Tuesday, August 01, 2006
The Samoa Tourist Authority Would Like A Word...
"Come and explore our islands that are rich in culture, unspoilt environment and home to the friendliest people in the South Pacific." -
The Samoa Tourist Authority
Or, as decades of Wrestling Wisdom would have it, an army of painty-faced savages with no coherent language to speak of and an unending capacity for subhuman violence, scornful of social laws and lacking any faith in the Inherent Goodness Of The White Man's Culture.
I confess, I have never visited the island paradise of Samoa in person. My familiarity with its swarthy inhabitants is extremely limited. That said, as far as I can tell, almost every goddamn one of them has at least some capacity for verbal communication (some of them even speak the Queen's English!) and almost none of them are rampaging Tazmanian Devil-esque Destruction Whirlwinds. The lady who pours drinks in back of my local Indian Restaurant is a particular favorite - she's calm and actually rather loquacious.
Even mainstream wrestling has turned its back on the cartoonish Wild Samoan gimmick. "The Rock," Rikishi, Yokozuna (RIP), and Samoa Joe (back in my good graces after his satisfying, albeit brief, scuffle with good ol' Rhino) all speak "quite well," if I may be allowed a moment of quasi-racist condescension. They also wrestle with focus, intensity, and skill. They do NOT freak out like mental patients when their manager-cum-mouthpiece takes a mild bump of the ring apron.
But now there's Umaga. Talks in grunts. Violently insane. Throws epic fits if Armando Alejandro Estrada so much as drops his cigar ash.
Face facts, people. The dude's a racist throwback. From the loony facial contortions to the stupid grease paint tatoos, "The Samoan Bulldozer" is basically a giant Al Jolson with a taped-up thumb. If I were a wrestling fan (oh, wait, I AM) I'd feel pretty insulted that Vince McMahon even thinks I'm gonna by this ludicrous angle. Yeah, it's mainly just Vince dealing with his bitterness over not signing Samoa Joe, but still... pretty offensive.
We can only hope that Umaga's cousin (at least according to these chiefs) Joe takes him aside and gently persuades him to knock off the House Negro crap. Asalaam Alaikum, people.