I’ve mentioned ‘kayfabe’ an ungodly amount of times on this blog for the last few years, despite the fact that I know extremely few of the people reading will know what it means and my writing becomes borderline unreadable as a result. Well, because it’s Christmas Eve as I write this I thought I’d actually go to the trouble of explaining what it actually is. Don’t let me hear you say I never get you any presents.
Kayfabe is ‘reality’ that professional wrestling creates. In WWE’s kayfabe, Dean Ambrose hates Seth Rollins because he feels that Seth’s partnership prevented him from truly reaching his potential as a wrestler, and anyway Dean still holds unresolved kayfabe issues with Seth because of him breaking up their amazingly successful tag-team The Shield in 2014. In the kayfabe, we can only possibly put an end to this bad blood if the two were to have a fight. A wrestling fight.
In actual reality, we know that Dean and Seth probably get on perfectly well. We know that they’re adults that would probably prefer to settle any minor disagreements with each other over a frank and honest discussion rather than the exchange of wrestling holds. Even if they did honestly believe that professional wrestling was the best way forward, the result of any match would be predetermined so its usefulness to settle a feud is limited. Dean can’t have that much issue with Seth breaking up The Shield in 2014, because Seth’s actions were entirely informed by a written script, so if he still harboured any real resentment over the split then it’s really the writing team that he should be feuding with. Anyway, they’re both American so can just shoot each other with their guns if they take umbrage to any particular action. They could also shoot on each other, which is another wrestling term that I don’t really have time to explain here. Trust me though, that line was hilarious.
We all know that’s the real reality, we all know that these people don’t really have any reason to fight, and we know that any fight they do have will have an already agreed upon outcome so any pretence at competition isn’t even legitimate. We know all of this, but choose to believe the kayfabe because it makes it all more enjoyable. This also works outside of The Sport of Kings. Rick Ross has long been outed as actually working as a Florida correctional officer before he decided to give rapping a whirl, rather than the drug smuggling, pistol whipping ne’er do well he chooses to describe in his songs. Did this lead to a massive drop of in sales as fans became aware of the truth behind his braggadocios claims? Of course not. Whatever the actual reality of Ross’s life politely working in a suit and tie, the kayfabe of him being one of America’s most notorious Mega Criminals was far more entertaining. So people chose to embrace the kayfabe.
Every second of our life we chose to accept people’s kayfabe. Every aspect of life as a human is at least partially based on accepting what other people choose to present to us as their own kayfabe. Your friends, your family, your colleagues at work, people you bump into in the street- there are different ways of talking, different topics to breach and aspects of your personality to reveal based on the audience. You choose what to reveal and what to highlight. Much of what you are is in fact your own stylised kayfabe and it’s arguable whether anyone has ever even seen the real you.
The ‘real’ you?? Does that even exist? Whatever we’ve decided is the ‘real’ us is just a combination of different kayfabes that we’ve inherited in our lives in order to survive. It absolutely doesn’t mean we’re ‘fake’ though, this artificiality is, as far as anyone in the world can tell, as real as we’re ever likely to get.
I became annoyed at Laura Jean for being far more succsful than I’d hoped, but I grew enraged at The Age for being so obscure next to nothing about him exists online. ‘Houses Become Tombstones…’ is such an astonishing album that its writer’s enigma is perplexing. There are far worse albums out there that are far less interesting and far less beautiful that the quasi-dubstep Pet Show Boys inspired majesties of The Age’s album, that are far more successful.
Perfect. He’s not on Spotify, or even YouTube, so do everyone a favour and head to his BandCamp page to buy this immaculate collection