Monday Reads: Once again, I manage to avoid the Stupor BowlPosted: February 14, 2022
Good Day Sky Dancers!
We’re beginning to see signs of spring around here so that’s a good thing!! There are patches of green grass and bird arrivals. I also like spring so we get beyond the national Panem et circenses frenzy. It drags on longer than National Crass Consumerism Season. We’re deep into Carnival here and the parades are back on the streets of New Orleans. I always wonder why the greedy and rich always co-opt perfectly wonderful festivals celebrating the passage of the season and turn them into ordeals requiring mass credit card spending, ads, and tourists.
However, I did miss this sight which reminds me of me when I had to go to football games with my father and occasionally my mother. I loved the time with my Dad but it took me about two seconds to drag a book out to read through the rest of the game. The best part was the Cheese Frenchie, Onion Rings, and chocolate malted at King’s in downtown Lincoln prior to the the parking spot at the stadium and mass crowd chaos.
The only other thing I used to do at the University of Nebraska games was to stand up and cheer when the opposing team scored. We sat on the fifty-yard line in the 20th row right behind the marching band and close enough to throw stuff at the cheerleaders. I never indulged in any of that but I especially enjoyed singing Boomer Sooner. I knew all the words because that’s where I was born and my Dad went to Law School there. It was enough to irritate people but back then you just got dirty looks. Nebraska ruled college football at the time and their rival was always Oklahoma.
I also had the pleasure of reading through a Stupor Bowl in LA back in the day although my dad was a Ford Dealer and not part of the NFL players like Andrew Whitworth. Good for whoever Whitworth is because he’s got himself a nerdy, book-reading daughter!
The other parts of the Stupor Bowl–and I name this for the fans and not for the poor players who wind up severely brain damaged with CTE–are the ads, the halftime, and the Puppy Bowl. So, let’s just say that paying all that money to hype a product seems crazy but it must work. Hence, the costs of living in an oligopolistic monopoly-based failed market. The Puppy Bowl is damned cute. I missed it since I worked through the entire shindig but the country’s First Puppy stole that show! The best thing about this huge ad campaign was the game was dedicated to animal rights activist Betty White. Team Fluff won the game! (via Daily Beast)
In what may prove to be the most important sports-related story this Sunday, Team Fluff snatched victory out of the tiny jaws of defeat in Puppy Bowl XVIII. Following a fur-ocious three-hour battle, Fluff edged out Team Ruff with a final score of 73-69. The eighteenth iteration of the Puppy Bowl saw 118 adoptable puppies competing for the “Lombarky” Trophy by dragging chew toys around the miniature field. Representing more than 60 shelters and rescues in 33 states, this year’s lineup also featured a record number of puppies with special needs, including Benny, a goldendoodle with partial paralysis who used a set of rear support wheels to race around the field. Benny was also crowned the 2022 Puppy Bowl’s “Most Pupular” player. And, most importantly, “every Puppy Bowl ends with every single dog being adopted,” longtime referee Dan Schachner told the New York Post.
So, there are a few noteworthy things about the half-time show. And no, it’s not Snoop Dog’s toke prior to his appearance. That’s par for the course and perfectly legal in California.
My youngest daughter–then a middle schooler–came with me to spend the holidays in NYC. The first thing she wanted to do was go see 8 Mile and so I splurged for the tremendously expensive tix and we headed to the movie theatre in the East Village. She had been playing the heck out of the CD on my laptop and was indulged by my then-boyfriend when we spent time with him in Harlem. He had very large speakers. This was 2002 so back in the good old days. I am familiar with him and rap in general. I was substitute teaching in a music class and let the kids play vinyl back in 1979. I got my first introduction to rap at Omaha Tech High School!
Well, good for Eminem! He may be middle aged, white, and rich but at least he still knows where he came from. Dr Dre set the whole thing up and was Eminem’s mentor. The genre has grown a lot since then.
On Sunday, Eminem knelt and held his head in his hand after performing “Lose Yourself,” his anthem about self-determination from the movie “8 Mile.”
I haven’t seen it but I plan to because the royalty of early 21st-century rap performed and some bonus artists showed up. Plus, Mary Ann Blige …
Blige, whose 14th studio LP, “Good Morning Gorgeous,” arrived on Friday, sang two of her most beloved older anthems, “Family Affair” and “No More Drama,” reaching deep for some powerful high notes and ending the set flat on her back.
However, I agree with this headline in MSNBC: “NFL Super Bowl halftime show was a master class in gaslighting. The Dr. Dre-led performance was awesome — but it played into the NFL’s plan to distract from the league’s race and gender issues.” It’s written by Ja’han Jones. It seemed like awfully convenient timing to present black artists. There were also some “gender issues” present in the performances.
The mini-concert was an undeniable smash hit, featuring Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg performing their classics together, 50 Cent rapping upside-down like it was 2003, along with Mary J. Blige, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar and even Anderson .Paak on the drums.
Theirs was one in a number of acts that constituted what was arguably the Blackest night in NFL history, withgospel duo Mary Mary, country music star Mickey Guyton and R&B singer Jhené Aiko performing ahead of the kickoff.
And, most importantly to the NFL, there were virtually no references to the league’s sordid racial politics, exposed in recent years by its treatment of former San Francisco49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and allegations of systemic racism from former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores. (The league denies such allegations.)
The only thing even approaching a critique was Eminem taking a knee in a purported act of solidarity with racial justice activists.
Watching it in real time, I wasn’t sure whether that was a form of protest or a performance miscue, and if you have to question whether a protest is a protest … it probably isn’t.
The league did seem to convey its racial ideology in another way some may not have realized, though. During Lamar’s performance of the protest song “Alright,” a lyric was conspicuously censored to remove a line critical of police who kill.
The line — “and we hate po-po, when they kill us dead in the street, fo’ sho’” — was scrubbed of any reference to the police at all.It seems the NFL won’t even tolerate criticism of police in an imagined-yet-realistic scenario of anti-Black violence.
So, about those gender issues which were mostly hidden by a stupid tweet by some right-wing troll, I had never heard about. Well, he’s all over Twitter so he got his share of 3 minutes of fame. So wtf is Sexual Anarchy? It sounds like a 70s metal band name. I’ve got dibs on it for my next band’s name!!!
Kirk’s tweet, which he did not care to explain any further, drew all kinds of responses from critics on the left, many of whom derided Kirk over his prudish tendencies.
“I’ve been trying to figure out what Charlie Kirk means by ‘sexual anarchy,'” tweeted attorney Ron Filipkowski. “I’m not exactly sure, but I think it’s probably better than whatever the opposite is.”
Still, there was a lot of that Rapper vibe in the show which means a lot of women dancing provocatively with scant clothing. Dance has mostly always been that way but anyway, I’m not a dance critic but I do have issues with hyper-sexualizing black women for the pleasure of men. Historically, that never ends well.
So, I have to make a disclosure here. I worked the Gentilly Stage for Jazz Fest for many years as part of the front-of-the-house sound team. I have seen a lot of performers in my day on that stage and set up their kits, microphones, and instruments. My thrill was to mic Etta James. That’s closely followed by setting up the piano mics for Randy Newman then watching over his two small children side stage. I don’t want to turn this into a name game but let’s say I’ve happily helped a lot of talent of all flavors. The guy I really didn’t like was Elvis Costello but, oh well. However, I boycotted and refused to deal with 50 Cent and I was not the only one back in the day. I did not make a scene but I clearly let it be known I thought his treatment of women was appalling and I would not enable it. He showed up in “Da Club” last night with that same schtick.
After Snoop and Dre combined for “The Next Episode” and “California Love” to kick off the halftime show, the camera panned down to 50, upside down and flexing, just as he did to kick off the “In Da Club” music video 19 years ago. 50 Cent was soon joined by a slew of dancers to bounce to the rap classic, and he then threw the performance to Mary J. Blige, who sank into “Family Affair.”
Maybe, that’s where the sexual anarchy term came from, I don’t know. Like I said, I was working and not watching. I think displays of sexuality are fine. I’m cool with exuberant dancing. New Orleans represents all of that and more! All people are sexual beings. But,I still object to the objectification of women for the benefit of men. So, if I missed the cues on this I’ll go look but I’m not sure. I’m open to input.
So, of all the people to do a Super Bowl wrap-up, it shouldn’t be me but there it is. BTW, who won the game?
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?