Living in kayfabe

Beyond masks and make-believe

Featured in

  • Published 20230207
  • ISBN: 978-1-922212-80-1
  • Extent: 264pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook
Vintage wrestling mexican toy.

THE MOST CONSISTENT presence throughout my life has always been professional wrestling. The fake sport that calls itself Sports Entertainment. But I’ve never really understood why wrestling wants to be talked about as if it were sport. Isn’t being a piece of melodramatic physical theatre enough? It was enough to make professional wrestling become my lifelong obsession – what autistic experts would refer to as my ‘special interest’. 

In Grade 3, in front of my entire class, I pretended my pencil was a microphone so I could address the room and cut a promo, giving an animated interview in character as ’80s/’90s wrestling superstar ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage during show ’n’ tell (Oh yeahhh, dig it!). The class was in hysterics as
I spoke in a tough-guy drawl, making my voice as gravelly as I could, curling my mouth so it forced my left eye into a squint, holding my hands up like I was speaking an alien sign language. After that day, other kids would often quote me quoting the Macho Man when I passed them around school (‘I’m the tower of power – too sweet to be sour. I’m funky like a monkey – sky’s the limit and space is the place!’), and I thought to myself: I’m so cool. From that day on, everyone knew me as the wrestling kid.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Share article

More from author

Surviving Covid

EssayMASHED_BEAUTATO HERE with another strategic guide on how to most efficiently ace the hottest new game on the market. Surviving Covid is the latest...

More from this edition

Lesbian search terms

Poetry how does a lesbian love a person    can I use a rock to tenderise meat    Amazon commercial with the lesbian couple wtf    homemade real lesbian    things that usually don’t go together but end...

The future is hackable

Non-fictionDeepfakes occupy the epicentre of an escalating tension between fact and belief in the digital media economy. Their rise coincides with the emergence of video as the preferred information format for the majority of consumers. The text-driven churn of Twitter now vies with the visual distractions of TikTok: recent studies indicate that users retain 95 per cent of audiovisual messaging and only 10 per cent of messaging read as text. In a post-truth arena already besieged by the comparative virality of fake stories over real ones, with public faith in ‘facts’ and ‘expertise’ eroding across the legal, political, academic and media spheres, deepfakes, in their five-year life span, have inspired dystopian prophesies that swerve from dread to moral panic. In 2019, US Congressman Adam Schiff warned deepfakes could ‘turn a world leader into a ventriloquist’s dummy’. Political researchers Cristian Vaccari and Andrew Chadwick concurred, asserting the ‘stakes are too high’ for deepfakes to be treated as ‘mere technological curiosities’. In the lead-up to the 2020 US election, computational scholars modelled seven credible deepfake scenarios that could undermine democracy.

Stay up to date with the latest, news, articles and special offers from Griffith Review.