Show Notes: Iron Claw, X and Finding the Square Root Of All Causes

The Von Erichs

The Von Erich Family were the wholesome heroes from Texas, strong, God-fearing, and consider legends as professional wrestlers.

The sad tragic secret was this family was surrounded by death.  Three of the brothers committed suicide, one died from an infection from a burst intestine.

David died on February 10, 1984, in Tokyo, Japan. The US Embassy’s death report says he died of acute enteritis.[23] Ric Flair wrote in his autobiography, To Be the Man, that “everyone in wrestling believes” that it was a drug overdose that really killed him and that Bruiser Brody (a fellow wrestler who found David) disposed of the narcotics by flushing them down a toilet before the police arrived. Mick Foley also claims that David died from an apparent drug overdose.

Mike was selected to replace his larger than life brother David.  Mike struggled to maintain a physique that matched the role.  In 1985 he suffered a shoulder injury that became infected.  The complications put him in a coma and he suffered minor brain damage.  Despite that set back, he returned to wrestling.  In 1986 he sustained head injuries in a car accident.  Finally 1987 he committed suicide.

Kerry was the golden boy and created a persona that set him apart from the other brothers.  His theme for entering the ring was Tom Sawyer by Rush, and Kerry dubbed himself as The Modern Day Warrior.

Kerry won a title fight against Rick Flair after his brother Dave died.  The memorial service for his brother was held the day of the match, and it helped shape a legend.

In 1986, Kerry was in a motorcycle accident and lost his foot.  He kept this a secret, hid the fact that he wore a prosthetic and returned to wrestling.  He struggled with drugs until 1993 when he committed suicide.

The youngest brother Chris had hoped to follow in his brothers footsteps, but at 5′ 5″, Chris was not equipped to for the ring.  He too committed suicide in 1991.

Bait and Switch

The family needed to sustain “the legend” that the golden family was still in possession of their wrestling skills and could compete.  They made the decision to add the “lost cousin” Lance Von Erich.  The secret did not last long, and the Von Erichs lost their fans due to this ruse, and their image as a wholesome family was severely tarnished.

Is Twitter the WWF / Pro Wrestling of Our Age

While the tragedy of the Von Erich family is a dark tale, there are some analogies that can be draw to our society and it’s obsession with larger than life characters.  We love entertainment.  We suspend disbelief easily.  Our sense of voyeurism is highly developed, and the spectacle of the ring, and the Twitter-verse, can preoccupy us.

Are our leaders just another version of a league of performers where we somewhat acknowledge that the game might be fixed?  If we do accept this and do nothing, what are we endorsing?

More Bait And Switch – We Outsource Our Thinking To Proclaimed Experts

We I described the Watchmakers in Show Notes: Who Watches The Watchmakers I relayed that America has a history of allowing people with credentials to study our problems, then order us to comply with their solutions.  Our history of the industrial revolution and success in manufacturing lured us into believe that Scientific Management, centralized systems, were the best way to address ALL problems.  It’s been a part of our culture since 1907. 

The analogy drawn here is apt:  in 1907 Frederick Taylor published a study on scientific management.  He developed his theories further with his book The Principles of Scientific Management.  In our Sunday Nights Radio podcast, Zee covered the concept of Scientific Management, where systems take primacy over individuals, shaped our culture regarding authority and centralized planning informed by science.  Scientific management was applied to everything, particularly education.  And indeed, 1907 is still well within the steam powered era of the Industrial Revolution, and what Taylor recognized as a core strength of manufacturing was to be applied to everything.  Taylor essentially insisted on an entire culture that responded to top down control.  

“In the past Man has been first.  In the future the system must be first”

Today we are a divide society, as nearly half of us  are comforted when a team of authorities and experts claim to have studied a problem in depth, and have formulated a solution for a systemic problem.  Our ideals of progress are reinforced when there is a panel of professionals announcing that they can guide us to better times.  That’s a sign of an advanced civilization and that specialization is key to improving our lives, we merely have to follow along.  And many admonish those who in greater wisdom say “There isn’t a formula for solving all things.”

In preparation for a series of articles about corruption, we recognized a pattern that we take issues with:  the anointed authorities become too mired in abstractions while missing the greater points that systems are comprised of individuals and their moral compasses, and an over reliance on the hope that better educated people will make moral choices.  Many also miss the fact with limited access to power, less corruption will affect less people.  

This may sound like a rejection of education, training, and systematic approaches to examine social problems.  It is not – it is a rejection of the wisdom of the scientific management elite, the Watchmakers of Society who are destined to make decisions for us as we remain silent.  We do reject following expertise over the exercise of liberty.  Subordinating questions because the credentialed class sounds authoritative, confident that their research should override your right to exercise your own judgment, leads to disaster.  We are still living with the aftermath of the Covid disaster.  Not the virus itself, but the capricious, scientifically unsound protocols that lead to excess deaths, psychologically damaged children and extension of political power that our leaders arrogantly wield and refuse to yield.

Sometimes You Need to Move, Not Study

If a tree is falling and you are in it’s path, are you thinking about physics about how many feet the tree limbs will fall per second?  Or will you just scramble out of the way?

The same is true with the role government and politics.  Too many times we yield power to those with studies. 

In the early 90s I was lucky to be able to attend W Edward Deming’s seminars on quality.  I was selected at EDS to be part of team who would learn what GM was trying to adopt from Toyota.  Demings photo hangs in the headquarters of Toyota along with the company’s founder.  Deming was a systems thinker, and was a proponent of measuring as many processes in manufacturing that were of IMPORTANCE.  But as he emphasized, some thing were of primary importance – know what those are.

Deming told a story about how management was trying to solve a problem with a nozzle that was supposed to drop paint onto a part.  Money was wasted due to rework, because the process could not correctly coat the object.  The solution came not from the engineering team, but from someone on the plant floor:  Move the nozzle closer.

Countless days had been wasted trying to calculate pressure, timing and no one bother to try an easy controllable solution first.

We want things to be complex, because when we solve complex things our stature is increased.  And that is why we have the out of control problems we experience today.  We ignore our skills and insist that we are wrong to begin with and assume a complex solution will be required.

Leave a Reply