Yeah, I am an older, white, male fuddy-duddy. I am not considered relevant.
So how I reacted to the Super Bowl halftime show will not resonate with the average fan.
Or will it?
I have my feelings about the NFL corporate focus on Progressive values and appealing to an international audience of mostly young viewers and fans. I could be outraged by the unwillingness of the NFL to punish players that disrespect the rules, that profess hatred for America, that repeatedly abuse women, drive while drunk, and fail drug tests. I could have given up on them a long time ago when they started using the Super Bowl as a Social Justice Media Platform, thrusting alt-left performers like Black-Eyed Peas, Nikki Minaj, and the famous Big Boi onto the stage, just so the world could see how diverse (and perverse) America really is!
I love the game of football and refuse to deny myself the enjoyment I get from watching phenomenal athletes perform at very high levels, so I have put the whole National Anthem disrespect thing and the bizarre halftime shows behind me. I simply won't allow the politics of the NFL's public relations department to spoil the sport and the entertainment I get from it.
And then there are the sophomoric attempts at humor and branding during the breaks. The ads are mostly self-serving exposes on cultural diversity, the plight of minorities, women and refugees. Many of us feel like we have to endure the advertising sermonizing just so we can watch a football game.
But Sunday's Super Bowl embrace of such an obviously sexual halftime routine is perhaps a bridge too far. Remember the "wardrobe malfunction" by Janet Jackson in 2004? Rapper MIA flipping off the audience in 2012? The Black Panther Tribute by Beyonce in 2016? All were clearly designed to push the cultural pendulum to an extreme. But this show redefined disgusting...I was embarrassed by the orchestrated crotch shots, the innuendo of the lyrics, and the twerking.
At what point do all of us object to such blatant female objectification? Is this the new normal for showing "respect" for women and their accomplishments? Shakira and Jennifer were degrading themselves!
Come on, man!
Don't they know millions of kids were watching? Is the collective conscience of the NFL dead? What made them think turning the halftime show into a Gentlemens Club Strip Show would be a good idea?
The women's achievement angle is great, I am all for that. But did it occur to them that featuring women who flaunt their sexuality, who tease the audience by focusing on hip grinding and crotch thrusting, pole dancing, hair flipping and cathouse kooing may not be the best way to pay tribute to the achievement of Latino women? Then they brought kids out to support the whole thing, as if to say, "That's my mommy up there pole dancing. Isn't she strong?"
I have always liked Shakira and Jennifer as they both have amazing stories of determination and accomplishment. But I am sorry, this stuff has to stop! I want to hear from the mom's that watched the show. Did they cover their kids eyes or suggest they should aspire to be like Jennifer? I want to ask those moms, Shakira and J.Lo, would you take your 12 year-old kids into a strip club? Would you encourage your girls to pursue a career in pole dancing?
As for the artists, why do they feel the need to use their sexuallity to entertain us? It is no different than comedians using profanity when it is unnecessary to get a laugh. The singing, dancing, live orchestras, marching bands and flag twirlers, and even high tech animation isn't enough? Just what are they trying to accomplish? How does such a display of female sexual exploitation make the world's biggest entertainment event better?
The sad truth is they are not thinking about any such altruism. They are thinking about creating a sound bite, a news headline, a social media reaction. It is SuperStar one-upmanship. "We made history!" according to Shakira, which illustrates her motives. Both women appeared more interested in their own legacy than on having any positive impact on our culture. Every year the halftime performers seem determined to overshadow every halftime show that came before them.
So they resort to what always gets the most attention, to what is the most salacious and outrageous. It is beyond sad that these two talented women would resort to the oldest, and cheapest attention getter in history: Sex.