Arts & Culture

The Joy of Wrath

It was a good Yom Kippur. My soul is clean. Now I can go back to swinging fists and dropping bombs. Being a bad guy makes me happy. When I say “bad guy,” what I mean of course, is “heel,”which … Read More

By / October 13, 2008

It was a good Yom Kippur. My soul is clean. Now I can go back to swinging fists and dropping bombs. Being a bad guy makes me happy.

When I say “bad guy,” what I mean of course, is “heel,”which is what we call the bad guys in professional wrestling. We call the good guys “baby faces.”

In all of my years in wrestling, I have never worked as a “face.” Always a rulebreaker. It is much more satisfying getting “heat,” as we call it in the biz, than earning approval, which these days almost always means waving an American flag and preaching clean living. In fact, my book I HAVE FUN EVERYWHERE I GO begins with me stomping on my boss (he was one of those Hulk Hogan-loving, flag-waving, self-righteous do-gooders… yuck!) and chasing him out of his job so I could take over. Here’s an excerpt for the unenlightened:

I earned my first Big Time Magazine Gig thrashing king hell out of my boss in the middle of the ring. It was not pretty, a bloody no-holds-barred Loser Leaves Town match in Gleason’s gym. The bell rang at midnight. I squashed the bastard with my signature Heart Punch, smiled for the cameras, and sent him packing. Then I took my rightful place atop the masthead of Wrestling’s Main Event (“The No. 1 Magazine for Mat Fans Today!”) and moved into his vacant office on the 82ndfloor of the Empire State Building. I was twenty-two years old.

Wrestling is an odd beast. Even roller derby fans and Republicans look down on it. When I announced to my father that I was going to be working for a wrestling magazine, it so chafed his Ivy League sensibility that he seized up and began frothing like a man in the throes of a major neurological event. He made it clear that for the sake of everyone involved we were never to discuss it again. Oddly, he always considered my career in professional wrestling a much greater shande than my gutter-born livelihood as a filth-peddling pornographer. It cast a darker shadow than when I was the publisher of the notorious doper rag High Times. It made him sick to the point of trauma, and still, twenty years later, if I mention that I have been writing, watching, or working wrestling, he pretends he doesn’t hear me and asks how the Yankees are doing, even in the dead of winter.

The existential Truth about professional wrestling, it has been said, is much like Dostoyevsky’s aphorism for Faith: If you get it, no explanation is necessary, and if you don’t, no explanation will do.

I was always astonished at how many otherwise hip people, especially my extended posse of supposedly open-minded punk rockers, potheads, and pornographers — people who loved all sorts of crap, culture vultures who worshipped whoopee cushions and women-in-chains prison movies — perpetually poo-pooed professional wrestling. 

What, were they afraid they’d get hooked? That wrestling was a gateway to harder sports? Feh.

But those of us in on the joke were having a blast.

And there’s the rub. Those of us in on the joke…

How many of you can say that?

Since I started scribbling this blog a week ago, I have been amazed at the amount of right wing idiots who lurk on the Jewcy site, and how easy it is to push their “hot buttons.” Just look at the comments! You pencil-neck geeks are a heel’s dream — you react to every cheap shot, and turn beet red every time I take the brass knuckles out of my shorts to K.O. the good guy. You think I am angry? Take a look in the mirror and tell me what you see. Never mind, let me tell you: misfits and trolls who keep pictures of Joe Lieberman in their wallets, right next to the condom they have been carrying around since being kicked out of Zeta Beta Tau for creating an “uncomfortable environment.”

Let me tell you something else: I am not a self-loathing Jew. Me, I like. It is you I hate. And apparently, you do, too.

Which is not to say that I have not met many wonderful, thoughtful, intellectually liberated people here, as well. The Jewcy staff is about as smart and nice and funny and open-minded as it gets. They are all frightfully good-looking and smell like clean laundry.

My new favorite Jew, though, is Rachel Shukert, whom you may have seen around these parts. She has posted many blogs, all of which reward the reader.

Rachel is part of my Big Show this Thursday (see below) —she’ll be reading with my band, and has chosen a typically perverse tale of growing up.

After meeting Rachel, I ran out and got her book, which is called Have You No Shame? It is incredibly funny, and I loved every page, even if I was shocked — shocked! — at the torrent of handjobs and blowjobs that peppered her high school experience.

Some of you will like it, too.


Mike Edison, author of I Have Fun Everywhere I Go, is guest blogging on Jewcy, and he’ll be here all week.  Stay tuned.


Mike will be performing with his band, featuring Jon Spencer, in a very special evening of "Literary Mayhem and Rock’n’Roll," with special guests Jonathan Ames, Rachel Shukert, and Amanda Stern, Thursday, October 16th,atthe incredible Spiegelworld tent at the South Street SeaportinManhattan. For info, free MP3s and videos (including the infamousBongGuitar video) and much more, please visit

Literary Mayhem!Literary Mayhem!