Monday, February 6, 2012

'Empty noise, glitz and wretched excess'

Unlike me, David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun did see the ads and halftime entertainment during yesterday's Super Bowl, and -- surprise! -- he wasn't impressed.
The ads are a barometer of our culture. And what they said to me is that we have become a truly dumbed-down, crass, trashy and even cruel society -- and somehow proud of it.

And if seeing that kind of straight culture talk upsets you, stop reading now, because when I get through the game review and get back to the ads at the end of this piece, you will really be angry. And I have not even started in on the joke of a halftime show featuring an embalmed version of Madonna snatched off the undertaker's table and surrounded by a sea of empty noise, glitz and wretched excess.
Oh, but don't stop reading.

The truth is, he could have written much the same critique for any of the last half-dozen or so Super Bowls at least, save for different halftime debacles. Yes, the Super Bowl is one of the premier cultural events of the year, generating billions of dollars in commerce while bringing people together around television sets for the better part of an afternoon. But if the NFL doesn't start thinking about the importance of putting on a family-friendly show, the Super Bowl could go the way of the Oscars, which used to be another of America's major cultural events but is no longer.

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