Jim Phelps’ travel log: Celebrating American life with pro wrestling

Editor’s note: The following is a travel log submitted by Jim Phelps, owner of Phoenix Traders fair-trade store at 215 7th St. Phelps is traveling through India and Nepal, and will be sending updates about his different experiences along the way. This is the seventh entry in his travel log.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

I’m watching pro wrestling on cable TV. Yes, I know it is a contradiction in terms, much like my former military career in Military Intelligence.

Once again, “American Culture” takes center stage tonight in a restaurant filled with Nepali men and Israelis.

A blonde with a little dog and a brunette take the ring. Apparently, the brunette was a former Playboy model. The two, minus the dog, face off on the “Playboy Bed of Death.”

Yes, there is going to be some old-fashioned cat fighting, with the tearing off of dress surely to follow.

In the end, the blonde and her little dog, which came in for a paw-off, won. A made-for-wrestling version of “Operation Infinite Justice.” Wrestle Mania No. 22.

Is this what we have come to as a nation, Triple H. vs. John Cena? Is America a violent race and culture, or do we just like fake sports?

Really, folks, there are more pressing matters of concern here in Nepal to write about. For instance, there is a growing Coca-Cola shortage. Also, the shopkeepers are demanding exorbitant amounts for such couch-potato staples as Lay’s and Pringle’s potato chips. It is hard to be a good American couch-potato in a land in turmoil.

This American will find a way to survive the shortages. At least in the seclusion of the Nargila, I can enjoy a beer, chicken schnitzel, Israeli salad and French fries. Oh, and pro wrestling. Life during wartime.

It’s not like I’m homesick—though if you knew me well enough, the ironic combination of German and Israeli cuisine is more than a meal for the mind and body. It is the pro wrestling that has me stumped. I don’t even watch this crap at home. I think that is the real reason I am enjoying tonight’s match between Triple H. and John Cena.

If I were a casual observer who was not from the United States, and I saw these two guys fighting it out in the ring (yes, I know this is a show), I would be a little concerned Americans were a blood-thirsty, brawling race. Hold on a minute, I know people like that in the States. Come to think about it—I know many that fit that description.

Do you think pro wrestling is some sort of Pentagon psychological operation? A virtual smorgasbord of pro American propaganda, made right here in the U.S. to scare the hell out of men around the globe? Or, as the Nepali seated to the right of me asked, “Is this real, or acting?”

If this is a PsyOp in PsyWarfare plan, it is insidiously conceived. Keep them guessing and worried.

Nah, maybe not PsyOps, just an American version of Bollywood, where the girls get their dresses ripped off and little dogs get shoved in the losers’ faces. Oh, and the champ and All-American ex-Marine John Cena won—imagine that, sports fans.

Watching 10 Sports just reminds me of the global reach of American culture. The advertisements were telling.

Gillette “the best a man can get,” McDonald’s, “Introducing the new McVeggie” and Pizza Hut. Could it be indoctrination, or does American crap sell well to men, regardless of where men are from?

ESPN, All Sports Network, 10 Sports, it doesn’t really matter because the format is the same. Now think about it—sports programming. That would be a worthy Pentagon black project. Heck, it would be a money-maker. “Give us Oil, or we will cut out WWF.”

That might be a real threat to a foreign nation’s domestic security. What would men do? Talk to their wives? Play with their children? No, that idea would be out of the realm of possibility for a feeble organization like the Pentagon. It has to be the work of the Illuminati or Bilderburgers, the Trilateral Commission or the insidious Council of Foreign Relations. I’m sure it goes by a name like—TOTAL GLOBAL MIND CONTROL VIA SPORTS PROGRAMMING—TGMCSP for short.

OK, enough of the conspiracy theories. ECON 101 taught me that, when items become scarce, the price rises in relation to demand. Especially for luxury goods such as Pringles and Coca-Cola.

No great mystery there. So, MAC (Military Airlift Command for you non-combat types) airdrop some couch-potato fodder here in Thamel. I’ll send you my coordinates with my super-secret encoder ring and burst transmitter. We need chips and Coke to enjoy the 56 channels of nothing to choose from.

You see, it’s our birthright—we are Americans!

Jim Phelps is owner of Phoenix Traders fair-trade store at 215 7th St.

From the April 26-May 2, 2006, issue

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