My Last Word on Benoit for a While

This has gone beyond the point where I can even wrap my head around the situation any longer. It’s like there’s this guy who was basically a hero to me, who everyone I’ve talked to that knew him always said what a great guy he was, who never let me down as a performer…then suddenly he’s dead.  And so’s his family.  And it’s like “Oh, shit, that’s awful, I feel so sorry for him.”  And then you find out that he killed his family and then himself.  And then you find out that he not only killed them, he killed them in what can only be called a gruesome and ritualistic manner.  And ironically, when the WWE is getting more mainstream press off him than at any time before, they suddenly erase him from history, too and distance themselves as fast as possible so that we all know that they’re the victim here.  And all the shows scheduled for the prairies in July are cancelled.  Of course, the Saskatoon house show had only done about 1000 tickets if that to date, so I was expecting that one anyway.  But it’s like every time I log on, there’s something else getting piled onto the story to really twist the knife in.  It’s just weird, man.  Lemme tell ya, I’ve been wearing my Backlash 2004 t-shirt on a fairly regular basis as of late, but I’m not risking wearing it again. 

I think that more interesting than the story itself is the range of reactions, not just on my blog but everywhere.  I don’t think anyone’s defending him or even attempting to, but it’s interesting to me that reactions are ranging so wildly between shock and disbelief (which is mostly where I fall at the moment) all the way to outright hatred and comparisons to Hitler.  In all fairness, Hitler killed a LOT more people before doing himself in, so Benoit had a long way to go.

It does raise an interesting question — do the deeds of the performer retroactively affect the quality of the performance?  Someone noted in another thread that defending Benoit’s in-ring work is like trying to seperate Hitler the dictator from Hitler the painter.  I don’t think that’s such a crazy notion, frankly.  If you have moral high ground enough to judge the entire body of work of a man because of his deeds in real life, then bully for you.  It must be nice to be so righteous. I think it’s sad, and it’s a tragedy, and Benoit proved to be a horrible human being who got exactly what he deserved, but in the end unless you were related to Nancy and Daniel it’s hard to justify acting like you knew them any better than Benoit’s longtime fans knew him.  In the end, there’ll be a TV movie or an episode of Law & Order, and we’ll all go on with our lives doing the best we can to cope or mourn or forget about it or whatever.  I’m glad I didn’t know Benoit the person, because it would have made it a lot tougher to like Benoit the performer, and if nothing else positive can come out of this whole sick situation it’s that I can at least still get enjoyment from his matches and hope that one small bit of happiness can overcome the crushing horror that the past two days have brought.  I’ll take what I can get, I guess.