29 June 2007

Blood in the water...

I did another post on Monday evening the 25th. I was very distraught when I wrote it and it was very heartfelt. To be honest, I'm still licking my emotional wounds over the subject.

On Monday evening I sat down to do some Accounting homework and I turned the TV to the USA network so I could have Monday Night Raw playing in the background. If you don't know, Monday Night Raw is one of the longest running and highest rated programs on cable television. It is the live weekly wrestling program of World Wrestling Entertainment [formerly The World Wrestling Federation]. On Monday evening, all that was known by most people was that one of the best wrestlers in the world, Chris Benoit and his family were found dead in their home. I automatically assumed it was carbon monoxide or a violent home invasion. I was devastated and I poured my heart into a long posting about the former world champion.

The next morning, I found out the dark and tragic truth of a double homicide and suicide.

I snatched my posting down Tuesday morning and spent the rest of the day sulking and cursing under my breath at a man that would do something so savage to his wife and child - the very people that a husband and father are charged with protecting.

I am a wrestling fan.

I don't tell many people that because so few people see wrestling as anything more than large men and women beating each other with steel chairs. Professional wrestling is so much more than that. Why people can go see Tom Cruise, Denzel Washington, Nichole Kidman, Halle Berry and hundreds of others and suspend reality for two hours to enjoy them as fighter pilots, dirty cops, spies and secret agents and yet many of these people criticize Adam Copeland (Edge), Steve Williams (Steve Austin), Glenn Jacobs (Kane) and others who create a fantasy world where good takes on evil, and right takes on wrong inside a 20' X 20' ring?

I don't know.

But what has been driving me nuts all week, is this feeding frenzy that the media has been in over the evil deeds of Chris Benoit. It seems as though there were some prescription steroids found in the Benoit home. AUTOMATICALLY - the media [especially that narrow minded Nancy Grace] jumped on this ROID RAGE bandwagon!!! It pisses me off to no end, that the media is this country is so untalented and in such a rush "to bring it to us first" - no matter how incomplete and inaccurate IT is. They hear one word and latch on in a ferocious death grip, like piranhas fueled by fresh blood in the water. The media AUTOMATICALLY assumes that anything a pro-wrestler does is steroid fueled. And this story is extra juicy because you've got a high body count, domestic violence, a dead child and a muscled up pro-wrestler! Nice, neat, simple and bloody. The word "prescription" has all but disappeared in this story. All "steroids" do NOT cause ROID RAGE and the crime scene does not support a RAGE.

Heaven help this country if our reporters DARED to do some real work, some real INVESTIGATIONS, some real INSIGHT into what they report - instead of grabbing the first snippet of anything and running with it - maybe our media would just do some real homework.

I'm NOT defending Chris Benoit by any stretch of the imagination. I'm defending the hundreds of men and women that choose to earn their livings by being professional wrestlers. I'm defending those men and women that choose not to use steroids and who step inside that squared circle for our entertainment.

If anyone took the time to really look into this situation, they'd probably find that Chris Benoit was clean and free of steroids when he committed the darkest acts imaginable. Very few media sources are pointing out the fact that the WWE has an independently run "Wellness Program" to make sure its performers are drug and steroid free. Very few sources are also telling people that Benoit tested NEGATIVE for steroids in his last test 60 days ago.

I think the media should move beyond trying to smear ALL pro wrestlers with their broad claims of "they all do it," and they should stop trying to simplify Benoit's actions by neatly packaging them as a "Roid Raging Muscle-Head that snapped." I think there were some dark
demons in Chris Benoit's heart and mind. I think what he has done is the most unforgivable of acts. I am ashamed for crying when I heard that he had died. I am angered that an innocent woman and little boy are dead at the hands of the man trusted with their well being. I'm angry and confused.

Thanks for reading this. I'm humbled that you gave me several minutes of your valuable time.



Anonymous said...

"Thanks for reading this. I'm humbled that you gave me several minutes of your valuable time." TTBM

No, thank you for giving us your time, your thoughts, your blog, and a part of you. I really appreciate it.


DeathSweep said...

It seems to me that there are many factions in this world that are preyed upon by uncaring, dishonest, predictable, bigotted, thoughtless media. People who are more concerned with their careers than the people who they smear (Including that loud mouth you mentioned!)somehow need a lesson. The other part is though, why is it that the majority of the general public thrives on this type of media hype? If ratings weren't met and books not sold and money not made with this type of reporting than perhaps it would change. So, if a change is to be affected where does it really need to begin?


TTBM, you keep me rapt with your posts!

MedStudentWife said...

Beautiful writing and thank you for your thoughts. I have the time :) :)

Canadian news covered Chris Benoit's and his family's death as well. As I don't have TV, what news I had/have about it all has been paper/e sources, so maybe not so sensational as from TV but they homed in on suspected steroid use (bet a lot of their feeds are from US sources). I hadn't heard of Chris until then, but this whole steroid thing bothered me; something in me was saying "this doesn't sound right".

Then a news piece a day or so ago had a small paragragh at the end which stated that his wife was hoping to have him home more often to help with looking after their son who was mentally retarded.

Then the light went on... bet that was it. Imagine the guilt of being torn between two worlds and really wanting it all to be right and not being able to. It wasnt steroids, it was dispair.

And there are other people being torn with all this possible "misinformation".. family, friends, colleagues and even at a secondary level. The patient's of Chris's doctor;he was raided, and tho' he may be clean, they will always have a niggle of doubt about the care he provided or will provide.

Your thoughtful writing reminds me of a blog a friend of mine has. If you are ever interested in reading it, its http://stevesinquest.blogspot.com/

He doesn't blog often, but when he does... there is a lot of thought. His comments back are usually pretty good too.

Anonymous said...

Thinking Black Man indeed. Thanks for the perspective and thanks for stopping by.

The Thinking Black Man said...

Hello ANGIE! Again - YOU humble me, and your blog touches me.

Hey DEATHSWEEP! Thanks for stopping by!

You raise a great point. There appears to be a hunger for the smut and smeering of the modern media. It's almost like so many people just want information quick and simple and spelled in big letters, few people want the depth and facts that only quality investigation provides.

Odd? An Information Age with minimal information.

Take care, My Friend.

Hello MEDSTUDENTWIFE! Thanks for leaving such a great comment!

The steroid issue is so neat and clean - honestly who knows at this point. But I think that let's Benoit off too easy... Oh, he's a wrestler and the business hooked him on drugs and he snapped, case closed..." That just gives him too much of a pass. I think [after hearing about his son's problems and his wifes request] Benoit had some anger, rage and emotional issues that just stem from who he was. The whole thing is so sad.

Thanks again for dropping me a line, and I'm going to check out Steve's blog - it sounds interesting!

Take care!

Hello SOJOURNER G! You've got an inspiring blog!

Ray said...

Wow, I just was stopping through here and this inspire's me to do a post on Magic Weightloss Pills and how they seem like nothing but pills or capsles that are stuffed with baking powder or flower

Anali said...

I don't know much about pro wrestling, but this is a horribly sad situation. My first thought when I heard was "roid rage" and I guess I was falling in line with what I've been fed by the media. I was too quick to jump to conclusions, because I really don't know what happened. Anyway, thanks for sharing your take on this and making me step back a bit.

Gunfighter said...


I'm a wrestling fan as well, which I am sure won't surprise you.

I, too, am saddened by the instant "'roid rage" judgement that people have latched on to.

Hopefully things wil be fully aired out eventually... and responsibly.


Mizrepresent said...

I agree with the others, that this was a very sad situation, and i don't know how much it relates to drugs, or just craziness. People are losing it...is it in the water, i hope not, but i've just read, seen too many stories in the last month alone of men, killing their women and children...nothing can be that bad, at least not if you are sane. Great post and i'll tell you why, you, a man, expressed his feelings and emotions and said the most profound statement.

" I am angered that an innocent woman and little boy are dead at the hands of the man trusted with their well being. I'm angry and confused."

Anonymous said...

TTBM: I want to get your take on the favor that George did for his boy. Bless us with another post please.


Tasha said...

I grew up watching wrestling, and was always enthralled by the fantasy aspect of it. It's interesting that you make the connection between Hollywood actors and the fantasy sports arena...a connection many fail to make.

I too am shocked at how quick the media has been to paint Benoit as a rage-infected roid head. There is so much to the story that remains unsaid. I actually feel sorry for the WWE right now, because they are facing some (potentially) undue scrutiny. I think the case should be fully investigated before they try to throw the entire organization under the bus for encouraging steroid use.

The Thinking Black Man said...

Hello RAY! Thanks for dropping by a leaving a comment!!!

Hi there, ANALI! It's always a pleasure when I read your comments!

I would be even more devastated if this foolishness was roid rage. I mean - NOTHING justifies it, but I just think it was something else, sadly... something darker and more specific to Benoit himself.

GUNFIGHTER - My BROTHER! No, I'm not surprised that you too are a wrestling fan... It's manly, it's rough-and-tumble, it's athletic and entertaining, it's combat! No way would I nbot count you in with us!

I read a quote online the other day and it was talking about how when that pitcher for the Oriles died from ephedra, there was a national outcry to ban the substance, but when you link PRO-WRESTLERS with a substance, there is less 'outcry for a ban' and more, 'rush to exploit.'

All wrestlers are not on steroids, despite what the media would have most people believe. But if it smells of scandal, it sells! I'm trying to wait patiently for the toxicology results.

MIZREPRESNT, thank you so much for your comment. I think that one line you caught, just says all that I REALLY wanted to say. It is practically EVERYTHING that has broken my heart over the whole situation. Forget, Benoit - forget the WWE, forget wrestling, forget steroids. A husband and father did the completely unforgiveable -

The Thinking Black Man said...

Hello ANGIE!

HAHA! You know - I was gonna' post about Old'Scooter tonight! You must be reading my mind!

Isn't that whole deal a shame?

Hi TASHA!!! A fellow wrestling fan? You never fail to keep me smiling!

I was feeling bad for the WWE too. I saw on Nancy Grace [the night I did this post] an interview with Bret Hart and Nancy had a split screen with Bret on the right and a scrolling list of names on the left. All of the names were of people associated with wrestling who have died in the last 10 years.

Beside each name was their age at the time of death [ranging from wrestlers in their late 20's all the way through age 65] and she said something like, "How can PRO-WRESTLING explain so many people dying BEFORE THEIR TIME in this industry?"

I was blown away. First of all - who can say any death is BEFORE ITS TIME, if God it the true decision maker? Second - some of these people died of cancers, car accidents, and other natural causes. She was trying her best to white wash every death as drug overdoses and suicides.

Either way, the Indy circuit won't catch any flak, neither will TNA or the Japanese organizations... WWE is going to catch ALL of the heat for this one.

Too bad...

Angie said...

TTBM: I wanted you to know that I tagged you over at my blog. I hope you don't mind. Being that you're one of my 5 favorite bloggers, I had to include you. If you don't want to give me 8, I completely understand. I ready know folks are busy. How do I know? Because I am. (smile)

Have a good one, my brotha.


Heavenly Zeta said...

You know, I thought about this case a bit when it broke-I'm not a wrestling fan anymore but all the sports talk radio shows were talking about it. Seriously, I thought the same thing TTBM said-that it wasn't "roid rage" so much as a very sad story about a man who probably had some serious demons. Those demons got the better of him.