Posts Tagged ‘blogsite’

What’s Wrong with CBS, the Super Bowl, and Football

January 29th, 2010 No comments

This will be the official Grouch Post for January. One of them, anyway.

Maybe you’ve heard by now about CBS’s decisions on ads for the Super Bowl. They’ve decided to “relax” their policy against advocacy ads to allow one from Focus on the Family that uses NFL star Tim Tebow and his mother to condemn  abortion. (The message: “He wasn’t aborted! Therefore no one should be, ever!” What were you expecting in thirty seconds, sophistication?) It turns out that their policy had been evolving, but we just didn’t know it until now. Very convenient.

Meanwhile, an ad from an entity known as ManCrunch has been rejected, with the following explanation: “the creative is not within the Network’s Broadcast Standards for Super Bowl Sunday.” It might help to know what those standards are, but CBS isn’t saying.  Here’s the rejected video:

No, the Super Bowl isn’t being aired on April 1 this year. There’s a great deal that can be said about CBS’s decision. I begin with the obvious question: Would they have rejected a similar dating service ad for an opposite-sex couple? But that’s the easy observation. I’ll bet that the real reason had something to do with the way the ad brings to the surface the simmering homoeroticism in male contact sports (and here extended to the jersey-wearing couch potatoes who watch them).

I can’t say I’m sorry to see the ad go, though. I have no idea why a gay dating site would want to run this ad. The two guys don’t seem to know they’re even gay until they find their hands together in the chip bowl (yuck, btw). Worse, it closes with a pan over to the flummoxed friend who, one thinks, might be checking out other Super Bowl parties within the next few minutes. And do not get me started about the production values. I’m not the first to suggest that ManCrunch is offended like a fox, as they (never) say. They couldn’t have expected CBS to actually run this thing; but now they’re getting tons of free publicity. My tastless ad submission for this blogsite will soon follow.

As the Janet Jackson warbdrobe malfunction moment that will live forever reminds us, the Super Bowl has long been an uneasy mix of family entertainment, statement on the current culture, and — lest we forget — controlled violence.

It’s this violence that makes me so not a fan of professional football. As I’ve written before, distressing numbers of pro football players sustain long-term neurological and physical problems,  often leading to early death and disability. (One might say, uncharitably, that it’s too bad that Tim Tebow’s mom’s concerns about her son don’t seem to extend to his life after football.)  And watching the level of aggression that leads to such serious issues is itself a producer of violence: Domestic violence, fueled by alcohol and the negative emotions sustained by the fans of the losing team, spikes on Super Bowl Sunday. Enjoy the game, everyone!

Strategy, Responsibility, and…Governance?

July 7th, 2009 No comments

Sarah Palin is an obvious dunderhead whose sell-by date has way passed. (For lots of detail, go to Andrew Sullivan’s Daily Dish.) So first, an apology for devoting this short post to her. So she resigned as governor of Alaska, apparently a state. Really, who cares about her future? She’ll make scads of money preaching to the increasingly isolated far right wing of the Republican party, and provide both useful air minutes to Fox NEWS, and ink to the still-smitten Bill Kristol. Her “political future” is an oxymoron; she has none.

Speaking of her defenders, and of the right-wing true believers more generally….This surreal resignation has laid bare (not for the first time) that responsible governance isn’t their concern. Karl Rove described the decision as “a risky strategy.” Strategy? What about the sheer irresponsibility of resigning your office when the heat is turned up? That’s not Rove’s concern, and never has been. The guy who wanted to create a permanent Republican majority still doesn’t understand that voters can see through “strategy” to something called “substance.” The alter ego of the “boy genius” —  “turd blossom” — long ago became the more accurate sobriquet.

Ann Coulter, whom I’d vowed never to mention because doing so is like publicizing a whoopee cushion, defended Palin on the grounds that she shouldn’t have to continue defending herself against these pesky ethics investigations. In true defense-to-offense fashion, she suggested an ethics investigation against…anyone initiating an ethics investigation against Palin. Coulter decried the sheer number of investigations launched against Palin, confident that her analytically challenged audience wouldn’t stop to think that all of these investigations might indicate serious problems with the subject of the investigation rather than with the investigators, who are mostly of her own party. Here she is, in a mutual gush-fest with Sean Hannity. (You can stop after the first couple of minutes. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.)

Here’s a question that we might ask: What if everyone did that? “Well, I’m not going to run for reelection, so I’ll just quit midway through my term.”

Sarah Palin has no future in politics — or, I vow, on this blogsite — but there’s always a warm home for her among the true believers. Now, it’s time to cash in.