It’s all fun and games until somebody gets hurt.
Of course politics is on my mind these days. A massacre at a Florida high school, looming primary elections, and my twitter feed all make it impossible to hide from or dismiss the current political state of my country. I’m prone to existential crises and this system in which I supposedly have a voice is triggering another one.
Fortunately, I found that there’s a word to help me deal with what I’m feeling:
In professional wrestling, kayfabe /ˈkeɪfeɪb/ is the portrayal of staged eventswithin the industry as “real” or “true”, specifically the portrayal of competition,rivalries, and relationships between participants as being genuine and not of astaged or predetermined nature of any kind. – from Wikipedia
Wait, wait, wait…don’t give up on me yet. Read this post from the Last Word on Nothing.
That explains so much. Washington DC and our state capitals have become nothing more than chessboards with elected officials, lobbyists, and political operatives jockeying for positions and power. Most media only shows us the wrestling ring, the scripted acts that govern our nation. We the people want to believe that our system isn’t broken and that our elected officials are looking out for us. We the people want to believe that our votes matter.
(And for the record, I now think Trump was trying to tweet “kayfabe” when his phone autocorrected to “covfefe”)
It’s all fun and games….until somebody gets hurt. People are getting hurt. Racism hurts people. Misogyny hurts people. Unaffordable or inaccessible health care hurts people. Guns hurt people.
I’m not a mom who recited the quote at the top of this blog. In fact, I’m embarrassed to admit that I changed it up to, “Somebody’s going to get hurt and it better not be me.” I’m embarrassed to admit that I often feel that way about life and about government.
Those teenagers in Florida might be the ones to pull me out of this existential moment. It may all be a game, but they are showing the world that they are players. Can they be the ones to shatter the fourth wall of kayfabe surrounding the NRA, the gun lobby, individual politicians and entire political parties? Can the kids become the “faces?” Can the American public, who overwhelmingly want some form of gun control, become the good guys?
Government as kayfabe may be here to stay, but we are all at least part of the game. We all still do have a vote. I don’t know much about politics, but I know a lot about playing games. In fact, I really like playing cooperative games where everyone wins. I have to believe we can tweek the rules. The “heels” don’t have to be other people. The bad guys should be things like cancer and climate change and poverty. If your current elected officials seem to be following a script, they probably are and you should wonder just who the scriptwriters are. If all they can do is point across the aisle, they’re not addressing the real issues. If they can’t learn to play a cooperative game, then it is time to replace them. I am discouraged, but I’m still going to play. Let’s roll some dice together, shall we?