John Evans' Blog

Marking Out

by on Oct.25, 2007, under Uncategorized

Professional wrestling fandom has its own terminology. Nowadays we all know that the feuds and storylines of pro wrestling are fictional, and in fact they have been since the 1880s. In years past the wrestling organizations tried hard to preserve kayfabe (wrestling’s version of “the curtain”), but the internet has basically made that impossible. It used to be that the fans who thought wrestling was really real were called “marks” (wrestling and its slang terms have their roots in carnivals). The fans who knew that it was fictional were “smarts”. Of course, the smarts usually only get the information the wrestling organizations allow them to get. On some level, you don’t know everything about what’s going on, so fans sometimes refer to themselves as “smart marks” (or even “smarks”!).

In actuality, the terms “smart” and “mark” really refer to different ways of appreciating something. To be a smart is to analyze it, think about what goes on behind the scenes, the techniques, the craft, the work that went into it.

To be a mark is to sit back and simply enjoy it.

Sometimes wrestling fans will even bemoan the fact that with all their insider knowledge they can’t just sit back and enjoy wrestling at “face value”. They don’t have that mark perspective that really lets them appreciate it the way it was meant to be enjoyed. But every now and then something happens that makes you forget everything you know and just say…”Holy crap, that was so cool!”

This is called marking out.

And what’s an easy way to get people to mark out? Nostalgia. In other words–Sequels!

Bionic Commando

The Dark Crystal

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