I am Leonard Nivelles McMahan, member of the Georgia Bar since 1976. Retired. Catholic. Alumnus of Vanderbilt and Emory. Peachtree Paddle member, and second place in the Cobb County Invitational Seniors Tennis Tournament. More than all that, however, I am the revelator of The Universal System of World Peace Through Wrestling. Let me explain.
We know what is in human nature. Look at it — all the wars, fierce capitalist competition, religious strife, interpersonal conflict — these are aspects that have played themselves out in our history repeatedly. “And?” you may ask. Well, why don’t we do something about all that? We, my friend, are looking right at this starkly obvious feature of our natures, one that so evidently leads perpetually to loss and destruction. One which will inevitably only lead to our extinction as a species. And in the meantime, well, you know, we are a ‘species’! We are animals! And what do animals do? They fight. I don’t know if you’re really following me, here.
Member of the Georgia Bar since 1976. I studied Philosophy as an undergraduate at Vanderbilt. That’s when the System really solidified in my mind. Yes, I was a wrestler in college. And I was a wrestler in 1970 when those four kids were gunned down in Ohio, and the other two in Mississippi. You see, the problem with us back then — and I am included — is that we didn’t understand human nature. Maybe we thought we could change it, or maybe we thought that it had been deformed. But that’s not what I understood. Not as a wrestler, and not when I saw them National Guardsmen firing. Not when I heard every white Southern whatsisface over thirty whistling that ‘they done got what they deserved’. You see, there was always going to be that ‘got what they deserved’ bunch. And there was always going to be the angry students.
I think it may have come to me just like that. Maybe I was wrestling some guy with all my might one day in 1970, with all my mental energy on the military-industrial complex, and I just got tossed and bumped my head, snapping it all into focus. But there it was: the System. Now, it took some refinement over the years. It also took many efforts to promulgate and publicize the idea, and I admit that my efforts in that department receded during my so-called ‘professional’ years. And ah, yes, those professional years! They taught me a thing or two more about humans. You see, I was a defense attorney. I was, after all, a Catholic in the South. I was nursed on JFK and LBJ. My diaper was powdered with Vatican II. Pops was, in the delphic pronouncement of our neighbor Mr. Gumbs, a good ol’ “n-word lover” back in the day, and I remember that. A couple of wallops over the head here an’ there, right? What a couple of those sorry sacks of shit could have done instead if they were just put into the ring. But I digress.
What I gained in my legal career was nothing but a bunch of firsthand evidence of the System’s veracity. Take a look at the law.. We were there to establish truth, on some level or another. Certainly not in any Platonic sense, as we would have barely made a dent on the old Lockean ‘veil of perception’, as it were. No, we were essentially… well, we were wrestling. Sure, we’d agreed to take as true whatever conclusion was compelled through the force of argumentation, but we were never in agreement to abstain from formal ascension until we’d consulted the oracle, or whatever. But let’s get to the point, here: we were wrestling, and moreover, we were engaging in this form of wrestling as a proxy. By administering the state’s monopoly on violence we were also performing another crucial function of this pre-wrestling system, however. We were ensuring that the actual violence on trial would be perpetuated, as we were enacting the redistribution of violence in this socially-approved manner. We were performing a culture theater of sorts. If this was wrestling, it was the capoeira of modern late capitalism, you follow me? It was fencing with Shakespeare, and they wanted the antagonist to go to prison and the audience to go home bundled up tightly against their human urges. More carpet bombing!
And maybe I said I understood all this before college, too. I did. As I said, for a Catholic in the South, even in Atlanta, the times were different. Many a time did I get roughed up in the playground. I remember one time I took a shiner from this kid named Billy who had his buddies holding me down on the sidewalk going home. They finally let go, said their parting words, and I ran up behind him and knocked him upside the head with my Roy Rogers Thermos. A solid metal thing — Go-lly, what’d be worth today, huh? Well, Billy fell flat, immobilized. His pals didn’t know heads from tails, they were stunned. Obviously, I beat feet out of there as fast as possible. Never said a word at confession, either, because sometimes the Church was too Churchy for its own good. Did I feel guilt? Heavens, no! Did pops go in apologizing for sitting next to those negroes on the bus? Hell no! I assumed there was nothing to apologize for. Now I had a time of it trying to reckon out the ethical repercussions of masturbating to Lucille Ball, but we knew as Catholics that we all had to come up against the Klan sooner or later, at least as far as things seemed to be going then. JFK, MLK, RFK, Malcolm X.
Because even then I could see it: we have this in our nature. It’s something so intrinsically human. And therefore… the System. “The Universal System of World Peace Through Wrestling”. That was the title of the paper I sent to the American Sociological Review while I was at Emory Law. They rejected it, as “admirable intentions”. I also sent it to Harvard International Law. They said nothing. That was infuriating! Those were the days of typing on onionskin. It was all very painstaking, especially as my treatise contained illustrations. Each submission required that I trace the illustrations all over again. The work that formed the core of this essay was what I’d compiled at Vanderbilt. I was able to sneak various points of the arguments into classwork over the years: Hegel’s aufheben was more than synthesis, it was catharsis. Marx assumed the false capitalist precept that human nature was malleable. Hobbes was incorrect in deducing that power must be hierarchically systematized. Nietzsche was close. Nietzsche was real close. But he took as exceptional something much more universal. “Going under” was not to be confined to the Zarathustras. So in this way, you see, I had built up my thesis. Little by little, almost in secret, where no one could see. Because if they could see it, they would do what has always been done in the face of genius. They would laugh it out of existence.
That’s not to say that I didn’t try to swing it as my senior thesis at Emory. That I did. I recall how I’d long observed the faculty members, searchingly. I’d put forward one little theory, one little postulation at a time, trying to suss them out through their reactions. My eyes settled on Dr. Newhouse. For one thing, he seemed he’d be receptive for his interest in John Crowe Ransom. New Criticism, born at my alma mater, Vanderbilt, was a big influence on me. I considered my approach to be scientific, much in the spirit of Ransom’s work. I watched from the inside as Robert Penn Warren broke with the conservative Southern Agrarian mold when he interviewed Civil Rights figures. I saw then that even the Southern Agrarianism was headed inevitably toward the new System, if they could only see it. There was a proximity to human nature in the Jeffersonian ideal of the yeoman farmer, there was only missing the crucial detail of friction. The marketplace to which the farmer brought his wares would inevitably lead to capitalism and a state monopoly of power… that was where the Left was right. I believed Warren was onto this.
Dr. Newhouse, now, he must have been in on the course of this development. Now, I wasn’t doing all that Timothy Leary, Yippie business, but I was aware that the non-violence movement had run its course. It ended in a violence to the self, it ended in a downward spiraling counterculture. Dr. Newhouse had this conservative sensibleness about him, too. So one day I did approach him to supervise my thesis, and I began to lay it out for him in full. “A worldwide federation of hemispheric, continental, regional, national, and subnational leagues. Everything organized just as a wrestling tournament…” And just as in a tennis tournament, I’ve realized in my later years. Dr. Newhouse looked at me inside his office, crowded with stacks of books and legal proceedings, cold cement blocks and naked pipes flowing with water and sewage. Brutal, “new” architecture. He looked at me with his index fingers on his chin. “Because when two people consent completely to the terms of a confrontation, such as in a wrestling match, they consent to the result. And the result will be seen through the enactment of the aggression which propelled them to the match in the first place. All of this time and energy we have devoted to the League of Nations, and the United Nations…” At this point I had no way of knowing that Dr. Newhouse had delivered addresses to the United Nations. “Of course there is the matter of referees, but this is really no matter at all, as I’ll explain.”
Dr. Newhouse leaned forward in his chair. He looked down into his palms, lifted them, and rubbed them on his eyes. “Leonard. I am trying to digest all of this,” he said, “you are saying all of this… you are saying that people who fight, die, and kill and maim for ideals and resources will voluntarily elect instead to ‘wrestle’. Ok, Mr. McMahan. So, what will come of their needs, for which they require resources? What about their ideals, for which they have derived entirely distinct iterations of whatever categories of human manufacture that have yet to be fully cataloged by anthropology? Above all, what about the real, existing material circumstances? How will the stuff of sustenance be doled out? Or will these people be fighting for it? And if not, for what cause will they be fighting?” My heart retracted deep into my chest. I knew at that moment that I had made a grave miscalculation. Dr. Newhouse was under delusions about human nature, contorted by and utterly dependent on the power structure, the same as the American Sociological Review. I kept quiet while he aired his opposition and dismay, thanked him kindly for his time, then went and found another thesis supervisor for another thesis.
I became a member of the Georgia Bar in 1976, and after that I became Leonard Nivelles McMahan, P.D. in Fulton County. I married a school teacher. We had a daughter. Every weekday I got up and entered the ring, and that was all I had to think about. That may have been the end of the System, were it not for two things: the IBMs that entered the office, and a little round, flat, shiny piece of plastic that said “AOL” on it. I tell you, the internet changed everything. I look back on it now, and I truly believe that the internet is what finally made the System possible. Not only because it facilitated me in continuing to spread the message, but I think that such immense human organization would not have been technologically possible beforehand. I put that disc in, and there was no looking back. Chat rooms, instant messaging, “you’ve got mail”. Then, one day, there was GeoCities. And with it came:
Scrolling along the top in 3-D, bold Tahoma were those beautiful, life-changing words: “The Universal System of World Peace Through Wrestling.” Gone were the trials of onionskin. Here was also MS Paint, which allowed me to recreate my illustrations quickly and precisely. Sure, it seems like a joke to you now, but it was all quite a change. I applied a counter to my page, which showed the number of people that had visited it. Then I got busy retrieving all of my notes from decades before. Long hours I spent typing in the study. My wife was otherwise occupied herself with her job teaching, and with her frequent diets and magazine subscriptions. If it put a strain on our marriage it couldn’t have possibly mattered, not with what was at stake. I stayed up late at night working on my site. It barely showed at my job, as routine as it was. Public defenders have been funded less and less, and plea bargains are almost always foregone conclusions. I was a rubber stamp in the courthouse. But I wouldn’t be forever.
The biggest obstacle I had ever had to face was Academia. Stupid, conceited, shortsighted Academia. They were wrong about nearly everything, particularly human nature, but it was the economies of influence that kept them where they were. Their arbitrary carving up of the world, their Greenwich Mean Time, their lines and measurements. The internet and the “Universal System of World Peace Through Wrestling” website (“the System site” for short) would allow me to bypass them all. I would be able to go straight to those young students of theirs, thirsty for knowledge and not yet squashed into complacency and conformity by the rigors of imaginary academic acrobatics and pretentious posturing. I would be able to go straight to the auto mechanic in the garage, straight to the roofer on the roof, straight to the proletariat brimming with surplus aggression from centuries of having their naturally aggressive tendencies stifled and funneled by way of anti-aggression laws into aggression zapping manual tasks better suited for the robots they’d design were they finally liberated! The world had come of age, and it was calling out for a Leonard Nivelles McMahan, master of wrestling ceremonies! The very thought made me quiver when standing before the courtroom delivering a plea. No more poor Christs, these victims and perpetrators! Soon they shall be wrestlers of peace, all! I typed on my homepage in large letters: “I DARE ALL ACADEMICS OF THE POWER NEXUS TO DEBATE ME, COWARDS!”
Of course there were unforeseen consequences of this new age of global communication, as could be predicted per the animal-aggressive nature of the species human. It dictates that there be sexual-aggression, as well. The System accounts for this, as it would operate as a mode of population control as well. Wrestling alleviates pure aggression at its root, prior to its bifurcation into sexual- and phillial-aggression. Predictably this would be hard for most people to understand. There were more than one occasion when I was contacted by those perceiving the System as a personal overture for homosexual intercourse. There was one man whom I met at a mall in Gwinnett County, and he very visibly choked up and slipped away once he realized that the System was larger than his aggression, and those folks are aware of it, however misplaced their aggressions presently are. It was not all such eros-centric natured aggressors to reach out to me. If that were the case then you wouldn’t be here leaning about the Universal System right now. No, I was also contacted by the dreaded Academia, but not by the Greenwich Mean Time perverts with their cerebral, anti-emotive God of the Power Nexus. I was indeed contacted by students.
First, I was called to speak on a panel at Atlanta Metropolitan State College, where I was to be for once debated by the cowardly academe. The panel consisted of myself, Leonard Nivelles McMahan, newly retired P.D. and member of the Georgia Bar since 1976, along with two teaching assistants and a professor of anthropology. Students estaticaly cheered my every argument. “We are looking at this starkly obvious feature of our natures, one that leads perpetually to loss and destruction and inevitably to our extinction as a species.” This was met by general applause and elation. “A worldwide federation of hemispheric, continental, regional, national, and subnational leagues!” Students hooted and hollered in support, laughing at the consternation apparent in my opponents’ faces. One student with a bandana on his head even stood and ripped his shirt off, splitting it right down the middle, eliciting an uproar of delight among the young supporters of the Universal System of World Peace. “You see it in the Power Nexus of monopolized state violence under the authority of Greenwich Mean Time, a Hobbesian perversion of misplaced sexual-aggression!” Racious cheers in my support. The professor left, red in the face and breathing heavily, pretending to choke back laughter rather than tears. He had lost control of his napalm fodder. The students’ consciousness preceded the National Guard this time. ‘Let’s see him call the governor now,’ I thought, triumphantly. “You get your adversary in a bear hug, and you squeeze him!” I pantomimed the act, gritting my teeth, “You perform a high crotch takedown, a half nelson…” Comically obvious! The audience joyously indulged in the thought of release, pounding on their seats. “Your sweat mixes with his! You taste each other! PRIMAL!” At that the audience seemed to declare the panel adjourned in a mist of murmurs.
That was not to be the last of this surge in popular interest in World Peace Wrestling. There were radio shows and more public engagements. Georgia State, Kennesaw State, Savannah College of Art and Design. All organized and hosted by student groups. I could feel the surge of aggression turning back away from the riot squads, turning inward toward one another, toward the triumph of human nature and toward universal consensual combat. It was beautiful! I was contacted by students at Stanford, who flew me out to California to speak. There the students were so enthusiastic, a number of them wore Mexican luchador masks and took turns body slamming an inflatable globe. At Stanford I was presented with a hat that says, “World Peace Through Wrestling, Stanford, 2003”. I took up the idea of marketing by apparel myself, and made t-shirts once I returned to Georgia.
I dwelled on these designs for a while. I sought to draw from my old illustrations for inspiration. There was the general tournament diagram, which was quite literally the cornerstone principle of the System:
I printed some shirts with the diagram but then opted instead for what is the most sublime, graceful act possible for achieving World Peace. That act is called the half nelson:
And with these designs in hand, I went about a rebranding suitable for the rapidly expanding popularity of the System and the System site. I acquired a new internet domain address for the latter: http://www.worldpeace.com. I’d also finally decided that “Leonard Nivelles McMahan, retired P.D. and member of the Georgia Bar since 1976” was no longer satisfactory. I was confident that I would never receive the respect which I deserved from the Academia’s GMT perverts, but I was still prepared to announce to them all the respect I demanded. That’s when I declared myself a Doctor in World Peace. Being the only person to have ever lived on Earth to have the wisdom making me capable to reward such a title, it only made sense. That’s how I became “Dr. Leonard Nivelles McMahan”, although some Power Nexus operative in the Cobb County Invitational Seniors Tennis Tournament protested this title, and therefore my second place certificate reads “Leonard Nivelles McMahan, DWP”.
Another unforeseen consequence of this new age of global communication was the speed with which the Universal System of Peace Through Wrestling spread abroad. I soon saw websites from people all over the world discussing my System. But many of them did not understand it, or they made extra-canonical additions in an attempt to usurp the System for their own, Power Nexus variety of Punitive Wrestling. Someone had even started a separate site, http://www.peacewrestling.sy. Whomever this person was, they had been reading and watching me online with great attention to detail. I was immediately suspicious, however. This website had excessive aesthetics, many assorted colors and graphics claiming to be derived from my thoughts, though not at all reflecting the Illustrations. At first this prompted me to merely hunker down on my claim to authentic revelator status. I added to my site, in beautiful, bold Tahoma, “Dr. Leonard Nivelles McMahan, DWP, P.D. Emeritus (Georgia Bar, 1976), is the sole source of accurate and truthful information on The Universal System of World Peace Through Wrestling, and his internet addresses http://www.geocities.com/worldpeacewrestling and http://www.worldpeace.com are the solitary platform for conveying the Truth of the System *** Excluding all instances of Dr. McMahan’s public declaration ***”. My heart raced as I published this statement. I felt gratified, but I knew that this battle of plagiarism was not a consensual combat fought willingly, with agreed-upon conditions for acknowledging outcomes. It was another attempt by someone out there to co-opt, concentrate, and monopolize power and violence. It was an attempt to take authority by force, and to then likely sell that little nexus of stolen power up the food chain, folding it back into the Great Power Nexus, the military-industrial-academic-legal complex.
It wasn’t long after I’d made that statement when I received an email from a young man on the other side of the world declaring himself to be a “follower,” and claiming ownership of the aforementioned deviant site. His email is right here:
Dear Dr. McMahan,
My name is Ambrose Bertoli. I am the author and webmaster of the website peacewrestling.sy. I am from Deptford, London, United Kingdom. My family and I live in a council flat (what you may call public housing), although we have been adverse possessors of said flat for a year or so now since the council has marked it for demolition. As you can tell I am a great admirer of yours, and of the System. I had been lost for many years before finding your site. Previously I had been a member of the Flat Earth Society of Greenwich, composed of people from all over East and South-East London. None of us lived in Greenwich, but we understood the importance of holding our placards in front of the Royal Observatory…
I skipped the next paragraph, which seemed quite useless. The email continued:
As your self-admitted, eternal understudy, and in no way pretending to any special knowledge or prophecy pertaining to the System […] I do humbly ask if I may visit you to learn more about world peace by wrestling [sic] and to interview and record you for posterity. I apologize preemptively for any presumption of familiarity on my part, and I do look forward to your reply.
By this time my wife had left me. So much the better, as I could stop shaving and worry much less about showering or changing clothes… these were synthetic trappings of the caged animal. It also meant I could partake peacefully of my favorite comfort foods, ice cream and black forest ham. I’d also at this time, by beginning to find videos first of my plagiarists and then of myself, stumbled upon another video entitled “Bruce Springsteen – Dancing In The Dark (Official Music Video)”. I was overawed by the sheer power of the song and the performance. I watched it repeatedly for a good solid week, sitting before the monitor with my gallon of ice cream and rolled-up piles of black forest ham. It seemed clear to me that “dancing in the dark” was a metaphor for the sublimated violence of World Peace Wrestling, and here was a voice crying desperately for it. And when he pulls the admiring woman out from the crowd — that was the moment when they began the sublimation of the male-female sexual-aggression — dance! So I eventually responded to the email, dancing in my swivel chair:
Sure, Come On Out. – Dr LNM P.D. EMER DWP
Eventually the young man arranged to have me meet him at the airport, a thing which I consented to rather than suffer the knowledge that ATL’s baggage handlers had made off with another free bundle of luggage as they were wont to do. He was a small, skinny young man of only twentyseven years. Gutsy of him to presume to approach the System, but commendable. I collected him in the terminal and we drove back to my place. He began filming in the car, which has provided me with the documentation for what follows. Initially we were both quite quiet. He could have been a sexual-aggressor. I began looking for the signs. Believe me, you don’t make it to retirement age as a Catholic choir boy without learning how to detect certain things. Ave Maria! “This is Atlanta,” I told him. “Mmhmm,” he replied. “We got Coca-Cola,” I added, as we entered the Perimeter, “There’s the Cyclorama… out there… somewhere…”
“Yeah,” the young man replied.
“The Varsity… Do you know Bruce Springsteen?”
“Yeah,” the young man sad. Some minutes of silence followed.
“What do you know about wrestling?” I asked.
“Well, you know how in 1999 Barry Darsow in WCW kept switching between previous personas, so much that the producers couldn’t keep up, was he Krusher Khruschev, Mr. Hole-In-One, The Blacktop Bully… nobody knew!”
“What in tarnation are you sayin?” I yelled. A prolonged silence followed.
“I… have been… a member of the Georgia Bar… ,” I said, turning a corner, half aware of what I spoke, “since 1976.”
“Mmmhmm, that right,” was his response. I sensed then that things would be fine in the immediate term. I glanced at him out of the corner of my eye. “What are you? Your name is… Italian?” I asked. “Yes, well my father was half-Italian and my mother is Chinese.” I looked at him again. Perhaps he was a Catholic. “And you are… from…” I probed.
“I am from London, England,” the young man answered.
“Yes, London, England,” I agreed, “Have you seen the Inns of Court? They are like the England Bar.”
“You know, I believe so,” he answered, watching the traffic ahead of us with his camera pointed my way, “I believe so.”
“In 1976…” I thought aloud, “the IRA blew some stuff up in London, right?”
“Sounds plausible,” he replied.
“But not the Inns of Court,” I concluded. We approached my neighborhood. “‘Street Fightin Man’… that was Mick Jagger and them, right? Is that what you want to be? You want to be a ‘Street Fightin Man’?”
“Well, no, not exactly,” he said nervously, “I’m interested in the tournament structure, the way to achieve World Peace.”
“Yes,” I said, “Mick Jagger should have come to Atlanta.”
“I know, my father grew up in Brixton,” he said… whatever he meant by that. Seemed like a non-sequitur to me. Maybe if you find the video you can try to make sense of it. At any rate, we arrived at the house. “I’ll kill the king… I’ll kill the king…” I sang under my breath as we entered, still being filmed. I pointed the young man to the couch and then went to my bedroom to sleep. I needed it, because the next five days with him would be exhausting. At first I got geared up in my best System promoting spirits, and was actually excited. I showed him my study, with my computer, my notes. I took him out to the garage, where he recorded me opening box after box of notes and articles… “The System database,” I called it.
My daughter visited and the three of us went to the Varsity. “Daddy,” she said in front of the camera, motioning behind the counter, “he don’t have to call it none a dem nicknames, dey speak English back there.” I had to give her my look of disapproval while a worker at the counter grinned with one bright gold tooth. “Yes, we do,” said the worker, nodding. “Now listen, guy, you start with a ‘naked dog’ an’ build from there. You just gotta know that a ‘naked dog’ is a plain hot dog on a bun. Then, you see, you ask for a ‘hot dog’ and they gone give you a naked dog with chili an’ mustard.” He seemed to get it. “Daddy, I live in Marietta an don’t know half dem damn terms, this ain’t a foreign country. Tell em you want one a dem long slimy thangs, that’s enough!” It is good that she and her mother are gone, as I said. “Obama came here,” I told the young man, pausing for dramatic effect, “because this… is… the Varsity.” That was enough excitement for day two, I determined when returning home. I passed quickly back into my chambre as my little guest probably burst a capillary trying to keep his ass from falling off in the deluge of chili diarrhea that surely followed. Atlanta is not for the weak, mon ami.
Day three is when the interviewing began in earnest. Again, I started off eager to carry on my life’s work. But soon, as the questions continued, I grew immensely tired. Tired of this guy, tired of his questions, and tired of his little bits of ‘input’ here and there. It makes me tired just trying to write about it now. He asked a few questions, the substance of which I have largely addressed here, about how I arrived at my revelations about The Universal System of World Peace Through Wrestling. Those were by far the most relevant in interesting questions. Thereafter, however, he began asking questions of a very dubious sort: What was the evidence of the revelations on human nature? What did I think about some people calling themselves ‘trolls’ who seemed to like my research? As he continued to ask these completely irrelevant, and frankly utterly stupid questions I began to sink further into my chair. Then there was one question that really set me off: “Have you thought about writing the System down as a fiction, maybe sci-fi, like Isaac Asimov?”
“What?” I blurted out.
“Well, you know, many authors who have utopian systems have tried to posit them through works of fiction, and —”
“The Universal System of World Peace Through Wrestling is no fiction!” I raised my voice.
“I know, it’s just —”
“The Global Power Nexus of the military-industrial-academic-legal complex has a state and private monopoly of violence — FACT! The Academia maintains the ideological semblance of GMT order through arbitrary and imaginary lines and measurements — FACT! Human animals are aggression machines slaving away for the expropriators of their Dionysian vigor — FACT! The half nelson immaculately balances the bifurcated varieties of aggression in an infinite loop until aggression exhausts and satisfies itself — ALL FACTS! Was the Blitz a fiction, guy, huh? But you could take a Hun and pin him down! Yes! These fundamentals of the System are all factually self-evident! This is no fiction.” Why was he asking such stupid, stupid things? Was he trying to start his own System? Had he denied human nature? “Now, you have recorded video of me answering you. You need to go back an watch it all. Watch it all, an try to understand! I can’t keep wasting my time on you!”
The next two days were torturously slow. I took Dramamine in order to sleep through most of it. I had summarily realized that this young man was an apostate who had come to plagiarize and distract. When the day finally came I returned him to ATL airport, bags and all, with all manner of courtesy and graciousness. He acted respectful and deferent, carrying back with him his camera of lies. As soon as he did I went back home and updated the System site with a new, permanent opening message, in big, beautiful, bold Tahoma: “I, Dr. Leonard Nivelles McMahan, DWP, P.D. Emeritus (Georgia Bar, 1976), the Wisest Man Alive, Singular Conduit to God and Infinite Tranquility and Aggression, am not only the sole source of accurate and truthful information on The Universal System of World Peace Through Wrestling, but I must also now explicitly denounce the treacherous plagiarist and apostate and thief named Ambrose Bertoli and his site of fake prophecy, http://www.peacewrestling.sy, which can only be the work of subhuman infiltrators of the Global Power Nexus. The only internet addresses of The Universal System of World Peace Through Wrestling are http://www.geocities.com/worldpeacewrestling and http://www.worldpeace.com *** Excluding all instances of Dr. McMahan’s public declaration, excepting those appearing in manipulated camera footage in response to deceitful and leading questions ***”
I believe my denouncement was successful. The young man uploaded his videos of me, and sent me some emails, and added some long disclaimers to his homepage. I never responded or revisited the matter. I settled back into my work, my ice cream, my ham, my System. It was about two months later when I received another interesting email: “BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN and the E STREET BAND (Lakewood Amphitheater)”. I started to ponder the prospects of catching Bruce somewhere to discuss “Dancing in the Dark” and the System. As I was thusly occupied, another email arrived in my inbox. This one was titled: “Ambrose Bertoli, Suicide By Train On The Deptford Bridge Docklands Light Railway Station This Past Sunday”. That son of a bitch.
Just then I saw a banner advertising something remarkable: an original, metal Roy Rogers Thermos on eBay! It arrived three days later. I held it, looking at the man and the horse, out on the old lonesome wrestling ring. It felt cold and pleasant in my hands as I held it up to the light in my study. I hadn’t had a good release in a while, but I could picture this young man’s face below me, saying some parting words… “Bridge Light Station Past,” whatever. I brought the Thermos down onto it hard, again and again, tasting my own primal sweat until I believed his brains were at peace. “That is why,” I said to him, “the half nelson is better for everyone.”