If you were one of millions of viewers watching Sunday’s Super Bowl game, I’d like to offer my humblest sympathies.
No, I’m not talking to you, Patriot fans (the team in the shiny white and blue, for those fellow non-football savvy readers), or to the poor gentlemen who indulged in too much Bud Light and chest-bumping. This is for those subjected to M.I.A.’s mentally scarring and obscene use of her middle finger during the Super Bowl halftime show.
Following the event, the Parents Television Council — which you might remember as the feces-flingers protesting Janet Jackson’s “show and tell” during the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime program — published a statement denouncing NBC, the NFL and the singer herself. “M.I.A. used a middle finger shamelessly to bring controversial attention to herself, while effectively telling an audience filled with children, ‘f– you,’” the PTC stated.
Aside from the obviously non-hyperbolic rhetoric implying halftime shows are projected on the sides of jungle gyms in every playground, the PTC put forward a solid second point: “Instead of preventing indecent material, (NBC and the NFL) enabled it.”
No one can argue Madonna, Nicki Minaj and M.I.A. aren’t potentially indecent. But few popular musicians are decent nowadays. The days of good, clean rock ‘n’ roll are dead and rotting — if they really ever existed at all. Johnny Cash wasn’t the first musician famous for flipping the bird and M.I.A. won’t be the last. Popular music and so-called “indecent material” are inextricably intertwined, and neither are going away any time soon.
So, you might ask, how do we protect the innocent and easily corrupted minds of American children from being damaged in the future? Simple: Don’t let your children watch the Super Bowl. Sure, it might not be a great idea to subject youngins to racy music and, well, nipples. But is it any better for children to watch 350 pound men hurling themselves violently against each other at brain-damaging speeds to gain possession of a seemingly magical brown ball? Last time I checked, that wasn’t an integral part of the kindergarten curriculum. Next year, hire a babysitter, throw on a particularly lengthy marathon of Pixar movies and set up the kiddies with a Matterhorn-sized pile of candy. Trust me, they’ll be happier anyway. Just try to take it easy on the chest bumping.