I mean, everyone knows professional wrestling is "carny shit". It's like the last remnant of that minstrel show/vaudeville/music hall era that didn't get all polished up and repackaged as something vaguely respectable. Even up until recently it was chock full of racist, sexist and xenophobic stereotypes. The promoters are almost universally crooked and frequently cover up drug scandals, sex scandals, abuse scandals and worse.
And yet... it's still something that brings millions of people joy. Things are slowly getting better. Even as the most renowned brand in the industry puts on private shows for a Saudi dictator and pals around with America's most corrupt president in recent memory, the industry as a whole is moving forward. One major promotion featured a trans indigenous woman as champion. There are a handful of gay performers on the national stage. Women are respected as superstars at the very top of the business. It's a time we can all feel slightly less embarrassed about being wrestling fans.
So the recent SpeakingOut hashtag hits pretty hard. The entire UK wrestling scene has been shaken up the past few days as one performer after the next is outed as a dirtbag. Sexual harassment, child abuse, domestic violence, every motherfucker is going down. A police investigation is now underway. And it hasn't stopped in the UK - Americans who kept silent for years have started speaking out about some of the shit they went through too. The whole internet wrestling scene is losing their shit. And of course the usual suspects are coming out to cape for their faves because God forbid some guy who plays a hero on television is a heel in real life.
What's really disappointing is that the one place on the internet i have found where women and people of color are both on staff and well represented in the comments... the editor of that site has also been named. And the silence is deafening, because while every other wrestling site on the internet is reporting on this, that one site has nada. The commenters are pissed, because it felt like our safe space. Least they could do is acknowledge what's going on, you know?
Anyway. It's the weekend, start of my week off. I'm still not sure if i should try travel somewhere. I do have Guangzhou on my bucket list before i leave China, and i also feel like i should finally climb Wutong Mountain, the highest mountain in Shenzhen and the only one non-hikers know the name of. I'd kinda like to travel back out to Guangxi or Guizhou for good food and less manicured mountains, but i am really wary about leaving the province right now. Since the skirmish on the Indian border almost all the VPNs are blocked or very hobbled. The Canadian embassy recommended i book my flight out of the country from Guangzhou to avoid getting quarantined somewhere along the way. Looks like my China story will end with a whimper, but eh. It's a big planet and i still got time.