- Who should win?
"I think I want the Ravens to win."
"Why is that?"
"Because their name has a literary origin, which is charming, the Niners have already won FIVE Super Bowls, so six would be an embarrassment of riches, because of the sexual assault story about Crabtree, and because [according voices I hear on TV] Ray Lewis is retiring after this season."
"You know Ray Lewis killed a guy, right?"
"What?! KILLED a guy? Are you fucking kidding me? SERIOUSLY?! Ugh. For FUCK'S sake. Fuckin' football."
Sometime during the game, I decided the Niners should win. Alas, 49ers! Alas!
- Venue. MB and I joined a group of dudes (from his school - our friend Josh and four geo-bachelors) at dirty "biker" bar (not because biker bars are dirty but because this bar is dirty) in Maryland for the game. It was filled mostly with locals, and giant bras hanging all over the walls. My only discomfort with the place, however, was the lack of seating that wasn't a bar stool. It's difficult to sit on a bar stool for five hours. The reason we chose the place was their advertised Super Bowl Party, and I won't complain about the delicious free food they laid out for patrons. Homemade, potluck-type free food, including fried chicken, macaroni, green bean casserole and deviled eggs. Every time a team made a touchdown, the bartender walked around with free shots of either "purple stuff" or "red stuff." I was annoyed with her insistence on not naming the ingredients for me, but by the time the Niners finally made a touchdown, I didn't give a shit anymore, and happily downed my shot of red stuff. It tasted like a liquid cherry lolli.
- Beyonce rules the school. And the stadium. Aside from her general fabulousness, I loved that she had an all-girl band. This was my favorite #BeyonceBowl tweet:
- At least it gave SF time to re-group. I gave zero shits about the stadium lights going out - other than the fact that I found it amusing - until I got home and discovered that the episode of Elementary that recorded was actually the stoopid football game being pushed back 40 minutes. Grrrrr-some!
- The Commercials. ...Basically, I hate (almost) all Super Bowl commercials. They're either disappointing (ie. not that funny WHYAREYOULAUGHING), bigoted, or disappointing and bigoted. (I was going to say "sexist," but then I remembered commercials are also racist and ableist and ageist.) This year wasn't as bad the 2010 crop of "Male Emasculation" commercials, and I thought the commercials even just last year were worse, as far as 'using women's bodies to sell products' is concerned. So maybe things are improving. They are, however, still Super Bowl commercials, and therefore, they are still overwrought, over-produced, and mostly over-boring. The progenitor of Cleverness, Creativity and Art is not A Huge Budget. A Huge Budget is just a distraction for all kinds of bullshit the company normally can't afford. Real art and creativity come from deprivation, and are fueled by simplicity of concept. ANYWAY: I've chosen five from this year to critique:
God said I need somebody to shake a divine booty. So God made a Beyonce.— Heather Havrilesky (@hhavrilesky) February 4, 2013
- The GoDaddy.com commercial was stereotypical, demeaning and trashy, but so are all GoDaddy.com commercials. It's been long since I considered this company worthy of my - or anyone's - business. It was advantageous to watch it in a loud bar that masked the disgusting slurping noises.
- The Audi commercial promoted physical assault under the guise of "women secretly want kisses et al forced on them by anyone who chooses them." It would have ridiculously easy to portray the girl as already liking that particular boy, or to show that she would consent to being kissed, and the commercial would have still communicated the same thing, "driving an Audi gives you confidence."
- OK FINE the Clydesdale commercial was heartwarming and wonderful. Although I will argue that Stevie Nicks is doing 40% of the work. Not that I see how this promotes Budweiser in particular, other than with appreciation toward a company whose products I will never have any desire to consume (except for maybe Bud Light Lime), for providing me with an entertaining, emotional mini-sode during my break from watching the Niners attempt a comeback.
- The Dodge Ram commercial made me figuratively puke all over the place. Not just in response to the contrived bullshit about "Americana" that actually applies to a startling low percentage of the population (ie. all kinds of a-holes from suburbia who have never farmed or ranched a day in their lives fantasizing that they are the same as farmers and ranchers and that THEY - the disillusioned suburbanites in partnership with farmers and ranchers - exemplify "Real America"), but in response to the assumption of Deism in all of their potential customers. Sure, Paul Harvey's voice invokes patriotic nostalgia in my soul, too, but plastering "God this, God that" all over a national commercial, repeatedly, was overkill. And since I come from a community of farmers and ranchers, and can personally attest to the hard work of female farmers and female ranchers holding their own, some along with the men, and some by themselves (both my grandma and MB's grandma ran their own ranches for decades), I counted the number of women portrayed, to see if it reflected the reality I grew up with. Since that number was one, I conclude that it did not. The grossest part of this pandering commercial, however, was the lie about the faces of farming in America. Our country's farms are mostly tended by the hands of migrant and seasonal workers. That is, 72% of all farm workers in the United States are foreign-born. Dodge deserves some leeway for selling Rams by trying to make people feel like they are the same as "honorable farmers" (after all, this is Capitalism and the advertising world we are talking about here), but they could have made a less cynical, more inclusive and vastly improved commercial by choosing a Paul Harvey monologue that doesn't shove God in people's eardrums every .5 seconds, and by including shots of women and Latino farmers along with all the shots of white men.
- The Calvin Klein Concept commercial provided a nice break from the ads that position only men as subjects. Even when ads aren't sexist, they still depict mostly men, and still advertise mostly to men. (Even though people who watch the Super Bowl are 50% female.) The CK underwear commercial is of course, advertising men's underwear, but it's a bigger hit with women watching the Super Bowl. In my group of people, the dudes were mostly quiet during this commercial, and didn't say much about it afterward. Since men in this ad are subject and object, does CK assume that men will feel sexy like a male model is sexy if they buy CK underwear? Or do they assume women think Concept undies are hot, and will buy them for the men in their lives? Victoria's Secret commercials exclusively feature busty women writhing in underwear, and yet the vast majority of VS shoppers are women. (Lol, MB would never even enter a Victoria's Secret, not for ANYTHING, not EVER.) Maybe the CK spot is sort of like the Budweiser Clydesdale commercial, in which it's not just the literal product being sold, but enjoyment, pleasure and brand recognition. Whatever the reasoning, I enjoy these kinds of ads (and the David Beckham ad from last year) for the way they sort of shake up the proto-masculine mood of Super Bowl gatherings. It's amusing to watch men react to male bodies being objectified in advertising.
That's all I have for now. Check in next year for my review of the MINNESOTA VIKINGS AT SUPER BOWL XLVIII!!! Right?!! Right?