DC Comics has announced that they’ve decided to cancel a variant cover of Batgirl featuring The Joker due to death threats from offended individuals. I used the word “individuals” instead of fans for a reason I’ll explain in a moment, but let’s talk about how the comic cover came to existence first. DC Comics has decided to use the month of June to celebrate the 75th anniversary of The Joker. So every DC character will have a variant cover released featuring the character on the cover in some form. Comic book artist Rafael Albuquerque’s artwork for the Batgirl issue was a callback to The Killing Joke, which is one of the most acclaimed stories about the character. It was a nod to the graphic novel for fans to enjoy. However, the comic cover was used like a lot of things in the media lately, as fuel for protest against rape culture and the misrepresentation of women. And with said, the offended whom have protested the cover have responded with death threats towards DC Comics. Because apparently, that is the most logical thing to do in situations like this.
So what does this have to do with wrestling aside from being another part of nerd culture? It’s a reflection of the society that we are currently in. DC Comics was going to release the cover as a variant cover. Which means that an original cover for Batgirl will be released as well giving the purchaser freedom of choice to choose which version he, or she, desires. Yet the people offended would rather not have the cover exist at all. And despite the fact that any Batman comic book fan could tell you that The Joker has done some seriously messed up and far worse things including the event the cover is based upon, the offended are upset only because of the cover for reasons that the cover does not represent. That means the days of choice are out the window. People would rather something that offends them due to their own interpretation not exist for anyone than simply change the channel. So something like the attitude era could not exist in this current society.
Wrestling fans look back at the attitude era as one of the greatest eras in professional wrestling. The storylines were adult orientated and fun. Everyone from the midcard to the upper level had something interesting going on to entertain fans. However, the era was filled with a lot of controversy due to its overly sexual tone and language despite the brilliant writing at the time. During that period, WWE did receive criticism for their product. People were offended and were told to change the channel. Don’t like the product? Suck it. Go watch Friends, Frasier, or whatever else was big in the 90’s. WWE only cared if you watched Nitro instead. But the option of telling people to change the channel doesn’t apply to today. Our society has grown so selfish and sensitive to the point that people no longer want to change the channel. They want the product they find offensive removed so no one enjoys it anymore. And it is this type of self centered and entitled thinking that would have killed the most creative period in wrestling.
Imagine the fall out if Triple H would have performed the infamous Katie Vick segment in this current era. That alone would have brought a lot of scrutiny towards the company. Surely someone would have spun it in to an attack on women in order to push their personal agenda forward. The same thing could be said about how the WWE Divas were treated at the time. Especially considering all of the storylines involving Vince and a diva. Someone surely would have used that as an attempt to prove some sort of point about women in the work place being sexually harassed by their boss. The bottom line is that there wouldn’t be a bottom line. Because some self centered Christians would take Stone Cold’s Austin 3:16 remarks as offensive. And not because they are really upset about it. But because it would be trending at the time.
The type of people in our current society who would most likely be offended by a new attitude era are only offended by what is trending at the moment. With all of the real world problems to actually feel outraged over, the newest video game or the latest episode of a television show are the type of things they’re willing to voice their opinion over. And they believe that their opinion trumps facts or fans who have actually devoted the time to enjoy the form of media they want removed. So while wrestling is still popular at the moment, it isn’t nearly as popular as it was during the 90’s. But a new attitude era would bring professional wrestling back in to mainstream discussion in a major way. And put it right in the crosshairs of an overly sensitive group of people just waiting for something to complain about.
So in closing, our society can’t handle another attitude era. Because people would become offended at the very site of any attitude. Because the form of media we love has to cater to a crowd that is not interested in their product to avoid offending someone. Because people wear their feelings on their sleeves and feel that anything that upsets them should not exist for the masses. Because the current generation is taught to whine and bitch in order to get their way. Because anything extreme is frowned upon and criticized. Basically, because there is only one word to describe the current state of society. Only one word for the reactionary people who are easily offended by the their negative interpretations of anything they’re too ignorant to at least investigate first. And I’m going to spell it out for you. S…A..W..F…T… SAWFT!