It’s December first and the holiday season is upon us. With Thanksgiving in my rear-view, it’s time to turn my attention to the coming holiday season, and eventually the new year. It’s hard to avoid – there are fairy lights in the trees here in the DMV, and spruce wreaths on the doors. Everyone is starting to bundle up, even though it’s not actually cold here yet.
While I sit in this coffee shop and wait for my friend to get out of work, watching the Georgetown preppies and the business-suit clad politicians bustle by, I am thinking about community. I am thinking about the people I have chosen to surround myself with. Not only did I pick up and move to a place where I had a built-in support system, I have become a more active member of an online community that I love so much.
Last night’s episode of RAW was garbage. It was undoubtedly the silliest nonsense I have ever seen. Sheamus’s promos are not good. Roman Reigns stealing the title was not good. There being stakes and then no stakes in a WWE World Heavyweight Championship match is not good. Even the New Day are starting to irritate me. But the process of watching the show last night was some of he most fun I’ve had since “Christmas Wrapping” by The Waitresses came on the radio after “Alice’s Restaurant” on Thanksgiving. And why was that, if the show itself was such a car wreck?
Because of the community. I don’t know how I became acquainted with all of the people that I regularly interact with on Twitter. Some of them have been with me a short while. Some of them have seen the evolution of The Lady J from mere Twitter handle through to this blog. Some of them even knew me when I was just a weird litmag editor who talked about CM Punk a lot. But the people who I talk to on a Monday night are some of my favorite people in the world. Maybe I don’t know their real names, or what they look like, or what they do for a living, but they put me in such a great mood that when someone asked me around 1am how RAW was, I actually said “great! It was hilarious.”
The community of people who watch WWE shows is wide. It includes the kids who keep WWE from creating the TV-14 programming I would prefer. It includes the Full Sail audience whom I abhor. It includes all of the rude, grammatically-impaired trolls that just like to rile people up. But it also includes me and all my friends, who are angry and disappointed, and TRYING to find a reason to continue watching even when the only thing we pop for anymore is each other.
I don’t know when things will get better. I hope someone at WWE listened to Mick Foley on Steve Austin’s podcast today. I hope someone is on the internet reading some of the passionate, well-written analysis demanding better for the talent as well as the audience. I don’t claim to be among their ranks, but I will continue to voice my opinion as well. And until it does get better, I will continue to watch. Not even with real hope, but because that’s what my friends and I do on Monday nights. We log onto our computers and open Twitter on our phones and put each other over.
I’m in this coffee shop tonight thinking about how lucky I am to be a part of something, even when it’s trash, that we are all so passionate about. The thing about fiery passion is it lets you know you can feel something powerful. There’s a story about a woman who didn’t know her husband was cheating on her until she saw him screaming at his secretary. You can’t get that angry unless there’s also love. And that’s how I feel about WWE right now. I’m angry because I love this, and I want it to be better. Not just for me, but for my friends – all of you out there who I don’t know, but sort of do, and love fiercely.