Wednesday, June 27, 2007

My final word(s) on the Benoit tragedy

Skip this if you've reached LD=50 on this issue.

As I've said elsewhere, I'm having a hard time with this issue, and I've done some exploration, internally and externally, and I think I've narrowed it down to some bigger global issues.

1) I'm appalled at what translates as "journalism" nowadays. It's clear to me that, to be a reporter, all you have to do is specialize in op-ed writing and attack dog rhetoric. I haven't been this interested in "news chasing" since September 12, 2001. And in this quest - now, as it was then - I have stumbled across some of the most asinine connections, assumptions, and blatantly inflammatory half-truths.

According to various "newz" affiliates:

Whatever happened to journalism being based on reporting the facts, exposing the truth? Mostly, all I've read is leading speculation; I have yet to see a totally impartial report of just the facts. I'm disappointed with the inability of the once-reputable institution of journalism, if this is the best that they can do; the Benoit tragedy isn't an earth-changing event, but if even this event can't get a professional level of objectivity, then bigger issues are pretty damn destined to receive at least the same shoddy treatment, if not far less.

2) It also amazes me, how quickly a person's achievements are forever marred by negative behaviors or activities. Benoit was a great wrestler, and nothing will change that, whether he was a murderer or kind to dumb animals. But ... well, here's a "review" of the "Hard Knocks: The Chris Benoit Story" DVD:

(one star) Please take this down, June 26, 2007
By Kevin Donahoe Nealon

You are promoting a dvd for a double is embarrassing
that you would actually keep this dvd on here...please take it down. That man deserves nothing but hell. Amazon is only hurting themselves by keeping this up.

Before the Benoit thing happened, the last review of the DVD was on May 31, 2007. There have since been 21 reviews, most of which are "one star" (out of 5) and condemn Benoit to hell for his actions. The problem I have is, these aren't reviews of product, these are reviews of the man and his actions (which are not, last time I was aware, for sale on Amazon). The logic of the douchebag above is equally great, because by his rationale, Amazon should also discontinue selling, say, a biography of Ted Bundy, because it is "promoting" a book for (sic) a serial killer.

I often make this criticism to my clients, when I'm attempting to illustrate how our society yields to unfairness: I could be the greatest therapist ever. Then, one day, say I drive to Wal-Mart, drive straight through the front doors at the maximum speed that my car will reach & not stop until I reach the part where they keep the milk. Then, when all the repercussions of my behavior have been dealt with, I could go back to being that same great therapist that I always was.

Before driving through Wal-Mart, no one (except the clients & colleagues) would ever know what kind of therapist I am. However, after the Wal-Mart incident, I'd be known as "that therapist who drove through Wal-Mart ... he must have been 'crazy' ... he has no business working with the mentally ill ... he's probably just as crazy as the people he works with," and I STILL wouldn't be known as the therapist that I would have proven myself to be. And more people would know about my mistake, than would people know that I'm good at what I do.

I believe that some people fail at being rational human beings; our priorities are continually being dictated in the fucking wrong direction. And I don't pretend to assume that I know what direction "our" priorities should be, but I know the direction we're going doesn't make sense. Sometimes, when we as a people are getting bombarded with tragedy and terror and destruction on a global scale, I wonder if we don't in some way deserve it.

Or maybe I'm just tired and bitching. Thanks for reading, anyway, if you made it this far.


Will said...

It goes with the point I made earlier. He was a great wrestler and regardless of what he did, he will always be a great wrestler.

We do not have to condone what he did to believe he was a good wrestler.

Valid point you made about taking down books on serial killers. There is no difference.

Rev. Joshua said...

Actually, I just bought some Benoit Double Murder from Amazon. $29.95 and free 5-7 day shipping!

Seriously, here's what Nancy Grace (I know she's an idiot, but this is awesome) asked Bret Hart tonight:

"Chris Benoit had been one of the elite, the Four Horsemen and now he was on RAW. How did he handle this demotion?"

Rev. Joshua said...

I just realized that I cut that comment off in mid-post. To finish, what Grace said was utter nonsense in ways that defy description which I'm sure anyone reading this is well aware. But it's a shocking example of what regular viewers must get on the daily: conjecture so incomprehensibly wrong that to correct the statement would require such a thorough explanation of the history of the last 20-plus years of wrestling that it's easier to let the statement go and hope that anyone who thinks its a valid assessment isn't going to be making any important decisions with that information.

And from what I've seen firsthand and gathered secondhand from the IWC about the media coverage of this story, it's quite the spectacle to watch people who have no understanding of professional wrestling beyond the fixed nature of the business attempt to opine on the reality of the business. It's like watching a monkey fuck a football.

Ron said...

The level of journalism in this country is appalling to say the least. I think all of the fact-checkers must have been laid off when the internet cut into the readership and viewership of the major news organizations.

Everyone rushes to top each other with the latest facts and the biggest scoop. This leads people to run nonsense like the stuff Nate linked to in his post. The thing is, if ESPN is right about what disease Daniel had (Fragile X Syndrome), then HGH likely was prescribed by a doctor for the kid. No one reports that. The problem, though, is that the media jumps the gun in all of this and links it to the "standard" wrestler deaths of the past decade or so.

I never thought I would say it, but McMahon is actually right by fighting this nonsense and showing how the supposed details of the killing are not rage but deliberation.

Does this mean that Benoit will be remembered for being a great wrestler more than being a triple murderer? I highly doubt it. Nate hit it dead on with his Wal-Mart analogy.