I tweeted early last fall that Trump was cutting Ric Flair promos. Lambert at NakedCapitalism noticed back in the winter that Trump was strategically breaking political kayfabe. Since then, I’ve been collecting tweets, stories, and anecdotes on Trump’s appropriation of wrestling, with an aim to write a big thing about it.
Alas, the project got way too big for me and I dithered too long; everyone gets it now and people much better and industrious have already written about it. Still, though I haven’t been following the news (or been on Twitter) since Bernie got cheated, I always look for relevant stuff on the Trump-wrestling connection on youtube.
Here’s one of my 1980s childhood favorites from Memphis CWA Wrestling, Dirty Dutch Mantell (aka WWE’s Zeb Colter, an anti-immigration, Vietnam War veteran, super-patriotic character) telling an interviewer his Trump story (at about 7m45s):
At Wrestlemania 29 I went out and did [my] promo…”We The People,” and [Trump] was there….he was in the [owner’s?] box. So later on I went back [to] sit in the viewing area, and [Trump] walked up to me – I saw him walk in with his two sons and Ivanka, his daughter – beautiful girl – and anyway, he saw me and he came over and he [extended his hand] and he said, “fantastic! fantastic. I loved your interview.” And then he walked away. But what he did [is] he watched it and he basically took “We The People” and is using it today…he just stole the gimmick. Gimmick infringement – a big case of it. Did you hear my name mentioned [in Cleveland at the RNC]? Noooo. He should have let me do the Ted Cruz [role], I would have endorsed him – I’m mad at him but I still would have endorsed him.
…is the acromegalic poop splash, to my knowledge only performed once in history, by Andre the Giant on Bad News Brown and Bam Bam Bigelow.
BNB describes the experience in this video:
And BBB describes it in this one (beginning at 8m 30s):
The secret ingredients were tequila and clamato juice. The move is eventually fatal, as all things ultimately are; Andre died in 1993 and the others died in early 2007.
While rando websurfing today I came across the following:
In 1964, [Muhammad Ali] was reclassified as 1-Y (fit for service only in times of national emergency) after two mental tests found his IQ was 78 (16th percentile), well below the armed force’s 30th-percentile threshold. (He was quoted as saying, “I said I was the greatest, not the smartest!”)
….which is a reminder of how ridiculous it is that people actually believe IQ is a useful gauge of mental ability.
Ali was a brilliant man, a master of psychology, who in the ring thought many moves ahead like a grandmaster of chess; he had a quick and clever wit, could string together battle raps and wrestling-style insults completely impromptu, all while in front of cameras and people and tremendous distraction. Yet according to his IQ score, he was of less than average intelligence, a result so absurd given his obvious real-world smarts that some people thought he’d intentionally botched the test to rope-a-dope the draft board. He’s asked as much in the following video; his reply is denial, then a joke.
The whole video is instructional on the topic of Ali’s (largely untutored, he explains) intelligence. In it, as in so many of his appearances before disease transformed him, he is funny, cautious, charming, clever, a talented politician, a star, a hero, one of those rare wonderful people who doesn’t even have to perform – just rather merely and observably, be – to make the observer feel good to be alive.
My friend Nathan told me that years ago in a teenage compulsive suicidal despair, he drank gasoline. “How much?” I asked. Dunno, but he chugged. “What happened next, did you have to get your stomach pumped?” He said there was no need; he puked it all up almost instantly.
Of course gas isn’t exactly like oil but I think of him when I come across similar stories. For instance, I was just watching a shoot interview trailer in which Jim Cornette says that Wahoo McDaniel, in college, ran 26 miles and drank a quart of motor oil on a bet (legit). Which brings to mind this classic promo in which the oil, at least most of it, is spit out:
I’ve had it all over me on the farm, usually in the form of tractor hydraulic fluid from a ruptured line or stuck coupler valve. The taste is just as it smells, and it lingers. But apparently it’s not too poisonous. There’s also the experience of other omnivore mammals:
The wife of Kenneth Anderson kept an orphaned sloth bear cub from Mysore, which she named “Bruno”. The bear could be fed on almost anything (including motor oil) and was very affectionate toward people.
Can’t have a post about oil consumption without referencing this stuff:
Billy Corgan on Generation X. Corgan has always been shrewd about his critics, so I also left in the part including his counterpunching description of the familiar sort of privileged authenticity-fetishists who are a menace to so many fandoms in pop culture.
Corgan: I’m surprised by the lack of provocation in the artistic class, particularly in Generation X, which was a generation that benefited – we might as well be dead. I don’t see what our impact is; we’ve let the nerds take over. TV and music is filled with a bunch of nerds running agendas that are really counter-holistic, self-referential. You know, a part of – there were different shadows to the X generation, one of which was: how do we include everybody? And somehow that’s been warped into, once again, how do we disbar those who don’t fit into our agendas. Very strange to me.
Ghomeshi: Who do you mean when you say the nerds? Because I thought to a certain extent we were the nerds.
Corgan: I thought we were the nerds, but I didn’t realize a bunch of people were gonna come around with their laptops and claim authority. Being bookish, to me, is not being a nerd. You know, I once met some guy who was running some website – it was a fan website but super-critical of the band – and I asked him what he thought of our new website, and he was like “I don’t like your use of the color red.” I mean, that’s the kinda thing I’m talking about. Usually — and I say this with humility because I’m “from there,” it’s usually middle class to upper-middle class white kids who tell the world how it should be run. And they often times don’t have a street feel because they haven’t come from people, or they can’t remember whether their ancestry was from that street, and oftentimes they turn to sources that give them the street, but they like to drop in and out…so a rap culture or edgy DJ culture because they can, you know, put on the Birkenstocks for the weekend and pretend that they’re a hippie, and they go back to their very safe existence. I didn’t come from that safe existence – I existed in it – but I didn’t come from that, so I’m very sensitive to the way particularly whites abuse kinda intellectual ideas ‘to put themselves over’ to use a wrestling term.
Ghomeshi: ..one thing I was gonna say about Generation X, though, isn’t it — and this is a trait of each generation that gets to a certain age, but — isn’t it that we’re taking over the asylum to a certain extent, and so we only have ourselves to blame? I mean, I fell that it’s Generation X now that’s in the corridors of power..increasingly overtaking the baby boomers…..we’re just taking over the power.
Corgan: I disagree with that….Generation X is an underpopulated generation. [Ghomeshi: the smallest, yeah] I think we’re 40 million versus the 80 million before and the 80 million after. I would say that the baby boomers are still running a lot of things and whatever this generation is you wanna call it now (we call them the Millennials and I have one in my band), I think they’re still – are – running the show right now. Their agendas, and the way they clash or work in some ways hand in hand are kinda running things, and Gen X has been sort of more like a sulking child in the corner.
Ghomeshi: We went from slacker to just screwed.
Corgan: I don’t think that we’re screwed. You could argue that there’s a strain of victimhood in Generation X and maybe there’s a reason for that: a lot of us were abused. We were maybe the last generation that was abused in the shadows, and maybe that had — and maybe our imprint on that has something to do with what’s happened at Penn State and now what’s happening with the BBC. You see, you know, this hidden pedophilia culture being brought to light now. Maybe Gen-Xers have something to do with that because we’re particularly very sensitive toward abuse – abuse of power particularly. But I don’t see us asserting our will in any shape or form, and in fact, as I’ve begun to assert my will as I’ve become in my estimation “a man” in my forties, I’m constantly told that I need to be quiet, and I don’t understand that. I feel I’ve earned the right to say something.