WWE and Facebook Prove We All Love Fake Stuff

Combat de catcheurs. Wrestlers fight. Luchadores.

In May of 2016, Jeremy Gordon published one of my favorite essays on contemporary life. In “Is Everything Wrestling?”, Gordon examined the way that the news cycle had evolved into a scripted WWE show. The lines between reality and fiction had been permanently blurred, much like in a wrestling bout. “Everything is a spectacle,” Gordon asserts.

With each passing year, more aspects of popular culture become something like professional wrestling: a staged “reality” in which written stories bleed freely into actual events, the blurry line between truth and untruth seeming to heighten rather than decrease the audience’s addiction to melodrama. The contemporary media environment is strewn with “reality” programs that audiences happily accept aren’t really real; in essence, they’re wrestling. (“WWE Raw” leads to “The Real World,” which leads to “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.”).