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Portland Wrestling PoliticsOpEd by Vic Pittman Salem-News.com
The two party system is a scam designed to give us the illusion of democracy.
(SAN BLAS, Mexico) - I was ten when I first started watching Portland Wrestling. My buddies and I were fanatical about it, and never missed a Saturday night broadcast.
We loved the drama, the action and the intense (or so we thought) rivalry. We loved to see the "bad guys" get their dues and the heroes snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
The stoic unflappable announcer/interviewer Frank Bonema was just as much part of the show, always keeping his cool no matter what kind of mayhem was going on in the "crows nest". Many times interviews became brawls and even longtime sponsor Tom Peterson got his jacket ripped off and a gift television he was presenting to Dutch Savage smashed by those Australian rogues, The Kangaroos.
No one could even begin to convince me or my friends that this was not reality. We were believers. I remember being furious at my mother who suggested to me once that it wasn't real and was staged...how could she say such a thing?? Didn't she see the match just two weeks ago when Moondog Lonnie Mayne was bleeding all over the crows nest?
How could she say that was fake?
I was shocked at her naivety. And what about those sneaky Von Steigers? Kurt and Karl VonSteiger...wearing swastikas, spitting into the audience, sneaking in weapons that the referee never saw, but all of us watching TV did. They were EVIL, and we were just glad that we had the forces for good.. Tony Borne, Jesse Ventura, Buddy Rose, Dutch Savage, Snuka, and the other "good guys" to counter these vermin.
In October of 1967 more trouble was brewing... the tag team of Tony Borne and Lonnie Mayne had split and Mayne had joined up with the "Gorgeous George" of Portland Wrestling; Beauregard, a blond haired "pretty boy" who was sneaky and ruthless.
His trademark was to beg for mercy when cornered, and when the other guy took his eyes off him, sucker punch him. We all knew his tricks, but for some reason the other guys always fell for it.
Mayne was out to get Borne but that was not the worst of it. Tony Borne had a new arch-enemy, Haru Sasaki... a ruthless and very sneaky Japanese wrestler who had nearly killed Tony Borne the week previous with a thumb to the throat (when the referee was not looking) and taken his title away as a result.
The half-dead Borne staggered up to the crows nest gasping for air where he implored promoter Don Owen to give him another match with Sasaki. We were smitten with disbelief and joy when Don Owen announced that indeed, there would be a rematch... and it would be at North Marion High School... "our" school... even though we were still sixth graders and attending the elementary school.
We were elated!!!
This was going to be the match of the century and we were going to be there! Borne was MAD and Sasaki was going to pay the price for his treachery!
Friday night came and we were flush with excitement. We got to the high school early and found that the wrestlers were down in the boys locker room downstairs.
My friend Curtis and I wanted to go down and see the wrestlers, but the stairwell was blocked by Mr. Hagen, the Vice Principal. We waited. Finally, Mr. Hagen left for a moment and we made our move. We ran unimpeded down the stairwell and into the locker room, where in an instant, our worlds were shattered.
There, sitting at a card table playing checkers were Tony Borne AND Haru Sasaki!!! The arch enemies that lived to destroy the other were playing checkers!!!! The headliners of the evening... the do-or-die death match contestants that hated each other more than sin... were friends?
We were shocked! Could my mother have been right? This was a farce? If Tony Borne and Sasaki were friends... could it be that they all were friends?
That night when the match started, I could not get that disturbing image of the checkers game out of my mind.. even though they acted like their driving force was to hurt the other, we knew that just an hour earlier, they were calmly socializing and even playing checkers for Christsake!
I never saw Portland Wrestling the same after that. I still watched it, but remained very much a skeptic. Looking back, I was naive, BUT I was eleven years old. I think of this when I hear people going on about "the damn Democrats" or "the stinking Republicans"... it is just as much a charade as Portland Wrestling ever was or could hope to be.
The consequences, however, are devastating.
How can grown adults buy into this two-party farce year after year, decade after decade, war after war, when there is so much evidence that there is but one party with two faces?
Like wrestling, there are "bad guys" and "good guys" and they often switch sides and alliances, but in the end, there is ONE party that keeps us divided and distracted.
Whoever is in charge is usually the "bad guys", and they push the same agenda as those before them. Then we voters, full of righteous indignation, throw the bums out and vote in the other bums. Nothing changes however, and so the cycle repeats itself.
I do not see how this could be any plainer than our current situation. Obama promised change, said all the right things, promised to do the right things... but what happened? More war, more military spending than ever, more drone attacks, more dead soldiers and civilians and more looting of America.
Remember his vow to close Guantanemo Bay within one year?
Already the Republicans are "making inroads", to quote the Washington Post. Basically, the plan seems to be this....take turns being the "bad guys"... Bush/Cheney/Republicans had their turn, and now the Democrats/Obama/Emmanuel are having their turn.
The names have changed, but our foreign policy has not.
Obama has escalated the wars and faithfully continued the so-called Bush Doctrine without missing a beat. If Bush/Cheney were candidates for impeachment, Obama is too.
But, so many people are buying into the "my guy-your guy" farce that you don't hear much talk like that. Like kids watching Portland Wrestling, we refuse to look at the obvious... it is a farce. We are being lied to and managed like cattle.
I recently watched an interview with an old time Portland Wrestler, Jesse Ventura, where he says that he will never ever vote for a Republican or a Democrat because they are one and the same and do not represent American interests.
I would hope that like Curtis and me, people will have their epiphany moment and wake up to the obvious. The two party system is a scam designed to give us the illusion of democracy. It reminds me of Utah where a condemned prisoner can choose between a firing squad, electrocution, lethal injection or old fashioned hanging.
Now that's democracy!
That is the kind of democracy the Democrats and Republicans offer us. Dont fall for it any longer !
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