Kayfabe

The Term Comes from Professional Wrestling

The Term Comes from Professional Wrestling

The word kayfabe is new to me. I learned about it from reading Nathan Rabin’s 7 Days in Ohio: Trump, the Gathering of the Juggalos and the Summer Everything Went Insane. According to TVTropes:

“Kayfabe” is a carny term thought to have originated from the Pig Latin for “be fake,” possibly originally by pronouncing it backward (“kay-feeb”). Professional Wrestling adopted the term as a reference to the standard Fourth Wall features of separating the audience from the action. It is meant to convey the idea that, yes, pro wrestling is a genuine sport, and yes, this is how people act in real life. It is essentially Willing Suspension of Disbelief specifically for pro wrestling.

Back in the old days, though, kayfabe was much more; it was pro wrestling’s real life Masquerade. Wrestlers, promoters, and everybody else involved with the business alike resorted to any means necessary to guard the secret that wrestling was rigged, from wrestlers roughing up any reporters who dared ask, “It’s all fake, right?” to (alleged) death threats towards anybody who threatened to expose the secret, through contacts with the Mafia and other organized crime. Heels [villains] and faces [heroes] weren’t allowed to travel, eat, or be seen with their “enemies” in public, and changed in separate locker rooms. Wrestlers lived their gimmicks 24/7 and those playing Wild Samoans or Foreign Wrestling Heels could not speak English in public if their characters didn’t. There are even rumors that some wrestlers would lie under oath in court to maintain the illusion, and some old-time heels tell stories about carrying guns for their own protection from those fans who took it just a bit too seriously. To get an idea of just how important kayfabe was, it’s interesting to watch shoot interviews with old-time wrestlers filmed in the modern era, even decades later when everyone knows that wrestling is fake, they often start speaking as if various angles and feuds were real and tend to dance around actually saying that wrestling is staged if pressed….

Now the only concept of kayfabe fakery is highly transferable to politics. In the 2016 Presidential Election, Donald Trump is obviously the heel. But the parallel breaks down somewhat with Hillary Clinton, whom Trump is trying to portray as the real heel. Using the language of kayfabe, this is one election in which there are no faces.

Nothing If Not Messy

That Guy Stepping Off the Seesaw Has Just As Much Power As the Politician

That Guy Stepping Off the Seesaw Has Just As Much Power As the Politician

On this election day (for me, the California Primary), I am reminded of one of the things that Donald Rumsfeld said in which I actually believed: Democracy is messy, sometimes incredibly so. This horrible election year of 2016 brings us a contest between two politicians that many Americans would readily damn to the infernal regions.

But we seem to have bought this whole two-party system thing. But what happens when people start to lose faith in both parties? Just because I donated to Barack Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns, my mailbox is full of solicitations from Debbie Wasserman Schultz and her minions. Although I tend to vote Democratic, I still consign those solicitations to the circular file with as much alacrity as an ad from Herr Trumpf.

Why would I donate money to a political party? I vote for candidates, not parties. And if the party cannot produce a good candidate, why then, bugger the party!

Yet I still vote. There I was at the Stoner Recreation Center at 7:15 this morning to vote for Bernie Sanders, despite knowing that Hillary Clinton would clean his clock. That doesn’t matter: If she gets in, then she has to listen to the forces behind Sanders or go down to defeat to the candidate that Jon Stewart would refer to as Fuckface von Clownstick. That would be … very … bad.

“Old Dog Trey”

House Select Committee on Benghazi Chairman Trey Gowdy

House Select Committee on Benghazi Chairman Trey Gowdy

The sad affair at Benghazi is probably the most-investigated terrorist event in America’s history. Currently, what we have is the eighth Congressional committee to prate and bray on what Secretary of State Hillary Clinton failed to do to prevent the death of four consular officials in Libya on September 11, 2012. That is seven more committees that investigated the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks on September 11, 2001 with their thousands of casualties, and seven more than examined the Beirut terrorist bombing attack of October 23, 1983 in which 299 U.S. Marines and French military died.

I guess when the President on whose watch this type of thing is a Republican, he and his people generally get off scot-free. But it was not in the cards in our time.

Politics is a strange animal. By unstinting attacks, it could make the Machiavellian Mrs. Clinton look like a persecuted virgin and martyr and attack dog Trey Gowdy look like one of he Salem witchcraft judges. And the whole committee aims to generate a gotcha moment, in which Mrs. Clinton says something that could be used as a sound bite against her in next year’s presidential race, to be looped thousands of times in negative advertising.

So instead of getting their political victory and singing Gowdyamus igitur to their base, the many political enemies of Mrs. Clinton have drawn the following cards:

Ace Ventura, Pet Detective
Deuce Bigelow, Male Gigolo
Trey Gowdy, Failed Draco Malfoy Look-Alike

I keep saying I don’t want to get drawn into politics, but what’s happening is part of a critical time in our history; and I don’t feel right about remaining silent. Sigh!