Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Footnotes of War

The history of man is the history of conflict, which is one of the reasons why pro wrestling is so good at teaching history.

So far all I've done is write about "life lessons" I've recieved from pro wrestling, but here's an honest-to-goodness history lesson I've gained from pro wrestling: Cortez conquered the Aztecs, and the resulting class divisions are felt in Mexico to this day.

I learned this because of my favorite wrestler, Rey Mysterio.

In case you didn't notice, Rey Mysterio is Mexican.  More than that, though, he's Aztec Mexican.


This was only incidental until the day Alberto Del Rio came into the picture...Once he was on the scene, being Aztec became much more than just wearing a goofy headdress.  It became about La Raza!

I don't know if you took the time to watch that whole clip, but the Spanish/Aztec divide makes itself known when Alberto Del Rio says, "And, of course, you know...My bloodline comes from kings!  And your bloodline...comes from the streets!"  It's that line that makes the fued jump from class warfare to a full-out race war!

Okay, so I'll admit: Maybe I'm looking too much into that promo.  I do not know for a fact that Alberto Del Rio is of European descent, and I'm absolutely willing to believe that WWE management had no intention of including any Spanish/Aztec undertones. 

This is undeniable, though: the "bloodline" comment seems really out of place until you take it in some other context.  When I saw that promo last year, it sounded strange, so I went immediately to my encyclopedia and - lo! - I found out the Spanish ruled over the Aztecs for hundreds of years.

Are there any greater life lessons to learn from this?  Probably not.  The main thing I take from it is, everyone has their own perspective, and it's the little things that give us clues to these perspectives.  If only we all learned that lesson, maybe human history wouldn't be so fraught with conflict.

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