Saturday, February 10, 2018

Friday Five (late again)

The Super Bowl was great, wasn't it? And then all the celebrating in Philadelphia! The amusing thing about all the tsk-tsking of Philadelphians (you know, for climbing light poles, eating horse poop, etc.) is that their behavior is essentially no different than it would have been in any other city (except Boston, I suppose, where winning is no surprise). I'll tell you a little secret: football fans everywhere, well, they're kind like Philadelphians. In other words, this was merely football fan behavior, not Philadelphia behavior. 

Meanwhile, the SB commercials confirmed for me that we really do live in an excitement culture. Notice this? Everything has to be amped up, everybody has to be dancing, or conquering a mountain, or dreaming big big dreams, or running marathons at age 90 or something. Fireworks have to be going off all the time, and often people are leaping for joy. These tropes are so commonplace, it seems the advertisers have hit on something: the promise of stimulation sells everything from burgers to cars to insurance to prescription medicine.

Half-time show: I usually avoid these (like I'd avoid rats, used needles found in the trash, and, well, the plague), but sat through this one quietly. I don't know who this Timberlake guy is, in any case. There were some routine dance moves at the start, and then the guy just kind of strode from stage to stage amidst great displays of (you guessed it) excitement. The excitement, of course, was entirely staged. This just seems strange to me: a guy on stage "performing" for a faux crowd of super-excited "fans" (who are themselves "performing") who follow him (excitedly) as he strides from here to there to there, singing songs you can't really make anything out of: that is, you recognize the presence of rhythm, and you can tell there's lyrics of some sort, but mainly it's all just very exciting! The entire show was an encouragement to worship the "star." This is the entertainer-as-hero trope.

Getting away from all the pop culture nonsense, I'm reading this book (one chapter to go). It's really good,

And finally, to complete the once again tardy Friday Five: 


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