizant of the fact that "it's all just a story". Nobody believes that Macbeth is literally murdering a man right before their eyes. Nobody claims that The Scottihs Play is diminished when dramatists analyze it, or worse, suggests that the very act of analyzing a play is utterly meaningless and signifies nothing (well, nobody who counts suggest this, at least).
And finally, three: what is ironic about this? Why do you say that they are watching wrestling "ironically"? If they *were* smarking ironically then it might even further weaken your claim (2), on the grounds that irony is one of the defining features of modern society - but they are not. Their smarking does not strike me as ironic at all, no, quite the contrary, it strikes me as rather sincere! In fact, one might even argue that smarking is one of the *most* sincere and unironic forms of watching still left open for us.
People watch wrestling as theatre, which it is. You can talk about whether or not to like the character Hamlet irrespective of the actor that played him. Please don't get carried away.
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