Friday, May 22, 2015

Tacky Entertainments Like Bear Wrestling

The recent fights and shootings in Waco, Texas took place largely in an establishment entitled Twin Peaks, which seem to be named after the Grand Tetons not found in Wyoming and having nothing to do with David Lynch. It struck me that tackiness, while in the eyes of the beholder, does have its drawing power.

I have commented on Renaissance Faires which provide opportunities for cosplay for older adults, excuses to eat junk food, and hang around parks outlandishly dressed without being seen as creepy. Knights, mixed with fortune tellers, belly dancers, and wizard wannabees make the scene, and the local power structure looks on this benignly even though historians might see it as a mish-mash. 

But county and regional fairs in the fall provide some other opportunities: strip shows, the remnants of vaudeville, dog-and-pony shows (not the one on Capitol Hill in Washington), and even questionable entertainments like tobacco spitting and bear wrestling.

Yes, bear wrestling. This is when a member of the audience climbs into the ring and attempts to wrestle a bear!  Some viewers encourage one of their number to wrestle the black bear, a youngish one that might weigh in at 400 pounds and be muzzled, of course! Sometimes a lucky participant knocks the bear down but pinning one, never!

Apparently the times and mores have changed; and these forms of entertainment have fallen from favor, possibly due to more sensitivity regarding animal cruelty and the rise of certain other forms of tacky entertainment more in tune with today's modern tastes. Boxing has been eclipsed, thank goodness! And so is midget bowling. (No kidding: this had been done!)

So maybe the tastes and energies of yobs have been channeled into frequenting restaurants and sports bars staffed by well-endowed waitstaff, serving pedestrian beer, and providing mediocre food. Don't look for foodies and gourmets there, except if they're slumming.

Therefore, I think that this provides further proof for the Law of Conservation of Tackiness: "There is a constant amount of tackiness in the world. Tackiness cannot be either created or destroyed; but it can only occur in a different form."

This seems to be related to the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

Anyway, Louisiana law prohibits the wrestling of bears:

Louisiana Revised Statute Title 14 Section 102.10 states that:
A.  Any person who intentionally commits any of the following shall be guilty of bear wrestling:
(1)  Promotes, engages in, or is employed by anyone who conducts a bear wrestling match.
(2)  Receives money for the admission of another person to a place kept for bear wrestling matches.
(3)  Sells, purchases, possesses, or trains a bear for a bear wrestling match.
B.  For the purposes of this Section, a “bear wrestling match” means a match or contest between one or more persons and a bear for the purpose of fighting or engaging in a physical altercation.
C.  Whoever commits the crime of bear wrestling shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.*


Duckbutt said...

There was one of those exhibits in northern Alabama back in 1972. The bear won. Paul W. Bryant was nicknamed "Bear" because he wrestled a bear once.

Bilbo said...

I think bear wrestling is awful. Bare wrestling, on the other hand ...

TexWisGirl said...

some of the horrors these animals went thru in the past in the name of 'entertainment'. we humans are the worst of animals...

Dixie@dcrelief said...

Humans are the real freak show.

Mike said...

I haven't heard about bear wrestling in a long time. But the picture looks very recent.

Chuck Bear said...

That picture was not taken in Santa Monica.

The Bastard King of England said...

I'd rather the Twin Peaks entertainment.

allenwoodhaven said...

Excellent writing in this post. I agree with the Law of Conservation of Tackiness. The continuum of entertainment is long and varied...

Meredith said...

Bear wrestling is tacky for sure. But so are breasturants.

Cloudia said...

I like your theories!

( '>

ALOHA from Honolulu,