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Half-time vulgarity

Tom Shales writes a nice piece on the half-time and advert vulgarity at the Super Bowl. The folks at the Corner are all over it, if you are interested in going into all this in depth. I’m not, and I was not surprised. My son John’s eyebrows went up as we were watching, that was enough, I didn’t have to say anything. We continued talking about the game, which turned out to be very fine. Shales concludes: "Maybe the Super Bowl will have to move from the broadcast networks to the Playboy Channel if its commercials are going to be so dirty that they embarrass parents watching with their kids."

Discussions - 7 Comments

I did not and have not seen the half-time incident. Please allow me to say that while I don’t think that nudity has a role to play on television, it’s begging the quesion a bit. The dancers or stars of these shows are so sexually overt in their body language and lyrics anyway and not appropriate for our over-sexed children. It’s like watching television shows either on cable or network television that show two people having sex, just not the nudity. I think that the sex should not be on, not just the avoidance of nudity or profanity or what have you. For example, when one watches the Terminator on television they will show Arnie blowing someone away but just not the bloodsplat or the few shots into the dead body for good measure. The networks sure do have a strange way of censoring what we watch.

I had my neighbors and their five kids over to watch the game. We had a total of 7 kids under 10 years old over and we used the mute button a lot. The half-time show was out of the question from the get go. You could have seen it coming a mile away when CBS aired those promos for Janet Jackson’s half-time show. It prominently displayed her two enhanced breasts. Instead, we watched a bit of Nature on PBS during the half-time. We didn’t know about nipplegate until 11:00 pm that night.


I was telling everyone prior to the game that Super Bowl half-time shows consist of: (1) Lots of breasts (2) Explosions (3) Lip synching (4) Bad acoustics and (5) Over-production. This year didn’t fail.

It is silly to get upset about one bare breast when the whole halftime show is a vulgar display of bad music and popular entertainment. I’m with pchuck. Anyone with some sense and/or taste would have known it wasn’t worth watching. The extended halftime needs to go.

Good for you, pchuck! The neighbors that I watched the game allowed their kids to watch it all and probably laughed the loudest at the crudest commercials and derived the most pleasure from the objectivization of sex and women throughout. It makes me more concerned for the morality of the adults than their children, though of course, they’re supposed to be teaching their children to critically analyze the (im)morality of the media, rather than finding pleasure in it.

If only it hadn’t taken a bared breast...

Statement by NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue regarding the Super Bowl halftime show:

"We were extremely disappointed by the MTV-produced halftime show. It was totally inconsistent with assurances our office was given about the content of the show.

"The show was offensive, inappropriate and embarrassing to us and our fans. We will change our policy, our people and our processes for managing the halftime entertainment in the future in order to deal far more effectively with the quality of this aspect of the Super Bowl."

We didn’t watch it at the aformentioned neighbor’s house because their tv doesn’t have a remote and all the parents wanted access to the mute button for the commercials. Thus, we had it at my house.

The reason we did this was because small children should not be exposed to this sort of crap. It is acceptible for adults but not for kids. The final straw was last year’s World Series and Fox just kept running those absolutely terrible commercials for that now-canceled show "Skin". I’m not a prude but 6 year old girls should not be directly or indirectly exposed to the porn industry through a 30 promo during the World Series.

Bottom line, there is a time and a place for this type of programming and sporting events are not the time and place if the NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB wants to market their products as "family entertainment’. Ultimately, it is the leagues’ fault.

Actually, I am going to be a "prude," "Victorian," "Puritan" or other such false labels. I disagree slightly with pchuck because the lyrics in the songs, ripping off women’s clothing, and objectification of women in the commercials are not good for our kids but they’re also not good for our morality as adults either. Since there is nothing good about these things, they will have a corrupting effect on my morals, even if I am "more rational" or "better able to handle it as entertainment." The question is, am I? Or should I pursue instead the noble, the good, the beautiful, and the virtuous in my life? Since these things are none of the above, they are drivel, insidious, a waste of our time, and a threat to our culture and morality. That’s probably why I didn’t watch but spent time reading with my two-year old and baby.

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