While we were having an interesting discussion about Michael Vick and dogfighting a few weeks ago, I was watching the Tour de France. At the time, everyone in the media, and most of the folks in the discussion here were bemoaning how terrible dogfighting was and couldn’t understand how people could possibly enjoy watching such a cruel (to the dogs) sport.
But, at the same time, Versus, the network that was telecasting the Tour was advertising their “Red, White, Black and Blue Summer” with one of their lines being “Sometimes pain is a good thing.” Apparently, we’re quite fond of watching human beings bloody each other, too. Now I get the difference between dogs, who have no choice in the matter and are fighting for their lives, and human beings, who choose to engage in “extreme” “cage” mixed-marshal arts” and the like fighting.
But why do we spectators enjoy it? Why are boxing and wrestling suddenly too boring and the more extreme, violent fighting sports exploding in popularity? I’ve got some not-very-well-formed thoughts on the subject, centered around a reaction to the feminization of our society, but I’d be very interested to hear what you think of the whole phenomenon, why you think it exists, and what long-term implications you think it has for our society.