Billy Corgan does a lot of contrived things: positioning himself as anti-establishment while contributing to a Michael Bay soundtrack, the whole "BFF with Marilyn Manson" period, his marriage, sustaining the career of Don Draper for twenty years before the drummer discovered his true calling as an ad executive.
Many of Corgan's contrivances smack of specious attempts to add depth to his "metaphysical poet covers prog-rock standards, adds distortion" persona, not least his insistence on reminding us that he likes wrestling at every opportunity he finds to do so. The trouble with Billy Corgan liking wrestling is not that Billy Corgan shouldn't like wrestling - everybody likes wrestling, even Werner Herzog - or that Billy Corgan shouldn't talk about how by the way, did you know Billy Corgan likes wrestling? After all, Billy Corgan has a long tradition of reminding us that he likes sports, be it via the medium of excellent, self-loathing b-side (a song written because the Bulls lost a game) or punching-above-your-weight diatribe.
The problem with Billy Corgan liking wrestling is that Billy Corgan obviously thinks that the mere act of Billy Corgan liking wrestling runs so counter to everything we think about Billy Corgan that he has just blown your little mind into a million pieces. This belies a fundamental lack of awareness of three things:
- How the culture views wrestling. Everyone likes wrestling, even Werner Herzog. What is not to like?
- How the culture views Billy Corgan. Billy Corgan seems to operate under the assumption that the culture has the exact two-dimensional rock-god-throwback perception of him that he spends much of his time projecting, meaning that for Billy Corgan to step outside this paradigm with a leftfield statement like "I like wrestling" will be a major blow to how we see Billy Corgan and, by extension, the universe. This is the same fallacy that led him to believe that we would all have to sit down and have a good hard think about our lives when we learned that two grown adults played a game of chess.
- How the culture views famous people. Billy Corgan consciously makes music and conducts himself in the manner of a person from a time when the famous and the regular were two different classes of people, and this is a nice effort and I'm glad someone's making it, because I for one rather miss that time. Why should I experience the Kantian concept of the Sublime on a daily basis through Twitter chats and Youtube replies and blog comments by awe-inspiringly talented famous people I admire? The Kantian concept of the Sublime is a tiring thing to have to do every day! However, the simple fact is that nowadays, we are all a little bit famous and famous people are all a little bit ordinary, so to find out that Billy Corgan the person likes something seemingly incongruous with Billy Corgan the persona ain't no thing, because we have TMZ and we know famous people go to the toilet now.
So all this being the case, Billy Corgan's insistence on reminding us that he likes wrestling is perhaps a little uncalled-for and probably not helping his case as much as, oh, say, hiring a fucking producer would do. However, if it is to extend to Corgan performing shows in Mexico containing a worked shoot, culminating in Corgan being forced to throw down against rampaging luchadores, what can you say? You can accuse Billy Corgan of not having thought his character out as well as we might like, but no one can accuse the good fellow of breaking kayfabe.