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Yeah, I don’t get political cartoons either.
Among the clichés that get repeated ad nauseum by the hip-hop media, Rap is pro-wrestling has got to be the most annoying and self-defeating. It’s not that it’s inaccurate: both forms of entertainment cater to machismo, feature larger than life characters that eclipse technically sound innovators and both industries are currently in a major slump due to a lack of ideas and originality. No, what’s annoying about it is that by acknowledging the comparison, we’ve more or less accepted it as status quo. No one ever goes “rap is like pro-wrestling: we need to do something about it”. Instead, when some rapper gets shot, we roll our eyes, repeat the line and go back to our business. Accepting the comparison is one thing, accepting it as alright is another. Still, things could be worse. For instance, as colorful as 50 or Game’s characters may be, there’s no great event for them to duke it out (other than the Source Awards I guess) and rap being actually based in reality (imagine that!), there’s no real dramatic structure or story arc to the proceedings. Clearly there are ways in which rap is NOT pro-wrestling.
The same can’t be said for US politics. Elections are pay-per-views, the redneck fans are the voters, the larger than life characters are the candidates and the 24 Hour news Networks are the weekly TV shows which feature no actual wrestling/debate but rather serve to pad out the storylines. Of course, I’m no Einstein for suggesting this: politics as theater is an idea as old as dirt…it’s just that nowadays political discourse is closer to Vince McMahon than Bill Shakespeare. Like hip-hop though, “politics as wrestling” (the notion not the phrasing) has been hammered into the public consciousness so much over the past X years that it’s now accepted as the de facto way government is run. I can’t be the only one slightly concerned that the world’s largest super-power is being run like vaudeville’s bastard cousin.
As scary as the notion is however, at least the current storyline is picking up and heading in the right direction. For the past six years, a group of take-no-prisoners bad-asses have been running things and kicking up dirt, which while entertaining (if disheartening), was starting to drag on. It didn’t help that they were almost comically incompetent and that this stuff actually affects lives. As entertainment however, the sudden, almost comic implosion of the Republican Party over the past 2 years has been some of the most captivating Television since the Lewinsky scandal almost a decade ago. The craziest thing about it was how it all happened without anyone, much less their actual opposition, doing anything about it. That’s not to say I have no faith in the Dems. Sure, new cast of characters lack the over the top zaniness that Frist, Santorum, Ashcroft and the rest of the established cast have brought to the table, but give them time: I see a lot of potential in Pelosi’s facial ticks, Obama’s lack of electibility, Clinton’s overall bitchiness, Kenedy as Mayor Quimby and perhaps a reprise of Howard Dean’s Ric Flair impersonation. Plus Kerry’s fumbler character is obviously still in effect.
Once you peel back the cynicism, I can’t imagine any sane individual being particularly happy that the US is being run the way. Like Ice Cube said, the whole thing needs a douche now more than ever with corruption, incompetence and a wanton lack of fundamental common sense infecting almost every level of the World’s most powerful government. However, since things are unlikely to change in the near term, may I suggest that people vote for a different cast of characters. If anything to shake up the storyline.
This message has been brought to you by Commie-Pinko white Canadian Hip-hop journalists for the removal of the religious right. Apologies to Wrestling fans, I haven’t watched that stuff in nearly a decade so the analogy is probably inaccurate. Apologies to Republicans: I feel sorry for your mothers. Anyone who takes this whole thing remotely seriously and decides to vote based on a hip-hop blog probably shouldn’t vote at all.