Sunday 1 February 2015

Soup or Sundae?

Perusal gives me the sense that the #USAsuisSeattle. This might represent the last vestige of interest paid to a spiel otherwise not of interest: not rooting for someone's win, but someone else's loss. I am familiar with this, um, sentiment, having attended the Indy 500 over a dozen times: when the driver of your dedicated fandom is out of the race before your third pig-meat sandwich, you start grasping for anyone... until the bitter, final turn when you just hope, "Please, God, anyone but Rick Mears."

(It's the final lap in American racing when the white flag is waved.)

On the occasion of today's invocation, I ask which American denial is greater: That their biggest cash-sow sporting spectacle of the year has completely run its course, equal in magnitude of worthiness morally, aesthetically, or even as mindless entertainment indirectly proportional to how much is paid to advertise the whole damn day & night... or that New England just might win this motherfucker?

Belichick & Brady didn't suck the air out of this thing.  The blimp's been deflated since the first time somebody said, "Well, that kind o' sucked."  At least since Nipplegate-gate.

That halftime show (of yet another victory for "The Patriots") had the FCC, NFL, CBS and almost all of their advertisers trying to out-jockey each other with pedestally stated concerns for the purity of wholesome family entertainment.

(Parenthetically I can eulogize ex Pro Bowlers who shot themselves in the chest so somebody could see what happened to their brains, if not the first time a player had his knee blasted to re-repeatable replay (not that this is about da Bears but, yeah, some sentimentalities die the longest deaths.))


Thirteen years ago I wrote the following in my leather-bound diary, twenty-four days before Super Bowl Roman Numeral Number Thirty-Six, the first gladiatorial victory for the same New England coach and quarterback:
10 January 2002,  Brussels

Who are these? From where have they drawn their strength to go on living their boring lives? Is it talking they love? They really don't like to listen all that much. But they had to have lived. If only by default. Time creates memories of experience. For Gretje, the things she's learned about history. For Ursula - a different history - somewhat different attitude. What is she running from? What does she conceal? They reveal something in their speech. Gretje's wariness of anything but the Post Bank. Ursula's insistence that rich white Jews did more damage than the Nazis - and of course the fact that so many Nazis were "Yeeews".

"Isn't that right, Henri?"  "Yuhhh..." Henri is her husband of thirty years. A retired nuclear scientist. Ursula a doctor. If you believe anything she happened to say.  "Eef dey don' like my wules - dey shoult stay et da yoot hostel. See how dey like de wules et da yoot hostel!"

I could say a lot more about Ursula, the little old runner who snagged T & me from the main station in Amsterdam to offer us cheaper room & board.  On the way to her place on the tram, we had just rounded a corner past Anne Frank House when she leaned over in confidence to inform me that Simon & Schuster had written that diary, as "that girl" wouldn't have used the outdated language contained therein.  "It goes to show, there are two sides to every story." she said, before refocusing her gaze forward, leaving me to ponder how wise it had been to take her up on her offer.

Suffice it though now to say that she is pasted here to exemplify how denial of one thing in no way affirms anything else. The mistake she made was in continually revealing her, um, sentiment.  Even if that first of Roman numeral enumerated conflicts had had a pentagonal number of interests, it was clear what side she was angling for.  From a psychological perspective, it's not impossible that she was created as a result of her desire to relieve herself of the culpability she'd felt projected upon her by those who continue to insist that her history created the world's greatest spectacle of evil.  Still, you can't tell me that all the advertising money came from Jews.  It just ain't true.

And this is precisely how having two sides in a competition simplifies and falsifies:  you just cannot speak cynically of the origins of WWII except to affirm that the Nazis were evil.  This in spite of the fact that "the greatest generation" was infested with upstanding citizen-champion, masters of industry who continued to profit from that evil when it was clear that there was no dancing in the end zone. 


"For all those folks in America who don't have these kinds of opportunities, films and TV are often the best way we have to share those stories."  Said who?  And about what opportunities?  Why, it was The First Lady talking (as diplomatically as possible, of course) about a complex, emotional depiction.

She was speaking of the film about an admitted murderer that she'd watched on her way to pay her respects to another admitted murderer, dearly departed.  Keep in mind that speaking diplomatically is not always just about being careful not to be insensitive to others, like the murderers' families, for example.  In the case of the politician, and by extension everyone in their royal houses, it means a spineless striving not to speak the unvarnished truth, or shamelessly furthering a nation's war propaganda.

But who would she be to judge?  She sleeps with a guy who orders murders every week, if we can believe the official accounts.  As Robert F. Floyd II recently put it: "People fake morality as a cover for evil all the time."

The Super Bowl does all of these things.  You'll see it when everybody in the stadium puts their differences aside and pays respect to American snipers of all stripes.  You'll see it in commercials for the Marines.  You'll hear it when somebody says something about having put something else behind us, turning a page, closing the chapter and book.


related link: American Fan by Dennis Perin
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That means read all the blogs in my sidebar by midnight or the Internet dies.