I got more than the usual number of page visits to my "Superbowl Insanity" piece, which was also posted on the Mennonite Weekly Review blog "Our World Together." Here are two of the responses generated there:
Harv- if you are so repulsed by the "SuperBowl", why don't you just turn the channel, or not watch at all...you sound truly miserable- miserable enough that it must pain you to be out in public and see an advertisement or a billboard even. Have you ever thought to relax a few sphincter muscles, and not let yourself get so worked up. Even "knitting" might be too much excitement for you Harv. I see a stroke or a heart attack just around the corner for you...
Of course I hadn't actually watched the event, but I found his concerns about my health pretty funny.
Some comments were more positive, like this one:
Well said. The commercialization is the big one to me. The stat I saw was something like $65 per American (not even just per American who watched) spent on food and drinks for this one day. Imagine if every single American even just cut that in half and gave the rest to somebody to need? Oh, how far we'd go in solving some of the world's inequalities.
Nationalism also definitely stands out. Flags everywhere. One of the most popular commercial was Clint Eastwood's about it being halftime for America. And so on. There's no doubt that football serves a similar function to America that the gladiatorial games did for Rome.
About the only thing I'd disagree on is Madonna. She hasn't been sexy for a long time. Aside from the M.I.A. incident, she continued the trend of "safe" performances that they've been going after ever since the "wardrobe malfunction." - Ryan
On Ryan's last point, I'm afraid Madonna, now at 50-something, would be devastated at the thought of losing her image as America's sex goddess, one she's worked so hard to project throughout her career, and one that is the very antithesis of her namesake, the Blessed Virgin.
I also found it interesting that on a YouTube clip I saw later of her half time show, there was a contingent of battle-ready "Roman soldiers" parading around Madonna as she performed, adding to an impression of this being like a first century gladiatorial contest.