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The WWE’s newest bad guy? A vegan who hates capitalism and consumerism.
Daniel Bryan is a "heel" who might sincerely believe in some of the things his persona is known to say.
- Daniel Bryan has been a professional wrestler for years, but only recently made the character switch to become a heel.
- Bryan's unique heel work has caught a lot attention and praise among fans, and it's struck a nerve online too.
- In Bryan's critiques of consumerist culture, the lines between sincerity and parody often become blurred.
"I'm here to take you on a much-needed educational journey," professional wrestler and current WWE Champion Daniel Bryan says in a recent YouTube video.
Bryan is standing in front of a sports arena concession stand that's serving chicken tenders and soda. But according to him the "only concessions being made are to your health and to your well-being."
"Do you know why you eat this?" he says into the camera. "Do you know why? Because you're filling a void. Because your lives are so empty and vacuous that you just shove candy, you shove popcorn down your throats!"
After tossing hotdogs and a cup-full of soda at some unlucky diners, Bryan starts railing against WWE fans' relentless consumerism, the perils of capitalism, and the damage it all does to the environment. Then he enters the arena.
"I am out here making the world a better place," Bryan says with a righteous air, walking down a staircase between the roaring crowd. "But to create change, I need you people to change. You see, because all of these people, they're weak! They're submissive. They are impotent. Weak! Change it! Submissive! Change it!"
Bryan stops to stare into the eyes of a goateed, sign-holding man in the crowd.
"I am not!" the fan says.
"WOO!" the fan cries.
Bryan is, of course, playing the role of a heel: a villain character in wrestling who's meant to be hated and serve as a foil to a more sympathetic hero character. The 37-year-old wrestler, once a crowd favorite, "turned heel" in 2018 after winning a match by low-blow. Now, he's stirring up crowds with his anti-capitalism, anti-consumerism and anti-boomer message.
It's striking a nerve online, too, evidenced by the fact that more than one million people have watched this clip of Daniel calling WWE president Vince McMahon and his boomer generation the "greatest parasites of this world."
Non wrestling fans who are wondering what’s up with wrestling, check this shit out https://t.co/lxmWIQxl2S— Orin (@Orin)1548210288.0
Bryan isn't the first heel to do social or political commentary. But what's unique about Bryan's persona, and what's likely part of the reason why it's been successful, is the fact that it's quite possible he really believes in much of what he's saying: he's reported to be (mostly) a vegan, he leans left in his politics, and he expresses concern about the environment.
A sad example of a scientist being reassigned when his job didn't fit certain people's narrative https://t.co/PPQBOlala2— Daniel Bryan (@Daniel Bryan)1500507856.0
On the screen, the results are sometimes strangely sobering, but also satirical and funny.
@orinanne @ryansatin https://t.co/5gAwm6kE3w— Daniel Torkel (@Daniel Torkel)1548223478.0
Of course, a major reason why Bryan's heel work is so effective is because, like all heels, he's in-your-face about the fact that he thinks he's superior to everyone.
But is there more to it? What's the crowd really booing: his preachiness or his message? If wrestling heels have often assumed identities and qualities that crowds can collectively root against – including a history of characters depicted in crudely racist manners – what does it mean that crowds so readily hate a character calling for an end to real problems? And how does Bryan feel about it all?
Who knows. But the likely answer to that last question is that Bryan enjoys playing his character.
"I've always loved being a bad guy; there's something more fun about it," Bryan said in a 2012 interview. "It always makes me smile. Now, I'll hear my music and (the crowd) instantly starts booing. I have to keep myself from laughing, because it makes me happy."
A man's skeleton, found facedown with his hands bound, was unearthed near an ancient ceremonial circle during a high speed rail excavation project.
- A skeleton representing a man who was tossed face down into a ditch nearly 2,500 years ago with his hands bound in front of his hips was dug up during an excavation outside of London.
- The discovery was made during a high speed rail project that has been a bonanza for archaeology, as the area is home to more than 60 ancient sites along the planned route.
- An ornate grave of a high status individual from the Roman period and an ancient ceremonial circle were also discovered during the excavations.
Foul play?<p>A skeleton representing a man who was tossed face down into a ditch nearly 2,500 years ago with his hands bound in front of his hips was dug up during a high speed rail excavation.</p><p>The positioning of the remains have led archaeologists to suspect that the man may have been a victim of an ancient murder or execution. Though any bindings have since decomposed, his hands were positioned together and pinned under his pelvis. There was also no sign of a grave or coffin. </p><p>"He seems to have had his hands tied, and he was face-down in the bottom of the ditch," <a href="https://www.livescience.com/iron-age-murder-victim-england.html" target="_blank">said archaeologist Rachel Wood</a>, who led the excavation. "There are not many ways that you end up that way."</p><p>Currently, archaeologists are examining the skeleton to uncover more information about the circumstances of the man's death. Fragments of pottery found in the ditch may offer some clues as to exactly when the man died. </p><p>"If he was struck across the head with a heavy object, you could find a mark of that on the back of the skull," Wood said to <a href="https://www.livescience.com/iron-age-murder-victim-england.html" target="_blank">Live Science</a>. "If he was stabbed, you could find blade marks on the ribs. So we're hoping to find something like that, to tell us how he died."</p>
Other discoveries at Wellwick Farm<p>The grim discovery was made at Wellwick Farm near Wendover. That is about 15 miles north-west of the outskirts of London, where <a href="https://www.hs2.org.uk/building-hs2/hs2-green-corridor/" target="_blank">a tunnel</a> is going to be built as part of a HS2 high-speed rail project due to open between London and several northern cities sometime after 2028. The infrastructure project has been something of a bonanza for archaeology as the area is home to more than 60 ancient sites along the planned route that are now being excavated before construction begins. </p><p>The farm sits less than a mile away from the ancient highway <a href="http://web.stanford.edu/group/texttechnologies/cgi-bin/stanfordnottingham/places/?icknield" target="_blank">Icknield Way</a> that runs along the tops of the Chiltern Hills. The route (now mostly trails) has been used since prehistoric times. Evidence at Wellwick Farm indicates that from the Neolithic to the Medieval eras, humans have occupied the region for more than 4,000 years, making it a rich area for archaeological finds. </p><p>Wood and her colleagues found some evidence of an ancient village occupied from the late Bronze Age (more than 3,000 years ago) until the Roman Empire's invasion of southern England about 2,000 years ago. At the site were the remains of animal pens, pits for disposing food, and a roundhouse — a standard British dwelling during the Bronze Age constructed with a circular plan made of stone or wood topped with a conical thatched roof.</p>
Ceremonial burial site<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzUzMTk0Ni9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0NDgwNTIyMX0.I49n1-j8WVhKjIZS_wVWZissnk3W1583yYXB7qaGtN8/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C82%2C0%2C83&height=700" id="44da7" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="46cfc8ca1c64fc404b32014542221275" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="top down view of coffin" data-width="1245" data-height="700" />
A high status burial in a lead-lined coffin dating back to Roman times.
Photo Credit: HS2<p>While these ancient people moved away from Wellwick Farm before the Romans invaded, a large portion of the area was still used for ritual burials for high-status members of society, Wood told Live Science. The ceremonial burial site included a circular ditch (about 60 feet across) at the center, and was a bit of a distance away from the ditch where the (suspected) murder victim was uncovered. Additionally, archaeologists found an ornately detailed grave near the sacred burial site that dates back to the Roman period, hundreds of years later when the original Bronze Age burial site would have been overgrown.</p><p>The newer grave from the Roman period encapsulated an adult skeleton contained in a lead-lined coffin. It's likely that the outer coffin had been made of wood that rotted away. Since it was clearly an ornate burial, the occupant of the grave was probably a person of high status who could afford such a lavish burial. However, according to Wood, no treasures or tokens had been discovered. </p>
Sacred timber circle<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzUzMTk0Ny9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY2MDAwOTQ4Mn0.eVJAUcD0uBUkVMFuMOPSgH8EssGkfLf_MjwUv0zGCI8/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C149%2C0%2C149&height=700" id="9de6a" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="ee66520d470b26f5c055eaef0b95ec06" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="An aerial view of the sacred circular monument." data-width="1245" data-height="700" />
An aerial view of the sacred circular monument.
Photo Credit: HS2<p>One of the most compelling archaeological discoveries at Wellwick Farm are the indications of a huge ceremonial circle once circumscribed by timber posts lying south of the Bronze Age burial site. Though the wooden posts have rotted away, signs of the post holes remain. It's thought to date from the Neolithic period to 5,000 years ago, according to Wood.</p><p>This circle would have had a diameter stretching 210 feet across and consisted of two rings of hundreds of posts. There would have been an entry gap to the south-west. Five posts in the very center of the circle aligned with that same gap, which, according to Wood, appeared to have been in the direction of the rising sun on the day of the midwinter solstice. </p><p>Similar Neolithic timber circles have been discovered around Great Britain, such as one near <a href="https://bigthink.com/culture-religion/stonehenge-sarsens" target="_blank">Stonehenge</a> that is considered to date back to around the same time. </p>
As patients approached death, many had dreams and visions of deceased loved ones.
One of the most devastating elements of the coronavirus pandemic has been the inability to personally care for loved ones who have fallen ill.
Research reveals a new evolutionary feature that separates humans from other primates.
- Researchers find a new feature of human evolution.
- Humans have evolved to use less water per day than other primates.
- The nose is one of the factors that allows humans to be water efficient.
A model of water turnover for humans and chimpanzees who have similar fat free mass and body water pools.
Credit: Current Biology
Being skeptical isn't just about being contrarian. It's about asking the right questions of ourselves and others to gain understanding.