Monday, January 29, 2007

Politics is wrestling: Explaining the analogy

If you've just stumbled on this blog or its companion site
you're probably wondering "what's it all about?".

The APF was conceived because I had come to the realisation that I was addicted to political punditry, from both the left and the right. I was consuming it during and after work, supposedly my 'down time'. I wanted to create a website that acknowledged this interest as well as manufacturing an excuse to make animations.

When friends asked me why I was so interested in politics, one of the analogies I would use was wrestling. At its root I saw it as a popularity contest, not a matter of 'what you do' but 'how you appear'. Obviously this is a cynical outlook but as a graphic designer with a keen interest in youth marketing I had always been fascinated with the art of 'making people like you', more specifically 'how to trick people into liking you'. In this way I see a lot of similarities in wrestling, politics and punditry.

Of course there are pundits I genuinely like and agree with, others whose artistry I admire and some who get on my nerves. One thing I didn't want my site to be was solely ideology driven and partisan. I wanted people to listen to pundits who they may ideologically differ from, deconstruct their message and appreciate it for what it actually was.

One of the reasons I've used an analogy is to separate the pundits [even if its just one degree] from ideology but rather to look it strictly from a 'persuasion' point of view. Like wrestling I want the site to be community driven, the reaction and support of the audience will determine which pundits the public demand more of and which pundits don't connect.

With that said, I take politics seriously. Our political beliefs are to be taken solemnly as they are firmly held. But beliefs are only given power when actioned, tested in reality where its effects on our community and our livelihoods can be measured. Even then we must pressure those in power to carry out those tenets in good faith and for the benefit of the community.

Pundits whether through blogs, radio or TV are often at the forefront of debate and discourse on these crucial matters of politics. Whilst its partisan nature can be destructive, it can also inform much more incisively as it brings to the fore the key points of difference and base emotions and motivations behind each sides opinion.

Ideally the APF can be positioned as a lighter debating/deconstructing forum where people can discuss their favorite (or not) political talkers. I can only hope.

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