RAW DOGMA                                                                       written by Nkrumah Steward
Add Another Ex-Wrestling Star To The "Just Fell Over And Died" List
I just turned 31 at the end of April.
If there is one thing I can count on every year, it will be my younger brother coming up to me and saying, "damn, man you haven't changed a bit."
According to my youngest brother, I rest easy any fears that he has about growing older because when he looks at me he sees the same big brother that he knew when he was a kid. In many respects he is absolutely correct. I might be a little taller, a little heavier and have a lot more facial hair but I am the same guy I was when I was a kid and I am proud of that fact.
I have found that the key to staying young is not in some snake oil potion or in the waters of a magical fountain somewhere but in never losing the ability to appreciate the things that you enjoy. I know on the surface that sounds over simplified and probably a bit silly but its true. For example, if you are a person that likes to dance then find time to dance. You shouldn't stop dancing because you are an adult now and you have "responsibilities". Do whatever you need to do to avoid falling into that trap. You being an adult and taking care of your "responsibilities" has nothing to do with whether or not you like to watch cartoons or you like to play video games.
I still read comic books, not nearly as often or as many as I used to, but I still do read. My tastes in comics have changed since I was 10 but I can still appreciate them for what they are. I still listen to the 80s music that I grew up on. In fact, I have over 9,000 MP3 files on my hard drive representing nearly every song I ever heard from 1979 to 1987. Sometimes when I am writing material for this site I am blaring those tunes out of my computer like they were just released yesterday.
I still go to bed a few nights a week watching a tape of my favorite episodes of Marvel Superhero Hour. When time permits, my friends and I are always up for a game of "Dungeons and Dragons" or "Top Secret".
Despite how it might appear, I am not on some crusade to stay young by nurturing some unhealthy attachment to my youth. I have a very simple philosophy that I live by; this is my life to live. There is a difference between being stuck in the 80s and not letting yourself forget how to appreciate the things that you enjoyed about being a kid. I don't care how old I get; I will always like watching cartoons because I have never allowed myself to forget what I enjoyed about them. I have found that the older I get I just acquire new tastes. Often times as I mature and acquire an appreciation or other things I end up acquiring a new appreciation for the things I already enjoyed.
One of the drawbacks of being a nostalgic person however is when I get slapped in the face with information that forever changes how I view something; it hurts a little longer than it might someone else.
For example, I used to like professional wrestling when I was a kid. I came up as WWF and professional wrestling in general was turning mainstream. Up until the early 80s professional wrestling it was something that rednecks watched. I think I started watching wrestling the week Rowdy Roddy Piper hit Super fly Snuka upside the head with that coconut, for those of you that need a reference. As I got more and more into wrestling I started subscribing to the fan magazines and even going to shows when I could with my little brother. Wrestling was hands down my favorite television program. Hands down. Nothing was close. Professional Wrestling is as 80s to me as Devo.
So when I got older and started hearing about all of the wrestlers that have died as a result of heart attacks from their painkiller addictions, misuse of steroids, suicides and what not, it kind of tainted it all for me. In the last three years alone I have watched too many wrestlers die that I grew up watching. Rick Rude died from a heart attack while watching television in his living room at the age of 42. It blew me away.
Then if you want to really depress yourself you can also add Davey Boy Smith, Brian Pillman, and most recently Mr. Perfect Curt Henning to the list of the "just fell over and died".
In an article I was reading about Curt Henning in the NY Post they were talking about how 8 professional wrestlers had died in 2002 by May alone; none of them were older than 44, all of them died from not-so-natural causes.
Then in May it came across the newswire that Miss Elizabeth, the former manager and valet of the Macho Man Randy Savage died in Lex Lugar's house after mixing vodka and painkillers before she sat down to eat.
Miss Elizabeth apparently choked to death on her food. Evidently, it isn't all that uncommon when you are high on painkillers and Vodka. There's even a name for it. It's called "cafe coronary," and it happens when people who are drinking alcohol and eating lose their eating coordination, choke on food and die of asphyxiation.
When I think about it, it seems only the porn industry has more fucked up "not-so-natural" deaths than professional wrestling.
As sad as Miss Elizabeth's death was to me, unfortunately her death wasn't the only sad thing about the story I read. Lex Lugar, who evidently was her boyfriend at the time, was arrested shortly after her death when police searched his home and found over 1000 illegal pills in his apartment. He has since been charged with like 13 felonies in connection with those pills. Among the drugs they confiscated were steroids (no surprise there) and other body building drugs, as well as pain medication and anxiety drugs.
He had just been arrested the month before for punching Miss Elizabeth in the face during one of his roid rages. Needless to say things haven't been going well for "the total package" as of late to say the least.
See that is the kind of stuff that you just didn't know when you were a kid. You don't know that the people that you are watching leaping across the ring and smashing chairs into one another are in the back popping vicaden like tic tacs. You don't know that the suicide rate in professional wrestling is higher than in any other form of popular entertainment other than porn.
No, as much as you might want to never lose the ability to appreciate the things that you used to enjoy as a kid, some times that appreciation is inseparably tied into the naivety of the world that you lived in when you were introduced to it.
Sadly, this is one of those times.

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Source: Associated Press, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, NY Post
same difference

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