Everyone who is a wrestling fan has heard it before. “What kind of person still watches professional wrestling? Don’t you know that stuff is fake?”
But is wrestling any more “fake” than the myriad of programming the detractors no doubt watch? Does anyone decry fans of The Office for watching a “staged” show? Have you ever heard someone chided for watching The Hangover because “it’s obviously fake?”
It’s true, professional wrestling is scripted, just like other fictional programs. But in many ways, wrestling is more real than standard scripted television series. For starters, wrestling “actors” perform their own stunts! When is the last time the Executive Producer of a TV show appeared on one of his fictional TV shows as himself, as owner of the WWE Vince McMahon so often does? Heck, we’ve even seen wrestling programming reference going to the bathroom, something we’ve never seen in Fox’s “real time” 24 series.
Why is wrestling so stigmatized then? Why do so many wrestling fans live in the shadows, confining their interests to obscure message board discussions and watching the 1992 Royal Rumble alone in the dark at 3am?
Wrestling, for whatever reason, is just not seen as “cool” – at least not for adults! Wrestling fans are lumped in there with fans of Star Trek, comic books, and stamp collecting as people who are perceived by many as inherently “geeky”.
It is for this reason the wrestling fan often finds himself seeking an alternate community with which to share their passion. Thanks to the internet, we now have a plethora of websites, forums, podcasts, and other avenues to connect. The wrestling fan isn’t concerned about “fitting in” or “being cool”. They simply want to enjoy their hobby and experience it with others.
I’ve noticed a parallel to this in my other life as a libertarian writer. For many years, many libertarians largely kept their ideas to themselves. They don’t fit into the typical Republican-Democrat mold, and so they were confined to the sidelines. But just like wrestling fans, libertarians have formed and found new communities on the internet through which to share their passions and spread their ideas.
What the wrestling fans and libertarians have in common, in my experience, is their passion and interest in forming communities to express and share their ideas. The technological marvel that is the internet has enabled everyone with an interest in any subject whatsoever to form their own communities – conventional wisdom be damned!
Enter: Place To Be Nation. It turns out, the “kind of person who watches wrestling” are some of the best people around. In my short time interacting with the fine group of folks involved with this project, I have found a group that is polite, respectful, intelligent, compassionate, and incredibly passionate and informed about their respective areas of interest.
This is truly the “place to be” for anyone looking for a sense of community to discuss anything and everything pop culture. It’s not only a place for the wrestling fans, but for those Star Trek, The Office and 24 fans too. It is a place where you will find an eclectic mix of great minds discussing everything from wrestling to sports to TV to movies (and maybe a little politics here and there from me.) Maybe we’ll even make room for the stamp collectors at some point!
If you are passionate about just about anything, look no further. You have found your Place To Be.