Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Empathy on the Gridiron:
Fear and Loathing at Super Bowl XXXVIII



I was disappointed by the Super Bowl Adds. Usually they are at least entertaining, in that they go all out to tell little stories and express a bit more creativity than in normal day to day advertisements. But this year, they just sucked. Crass fart jokes and every five minutes, an add for erectile disfunction medicine. I'm not a fan of football, so I don't normally watch the game, so I can't tell if this is just CBS pandering to a favorite corporate sponsor (which says a lot about the execs at CBS) or if they really know their demographic: middle aged white men so deadened by cheap beer and violent sports that they require help just to get an erection. At least they didn't offend us further by showing that MoveOn.org add.

Then there was the Tit seen round the world. Horrors! A boob on national television! What will we tell the children? (Now son, he's our President, and you shouldn't... Oh wait..) I would suggest a warning to little Sally against going anywhere within arms reach of Justin Timberlake, for starters (that boy ain't right, groping a woman old enough to be his mother) Followed by a perusal of National Geographic to show the kids that the female body, like the male, is a beautiful thing to be embraced, not feared. Wishful thinking on my part, I know.

The rest of the world often sees us through the prism of our media and wonders why we seem so violent and paranoid. I think it has to do with the fact that we're a culture that embraces War for the sake of War but is thrown in to fits and spasms at the prospect of glancing at a bare breast. This says a lot about the psychological hangups many in our society have. And it's not just this country of course. What with the pervasiveness of our media, the rest of the world is becoming a lot like us. We live in a world where President Bush is nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for killing thousands on the same weekend a singer bares her breast in public (or rather, has it bared for her and not even completely as she was wearing a shiny nipple cover). One causes a scandal that lasts for days, the other is buried in newspapers and barely mentioned on Television. So much irony. So little time.

But what scares us about the Tit?

The Tit is soft and feminine and therefore, week. It inspires such sins as lust, comfort and sensuality and is thus, a perfect inspiration for would-be terrorists. The Tit will corrupt our children, pass them a joint and whisper lewd and liberal ideas in their ears while they sleep. Fear the Tit, America! It stands against everything we hold deer: War, Greed, Materialism and violence as Entertainment. To embrace the Tit would make us pacified, sensual. Soon we'd legalize marijuana and gay love. In short, we'd be Canadian. No longer would we be able to offend the rest of the world with our erectile disfunction, farting Clydesdales and manly swagger. We'd be wussified. Polite. Thoughtful. Respectful of the need of others for self determination.

We fear there Tit because it's hard to build an Empire when you're so gosh darn polite. Just ask the British.

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