Full disclosure- There were extenuating circumstances that prevented me from watching the game. However, I have no love for the NFL and would not have watched anyway. Honestly, I do like sports and have always been quite competitive. I played football, was on the ski team, and played baseball. I just have never been that interested in watching others play.
I did watch some in years past, but as players became more and more “entitled,” their behavior devolved, and I just no longer wanted to give them my time or money.
That being said, I do have an observation.
I hear the game was a “good one,” at least as far as entertainment went. When it is a blowout, it’s not that much fun for either side. However, my observation is about the fans.
In the days and weeks leading up to the big day, I saw many comments on the proposed halftime show. It seems the halftime activities and commercials get as much, if not more attention than the actual game.
This year the talk was all about what Lady Gaga was going to do or say. There was a report that she was told she could not talk about President Trump during her performance. There was another report in which the NFL denied that she was restricted from talking politics. There was talk she would defend Muslims and go after the recently imposed travel restrictions. One would think the Great Swami or the Magnificent Carnac was secretly advising people who spoke with such authority on what was going to take place in the future. There were calls to boycott the halftime show and some for the whole event.
For the most part, I am not in favor of organized boycotts. I believe people should educate themselves and make decisions that are best for themselves. Groupthink, herd, or mob mentality is rarely positive.
If you have such low expectations and faith in the NFL or Lady Gaga, why would you consider watching at all? It is certainly available online, so if it’s good, then watch it later.
This morning I heard and saw comments about how great the show was. I saw headlines that said expected controversies were non-existent, however, one caught my eye from USA Today. It read, “Did you catch these hidden messages in Lady Gaga's halftime performance?” Then this from Salon, “The Super Bowl’s big queer milestone: Lady Gaga was the first singer to reference LGBT people during a halftime show.” There is one thing that is indisputable, Lady Gaga is a marketing genius.
What not so “hidden messages” did the performer deliver? It seems to be one of inclusiveness. Personally, I have “issues” with people who like to use that word. While I cannot tell you about her personally, many who spout the inclusiveness moniker are anything BUT inclusive. I cannot keep up with the current litany of letters for all the sexual aspects of people’s lives. I’m not sure why I have to know all about theirs, I don’t want them to know about mine. It’s none of their business. Besides, all the other conservatives I know have a “live and let live” attitude. What you do and with whom is your business, and please keep it that way.
I thought the show was a very good performance.
From USA Today:
“In the very beginning of her performance, the pop artist sang "America the Beautiful" before quickly switching to, "This Land is Your Land," a Woody Guthrie tune popular in many of the protests that have taken place after President Trump took office. People sang the song at women's marches across the nation the day after Trump's inauguration and at New York City's John F. Kennedy International Airport in light of Trump's immigration travel ban among other instances."
The song is a popular protest song. The U.S. Library of Congress said Guthrie, a product of the Great Depression, wrote it in response to "God Bless America." Guthrie, a communist, didn't like the song because he said it ignored the uneven distribution of wealth in America.” He promoted a central government that could and would level or even, not the playing field, but the goal line.
Once again, I do not know Lady Gaga’s innermost feelings regarding communism, she may or may not know the roots of the song and its writer. Consider the following from socialistworker.org.
“Though the song was first recorded in 1944, it wasn't released to the public at all until 1956, when the grip of anti-Communism was tight around America's neck. Some, including Guthrie's daughter Nora, have speculated that her father's decision to not record the more radical verses back in 1944 was because of the sense that the Red Scare was just around the corner.
The notion is a bit of a stretch; at the time, Guthrie and the rest of the American Communist Party were firm cheerleaders of the U.S. part in the Second World War. But most folks, including Guthrie, were attracted to the Communist Party, not for its support of the war, but because in the 1930s, it had been the largest group putting up a fight in the face of the Great Depression--leading strikes, organizing the unemployed and placing socialism squarely at the front of their struggle. Most of Guthrie's best-known songs were firmly in this vein: "Talkin' Union," "Do Re Mi," "Pastures of Plenty."”
I would defend Lady Gaga’s right to say what she believes, and hopefully, she would feel the same towards me. My job is to inform, educate, and warn. “Hearing and respecting Guthrie's work, though, means understanding him, warts and all. It means recognizing his Stalinism without defending it, and realizing that the world he envisioned was one run by working people. It means seeing that his incredible catalog didn't somehow come despite his views, but because of them. It means listening to "This Land Is Your Land" knowing that the song was a call to action, not a vapid piece of consumerism.”
It’s a shame that they don’t get “We the people.” Too often, crony capitalism and corrupt government are confused with a constitutional republic.
Photo of Lady Gaga from Facebook