Sunday, February 03, 2008

America Wins, Loses, Blows Itself Up 

I know the superbowl is a generally fascist spectacle, but has the fascism--not just in spirit and symbolism but in actual content--always been rammed down the viewer's throat in this fashion?

Did you all see the bizarre "Declaration of Independence"-themed part of the pregame programming?  The chain of forced association seemed to be:

Throwing off an imperial overlord = America = football = righteous warfare against a craven enemy = watching television = freedom = history = America/football.

The segment concluded with a visual, in eighteenth-century style script, of a paragraph saying something like "Fox Sports and the National Football League dedicate this game, as well as the glorious history of our young nation, to the armed forces."

The obscene video hit all the key points in the Republicans' favorite metanarrative, that the United States is both
a) the scrappy underdog who's been mistreated for too long and just won't take it anymore; and
b) the nation whose power and might is so indomitable, immutable and essential that anyone who suggests otherwise is a lunatic or a traitor who threatens the tenuous and hard-won survival of
a) the scrappy underdog who's...
etc etc


Commercials I've seen so far:

--A an advertisement suggesting the nation is suffering from a pandemic of narcolepsy from which it cannot recover unless everybody consumed an overcaffeinated softdrink spiked with ginseng

--An apparently unironic homage to the pageantry of the Nazi rally, promoting an athletic shoe

--An ad council spot warning parents that their children now obtain drugs not from corner drug dealers, but from their parents' own medicine cabinets.  The message seemed not to encourage parents to consider why they have so many prescribed narcotic medications in their medicine chests, but rather to more tenaciously guard the drugs that are rightfully theirs from their theiving children.

--An ad for the new Yukon Hybrid, suggesting that if the mythical character Sisyphus can not only work hard, but also change and grow, he can get the boulder to the top of the mountain, thereby achieving success.

--An ad suggesting that a physically unattractive woman--if she applies to herself not perfume but rather the scent of Planters brand peanuts (e.g., by rubbing the peanuts on her person)--can attract numerous sexual admirers.

--A local advertisement for the planned community of Tradition, Florida.

Halftime: watching Tom Petty strikes me as even more depressing than watching Mick Jagger last year, because while Jagger has been falling in my estimation for years, Petty has been rising--I think his old songs sound better than ever, some of his new songs have a stunning simple beauty, and (unlike Dylan) I think age does actually make him sound more like himself, in a good way.  

Oh fuck.  I just heard part of an Arcade Fire song.  Arcade Fire has sold the song "No Cars Go" to FOX.  Fuck.

Fuck.  Please can this not be happening?  I think I'm about to lose consciousness.

--An infant who, speaking in the voice of an adult man, executes a stock trade via the internet, then vomits on himself and the keyboard.

--James Carville and Bill Frist quit arguing on a political talk-show, walk off the set, go for a day of sight-seeing in Washington.  The catalyst, medium, and telos of their resolved differences?  A Coca-Cola.


Everyone on television seems absolutely dejected.  The media--like Republicans--must loathe nothing more than the underdog actually winning, as opposed to a ritual sanctification/sacrifice of the underdog, followed by the favorite pissing on the underdog's grave.

My final interpretation of this "superbowl" event: the Giant's win means Obama will win California on Tuesday, secure the nomination, beat McCage and become president.

OK, one more thing:

Romney Boasts: 'I Emailed Tom Brady. He's A Friend'

Guess who's surprisingly cozy with the Patriots; star quarterback? No, not Giselle Bundchen.

"I exchanged emails yesterday with Tom Brady, and he's a friend," former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney told reporters today. "And I wish him the very best and I wish the team the very best,"

The Republican presidential candidate revealed this nugget when he was asked, as a Patriots fan, how he felt about his chief rival, John McCain, watching the Super Bowl at the Green Dragon Tavern near Faneuil Hall in Boston today.
"No business at all was conducted," Romney said, not wanting to mire himself in a sports controversy. "I just wish him the very best and feel the Patriots are going to be very successful today."



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