Monday, February 26, 2007

The Lovely Spectacle

"Roland Barthes posited that when a professional wrestler enters the ring, he's stepping into a role in a grandiloquent drama of suffering, defeat, and justice: "Even hidden in the most squalid Parisian halls, wrestling partakes of the nature of the great solar spectacles, Greek drama and bullfights: in both, a light without shadow generates an emotion without reserve." For a comparable appreciation of the Ultimate Fighting Championship—the interdisciplinary martial-arts league that broadcasts matches regularly by pay-per-view and, irregularly, on the cable channel Spike—we must turn to that noted semiotician from the great state of Arizona, John McCain: "a cockfight, only we're using human beings." The senator definitely beats Barthes for both pithiness and understatement."

from: "Enter the Octagon: The Lovely Spectacle of Ultimate Fighting," by Troy Patterson.

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