Monday, April 11, 2016

The Kids Are Alright Vs. Milk

I am generally inclined to keep my feelings about most controversial subjects to myself.  Having a dialogue on the internet is like screaming at a wall and asking it be a window.  It isn't productive.  About two or three times a year something will crop up that will make me so sad, or mad, or just flabbergasted that I'll feel the absolute need to vent about them in a written form.  THIS is one of those times.

Saturday night we went to the 7Star Wrestling show at the Freedom Church in Ramsey, Minnesota.  The L.E.W.G.I. assembled, made the sojourn, and got to the business of having a great time while cheering on our favorite Faces, aka Leonard Literacy, and Heels, B3(!), as well as just 7Star in general as the promoter is a really cool and nice guy who we have become Friends with.  It is amazing how something as simple as a pure love for pro wrestling, in all its insanity, can bring a bunch of people together. 

We'll talk more about the actual show on a Heel Turn Radio episode, because it deserves its own time away from what took place during the intermission.  See, there is the rub of the events that took place.  The show itself was FANTASTIC!  It was fun, all the performers busted their asses and were super cool, we were loud in our cheering and booing, and for me 7Star feels like 'MY' promotion.  It is the local thing that may not be what some people consider 'great', but to me it is special.  I know some of the wrestlers, we know the promoter, and we ALWAYS have fun.

Can you see how I'm doing all I can to not talk about the Intermission?  *sigh*

The last show we went to at the Freedom Church had a really strange, but bizarrely entertaining pantomime wrestling match between Jesus and the Devil during Intermission.  I felt like it was sort of odd, but not heavy handed, and felt like a genuine attempt to engage the audience.  They didn't really preach, but instead gave us a show.  Love it, hate it, or are simply amused by it I can respect that. 

Going into Saturday night's show I was expecting, and honestly hoping for, the same thing.  Instead what we got was far different.  One of the Pastors, a Annah Reid, and what I will call her Hype Person got in the ring to speak.  I knew it started off bad when immediately she mocked the ring and the wrestlers, which considering they brought people into your venue is pretty classless.  At that point Mrs. Reid decided to engage the audience regarding their love of Jesus.  Yup.  That's right.  At a wrestling show she wanted to talk about Jesus.  Which is cool I guess, because as those of you who do know me know, "Jesus is just alright with me".  He's just alright...

Granted this is in a church, but when no one responds really to your Christian 'call to arms' you might want to go into outreach mode and draw people in based upon all the good you do in the community, how nice your venue is, and what a commitment you have to what you believe.  This seems like good use of your time in front of what essentially is a captive audience.  Especially one who you seem to really want to bring into your fold.  So I was COMPLETELY floored when Mrs. Reid instead used her four corner pulpit to preach hate.

First it was about the "12 members of a certain Court", then she turned her ire to "The Homosexuals", how depression and anxiety aren't real, the evils of teaching Evolution, and eventually when she wasn't getting the traction with the stunned silent crowd she desired she turned on us as well.  As an Agnostic who feels like they are in touch with their personal spirituality I take umbrage when I am told I am going to hell, that my father is the Devil, and that if I don't repent and take your version of whatever salvation figure you hold close that I am doomed to burn for eternity. 

That doesn't even take into account that not only do I know "The Homosexual(s)", but I am fortunate to call them Friends, to care about them, to Love them unconditionally, and to only want for them the best the world can offer.  Which immediately puts me at odds with Mrs. Reid.  The reality that Depression and Anxiety are diseases that we can see in brain chemistry, treat, and help people find a functional remission state without belonging to a church also means Mrs. Reid and I most likely couldn't have brunch together.  The fact that I know there are 9 Justices on the Supreme Court also puts us at odds.  The idea that I believe in this thing, you may have heard of it, called Science that has proven, repeatedly, that Evolution is a fact also means that Mrs. Reid and I most likely can't have a constructive conversation.  I could go on and on regarding the other ways she insulted, berated, and attempted to bully these poor wrestling fans into religious submission/subjugation, but I am already bored with her and her diatribe.

It was like sitting in a microcosm of what the debates of our time have become.  It was watching a person of privilege sit in a literal elevated position and dictate their ideas to the masses in a 'with me OR against me' way.  There was no exchange of ideas, there was no attempt at welcoming people into the fold in a loving way, instead it was simply a doctrine of hate, divisiveness, and misplaced impotent rage.  Luckily by the end she was being booed.  I shit you not.  A pastor in her own church was being booed.   

She left triumphant in her mind I'm sure.  She'd brought the fire and brimstone to the 'heathen masses'.  She'd 'edumacated' the ignorant.  And I'm sure when she prayed to the Gawd she prays to she told him how she'd smote "The Homosexuals", the Liberals, the 12 Judges, Science, the Unbelievers, etc.  I'm sure she felt justified and liberated in doing so, and that is what makes it the saddest.  Rather than bring people together all she did was push them away.  And really shit on the mood of a really fun show.

And that might be the toughest part in me even writing this.  Earl, the promoter, is a NICE guy. 
He has been a part of L.E.W.G.I. for like a year, he puts on a great show, asks for input, and deserves to not have his product, his employees, and his paying fans berated.  I hope he finds other venues to run at, but if not, we'll still go.  We'll still cheer our asses off.  We'll still enjoy 7Star Wrestling.  And we'll still support him and his company.  I just think we'll also be leaving the building for the Intermissions from now on.

Or we'll boo our asses off and make signs, because that is how a SMARK crowd full of L.E.W.G.I. rolls!

How about we leave this heaviness behind and do some....

- D&D 1st Group was last Friday night and it went remarkably well.  I was sick to my stomach and uncomfortable, but pushed through. 
The players were super engaged, tactically smart, and role played some really fun moments.  I thought the tension stayed high throughout, even with a bit of Meta-Game Thinking, that basically made me want to pull my own hair out.  We got some good bits in, especially the drunk Kenku's, and I improved flying Goblins throwing porcelain jars full of Black Puddings to get the PC's moving.  Oh and I got to use a Zombie Beholder, THAT is happiness.  Overall, it was a 'B+' session that really makes me feel like the best is yet to come!

- Cassandra and I started Daredevil Season 2.  It is the ballz, that is all.

I think I wanted to say more, but I feel like I've ranted enough.  On a more positive note, in a way, today is the anniversary of the loss of Larry Sweeney.  Mr. Sweeney was one of the most entertaining and amazing performers that has ever stepped in a pro wrestling ring.  He also suffered from Bipolar disorder and took his own life at a very low moment in his life.  It was and is a great loss that drastically effected the Chikara promotion, and a lot of us that were fans.  Use the loss of Larry Sweeney as a positive teaching moment.  If you are or know someone who is struggling with Depression, Anxiety, or any other malady don't ever be afraid to ask for help.  Know that you can find inclusion, judgment free care, and help.  All you need to do is ask.

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