Pro wrestling, for whatever you might think of its artistic merits, has some of the most delicious vocabulary you can find.
Today’s entries are “work” and “shoot.” A work is a fake fight meant to look absolutely real to the audience. A shoot is a rare occasion when the confrontation actually is real. (Wrestlers are friends and coworkers behind the scenes, but tempers can run high in a testosterone-fueled industry based on [scripted] physical altercations.)
Cut to a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee this morning, as reported by VPR’s Peter Hirschfeld. Ed Cutler of Gun Owners of Vermont is testifying,when he suddenly draws the ire of committee chair Dick Sears. Hirschfeld offers a lengthy account of the affair, which is a fun read; here’s the trigger moment, when Cutler bemoans the annual introduction of gun legislation.
Ed Cutler and Dick Sears, with the corpse of S.31. Not exactly as illustrated.
“The problem, and you guys, you’ve been thinking about … doing this for years now, trying to figure out some way to do this,” Cutler said.
“How do you know this,” Sears asked.
“Because you keep putting this bill in,” Cutler said.
It was at this moment that Sears’ face began to redden.
“What? Now wait a minute. I keep putting this bill in? Ed! Ed! I have never introduced a gun bill. Ever!”
Sears’ anger continued for quite a while; at one point Cutler’s hands began to shake.
Eventually the moment passed, and after the hearing, the two men shared a hearty handshake.
Bringing us to the question: work or shoot?
Well, I don’t actually think the confrontation was staged — a pretend show of prickly independence by a veteran lawmaker. But the “prickly independence” itself? That’s a work.
These guys are on the same side. Sears said so himself. And if you have any doubts about that, the Burlington Free Press is reporting this statement from Sears regarding the gun bill:
“S.31 is not on the table,” said Sen. Dick Sears, D-Bennington, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “Quite frankly, it’s dead.”
It might have been a few uncomfortable minutes for Ed Cutler, but in the end it was just a dominance display by one of the Senate’s leading cocks. And in the end, the two men run in the same pack.