Moment to Moment

What you get in a real grappling contest that you don't get in "wrestling entertainment" is that expression of paralytic shock when a wrestler suddenly discovers himself in the tight clutches of his adversary. It's the same blank, dumb look that animal prey get when caught by a faster, stronger predator. Moments like these cannot be faked, or if they can, they require the art of a master in acting. I lean towards the idea that they cannot be faked. It's a spontaneous split-second reaction that is both scary and exciting.

As evident in this Fight Garage Wrestling match, Brody versus EJ, the situation is not always inescapable or irreversible, but it is a surprise that triggers panic and, I imagine, a sudden spurt of adrenalin. In the course of this 15-minute longhaired-blond-versus-closecropped-brunet ordeal, the advantage swings from one competitor to the other until a final, brilliant, breathlessly sudden reversal leads to the climactic tap-out.

In moments like this we see the immediacy of authentic surprise, an aspect of life (like awe or sudden joy) that art and post-modernist hyper-reality have so far failed to duplicate, hence the popularity of sites like YouTube, which contains, amid the patent fakery and self-promotion, glimpses of unguarded real experience, whether an unexpected marriage proposal or a split-second transition from being on top of the world to writhing in an opponent's death grip.

The shock of the real is what reminds us that we are alive in a particular moment, and even our daydreams and fetishes attempt to replicate its impact. In a considerably darker vein, Georges Bataille contemplates his complex emotions upon seeing a photograph of gruesome eviscerating Chinese torture (called the "hundred pieces"):
I have never stopped being obsessed by this image of pain, at once ecstatic (?) and intolerable. I wonder what the Marquis de Sade would have thought of this image, Sade who dreamed of torture, which was inaccessible to him, but who never witnessed an actual torture session. In one way or another, this image was incessantly before his eyes. But Sade would have wished to see it in solitude, at least in relative solitude, without which the ecstatic and voluptuous effect is inconceivable.
As delightful as fantasy is, because it is under our control (or under somebody's control whose spells we gladly fall under), reality presents us with the incongruous detail that tugs us into the moment and reminds us we are alive. My own fantasy life, though routinely reupholstered by imagery that is posed, photoshopped, or play-acted, is still grounded in real memories of wrestling my friends in college or boyfriends in bed--his pounding heartbeat as he holds my head in a side headlock, his bony cock bluntly colliding with mine, my inner thighs against his ribcage as I pin his wrists to the cold floor-tiles, the sudden sinking feeling when my body fails to constrain his as I had planned.


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