Bread And Circuses

(photo courtesy)

So, I’m led to understand that last night, one group of talentless millionaires defeated another group of even less-talented millionaires, thus earning hundreds of millions of dollars for a cartel of socialist-billionaires. Even deeper irony is that the entire nation stopped for four hours (or more) to watch this spectacle, which included “entertainment” by yet another passel of millionaires on a broadcast that featured hundreds of millions of dollars spent not on improving the country, but on trying to segregate your pocket, green from white.

And the deepest irony? The talentless millionaires all perform under the aegis of the least-powerful sports union and performed in a state that hates them for their union. This is something along the lines of a black gospel choir putting on a performance in Mobile, Alabama at a Klan headquarters in the 1950s.

I might have been able to stir up some respect for the game if even one player had made mention of this irony even once during the week, and then vowed to do something about it.

But it’s a joke. And so are Americans for watching a spectacle involving people who have no concept of what a real job entails (having been prepped and pampered all their young lives) playing for a meaningless trophy in a “sport” that requires no talent and is centrally controlled by a bunch of old white men who “coach” players into executing a game plan that they themselves implement and woe betide the player who doesn’t follow the playbook!

Every player is replaceable, no matter how successful they are, and our nation is littered with the broken bodies of those who put it all out there on the field and now can’t even button a shirt to attend a dinner thrown by the billionaire-socialist who exploited their labor.

Sounds like how most Americans make a living, yet here they are, celebrating a victory by the more successful work unit. From another company. One they could never work for.

Lest you think I’m a “hater,” I’ve played more football at nearly every level of competition than you’ve had hot meals, and even today can toss a 60 yard bomb and hit a beer can. So it’s not about being anti-sport.

It’s about being anti-…well, whatever sport has devolved to in America.

See, we hand these leagues and the owners trillions in tax breaks and benefits, we prevent other people from infringing on their franchises, creating monopolies at all levels, all so we can spend a few hours…hours!…in rapt contemplation of the beer can in our hand.

You know who else used to spend lavish amounts of money on games designed to pacify his populace? At least they had the decency to call a slave a slave and not glorify him.

We’ve turned sport from a competition into a spectacle, from a contest between two groups of people into a battle between two corporations vying for the last advertising dollar out there.

Remember the old saying, “It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game”? That fiction, like the fiction that anyone in American can grow up to be president, or if you just work hard and save some money you can have a comfortable life, is a fairy tale that we are seeing stripped away even as you read this.

So for a few hours last night, hundreds of millions of people got the feel an emotion of some sort– excitement, anger, sadness, joy– and paid trillions in sum for the privilege.

Ain’t that America?

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  • What baffles me is the fascination with the advertisements. There’s been lots of tweets, blog posts about how wondrously clever they are.

    I’m sure the advertisers are please to have such willing and passive receptacles.

  • Hunger Games is even more appropriate. After all, without Tim Tebow in the game, there is no Jonathan to set us free 😉

    I watched it, the halftime show was adequately opulent and overwrought. I can’t say the game was very exciting, but I live in the West so no horse in the race. I suspect most people watch it as something interesting and expensive, without a massive investment in the contest. Sort of between watching the paint dry and watching the spectacle, pick the spectacle. In the Hunger Games, viewership was ~100% among the population, support/enthusiasm was much less.

  • I had to Google “Hunger Games,” because I was not aware of the book (my daughter having nearly graduated college now, I’m way behind on modern fiction.)

    I think I’d still pick Rollerball because of the more corporate connection– for example, the Jets used to be owned by the Hess oil family, and are now owned by the Johnson family, of Johnson & Johnson– but I do like the whole theme of centralized power.

  • Did you see that one? Where did the PSA’s go? I think they could do a lot of good. That ought to be funded to the tune of 20% of ad to counteract the bs that is modern marketing, inducing far too many to over-consume and over-eat.

  • Women influence or make about 85% of American consumer purchases. 91% of women say advertisers don’t understand them. (I think advertisers understand women perfectly well … they just want to mold them to their preferred script)

    In 2011, no less than 94% of the creative directors for Super Bowl ads were men. This year? 95%?

    The Super Bowl is a supreme event where the patriarchy celebrates the patriarchy.

    Miss Representation

    “OTP – Occupy The Patriarchy” ~ me

  • Give Hunger Games a whirl sometime. Quick and a good read. They’re making a movie of it as well, usually best to read the book before that happens IMHO. You never know what they might taint in the Imagineering of the story.

  • Since so many advertisers released their ads prior to the game, I watched the opening 2 minutes and the last 2 minutes. An over the hill Madonna does not interest me in the least.

  • Rooting for a professional sports team to win a championship is like rooting for Donald Trump to make another million.

    Then celebrating by buying a T shirt.

  • I read today that Madonna will be giving an outdoor performance on the Plains of Abraham in Quebec City. She will also give concerts in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver. I suppose one could call it progress when an “over the hill” female can join the ranks of the many “over the hill” males in the world of entertainment.

    Btw, Tom Petty was 57 and Bruce Springsteen was 59 when they did their respective halftime shows. Madonna is only 53.

    And did you ever see Keith Richards’ wrinkles? He of The Rolling Stones? Honest to God, that band should rename itself “The Rolling Wrinkles”.

    “OTP – Occupy The Patriarchy” ~ me

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