American Gladiator, but without a defender firing a tennis ball launcher at the athletes.
Ninja Warrior competition is about beating yourself, not your
opponent. The big-money prize for completing all four stages is an
incentive to compete, not the reason to compete and people would compete
whether or not there were prizes involved. For the true athlete, a
cash money prize is icing on the cake. The true athlete competes for
honor, glory and the title of being a Ninja Warrior. Ninja competition
has always been about an athlete’s struggle against him or
herself and the camaraderie and brotherhood of shared competition
against a common foe is what made ANW so incredible. The entire
competition was about each athlete’s fight against themselves,
and the greatest enemy that each of us will ever face is none other than
ourselves. That’s what Ninja Warrior competition was about and what
made the fans so uniquely excited: We had a glimpse into the souls of
Heroes. And this is why ANW will die. In an egalitarian and
anti-hierarchical society there is nothing more forbidden than
showing the Common Man that there is another who is his greater.
American Ninja Warrior competition will die. The series will lose
its fans, the athletes will gain corporate sponsorship and then the
entire program will turn into an extended commercial to hock gym-wear,
training supplements and other associated lifestyle attire. The more
likely scenario is that the franchise will devolve into a strained
series of obstacles designed to give equal equity to male and female
competitors. The Team Ninja competition is a start of this: the male
athletes will become necessary to “win it all” for the team and female
failures on the course will be seen as a team failure and not a female failure.
Only one woman in season seven, Michelle Warnky, qualified for Mt.
Midoriyama and every other woman failed in semi-finals or finals. NBC
advanced all of the failed women to Stage One
at Mt. Midoriyama as “wild cards.” That’s some impressive female
privilege: fail at city finals but still advance to Mt. Midoriyama to
compete against everyone who made their way honestly.
Again, ANW will die because it confirms the inequality and inequity
between men and women. That the series has done so for more than seven
years now has amazed me, but I don’t expect it to last like this. The
show is becoming more and more mainstream and more and more women are
becoming involved. This means that more and more women will demand that
ANW’s competitions begin to respect female limitations. American Ninja
Warrior has affirmed the Traditional value of exclusivity in victory.
Heroes are not, by their nature, equal to anyone else and it also would
be absurd to think of Heroes as being equal even among other Heroes.
The men who have made themselves a household name by their acrobatic
feats and physical exploits have demonstrated that the Hall of Heroes is
an exclusive club for White men. And that’s another reason
ANW will die: too many White people are winning. I also secretly
suspect this was the same reason that Top Shot was ended after only five seasons: It turned into a winners circle for White men (the women couldn’t compete there either…).
Women can’t compete at the level of men. This is not to demean or
devalue what they are as women or what they offer to society, but they
quite simply aren’t men and can’t be expected to perform like men.
Women are also largely absent from our Hall of Heroes. It’s not the
case that there aren’t any women there, but it is the case that I can’t
think of a single one right now. Oh, wait– maybe Kacy Catanzaro.
She’s all of 4’11”, 90lbs. She was the first woman to make it over
the Warped Wall in qualifying and also the first woman to finish a
qualifying course (2014 Dallas finals). Her performance there was
incredible and she’s positively full of electricity. Go watch her 2014
and 2015 performances and I think you’ll agree. In spite of all this
she didn’t make it past the second obstacle at Mt. Midoriyama Stage One
in season seven. Her short height and light body weight made it
incredibly hard for her to get a good jump off of the springboards and
mini-trampolines. But, let’s not get too distracted by the top female
competitor in Ninja sport.
The point is that even in this Kali Yuga-stage
of our civilization and world life-cycle, there are still ways for men
and women to prove themselves in the public eye as Heroes. We can
expect these sorts of opportunities to be troubled and perverted by
those who wish to see Western Civilization destroyed, and you must be
able to recognize and enjoy these opportunities while they last. As
steel sharpens steel, Heroes awaken Heroes and that is the reason why we
should be specifically invested in raising up Heroes and properly
recognizing them when they are in our midst.