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

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

If you are an educator or student wishing to access content for study purposes please contact us at griffithreview@griffith.edu.au

Share article

More from author

Walking through the mou(r)n(ing of a)tain(ted life)

Non-fictionMy big black cloak could probably keep me from freezing overnight. I remember a movie where a character smeared a layer of dirt over their body to stay warm. That would be my ‘break in case of emergency’ action…if my OCD will bury the anxiety of contamination for survival’s sake.

More from this edition

Outside, Mona Lisa

Non-fictionWhere bushwalking is concerned, Tasmanian maps are not an authentic picture of the landscape. They’re fine if you want to stick to well-known trails, but if the track has been assigned a T4 rating it won’t be on the map. Sometimes that’s because the route is so rough it would be misleading to mark it as a track, but sometimes it’s that for a range of management and environmental purposes, the PWS just doesn’t want many walkers going there.

Tell me a story

Non-fictionAs QAnon members circulated their vernacular and practices across social networks, their acts and ideas became increasingly visible, and individuals began to recognise the behaviour as sanctioned, expressive acts within their community. In other words, adherents of QAnon began to recognise and conform to their very own folklore – one that explained who they were and described how they should act in given situations.

Art, AI and figuring the future

Non-fictionThere is an eeriness in the anonymous way DALL-E and Midjourney create art... The artist is nowhere and everywhere, like a ghost inside the machine. We see the rendering of images, but nothing that makes the design process more relatable. 

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