Politics and Wrestling: It’s Still Real To Me

If one lights a fire for others, one will brighten one’s own way. -Nichiren

2017 was a hell of a year for me and for Bet Wrestling. Just over a year ago I began writing for this website after a pretty long hiatus from the wrestling world. As many before me, and many since, I had become disillusioned with the world around me, and needed a break to see what I was missing in “real life”. During my time spent in pro wrestling, I missed weddings, birthdays, holiday gatherings, and all kinds of other events, but such is the life of an entertainer and/or athlete, as if you do not take that call when it comes, you may never get another chance.

Last year when I began writing for this site, I was in the midst of a protest, actually living on the street in front of Los Angeles City Hall in a tent with at least a dozen others, and a few dozen part-timers for 2 months. This was not even my first time staying at city hall in protest, I actually have spent more than 100 days in total at city hall in protest encampments. The last time was in protest against the lack of prosecution of killer police officers in Los Angeles. To be honest I know this is extremely hard for most people across the country to understand, as they could never imagine someone getting blasted for nothing, but here in Los Angeles its a regular occurrence, and for black and brown people its a fear they must face daily, even if it just rests in the back of their minds.

In the past few years, I have met countless grieving parents and family members who often never find out what really happened to their loved ones. The lack of accountability and the racist social structure often fails these families blaming the victims of police violence, instead of critically looking at the actions of the police who killed these persons. In order for this genocide to end, the public needs to be educated about what has really led to this, what the history of policing is, and how in 2018 we still live in a nation where black and brown people are not free, as they face imprisonment or death at a 60% higher rate than their white counterparts. As someone who has a mixed heritage, that was erased by whiteness, I can use my perceived privilege to inform others, and I do this in a variety of mediums.

I was told recently that there was no place for this in wrestling, but I disagree. Wrestling is and always has been a social commentary. Pro wrestling has a history rich in racism, sexism, and right-wing political leanings that carry on today. Linda McMahon is the Administrator of the Small Business Administration, a woman who’s mega-corporation WWE has bought up almost every major competition they have seen over the past 20 years or bought out their video catalog after the company died off. Kane is running for Mayor of his home County in TN. The President of the United States is a WWE Hall of Famer, yet many people want to pretend that wrestling isn’t political. Well here is a huge news flash, it is!

About two months ago the radio network I have been working with finally came to fruition and announced that we would be doing our beta launch. The next day my comrade Brandon said he wished there was a show about the history of wrestling in California, and I said: “let’s do one!”. That’s how our radio show Hollywood Jobbers was born. From the very first episode on, we had some sort of politically motivated commentary, as I met my co-host through the local protest scene. We have similar politics, and we both have a love for wrestling. Most of my politically active friends either don’t watch it at all or only watch the big shows, not the territory or independent level wrestling. Our network we are hosted on is a social justice radio network called RadioJustice.org and we are currently the only “sports” show on the network. Our hopes for the show are to educate and entertain, giving our own commentary on the past and present of pro wrestling from our point of view. So far its gotten great feedback from my friends in wrestling, as well as from those who listen to our network and are just discovering it, whether its non-fans or folks who haven’t watched since childhood.

We quickly realized that our show would have a bigger audience if we switched nights, as east coast folks reached out, and asked us to change nights so we were not on the radio against RAW on tv in their time zone. We have recorded 8 shows in the past two month period and most of the feedback has been positive, except for one hater who based his decision on one show. Our shows have included interviews when we could get them, as due to our original studio backing out after the project began, we have had to struggle to find quiet places to record, and times that work for us and our guests to get them on the phone, rather than in studio as we had originally planned. Despite not having a studio we have consistently produced content for the network as we promised. In 2018 we plan to cover more topics, continue to bring you fun interviews and hopefully, our networks goal of building our very own studio will come to fruition.

Those are just two of the many projects I have been working on. Since Digital Media Management is my main gig, I work with over 50 companies, organizations, and people to help maintain, or run their pages, and to create or build content for them. It’s such a wide range of products, services, causes, and people, its a ton of work to keep it all together, hence why for many of them I am a team member, or mainly a consultant. I get pages started and teach their owners how to run them. Then they decide whether they want to operate them or pay me to do it. I am hell bent on organic reach and think most paid advertising has proven to be useless for the majority of those interested in online marketing. I instead implement and teach ways to target the direct audience people want to hit, which is the most important part of online marketing, knowing your audience.

Some things I may associate with, may not be perfectly politically correct, yet even then I spent much effort to use the platforms I can to socially education and motivate others. Many have tried to shut me up over time, including the government, but I am still here, and still getting published, and most importantly still watching my numbers and hits grow.  In one year my content on this site alone has gathered over 150,000 hits, and this site has seen over a quarter of a million unique visitors this year, and almost a million visits! That doesn’t account for the other sites I write, or create content for or manage, this is just one place, where I can spew out my thoughts in an editorial commentary and not worry about censorship even when the point I make may not be agreed with.

And yes, that is your right to disagree with me, it’s your right not to listen to me, or read my ramblings. If you don’t like what I have to say, that’s OK, as not everything is for everyone. When I create media on my terms, it is on my terms, love it or hate it. And before you say “no one wants to hear what you have to say” maybe you should make sure you aren’t saying that to a person who’s actually getting more hits on their hobby then you do on your passion site… just saying.

2018 is gearing up to be an awesome year, and I would like to thank all those who have supported my return to wrestling through writing and media. It’s been awesome to see how many folks are truly supportive of what I do. And thanks to the Owner of BetWrestling for standing behind my work, and allowing me to express freely what I feel needs to be said, even when it’s an unpopular opinion. Thanks to all those who have uplifted my voice, or stood behind me, it means a lot to have your support.

Wrestling and Politics: Glenn Jacobs (aka Kane) for Mayor Campaign

I am sure many of you have heard the phrase “Don’t talk about race, religion or politics”. To me this is a garbage statement meant to keep dissent down, and prevent rational conversation. It is literally something that has been burned into our minds,  but why? Often we are told these are divisive topics, however in my opinion, I truly believe we are told not to speak of these things, in order to keep the status quo of divide and conquer. If everyone openly and rationally discussed these topics, I think a lot of folks would end up learning about things that would create change in their own outlooks, and an uprising against those who divide us.

Personally I have a history in political movements, and over time my views have expanded, grown and changed. I identify as an anarchist, but have worked for change with folks from across the spectrum of politics. In fact even today, I am involved in a battle against a  new theme park that people from all political background have come together to fight the building of.

Even as an anarchist, I vote in local elections, have worked on campaigns for a variety of things, including but not limited to: open space regulations, homeless housing and services, city controller campaign, school board, and even most recently, helping push out a neighborhood council subdivision vote for Skid Row, here in Los Angeles. I wish more folks would turn off the TV, and become more engaged in their community.

One man who has decided to become more engaged in his community, is Glenn Jacobs, a man many of you sitting in front of your TV’s have known for 20 years as “Kane”.  Jacobs is running for mayor of Knox County, TN. Prior to 2013, that may have sounded ridiculous, but I have a feeling  “Corporate Kane” was created to help him to build a different public persona, (yes I know he put the mask back on in 2015/2016) though I think masked Kane, with fire and hell is way more intimidating than any politician I have seen. Last month he officially announced his candidacy for mayor, and has begun to put out promotional materials and build a platform for his campaign. This video came out two days ago wanted to embed it, but for some reason his campaign shut embedding off.  (Its like they don’t want people to see the video?)

His platform on his website is pretty simple:

 

As mayor, Mr. Jacobs will focus his efforts on delivering results for the citizens of Knox County. The areas below will be a major focus to help make Knox County what President Reagan referred to as “the shining city upon a hill.”

  1. Committed to keeping taxes low

  2. Renewed focus on quality of education

  3. Continue to attract new jobs to the area

  4. Improve our roads and infrastructure

  5. Full and absolute transparency

  6. Work to create safer communities

  7. A fresh outlook on limited government

 

Not bad, all things that sound pretty good, but I have to wonder how he is going to create “safer communities” as Knox County only has a slightly higher than average violent and property crime rate than the rest of the USA.  Also when you look at the tax rate, their tax rate is more on par with major cities across the US, having one of the highest combined tax rates in the country totaling 9.25% when you add the 2.25% local taxes onto the statewide base of 7%. The cities operating budget for this year is $771.2 million, with a surprising 60%+ going to the schools. You can find more detailed info here, if you are so inclined. 

What is also interesting is he talks about full transparency, and limited government, as campaign points, but I have to wonder what this really means to him, as none of this is explained on his website. In fact his website doesn’t even give the date of the election, which is also rather confusing to me. It also doesn’t tell us whether he IS the Republican Candidate for Mayor, or if he needs to win a primary vote. This makes me question how serious this campaign is, if they aren’t providing important information about the election, links on how and were to vote, or other relevant info. Here is the election schedule I found online, which lists the upcoming primaries and elections.

He has filed his financial disclosure forms, in which you will see he is funding his own campaign. No big WWE money thrown at him… yet. Through my own research I found the primary vote is May 1st of 2018, and the election is August 2nd of 2018, so we have a year to watch this all play out according to this article which also talks about other potential candidates for Mayor.

So if you are a Knox County resident I implore you to really look at all the candidates, their platforms, and make an educated decision. Don’t just vote based on who you like to watch on TV, or listen to on the radio, (one of the other candidates is a radio host). Do your research, and make an informed and educated choice on who you want to run your county. And that advice goes out to everyone, no matter where you live. Do not fall for the cult of personality. Inform yourselves. Be active, get involved in your communities political processes. In order to create a world we want to see, we need to use our voices, and make a stand for what we want to see.

Lastly, this is not an endorsement, it is just a look into what Glenn Jacobs platform is. As the year progresses we will follow up with other relevant stories and info. This is just a first look into the political aspirations of a professional wrestler.