The very object is transformed into something grander and more profitable. So that in actual fact a fair fight is nothing but an exaggeratedly polite one: Barthes criticism of mythology is based on capitalistic consumption.
One is no longer dealing with a salaud but with a salope—the verbal gesture of the ultimate degradation. The logical conclusion of the contest does not interest the wrestling-fan, while on the contrary a boxing-match always implies a science of the future.
There is no more a problem of truth in wrestling than in theatre. Naturally, it is the pattern of Justice which matters here, much more than its content: In the forearm smash, catastrophe is brought to the point of maximum obviousness, so much so that ultimately the gesture appears as no more than a symbol; this is going too far, this is transgressing the moral rules of wrestling, where all signs must be excessively clear, but must not let the intention of clarity be seen.
Wrestling is not a sport, it is a spectacle, and it is no more ignoble to attend a wrestled performance of Suffering than a performance of the sorrows of Arnolphe or Andromaque. Even in the most squalid Parisian halls, wrestling partakes of the nature of the great solar spectacles, Greek drama and bullfights: In other words, the new opiate of the masses is the insidious religion of mindless consumerism.
The wrestler who suffers in a hold which is reputedly cruel an arm- lock, a twisted leg offers an excessive portrayal of Suffering; like a primitive Pieta, he exhibits for all to see his face, exaggeratedly contorted by an intolerable affliction.
Each sign in wrestling is therefore endowed with an absolute clarity, since one must always understand everything on the spot. Essentially someone unstable, who accepts the rules only when they are useful to him and transgresses the formal community of attitudes… He takes refuge behind the law when he considers that it is in his favor, and breaks it when he finds it useful to do so.
Such a precise finality demands that wrestling should be exactly what the public expects of it. Here we find a grandiloquence which must have been that of ancient theaters. As a consumerist society we are trained to desire that which is owned only by the cultural elite.
I would trudge through this dysfunctional process during the week that, to be fair, allowed me a ton of free time to actually write and waited for Friday night, when I could go down to the Ultimate Wrestling Federation and hang out with a bunch of people all wrapped up in various degrees of kayfabe and pageantry, but who felt far more authentic than my peers, colleagues, and professors at the university.
What is portrayed by wrestling is therefore an ideal understanding of things; it is the euphoria of men raised for a while above the constitutive ambiguity of everyday situations and placed before the panoramic view of a univocal Nature, in which signs at last correspond to causes, without obstacle, without evasion, without contradiction.
Sometimes the wrestler triumphs with a repulsive sneer while kneeling on the good sportsman; sometimes he gives the crowd a conceited smile which forebodes an early revenge; sometimes, pinned to the ground, he hits the floor ostentatiously to make evident toall the intolerable nature of his situation; and sometimes he erects a complicated set of signs meant to make the public understand that he legitimately personifies the ever- entertaining image of the grumbler, endlessly confabulating about his displeasure.
As in the theater, each physical type expresses to excess the part which has been assigned to the contestant. Wrestling fans certainly experience a kind of intellectual pleasure in seeing the moral mechanism function so perfectly.
What the public is looking for here is the gradual construction of a highly moral image: The flaccidity of tall white bodies which collapse with one blow or crash into the ropes with arms flailing, the inertia of massive wrestlers rebounding pitiably off all the elastic surfaces of the ring, nothing can signify more clearly and more passionately the exemplary abasement of the vanquished.
The public is completely uninterested in knowing whether the contest is rigged or not, and rightly so; it abandons itself to the primary virtue of the spectacle, which is to abolish all motives and all consequences: I mostly kept my wrestling habit on the DL around the university after that day.
This grandiloquence is nothing but the popular and age-old image of the perfect intelligibility of reality.On “The World of Wrestling” by Roland Barthes (or How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Blog About Professional Wrestling) Even if you’ve read it before, Roland Barthes’ essay “The World of Wrestling” from his influential book of post-structural pop culture criticism Mythologies is great for wrestling fans to.
Roland Barthes's essay on "The World of Wrestling" draws analogically on the ancient theatre to contextualize wrestling as a cultural myth where the grandiloquence of the ancient is preserved and.
The World of Wrestling, an essay by Roland Barthes, excerpted from Mythologies, presented by Sensitive Skin magazine. Join our mailing list Subscribe to our mailing list. Analysis of The World of Wrestling by Roland Barthes Roland Barthes's essay on "The World of Wrestling" draws analogically on the ancient theatre to contextualize wrestling as a cultural myth where the grandiloquence of the ancient is preserved and the spectacle of excess is displayed.
Free Essay: Response 3 In The World of Wrestling by Roland Barthes, he takes the sport of wrestling and turns it into a modern day myth. He talks of the. “The World of Wresting” page 1 of 4 Roland Barthes, "The World of Wrestling" [ed. Note: This is the initial essay in Barthes' Mythologies, originally published inDownload