Friday, December 20, 2002

In professional wrestling, they have a thing called cheap heat.

Heat is the negative reaction and relationship a bad guy (or sometimes a good guy) has with a crowd.

Cheap Heat is called such because it's easy to get.

Perhaps the most recognized way is to go into a town and run down the town's local sports team. For example, if I were wrestling in Tampa, and I wanted the fans to dislike me, I'd talk about how much the Tampa Bay Bucaneers suck.

There are lots of ways to get cheap heat. A more universal way would be to talk about how hick-like the fans in Huntsville, Alabama were, or how stupid the folks in the Valley in California are.

But the cheapest of the cheap. The absolute easiest way to get heat with a crowd, is to use the race card.

Wrestling has always used the race card for that reason. The WWF of the 80's is probably the biggest example. The Iron Sheik was Iranian, and therefore bad--he became Iraqi during the Gulf War. There were always evil Russians.

However, the Black stereotype has been shied away from in recent years. Volatility and unpredictablility being two reasons. The biggest reason though, it that it was so overdone back in the day, that it's hard to use now.

The race card is so cheap, nowadays, so overused, that rarely will it pop up overtly in the wrestling vernacular. Probably the most recent example was this past Monday night, when D-Lo Brown said the referee was ruling against him because he was black.

I didn't think about it at the time. I just changed the channel to see how the Titans were doing on Monday Night Football. But I turned the channel because it wasn't interesting to me. It's too easy to establish yourself as a heel (or a face) using the race card. It's not interesting to me. It's old.

Which has me up a barrel over this whole Trent Lott mess.

First, is anybody surprised that a old rich white guy from Mississippi makes a racist comment? I'd taken it as a given. It's not prejudicial for me to say that, is it? Am I succumbing to a stereotype? Probably. But as a white guy from the south, I think it says something that I thought this other white guy from the south was a racist. He's 40 years older than me, and comes from a much different time than me. I'd just taken it as a given. Seriously, you can almost hear the guy stopping himself from saying "Colored folk" when he talks. I'd taken him as a cartoon.

Second, if so many folks like us down at the low end of the spectrum as wrestling fans think a wrestling storyline is passe, why can't the rest of the world get around it concerning such a newsworthy and sophisticated arena as the United States Congress?

I'm serious. Explain this to me.

Not that I'm a Trent Lott fan. He's as two-faced as any politician out there, and I really had no use for that man. I was a Fred Thompson junkie. He was a hoss.

But it's not fair that the cheap heat mongers can get face time on news television and giving Trent Lott so much crap that he ends up stepping down from the Majority Leader's position.

I've not explained my position so well, I'm afraid. It would take a much more talented writer and a much better thinker than I.

In the end, it doesn't affect me one way or the other, I guess, if Trent Lott is majority leader or not.

It's just something that's been bugging me. That's all.


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