Sunday, February 1

Halftime Outrage

The halftime show at the Super Bowl is always pretty wretched. Bad music. Bad dancing. Very carefully choreographed, colossally expensive immaturity for the lowest common denominator of our Cretan culture.

But the disgusting display in AOL’s star-studded lollapalooza in Super Bowl XXXVIII was little more than razzle-dazzle pornography. It was viciously defiling. It was awful. It was brazen. Vile. Lascivious. Craven. Offensive. Repugnant. It completely ruined the rest of the game--not that it was much of a game until the fourth quarter anyway.

CBS offered a rather meek corporate apology for the "unintentional" nudity in the show. So did the NFL. But that was only the half of it. How about the lyrics? How about the bumping, the grinding, and the S&M outfits? How about the whole disreputable mess? Did they not expect such low-brow hijinks when they booked the likes of PDiddy, Nelly, Kid Rock, Janet, and Justin to do the show in the first place?

All apologies aside, MTV, which produced the garish extravaganza, appeared to be completely unrepentant. Before the show even aired its web site promised "shocking" moments. And afterward it trumpeted it's triumph: "Janet Jackson got nasty." The network's site went on to crow, "Jaws across the country hit the carpet at exactly the same time. You know what we're talking about--Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake and a kinky finale that rocked the Super Bowl to its core." They even offered "highlight" photos with such captions as, "This pop duo worked harder than the football players!" Now that is something to brag about, isn't it?

So, there we all were. Nearly all of America watched. I watched. My wife and children watched. My students watched. Half of the rest of the world watched. I am heartsick. I am furious. Believe me, I've always been a sports fan, but I won't expose myself to such degradation in the future.

Oh yeah, the ads weren't funny either.

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