Letters to the Editor

Letters for April 26, 2001

A mea culpa sans headlock:
I read the two-parter on backyard wrestling ("Backyard Bloodbath," Bob Norman, April 5 and 12). And ya know, for once I don't feel so good about being a rabid wrestling fan.... I mean I loved the bloodletting of ECW [Extreme Championship Wrestling], but this -- this is just plain... bad. Great article, though. The reporter ought to win some sort of award for it. And while part of me realizes these kids are just emulating the sport they love, it still makes me feel like shit to read about all their injuries, etc. (Yeah, I know, if they weren't doing this, they'd be trying Jackass-like stunts that they see on that MTV series. Have you seen it? I have, and sometimes it's laugh-out-loud hilarious. I mean, these meatheads deserve everything they get and yet, at other times, it's pretty "squirmy," kind of like the syndicated Blind Date series. But I guess that's the whole point). Someone's gonna get killed in all this, and you know it's the longtime wrestling fans (like yours truly) who are going to suffer for it.

Frank McSteef
via the Internet

Mom is stupid:
We picked up New Times last week, and it's been sitting on the dining room table for a few days. My 11-year-old son said to me this morning, "Geez Mom, throw that paper away! That kid on the cover is a freak!" So I will toss it today. I read the story to my kids (ages 12, 11, and 10) when they saw the pic and wanted to know what happened. All three were amazed at the stupidity of John [Ulloa], his brother, and most of all Carolyn Lister.

Don't think for a minute that we are prudish or sheltered. My boys like to watch wrestling, and we enjoy extreme sports of all kinds. This EFW [Extreme Fuckin' Wrestling], however, is nothing short of moronic and sick! The self-mutilation displayed by this bunch in an effort to gain attention and respect is outrageous. What kind of fool is Carolyn to stand by and let her sons abuse themselves? Clearly the whole family needs help.

In one photo of John preparing to jump off a balcony, there are young children hugging the rail to get a good view of the action. This leads me to believe that there are other parents who find this amusing and productive. Don't they realize their son or daughter could be the next fool to jump? OK, the stupid Lister/ Ulloa family aside, here is what really bothers me; the emergency techs and hospital staff are required by law to attend to these losers when they get hurt. Give me a break!

Mr. Norman, thanks for the article, as I probably never would have dreamed that a family could all be involved in this, and kudos to you for not "glorifying" the EFW but instead painting a true picture.

Victoria Victor and family
Boca Raton

The kids are stupid:
I cannot believe anyone would do something as stupid as this. These wrestlers are deluding themselves if they think they will get wrestling stardom out of this. Just because it happened to one person does not mean it will happen to them.

And the lengths they go to entertain people... You can tell there's a lack of parental guidance here. Who in their right mind at a young age would think of cutting themselves, taking chair shots to the head, and otherwise causing serious injury to themselves before they are even 30? And for what?

Goran Savic
via the Internet

Floridians are stupid:
I read with utter disgust your article on Extreme F'ing Wrestling. Yankees like myself have a tendency to stereotype Floridians as jet setters, antediluvians, or trailer trash. Sadly, your article merely confirms our narrow-mindedness, at least as to the third category.

But the broader issue concerns a society that permits this kind of child abuse and mayhem to continue unchecked. Floridians of all stripes should pay attention to your message and move quickly to stem this madness before it engulfs you entirely.

Joseph M. Finnin
New JerseyThe Chinese Commies are kinda, well...:
Maybe we really do need a war. A "real" one. These young men need to go into the military regardless. Perhaps with overpopulation and no outlet for our animal aggression, it is only natural that we have come to this -- beating the daylights out of each other.

I do not care how bored these kids are, there is obviously something wrong with them. When I was young and aggressive or bored, I never dreamed of throwing myself off a rooftop. I played Optimist football instead. And when I dreamed of fame, I was never covered in my blood or anyone else's during my fantasies.

I believe that we as Americans have forgotten or no longer understand what true horror and suffering is. I do not think that this issue is a religious, spiritual, or parental problem. This has nothing to do with guidance. I do not blame television or the film industry, either.

To me the answer is simple, really. Put a ton of alpha males in a box with no doors for 30 or 40 years with nothing to do, and look what happens. It's like the kid in the story says, "They're bloodthirsty, our fans. They just want someone to get killed."

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