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Feb 05 2012

Somebody won the Superbowl!

I’m celebrating that it’s over. Yay!

Post-game chatter about the game, the half-time event, the commercials, all go here. I’ll stay out of it, not knowing anything about it.


I guess the biggest news about the football game was Madonna’s performance at the half-time. Here it is.

It was cheesy, overblown, grandiose pop. She delivered exactly what was expected of her, competently and with talent. I don’t quite understand all the hating that’s been going on — is it just that women over 40 are always going to get slammed for not being women under 20?

249 comments

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  1. 1
    earlycuyler

    Commercials are pretty good this year. See on YouTube.

  2. 2
    Glen Davidson

    Somebody won the Superbowl!

    Hey, I predicted that.

    Glen Davidson

  3. 3
    pryopizm

    I’m a Patriots fan, but I have to say the Giants totally deserved the win; they were they only team on the field that was really playing to win. Eli is a phenom.

  4. 4
    Alex Samaras

    Hmmm… apparently the giants of New York stole the Superb Owl’s egg more often than the patriots of New England. I don’t really like the idea of running away with eggs from a superb owl. Handegg is such a weird sport. Maybe there will be an interesting football match somewhere in the world today.

    ;)

  5. 5
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Because I’m so flippin’ mad (no, not because I’m a Madonna fan. . .she doesn’t need my defending her) at the shocking volume of pure misogyny pouring out on the web tonight about her, another crosspost from two other threads below.

    And pre-emptively: No. I’m not saying you have to like her, consider her talented, not find her irritating, or not criticize her. I’m pointing out that only misogyny can produce the level of vicious invective and brazen lying that people are willing to put forth when the subject is Madonna. It’s becoming ever more clear to me that society fucking HATES women with agency who refuse to be passively compliant as an object/commodity for some man’s sexual consumption. That’s it. That’s all of it. Madonna doesn’t bend over and take it on anyone’s terms but her own, and she refuses to be age-compliant and render herself “graceful” (sexless). Amazing how much fury this provokes among women and men.

    Crosspost:

    Yes, she was [badass, as Physio said]. And the level of disgusting invective about her online is turning my stomach. She’s a whore. She’s an old hag. She can’t sing (yeah, she lip-synced on her new song, but the rest of it was real. I’ve been to every one of her shows since 1993 and I remember the days when she lip synced. She doesn’t any more. She actually took time to work on her voice and become competent live). She can’t hit the beat (what?). She “looks 60.” Huh? She needs to hang it up because she’s a worn-out prostitute.

    Jesus Christ. You would never, ever, ever, ever hear that kind of vicious and real hate directed at a man. Sure, people will joke that the Stones look a little craggy, but this is full on, no-holds-barred shaming misogyny.

    You don’t have to like Madonna. You might find her irritating or boring. Fine. But when people hate her so much that they actually flat out lie about her not hitting notes or “barely moving on the stage” (yeah, someone really wrote that) it’s beyond bizarre. It takes concentrated contempt to be that dishonest.

  6. 6
    magistramarla

    Enjoyed a nice dinner out with the hubby and the service dog, then took my dog to Petco to pick up food and a few supplies. It’s so nice having a hubby who doesn’t watch sports!

  7. 7
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    I’m not a big sports fan, but it was a pretty good game. It was close most of the way, and there was a chance for either team to win for most of the game.

    And Madonna sucks… it isn’t gender-based, I just think she’s a terrible person. Still a pretty good game.

  8. 8
    sprocket

    I’m too gay for the superbowl, but not gay enough to watch it for Madonna and the commercials.

    Anyway, I hate hockey or whatever sport it is. Glad it’s over.

  9. 9
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    A terrible person? I can get “I hate her music,” “I think she has no talent,” “I hate her personality.” I get all that, even if I don’t agree with it. But why is she a “terrible person?”

  10. 10
    Rey Fox

    And please, everyone deposit their aggressive indifference towards football and/or sports in general here. Tell us about how the foot doesn’t often strike the ball in the game called “football”! Call it “handegg”! Those jokes never get old! Tell us all about how non-globally popular the sport is and how a 0-0 soccer match is more exciting because of the continual play! This thread’s for you!

  11. 11
    marianagarza

    I’m glad PZ opened this thread because I need to rant about the Lingerie Football Leage. I only found about this recently and I find it disgusting. The players don’t even get paid for! No health insurance (AFAIK)! The names of the teams! They OUTFITS!

    What concerns me the most is: why have there not been more public outrage against it yet???

  12. 12
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    I watched most it, watched the ending, enjoyed the outcome (not the team where the quarterback’s wife asked people to pray for a win).

    I thought Madonna looked good; she had a cute Romanized Cleopatra thing going on there.

  13. 13
    Pteryxx

    Well, I’m back from sports bar and this Super Bowl was a BLAST. Exciting, clean game, down to the wire, MUCH better ads than I was expecting – my count was 6 sucky ads to 18 great ones. They even had a streak of history to them and were less pure-white-male than usual. Maybe douchebaggery is finally going out of style. (Except for GoDaddy, who can go frag themselves.)

    And Madonna’s halftime show was the gayest one I’ve ever seen. *SQUEEE* The crowd was kinda cool with all the half-naked guys but I got up and danced anyway. They didn’t really pay attention until the dude that did leaping splits on the wire. Then me and a few scattered women applauded at the end. TAKE THAT TEXAS. *bows*

  14. 14
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    @Josh, Official SpokesGay:

    “Terrible person” in the sense of “I hate her personality.” Not any further than that, you know? She opens her mouth and says stupid/nasty things, she’s known for nasty behavior. I’m not saying she’s torturing furry animals in her spare time, but I don’t thing she’s a very nice person.

  15. 15
    a3kr0n

    I loved the Superbowl (can I write Superbowl without getting arrested for copyright infringement?).
    It was great, the supermarket was completely empty. I thought I owned the place, until thy made me pay…

  16. 16
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Ah, thanks for clearing that up Joe. I only asked because I’ve never heard (until what you just said) a sentiment like that about her that wasn’t rooted in sexism or slut-shaming.

  17. 17
    Anthony K

    And please, everyone deposit their aggressive indifference towards football and/or sports in general here.

    What do you mean? Pop into a thread in which everyone is engaged only to mention how utterly uninteresting the topic at hand is and how PZ only posts such things for the page hits?

    Why, one would have to be a real narcissistic phlegm dollop to do that.

  18. 18
    Pteryxx

    Oh, and Beckham’s underwear ad. Guy candy. *nodnodnodnod*

  19. 19
    Rey Fox

    I was a tad surprised about the ads too, at least the ones that I saw. They weren’t uniformly terrible.

  20. 20
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    And yeah, totes didn’t watch any of the football because I find it only marginally less mind-deadening than watching golf. And the stupid “analysis” that goes on with these suited guys. They have no idea how dumb they sound. “What will he have to do be more impactful in the second half?”

  21. 21
    supermental

    I could care less. But I don’t care to. Superball Shtuper ball.

  22. 22
    jasonmcdonald

    Go Daddy response to its misogynistic ad:

    totally nude girl @totallynudegirl:

    @GoDaddy Didn’t see the ad but according to twitter, I should drop your service. :(

    Go Daddy Go Daddy @GoDaddy:

    @totallynudegirl Opinions are always mixed, but what fun would it be if no one cared? For what it’s worth, we hope you stick around. ^A

  23. 23
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    That’s cool Josh… I’ve not liked Madonna since she was on Letterman probably 15-20 years ago and she was really snarky and didn’t play along with the normal celebrity/interviewer bit in a not-cool way. I’ve actually liked some of the stuff she’s done as an entertainer, and her boundary-pushing stuff doesn’t bother me a bit… I just think she’s unnecessarily rude and inauthentic and full of herself.

  24. 24
    Rip Steakface

    Didn’t really watch much of the game. Glad the Giants won. I didn’t care for the half time show – not a fan of any of the featured artist. Even the drumline wasn’t that great (and it wasn’t even their fault – they couldn’t get clean beats because it was WAY too friggin’ big – there was at least 15 to 20 snare drums up there. DCI groups march between 6 and 10, and those guys are professionals, not high schoolers like the drumlines there).

    That said, I’m definitely with Rey Fox on this. I’m a little sick of people tossing pointless insults at what really is a fun sport to play.

  25. 25
    Pteryxx

    Actually, NBC’s game analysis was spot-on. Why this great play worked (or didn’t work) because of a block or coverage on a different part of the field, why the receiver didn’t allow enough buffer zone at the sideline. Much better than FOX’s brainless rambling and jokes interspersed with forcing their analysts to read ads for their next trashy network show.

    I also found this (Yeah it’s HuffPo, so sue me):

    9. Because the Super Bowl is gay-supportive.

    Both teams this year hail from states where gay marriage is legal. And according to the gay sports experts at OutSports.com, the N.Y. Giants have sent representatives to queer sporting events (like the “Gay Super Bowl”), and Giants’ owner Steve Tisch released a video supporting gay marriage, as has former Giants superstar Michael Strahan. The owner of the Patriots has spoken at LGBT business and networking events, and players from each team have supported the NOH8 campaigns. Woo-hoo! Go gays!

    Also, in a very cool move, fans in Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium will see a PSA created by GLSEN that features NBA stars Jared Dudley and Grant Hill and targets anti-LGBT language among teens. The PSA will be shown to the 70,000 fans attending the Super Bowl and to the 80,000 watching from the tailgating mania surround the place. Rah, rah, gay!

    Source

    I also watched the game from a sports bar with a GLBT business association sticker on its front door. Yar!

  26. 26
    markmyers

    Decided to expand my horizons and had the daughters and boyfriend over to watch the 1st football game of my life. Enjoyed a couple beers, pleasant conversation, great snacks,and the camaraderie of joining in a community event. Kind of like Christmas.

  27. 27
    A. R

    Only going to mention that I liked the E*trade commercial, and nearly vomited at the Go-daddy ones.

  28. 28
    gridlore

    I will never understand the need of some people to prove how sophisticated they are by dissing sports. Don’t like sports? Don’t watch them. Read a book. Clean the yard. Watch one of the seven hundred channels that weren’t carrying the game. But please refrain from insulting those of us who do enjoy watching sports. We’re not Neanderthals, we just happen to like sports.

    To the commenter who stated he was “too gay for football”? Thank you for personally perpetuating the stereotype of gay men as limp-wristed fairies who own hair salons. I’d invite you to join me at The Lookout – right in the heart of San Francisco’s historic Castro neighborhood – next season to join a throng of gay and straight Forty-Niner Faithful enjoying the game, but it’d probably be too intense for you.

    I love sports. I love science. I’m a happy atheist who puts “Orthodox Baseball” on forms that ask for my religion. Why do we have to be so fucking elitist over a game?

  29. 29
    Isaac

    I didn’t get the dude on the wire. It seems like jumping onto a wire like that would be painful in the nads.

  30. 30
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    BTW, I feel like I enjoyed the game a lot more without having followed it all year. I could appreciate the skill of both teams without being caught up in any of the rivalries or whatever else that the die-hard fans care about. I could be excite for the Giants working the ball up the field for their last touchdown, but also be excited for the slim chance of the Patriots scoring a last minute touchdown with less than a minute to go.

  31. 31
    feralboy12

    Good game, full of those second-guessable strategy decisions that enable intellectual pretensions among fans & writers. Everybody loves that.

    Madonna, on the other hand, sounded like the Barbie & The Rockers tape my daughter had as a child in the 80′s. Same cheesy synth pop, same processed cutesy little girl voice…I kept waiting for her friends to pop up with a “here comes Christy!” or something. Pink power, math class is tough, that sort of thing.

  32. 32
    BrianX

    Madonna’s performance was actually pretty good, although I thought Nicki Minaj and MIA got shafted in terms of screen time, and I thought the entrance scene was just ludicrous. I did note that Madonna’s performance seemed to be about half and half lipsync vs voice, which is fine — from what I’ve heard she found singing full-time during Blonde Ambition exhausting, and that was two decades ago. She’s in great shape by any standard, but using her voice the whole performance would be just a bit much to ask.

    As for the game itself… well, there’s a disgusting number of Pats fans that are blaming Tom Brady for losing the game, which is ludicrous given that the Patriots have been weak on defense all year and backed into the Super Bowl by winning a game against the Ravens they should have lost. Those people are idiots. Even worse, a lot of them may be sports talk callers.

  33. 33
    PZ Myers

    I heard it was actually a decent game — competitive and interesting. Usually the Superbowls are awful as games, and larding them up with ads and hype makes them even worse.

  34. 34
    Pteryxx

    @Joe, same… though I usually follow the season if I can. I wasn’t impressed with the Giants’ offense last game, but they did a decent job, and DAYUM the leaping defense and #90. (Pierre-Paul, whose father’s a French-speaking emigrant from Haiti. Sweet.)

    I didn’t draw well for table-neighbors this time around… two weeks ago, I got to sit between one fan of each side, and got both of ‘em yelling back at me (in good fun) because I cheer for tie games. Tonight, there was just a guy rooting for the Giants because he had a grudge against Belichick. Bleh.

  35. 35
    magistramarla

    I just watched a short clip of Madonna’s half-time show. I liked the Roman theme, and I rather enjoyed the hunky Roman centurions. I’ve always thought that Madonna has a beautiful, powerful voice and I admire her for still looking and sounding so great at her age. You go, girl!
    It was a tiny clip, so I couldn’t see much. I think that I did read that the obnoxious guy who ruined “Imagine” on New year’s eve was one of the performers. If he was, that would ruin the half-time show for me.

  36. 36
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    at one point the German commentator called Vollmer or whatever his name is from the Patriots the “first pure-blooded German” to win the SuperBowl. (Because that German-American guy who won it some time ago wasn’t German enough??)

    Good thing no-one watches this thing in Germany… The public TV used to show it, but now it’s moved to some private channel with morons in their employ/…

  37. 37
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    (sorry IF the Patriots were to win, he would have been the first pure-blooded German to win it)

  38. 38
    Rip Steakface

    It was a tiny clip, so I couldn’t see much. I think that I did read that the obnoxious guy who ruined “Imagine” on New year’s eve was one of the performers. If he was, that would ruin the half-time show for me.

    Yes, it was. On one hand, Cee Lo Green put out one of the few enjoyable pop songs of the last couple decades. On the other, he ruined Imagine with godbothering bullshit. As someone far too obsessed with music, it’s almost a toss up for me. I’ll settle for “he’s a fine enough musician, but fuck him as a person.”

  39. 39
    Rey Fox

    well, there’s a disgusting number of Pats fans that are blaming Tom Brady for losing the game

    What, they’re blaming him for every time one of his receivers dropped one of his passes?

  40. 40
    Pteryxx

    Nah, those Pats fans are just blaming the only player whose name they remember.

  41. 41
    feralboy12

    I heard it was actually a decent game — competitive and interesting. Usually the Superbowls are awful as games, and larding them up with ads and hype makes them even worse.

    Actually, for the last dozen years or so it’s been a good game much more often than not. It was only the first 30 or so that sucked.
    I guess that would be the first XXX, in Super Bowl numerology.

    I thought sure fans would be blaming Belichick for deliberately allowing the runner to score with a minute left. It was one of those video game moves that real life NFL coaches are reluctant to do.

  42. 42
    vexorian

    I just wonder what PZ will think of today’s SMBC.

  43. 43
    getoveryourselves

    @ # 28: Obviously you don’t really love science and obviously you are not a true atheist.

  44. 44
    getoveryourselves

    @ # 28: Obviously you don’t really love science and obviously you are not a true atheist. And stupid, of course. Obviously, you’re stupid.

  45. 45
    Pteryxx

    @ # 28: Obviously you don’t really love science and obviously you are not a true atheist. And stupid, of course. Obviously, you’re stupid.

    Suddenly I have an urge to pose for a Skepchick calendar in nothing but a Twilight Sparkle football jersey.

  46. 46
    vexorian

    #28 What about the need to point out you are not elitist?

    Ha hi hu ha.

  47. 47
    Weed(less) Monkey

    This superball thing is great! My cable TV provider gave us free access to most pay channels so we could watch some game. You should do it every weekend!

  48. 48
    PZ Myers

    Actually, for the last dozen years or so it’s been a good game much more often than not. It was only the first 30 or so that sucked.

    That explains a lot. I’m old. I used to watch it with my father in the 1980s and earlier, and what I mainly recall is how furious he would get at the incompetence of the play.

    And, oh gods, Howard Cosell. You young’uns don’t know how thoroughly Cosell made watching football or boxing on television an excruciating experience. Why, we didn’t bother with snacks for our Superbowl parties because we knew that Howard’s voice would drive us into frothing madness and we’d spend the entire game shrieking and gnawing on the furniture.

  49. 49
    ogremeister

    BrianX @ 32:

    although I thought Nicki Minaj and MIA got shafted in terms of screen time

    That might have had something to do with M.I.A. flipping the bird at the camera. FCC tends to frown on that sort of thing…no doubt NBC opted not to give her another chance to do it again.

  50. 50
    anuran

    The ads with dogs were good.
    The Audi ad was good.
    The GoDaddy ad was, as expected, vile.

    The half-time show was quite good. Madonna understood how to titrate the pageantry how to give a good performance. Even when she stumbled she didn’t miss a beat.

    The two teams were well-matched, and the outcome was in doubt until the end.

    Taking a picture of yourself kissing the trophy is so very early 20-teens.

  51. 51
    anuran

    The lipsynching is non-negotiable these days. After the “wardrobe malfunction” of a few years ago the network and the NFL require it.

  52. 52
    PZ Myers

    I know football fans get terribly defensive, but knock it off. Nobody is dissing your favorite game (much). The Superbowl is this gigantic cultural phenomenon in the US which many of us nerds find mysterious and unappealing, but we recognize that some people care very much. I opened this thread because, while I’m not a football fan and find the Superbowls ludicrously overhyped, I figured people would want to talk about it.

    So talk about it. Nobody is stopping you. This thread is even here to encourage you to talk about it.

  53. 53
    McCthulhu, now with -25% less fat.

    I’m not a huge Madonna fan, but I thought she did a decent job and tried tremendously to keep the energy level up. Is it wrong of me to think that the people hating on her are the yahoos that are as much into football as they are tractor pulls and hog wresslin’?

  54. 54
    chigau (違う)

    But Howard had great hair, neh?

  55. 55
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    I thought Madonna looked good; she had a cute Romanized Cleopatra thing going on there.

    I prefer Alex Kingston.

  56. 56
    Inaji

    getoveryourselves:

    @ # 28: Obviously you don’t really love science and obviously you are not a true atheist.

    Oh, get down off that goalpost, Sugar, else you’ll end up crucifying yourself.

    Seriously, this is the second time you’ve made an absolute ass out of yourself moaning over the fact that some people don’t give a shit about sports.

    A lot of people here do watch sports and no one cares.

  57. 57
    niftyatheist, perpetually threadrupt

    That was a fantastic game. Maybe the best game in the pst decade or more (and that is saying something, because there have been some fantastic games in the past decade!).
    I’m sorry my Saints weren’t there, but I cooked up some gumbo anyway and cheered on the Giants (who beat the 49ers who knocked out my Saints- lol).

  58. 58
    Inaji

    Janine:

    I prefer Alex Kingston.

    Oooooooooh, yes. Me too.

  59. 59
    Inaji

    Chigau:

    But Howard had great hair, neh?

    No. Nothing about Cosell was okay. Nothing overrode that awful droning, which was bad enough, but back in the day, Rich Little and every other voice impersonator was doing HC. You couldn’t get away from it.

  60. 60
    Rey Fox

    That might have had something to do with M.I.A. flipping the bird at the camera.

    Watched the linked video, saw her index finger up, that’s it.

  61. 61
    chigau (違う)

    Caine
    There is a lovely picture of Muhammad Ali and Cosell’s hair.
    (google images)

  62. 62
    Rip Steakface

    I know football fans get terribly defensive, but knock it off. Nobody is dissing your favorite game (much). The Superbowl is this gigantic cultural phenomenon in the US which many of us nerds find mysterious and unappealing, but we recognize that some people care very much. I opened this thread because, while I’m not a football fan and find the Superbowls ludicrously overhyped, I figured people would want to talk about it.

    So talk about it. Nobody is stopping you. This thread is even here to encourage you to talk about it.

    But PZ, I am a nerd! :(

    My collection of video and tabletop games, multiple computers, interest in programming and obsessive knowledge of all things speculative fiction should be proof enough of that!

    I just happen to like football too. It’s really fun to play, and if you know the rules, it’s fairly interesting to watch, especially when the game is competitive (like this one).

    However, I will agree that the Super Bowl is overhyped (I don’t hear nearly the same kind of obsession for the World Series or the NBA Finals… definitely for the World Cup though).

  63. 63
    crowepps

    gridlore @ 28 – “I’m a happy atheist who puts “Orthodox Baseball” on forms that ask for my religion.”

    Thank you, thank you very much — needed that belly laugh.

  64. 64
    Inaji

    Rip Steakface:

    But PZ, I am a nerd! :(

    Gee, you didn’t seem to comprehend the parts you put in bold – it’s right there: “which many of us nerds find mysterious and unappealing,”

    Last time I looked, “many of us” didn’t mean all.

  65. 65
    magistramarla

    Thanks for the link, PZ.
    Madonna’s performance reminded me of the music videos that we used to watch with the kids back in the late ’80s.
    It was solid entertainment, but am I the only one that thinks they are bending over for the prudes a bit too much?
    Except for the finger incident, it seemed that this must have been geared to the “family-friendly” types.

  66. 66
    ogremeister

    Rey Fox @ 60:

    Watched the linked video, saw her index finger up, that’s it.

    A higher resolution photo makes it a little clearer.

    NBC has already apologized for it.

  67. 67
    F [is for failure to emerge]

    The water department stopped making noise in the road and the cat got bored.

  68. 68
    Rip Steakface

    Gee, you didn’t seem to comprehend the parts you put in bold – it’s right there: “which many of us nerds find mysterious and unappealing,”

    Last time I looked, “many of us” didn’t mean all.

    A little harsh, don’t you think? It’s all in good fun. And no, I’m not at maximum mental capacity whatsoever – I watched the friggin’ Super Bowl.

  69. 69
    Alex

    So talk about it. Nobody is stopping you. This thread is even here to encourage you to talk about it.

    Sure, so I thought, too, but then it turns out that suddenly everyone here is gay and dislikes Madonna. I’m confused :D

  70. 70
    osmosis

    I feel like I enjoyed the game a lot more without having followed it all year. I could appreciate the skill of both teams without being caught up in any of the rivalries

    I know what you mean. I once watched an NHL playoffs series, and to my surprise I actually enjoyed it, but only really because it was a novelty.
    Generally, I don’t watch sports. At the risk of pissing someone off, I’ll even go on to say it’s because I just can’t think of anything more irrelevant or less interesting. I call it “athletic pornography” and consider it less worthwhile than regular porn – at least my wrist and elbow get some exercise there.

  71. 71
    =8)-DX

    He he, that was actually marginally good for Madonna – solid pop, grandiose and with the right amount of contortionists, acrobats and hip thrusting. Wonder what the old goat is going to be getting up to in the next few years, I should remember to look her up.

  72. 72
    madtom1999

    Is it not just possible people hate Madonna because they dont like her music or style and when someone you dont like gets too much airplay you tend to get to hate them.

    Someone commented on is she a horrible person – I dont know but normally on these pages being Kaballah or whatever is reason enough to be torn to shreds.

  73. 73
    Ichthyic

    I don’t care what anyone else says, I’ve seen a LOT of superbowl halftime shows, and I never was a Madonna fan.

    But that halftime show was perhaps the best coreographed piece I’ve ever seen as a sideline to a sporting event.

    I was quite impressed with the overall spectacle of it. Were they actually dancing on a giant LCD screen?

    anyway, there was a FUCKTON of work that went into making that production, and they seem to have pulled it off without a hitch.

    Still not a Madonna fan, probably never will be, but hell, that was a terrific performance.

    I would have given it a standing O if I were there.

  74. 74
    maxamillion

    Well, hmm, Madge puts on a good show.

  75. 75
    John Morales

    [OT]

    madtom1999,

    Someone commented on is she [Madonna] a horrible person – I dont know but normally on these pages being Kaballah or whatever is reason enough to be torn to shreds.

    I don’t mind seeing a self-made, successful woman in her 50s laughing all the way to the bank.

    (But yeah: She’s a celebrity follower of Kabbalah)

  76. 76
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    pelamun
    “Pure-blooded”?
    You gotta be kidding me. Oh wait, I know you’re not. I mean, I can understand the hype when Novitzki and his team won, but usually the term “pure-blooded German” gets you removed from polite conversation of people quickly.

    is it just that women over 40 are always going to get slammed for not being women under 20?

    No, that’s not the case. They get slammed for being women. The were tolerated when they were 20 on accounts of being fucking-material, but when that age is gone everybody becomes aware that they shouldn’t be up there on stage in the first place.

    As Josh said: hate Madonna all you want, it’s not that I like her particularly myself. That clip looked like a decent performance, with glitter and glamour, matching the occasion, but that’s taste.
    But if you hate her, hate her for what she does, not for who she is.

  77. 77
    feralboy12

    I don’t hate Madonna; I respect the career she’s had. I just don’t care for cheesy synth pop and costume dramas in lieu of people actually playing live music. I suppose it was better than listening to Roger Daltrey trying to sing in the same key he sang in 40 years ago, and certainly better than the old days when pap like Up With People at halftime made you hope for snipers (Simpsons fans might know them as Hooray For Everything). And I suppose nothing will ever top the 1993 (IIRC) show entitled “Michael Jackson and 3500 Local Children.” That was the same game that featured O.J. Simpson participating in the opening coin toss.
    So no hatred of Madonna; I just think she sounded like Barbie & The Rockers, that’s all.
    I suppose it’s age; I haven’t really enjoyed a halftime show since Doug Kershaw in 1990.

  78. 78
    satanaugustine

    Madonna is a talentless hack and always has been. It has nothing to do with her gender, she’s just consistently produced shitty music that’s one step away from karaoke. Boring and annoying.

    Glad the Patriots lost. They’re THE team I love to hate. And the Giants are my Dad’s favorite team.

  79. 79
    Alex

    @madtom1999

    Someone commented on is she a horrible person – I dont know but normally on these pages being Kaballah or whatever is reason enough to be torn to shreds.

    I can’t recall people getting hated around here merely for believing in some funny religion, be it old school christianity or some new age retro mystical crap. People get harshly criticized for what they say and believe, but that’s an important qualitative difference between that and people getting hated simply because they believe (thats shtick is played by the religious all to well, rarely by new atheists). It’s a distinction which the religious themselves often don’t get or don’t want to get because they like to cry “persecution” as a defense against criticism. People may get some actual hate when they actively engage in spreading superstition and religious nonsense which has the potential to harm people, use religion to hurt and oppress others, or publicly endorse religious organizations like the RCC who do evil.

  80. 80
    NuMad

    [Is] it just that women over 40 are always going to get slammed for not being women under 20?

    Madonna is all sinewy and thin and has muscle definition! Gross! She should have gained a little weight, so that people could slam her for that instead.

    -

    On a more serious note, there are perhaps legitimate reasons to recoil from Madonna overall.

  81. 81
    ianm

    Madonna’s half-time show was a reminder of one aspect of what it used to be like to be gay, before it became all about HIV status and disclosure and the long term prospect of a life of ostracism and loneliness, although by the time Vogue came out half my friends from that era in my life were already dying.

  82. 82
    sundoga

    Good game. Good music. Somewhat over-the-top show, but that’s standard.
    For me, good to see Madonna again…and anyone who says she’s looking bad just has immature tastes.

  83. 83
    McCthulhu, now with -25% less fat.

    Couldn’t find the headphones and my little girl was sleeping already so I couldn’t watch any replay videos, but I was hoping some of the articles about MIA’s finger malfunction would actually focus on context instead of pearl-clutching. What exactly was she singing at that moment and was the finger in context to the lyrics and was the ‘shit’ at the end part of the original song’s lyrics? Basically, could someone clue me in whether or not the finger ‘n’ shit were contextual or just exploiting a large audience for the ‘there is no bad press’ syndrome.

    I wish I could live in a universe where the coloured metaphors weren’t instantly followed by the fundagelicals (I still want to type fudgsicles) flopping about in fainting hysterics. At least that’s what I assume happened based on the articles I found on the subject.

    Oh, and thanks to TeT, I actually knew who Nicki Minaj was just by seeing her. Hooray for rudimentary pop culture knowledge!

  84. 84
    jjgdenisrobert

    Maybe people slam Madonna because she’s an over-produced, talentless hack? Isn’t it possible that it has nothing to do with sexism? Isn’t it possible, in fact, that she’s been given a pass all these years *because* she’s an attractive woman, and that that’s where the sexism really lies?

  85. 85
    John Morales

    jjgdenisrobert:

    [1] Maybe people slam Madonna because she’s an over-produced, talentless hack? [2] Isn’t it possible that it has nothing to do with sexism? [3] Isn’t it possible, in fact, that she’s been given a pass all these years *because* she’s an attractive woman, and that that’s where the sexism really lies?

    1. Doubtful, there’s far too much long-term success there.

    2. Gendered insults are telling.

    3. Nope, too far along the tail.
    Too many other attractive women who aren’t in her category but seek to be for that to be a sufficient reason.

    Something else is at play, here.

    (Talent plus hard work at her profession, maybe?)

  86. 86
    coldflesh

    [1] Maybe people slam Madonna because she’s an over-produced, talentless hack? [2] Isn’t it possible that it has nothing to do with sexism? [3] Isn’t it possible, in fact, that she’s been given a pass all these years *because* she’s an attractive woman, and that that’s where the sexism really lies?

    1. Doubtful, there’s far too much long-term success there.

    2. Gendered insults are telling.

    3. Nope, too far along the tail.
    Too many other attractive women who aren’t in her category but seek to be for that to be a sufficient reason.

    Something else is at play, here.

    (Talent plus hard work at her profession, maybe?)

    Obviously she’s not untalanted, that’s a stupid thing to say. She started out like a product like most people in the realm of commercial popmusic do. But the fact that she’s stayed on top for so long does imply that she has a good sense of which producers and songwriters to work with and knows how to market herself. It’s OK to not like her music or have opinions about her being an asshole or a diva but one can hardly question her talent.

  87. 87
    Fabricio Ferreira

    My complaint about Madonna’s show is that she brought in the douche duo, aka LMFAO, to make me vomit with Sexy And I Know It. If Madonna wants to associate herself with this kind of stupid, shallow pop that lacks talent, creativity and taste, then her due date has expired. Again. Let the mummy rot in the sarcophagus, and please take LMFAO witn you.

    Lady Gaga may have made a career by copying Madonna, but at least she never took that pair of nepotistic idiots to the stage!

    (Also, she advised people her fans to “work harder” to pay for the abusive-priced tickets to her shows, instead of being a little generous and maybe cutting some of her ludicrous profits to make the thing more affordable. Way to go, your insensitive asshole.)

  88. 88
    DLC

    Not being a Madonna fan, I used the halftime show to get food. As to why I might not be a Madonna fan.. . simple. her style of music doesn’t appeal to me. [full stop]
    I’m not going to bother with detailed explanations, music is a highly subjective thing.

  89. 89
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    I thought the whole thing was pretty tame and lame. The game (save the last 5 mins), the commercials, the half-time show. All of it.

    Madonna was fine except the lip-syncing parts. She was as good as any other halftime show save maybe Prince. But I’ve never been a big fan of the half-time shows anyway. So over produced and fakey.

    The whole thing as a package is so over hyped that there is no way it could live up to the hype.

  90. 90
    josephgoodrich

    Why I Hate Madonna

    Since it’s such a fascinating topic (not!) and because you’re all just DYING to hear my opinion on this (also NOT!) here’s why I can’t stand that lip-synching cyborg.

    First, the basics. The voice? Hardly noteworthy. She whines, she strains, she lip-synchs. She can neither sing softly nor loudly, only somewhere in-between. She has neither the strength of a Tina Turner or an Etta James nor the softness or grace of an Ella or Peggy Lee. Her musical expressiveness runs the gamut from A to B and her lack of vocal integrity stands out clearly when her voice is compared to any of the great singers of any style in the 100 year-plus history of recorded music.

    The dancing? Surely even the most dedicated of amateurs could do better. She moves around the stage like a strutting robot without the slightest hint of charm or style. Again, compared to the great dancers of the last century—not even including the greats in the classical arena—she appears to be nothing more than a time-keeping bionic woman, executing steps that could be performed by anyone with enough strength and flexibility to endure an advanced Pilates class.

    Of course, all of this would be forgiven if there were something about her performance style that was appealing. All great performers in all styles do more than just sing the notes and words and/or execute their steps. Actors aren’t just acting, they’re saying something with their acting. There seems to be a reason a performer is doing what they’re doing—maybe it’s a passion for a particular style of music that leads a performer to the stage (Pavarotti), or a message he/she is trying to send to the world (Mahalia Jackson, Joan Baez), or an energy (hopefully positive) he/she is trying to inspire from an audience (Mick Jagger, Bruce Springsteen, even Ethel Merman), or maybe it’s just a love of music or dance or singing or whatever it is that leads them, or even forces them, to the stage. The average consumer of music doesn’t think about these things, of course, but the message comes through nonetheless. And although any particular individual’s sense of these things may be slightly different, in my experience the general effect of a performer on an audience is usually essentially the same.

    What Madonna seems to be saying with her performance style seems quite clear to me. It’s not a love of dancing, like Michael Jackson, which gets her on the stage every night. It’s not the pure joy of singing, nor a love of the art of music that gets her out of the dressing room and into the spotlight. It’s simply her desire to be worshipped. Every move she makes, every line she sings, seems to say, “You can look at me, but DON’T TOUCH”. She’s seductive enough to pull you in slightly, and then with one glance she pushes you away. She’s the self-anointed Queen of pop music in the worst sense. Like any Royal, she’s there to be adored, fascinated by, honored and glorified, but only through a thick, impenetrable pane of glass. We commoners are not allowed inside her heart and mind but forced and encouraged to stand in wonder and awe. We are all serfs in her pop music dominion.

    I’m not one for worship. I find it contemptible, and an insult to human dignity. However, I find great joy in basking in the light of the incredible talents of my fellow human beings. I love going to a play, an opera, a concert, or even watching a sporting event on TV and thinking to myself with utter amazement: “Wow! Look at what that guy can do!” And even when the talent is not that inspiring, maybe the real take-away from a musical, theatrical, or sporting event is just a smile, and a sense that that person up there, on the stage or on the field was, perhaps in spite of his or her own fears or insecurities, giving it their all.

    I have no idea what the actual woman, Madonna Louise Ciccone, is like. Perhaps she’s nothing like the idol she presents to us. Perhaps she’s a loving friend, a giving wonderful mother. I would hope so—I’d even bet she is. But I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about the mythology, the image, the product she presents. I feel that the central hook of her appeal is religious in nature, one of worship and idolatry. I mean, for Christ’s sake, she’s called “MADONNA”!

    Maybe when she dies we’ll start hearing accounts of her face appearing on slices of toast.

  91. 91
    craigmcgillivary

    Madonna’s halftime show was fucking awesome.

  92. 92
    Rip Steakface

    PZ nailed it with the halftime show. It was cheesy, grandiose, overblown synth pop. Madonna is a fine performer who’s far, far outside my realm of musical interest. Now, that said, LMFAO? There’s a reason several people call them the Douche Duo. Just hear 5 friggin’ seconds of Sexy And I Know It (which, mind you, was the #1 song on the Billboard 100 at the beginning of the year) to understand how they’re terrible and need to get the hell out of the spotlight, much less be part of the Super Bowl Halftime spectacle.

    And as I mentioned, the drumlines were sabotaged by their own size. 15 snares was an underestimate of incredible proportions. It looked more like 30 rewatching that segment, at the very least. I’m terrified to know the size of the bass lines – probably like 50 to 80 high school players on the most watched program in American television.

    And Cee Lo was… okay. I’ll still stick by the “fine enough musician, shitty person” comment given that he ruined Imagine, but still wrote one of the only good pop songs I’ve ever heard.

  93. 93
    David Marjanović

    And please, everyone deposit their aggressive indifference towards football and/or sports in general here.

    Why do you write that before anyone has done what you suggest?

    Dost thou protest too much?

    finger malfunction

    :-D :-D :-D

    I wish I could live in a universe where the coloured metaphors weren’t instantly followed by the fundagelicals (I still want to type fudgsicles) flopping about in fainting hysterics.

    That’s not a universe where that’s happening, it’s just the USA. Elsewhere in the West, the “finger malfunction” would at most have triggered a mild smile (that’s the wording my e-mail provider’s news section used).

  94. 94
    Nick Gotts

    Don’t like sports? Don’t watch them. – gridlore

    Like sports? Sure, watch them. But as long as they appear on News programmes FFS, get repeatedly trailed in advance, pay top players ridiculous amounts of money and adulation, or divert public money to build new temples to their gods (as is currently happening in the UK for the Olympics), I’ll sneer as much as I like.

  95. 95
    ButchKitties

    The halftime show was okay. I’m not gonna get judgmental about the music because I’ve always considered Madonna to be a performer/entertainer rather than a pure musician. Halftime was a big, visual spectacle. That’s what the situation called for.

    I live in Indianapolis (a few miles down the street from where the game was played actually) and I’m a big football fan, so this week has been fantastically fun for me. I know a lot of people were perplexed by the choice of Indy as the host city, but unlike a lot of cities, our stadium is in our downtown. It was super easy to go to all the SB activities on foot. The city closed the roads and downtown turned into a huge and surprisingly well behaved block party. A lot of my friends’ bands got to play on the SB village main stage. It’s been one of the few times I’ve actually been happy to live here.

    My one regret is that we weren’t able to leverage the SB into a smoking ban that applies to bars. Well, that and the fact that Monument Circle won’t remain permanently closed to motor vehicle traffic.

  96. 96
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    You mean, there was a game on?

    Just kidding. I live in New England, and the most exposure I got to the Superbowl was going to the supermarket yesterday afternoon and seeing lots of people in Patriots-themed shirts and jackets. {{eyeroll}}

    While driving in about an hour ago I heard a headline to the effect that psychologists are saying that Patriots fans will feel “down” this morning. As someone with a history of real depression: Boo hoo fucking hoo. Invest your emotions in something more important than a bunch of overpaid men who throw and catch a ball.

    Rey Fox, Gridlore, the ironically named “getoveryourselves,” and especially Rip Steakface: Oh, deal with it. Sports worship is ubiquitous in the U.S.; those of us who aren’t interested in it, especially men, have it shoved in our faces constantly, and American boys who don’t like sports are derided as “sissies” and with other homophobic epithets.

    Pteryxx, I’m glad this Superbowl wasn’t homophobic, but … I don’t know why football teams should get pats on the back for basic human decency, either. Especially since the sport is rife with misogyny.

    Josh, to be fair… wait, Giliell already said it. But women who are passively compliant certainly don’t avoid all the hate. Strong women are derided as “whores,” “ballbreakers,” etc., but compliant women are derided as “weak,” “typical females,” etc.

    That’s the thing about a patriarchy: Women can’t win.

    Improbable Joe: Most people in the entertainment industry aren’t nice. Madtom: Madonna’s not the only one who gets excessive airplay, and she’s certainly not the only performer into woo. How does any of that justify the misogynist abuse that’s been hurled at her?

    jjgdenisrobert, good to see you’re as clueful about gender issues as ever.

  97. 97
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    I enjoyed the game, though I was cheering for the Patriots.

    I enjoyed the halftime show (it was entertaining, which is more than Up With People ever managed) even though I was not a fan of Madonna in the 80s and continue so today.

    I enjoyed most of the commercials, though GoDaddy has gauranteed that I will never, ever, utilize their services.

    Is there a word for advertising that achieves the absolute opposite of the intended result? GoDaddy and Burger King come to mind as examples.

  98. 98
    jolo5309

    Since I am more elitist than all of you, I only watched the Super Bowl during breaks in the action of Puppy Bowl VIII.

    Then only problem was, our dog kept trying to join them, so I had to keep him from jumping onto the TV set.

  99. 99
    madtom1999

    PZ said “I don’t quite understand all the hating..”
    I’ve just remembered where it comes from – its competitive sport!
    Its the same ingroup outgroup shit that causes trouble the world over.
    If you cant get a handle on that try reading ‘Sex and War’ – while it naively “Offers a Path to a Safer World” when it really is a guidebook for tyrants everywhere it pretty much gets a handle on how sport works.
    Take way the hate and you take away the gain for many.

  100. 100
    Anthony K

    Isn’t it possible, in fact, that she’s been given a pass all these years *because* she’s an attractive woman, and that that’s where the sexism really lies?

    For over three decades? What, you think she’s the only attractive woman who can hold a note?

    Is this some version of “women get it so easy”? You wanna whine about having to pay speeding tickets because you ain’t got tits?

    If the above is too hard for you, then of course it’s possible; it’s just incredibly, on-par-with-Jesus-being-accurately-quoted unlikely.

  101. 101
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Then only problem was, our dog kept trying to join them, so I had to keep him from jumping onto the TV set.

    I remember having a terrier named Gandalf. From my memories of him, this presents a really strange picture. Not sure whether to thank you or not.

    For over three decades?

    This for truth! There are many performers I do not like, but, any group or artist who can hang around for 30 years must be doing lots of things right.

  102. 102
    carbonbasedlifeform

    I generally agree with #90, but I will point out that Madonna has one great talent: self-promotion. She is fantastic at that.

    BTW, I liked her in Evita. She was playing herself — which was quite appropriate for playing the essentially similar Eva Peron.

  103. 103
    carlie

    joseph – how old are you? No, seriously. I’ve noticed that people who didn’t live through certain phenomena don’t really understand their impact. You might not like Madonna, and you might think she’s just like all those other pop stars, but the thing is that she is the one who created that genre. Yes, she wasn’t the only one, but she did it the biggest and splashiest and the first.

    As for Gaga, it pains me to see how many people think she’s just a Madonna wannabe. She’s quite different in some really important ways – Madonna is always working within gender-enforced norms; she’s gorgeous and you want her and she knows it and she’s going to play you by using it. Gaga is the honey badger of gender-enforced norms; she knows she’s conventionally beautiful, but she’s going to screw your mind over with it and warp it beyond anything you’d find attractive and not give a fuck what you think about it.

  104. 104
    davem

    The Superbowl was on TV here in the UK last night. I didn’t watch; 4 hours sleep seemed a better use of my time. But one thing I have to say: Why do these ‘finely honed athletes’ need a half time break that’s so long, that you can fit in 24 adverts and a show by Madonna and Co?

    Were the bunch of sissies exhausted by a whole 2 hours of (mostly ) inaction?

    And what’s the Madonna hating all about? Sure, it was overblown, but isn’t the whole occasion just as overblown? And that ‘finger trouble’ went with the words; at least you know she’s sincere about the lyrics :0) Given the words of the song, what on Earth were the broadcasters expecting?

  105. 105
    myeck waters

    Just watched the halftime show and most of the new ads. I’ve never been a fan of Madonna but I’ve always respected her. I have to say that I didn’t think the songs used were a particularly good fit for a halftime show in terms of mood.

    I really liked the video projections on the ground in front of the stage, and since you could clearly see the field when they weren’t projecting images I was wondering how they did that. Then toward the end they projected the field being pulled under the stage like it was a big throw rug – neat visual trick.

    I had been planning to be busy on Sunday, but around 3pm I wrenched my back really badly, and lying on the sofa in a naproxin-induced stupor, ended up falling asleep to a terrible old Japanese SF film called Message From Space. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

  106. 106
    myeck waters

    davem, the half hour break is very long by football standards. The Super Bowl has just evolved into a spectacle that has little to do with the actual sport.

  107. 107
    Eskeptrical Engineer

    davem, the Superbowl fits in more time for commercials than any other game (and at millions of dollars a pop, who can blame them?), but the halftime break is common to all football games. It’s a chance for players to recover, rehydrate, and deal with any injuries, but it’s also a chance for the team to reevaluate strategy. The other team may be playing differently than you had expected, and this is your best chance to change your own intended plays.

    And as a former marching band member, halftime shows will always be near and dear to my heart.

  108. 108
    humanape

    I’m not very interested in football and I’m even less interested in Madonna. I watched part of the game to see the commercials. The best commercial was from Chrysler near the end of halftime. What made it perfect was it was more of an advertisement for our entire country than for their cars. It was nice to be reminded what kind of country this is.

    The YouTube video: Halftime in America

  109. 109
    gridlore

    @davem 104:

    Normally the halftime break is fifteen minutes. They extend it for the Superbowl, something a lot of fans disagree with.

    Sissies? American football isn’t an impact sport, it’s a collision sport. The average NFL career lasts three years, and 70% of former NFL players have a physical disability linked to their playing days. If you want to talk sissies, may I suggest you explain to us why Premier League footbsllers flop to the ground like they’ve been shot at the slightest contact with an opposing player? Are Europeans that fragile?

  110. 110
    Tualha

    @5:

    You would never, ever, ever, ever hear that kind of vicious and real hate directed at a man.

    O RLY? I’m sure President Obama would be glad to hear that.

  111. 111
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    When I was about 16, I watched Casablanca. And I hated it. It was a movie stuffed with more cliches than you can shake an overused cliche at.

    Then, a few years later, I watched a stage version of 42nd Street. I even found a beta of the original movie and watched that. And they were full of cliches.

    I dismissed The Beatles as being a perfect example of many of the cliches extant in popular movies.

    Somewhere around age 20, I realized that Casablanca, 42nd Street and The Beatles either created the cliche, or made the cliche meaningful which meant that, at the time of the creation of that piece of art, it was not a cliche.

    Madonna, in the 80s, created a cliche which has now been done to death. The reason she became a cliche is that she did it so well. She became the model for many other beautiful, sexy, talented and well-marketed young women who became (most of them) shooting stars. Kids (and by this, I mean those of you under, say, age 40 20), all of the artistic cliches got their start somewhere. Don’t hate the originator because they were immitated.

  112. 112
    Pteryxx

    The athletes don’t need a half-hour break; it’s for the show and advertisers. Regular and playoff football games have a 12-minute break, and the Patriots actually practiced with a half-hour break to prep for the Super Bowl. (Source) Football doesn’t need all the commercial breaks during play, either – TV advertising introduced them.

    Besides, burst activity isn’t the same as sustained activity. Go to biking, swimming or marathons to see what humans look like doing that. Football’s built around short plays with high exertion. Hockey’s often got less interruptions, and players still rotate on and off the bench after thirty to sixty seconds of effort; basketball and baseball take even less sustained effort than football does. Heck, soccer’s got no formal breaks at all, and look how slow THAT is.

  113. 113
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    Giliell,

    this story has been underreported due to the lack of significance of the event in Germany.

    http://www.handelsblatt.com/sport/sonstige-sportarten/kritik-der-zuschauer-sat-1-verpatzt-die-super-bowl-uebertragung/6166982.html

    Later, the commentator in question apologised and said he had wanted to say “true German” instead of “pureblooded German” (or actually literally “purebred”). Because someone with dual US-German citizenship cannot be a “true German”.

  114. 114
    Nick Gotts

    The average NFL career lasts three years, and 70% of former NFL players have a physical disability linked to their playing days. If you want to talk sissies – gridlore

    Ah, I see: you’re showing how ridiculous sports fans are by exaggeration of their moronic attitudes. But you’ve taken it a bit too far to be plausible: I mean, who could possibly view the fact that “70% of former NFL players have a physical disability linked to their playing days” as something to boast about?

  115. 115
    Chris Booth

    Alex Samaras @ #4:

    Maybe there will be an interesting football match somewhere in the world today.

    Indeed. I watched the football game at 7:00 Eastern time, here in New York. It was a good game. Very close, both teams played well. There were flashes of inspiration and extraordinary skill and intense physicality. World-class athletes with state-of-the-art training and coaching!

    Chelsea was up 3 to 0 several minutes into the second half, and then Manchester United clawed their way back up, and tied the game. The last few minutes were edge-of-the-seat stuff, as both teams played exciting, flowing, attacking football. No superb owl’s eggs, actual spheres! [Thank you for that Frazerian re-image of the U.S. game.]

    I hadn’t realized that there were so many soccer fans in my apartment building here in Brooklyn, but I heard sporadic cheers and footstompings vibrate through my walls periodically while I watched the game. In fact, their enthusiasm for–Chelsea? Man U?–must be truly great, because I heard the cheering go on after the game.

    It was a good game, and will be shown in future “EPL classic matches”, I am sure. But it still seems funny that my neighbors who were shouting last night should be so enthusiastic about a tied game. [shrugs]

  116. 116
    andyo

    I tuned into the chess channel all day just out of spite.

  117. 117
    andyo

    Re: Madonna.

    I also, like Josh (though I’m not a fan) wonder why everyone goes out of their way to hate her. Even when she lipsyncs, dances not-so-greatly or does flashy, overt stunts, there are many others who do it worse.

    She’s not an opera singer, she’s a showperson, just like Michael Jackson was (cue angry, indignant MJ fans).

  118. 118
    spamamander, internet amphibian

    Personally I think if my 12 year old son found the GoDaddy ads vile that says a lot. This is the age where he may not “like girls” but damn if he isn’t curious to get a better look at ‘em, and he was up in arms. “That’s gross! They shouldn’t be showing that with kids watching! What does that have to do with a website?”

  119. 119
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    I tuned into the chess channel all day just out of spite.

    Seriously? That weird British musical gets an entire channel? That’s odd, mate. Odd.

  120. 120
    andyo

    And “I don’t like her as a person”. Why give a shit if you think a celebrity is stupid? If you liked her as a person, would you be a fan?

  121. 121
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    I don’t like Madonna. That whole virgin birth thing is such a load of bullshit.

  122. 122
    jolo5309

    Madonna, in the 80s, created a cliche which has now been done to death. The reason she became a cliche is that she did it so well. She became the model for many other beautiful, sexy, talented and well-marketed young women who became (most of them) shooting stars. Kids (and by this, I mean those of you under, say, age 40 20), all of the artistic cliches got their start somewhere. Don’t hate the originator because they were immitated.

    Exactly! I am not a Madonna fan, but I do recognise a pioneer. Lady Gaga, for all the claims she is like Madonna, is a pioneer as well, as she has pushed the boundaries that Madonna made.

  123. 123
    frog

    Over 40? Try over 50. Madonna’s 53. Given that, she looks spectacular. I want the name of her plastic surgeon, because s/he is a genius.

    I didn’t like Madonna when she first showed up–a combination of my youthful rebellion against anything popular and the fact that she sounded like an idiot when she spoke. I remember seeing her on the Johnny Carson show and thinking she had to be on drugs, because she was having trouble tracking the conversation.

    But after a number of years, particularly after she had her children, I started to really like her. Truth or Dare notwithstanding, you didn’t hear about Madonna being found face-down in a toilet bowl in a nightclub, or trashing her hotel room, or having one-night stands with every two-bit wannabe. I don’t recall her ever entering rehab, or being photographed getting out of a car without underwear (except when she did it on purpose).

    In an environment of growing trash media stories, Madonna wasn’t getting trashed. At some point it became clear to me that her “bad girl” image was carefully created, and in fact she had turned into a real adult and simply wasn’t misbehaving in any way that paparazzi could find. Compare how she’s raised her children (including taking time off from her career) to, for instance, Michael Jackson.

    She’s not given to excessive spouting of her opinions, and she clearly works her ass off to produce show-as-spectacle and give the audience a huge volume of entertainment. I don’t admire everything she’s done, and her flavor of pop music isn’t really my bag, but I admire the hell out of her work ethic.

  124. 124
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Tualha, #110: You do realize the topic was misogyny, not racism, correct?

  125. 125
    myeck waters

    KG #114

    Ah, I see: you’re showing how ridiculous sports fans are by exaggeration of their moronic attitudes. But you’ve taken it a bit too far to be plausible: I mean, who could possibly view the fact that “70% of former NFL players have a physical disability linked to their playing days” as something to boast about?

    Were they boasting? Looked to me they were specifically replying to the idea that Merkin football is a sissy game.

  126. 126
    gridlore

    myeck waters #125

    Yeah, that was my point. I’ve been lucky enough to meet several pro football players. These guys are huge. They’re big, strong, and even the 300-lb linemen are fast. They rack up injuries and still want to play. I remember a linebacker with a broken forearm who played in a cast.

    World football has players who flop at the slightest touch.

  127. 127
    scriabin

    The Super Bowl production team were pretty much screwed whatever they did.

    That’s the problem when you’re catering to a crowd (and TV audience) that is tuning in to watch “an event”, not just an audience-specific music event or sporting event. The normal rule of “know your audience” doesn’t apply.

    Here’s how they think:

    Bring in KISS or Van Halen or AC/DC to appeal to the bozo old jock market? You’ll be crucified as using outdated dinosaurs.

    Bring in great hip-hop act that is current and viable? Your redneck audience goes nuts.

    Bring in Madonna (whatever you think of her)? You have the fallout that already happened – no matter now good she is.

    Bring in headliners for Coachella? You’re terrified of losing your bozo old jock market.

    How about a country act? Oh goodness, y’all! There goes the African-American viewer!

    This is about marketing a spectacle, and marketing people are terrified of losing any portion of a market share. Including bigots, misogynists and other random assholes. And marketing people play to crude stereotypes (as noted by my “potentially offended” thought-process examples above).

    They should probably chop it back down to 15 minutes and throw a marching band on the field. Having some music personality perform doesn’t add anything to the game, nor does it help the music personality’s career.

  128. 128
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Bring in KISS or Van Halen or AC/DC

    ♫ One of these things is not like the other, one of these things just doesn’t belong. ♬

  129. 129
    Lynna, OM

    Every time I see one of the female pop stars dancing and singing, I get sympathy pains. Those high heels are murder on one’s feet and on one’s dancing technique.

    The males dancers, as seen in a Michael Jackson performance that Janine linked to in The Endless Thread, get to dance in shoes with a flat sole, or with a very small heel. That makes a huge difference in terms of balance, and in the chances a dancer can take.

    Those high heels restrict the body’s expressive capabilities. I’d love to see them go out of style. They are good for posing, but not for dancing.

  130. 130
    vltava

    This seems like a good time to bring this up. http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/10/19/091019fa_fact_gladwell

    I’m puzzled that some people find the brutal, debilitating, dramatically life-shortening effects of this sport on its players something to be proud of. “Soccer players are killed and maimed at a many-orders-of-magnitude lower rate by their sport than football players – how pathetic soccer players are!”

    No one should play football. No one should watch it. No one should be proud of being a fan.

  131. 131
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    ♫ One of these things is not like the other, one of these things just doesn’t belong. ♬

    Yeah. One actually plays music.

    Well, sort of.

  132. 132
    Nick Gotts

    Were they boasting? Looked to me they were specifically replying to the idea that Merkin football is a sissy game. – myeck waters

    Yes, that certainly looks like boasting about the game to me, especially from someone calling themselves “gridlore”.

    They rack up injuries and still want to play. I remember a linebacker with a broken forearm who played in a cast. – gridlore

    Were they such complete morons before they started playing, or is it all the blows to the head?

  133. 133
    Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts

    Lynna, OM, you are so very mistaken. I take it you haven`t seen Kazaky perform? High heels, they may hurt, but they don’t restrict the body’s expressive capabilities that I can see and males can and do dance in them too.

    I will now watch males dance nearly naked in high heels. I demand more high heels!

    _____

    OT, I watched the half-time show and quite enjoyed it. Madonna et al. are performers and they performed. This seems uncontroversial.

    As for Football, well, it was played.

  134. 134
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    No one should play football. No one should watch it. No one should be proud of being a fan.

    Well shit, all this time and I never knew I needed you to tell me what to do and think.

  135. 135
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Rush Limbaugh was there and he picked his nose.

  136. 136
    myeck waters

    No, KG, pointing out that a game is brutal when people have been using words like “sissy” to describe it does not constitute boasting about the brutality.

    Whether you approve of that brutality is irrelevant. Whether gridlore loves the game is irrelevant. gridlore has not made any boasts about the brutality. They have clearly indicated that they admire players for their willingness to continue playing a game they love even knowing it is damaging them – but that is not boasting about the brutality.

  137. 137
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Rush Limbaugh was there and he picked his nose.

    Yes, yes he did. In the Patriot’s owner’s box. Which, I guess at this point, not so strangely enough also had Steven Tyler in it.

    The box, not Limbaugh’s nose.

  138. 138
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Yes, yes he did. In the Patriot’s owner’s box. Which, I guess at this point, not so strangely enough also had Steven Tyler in it.

    But it could explain so much about why Tyler has been so worthless in recent decades.

  139. 139
    Chris Booth

    I watched a couple of minutes into the video PZ attached. It was dreck.

    Madonna is not talented, even within the category of pop music. Her voice is not above-average for singers, and her expressiveness is negligible. There is always someone who gets their way to stardom by luck and self-promotion, and by exploiting the titivation of scandal, rather than by being genuinely outstanding. It happens in every art/entertainment field.

    Without electronic fiddling, she wouldn’t be able to do anything as a singer.

    Her dancing–she’s not a dancer. She is an untalented person in good physical condition who has been well-rehearsed. To praise her dancing is to insult the millions around the world really working hard and with real talent, and who never have the breaks or luck to “succeed”. Do you know any dancers living for dance, suffering and working every day and living in pain who have a universe to express, and who can’t “break in” or “get a break”? I’m in New York, and they are waitresses and freelancers and temps, and you see them around. The young woman walking to the kitchen to place your order, and you suddenly note the rocklike calves and the turnout, or the young lady quietly reading next to you on the bench who wearily gets up to get on the subway, her body straight and her feet also turned out. Do you really think Madonna is good enough to be one of the anonymous rank of “dancers” in her show? And those people are not moonlighting from their day-jobs at the Kirov, either. Do you really think that she could work as a no-name studio musician?

    She is a nasty, manipulative person who is into woo. She is a posturer–not an artist. All too often, our time lacks the cultural chops to distinguish the two.

    She is a star the way The Monkees were stars. Packaging. Promotion.

    She is not an “original”. She is not “authentic”. She picked up on the pattern already around, such as Cher, and the marketing people and her natural tendency to titillate and self-promote boosted her onward.

    Original?!? Is she a Jimi? A Janice? A Louis Armstrong? An Ella or Billie? An Edith Piaf? A Sinatra? An Amalia Rodrigues? Etc., etc., etc. Does she carry a message into pop music like The Who, like Dylan, Simon and Garfunkle, like any number of 1960s folksingers? Can she stand on her own as a singer without the electronic manipulation, the light show, the dancers, the sexual innuendoes, the risqué photos, the risqué dialogue on talk shows, the marketing, the self-promotion, the familiarity that her recordings already have, could she get in the door at a blind audition open to any?

    What bothers me, is that her notoriety, her market-share, her success is at the cost of really talented people not getting a chance. If she answered a casting-call anonymously, someone else would get the gig. Any number of others did not get the gig. And will not get the gig. And that, conblogères, is harm spread over decades.

    Science works in a different way. When Einstein or Darwin were mistaken, they were mistaken. Their papers, if they were to submit them now, somehow, from beyond, would not appear in a modern journal, unless the science were good enough. No scientist, however well-known, can supplant an unknown if the unknown has better science. If Stephen Hawking, science’s current living rock star, produced a paper of mathematical drivel, it would not supplant a good paper by a no-name undergrad from Anywhere State. Even sports–Pele is Pele, but no team wants him now; there are empirical results that supercede stardom. If you extend the same standards into pop culture–even within the standards of pop culture–Madonna wouldn’t get a moment’s consideration, and never would have.

    Here’s some singing and artistic expression, in a powerful personality–but personality controlled in service of the music:
    Dido’s Lament

  140. 140
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    She is a star the way The Monkees were stars. Packaging. Promotion.

    Cheap shot. Peter Tork and Micheal Nesmith were musicians and Nesmith actually had a creditable music career after the Monkees ended.

  141. 141
    andyo

    please, now tell us how you really feel.

    I think anything that’s not 70′s Argentinian rock is pure shit and no one should listen to it.

  142. 142
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Chris Booth:

    I point you to my #11 (or #111 or #211 (my browser on this computer cuts off the first digit)).

    But anyone who does not view the BeeGees and The Village People as the greatest and most original artists of all time has no cultchah!

  143. 143
    davem

    World football has players who flop at the slightest touch.

    Some of them are cheating – trying to get a penalty out of it. Having had to play the game in my youth, I can vouch for it hurting like fuck when you do get hit…

    The best spectator sport I’ve seen is hurling – fast and furious. We get to see a game about once a year on TV. Aussie rules isn’t bad, either. I’d rate both of them streets ahead of the American game, myself.

  144. 144
    vltava

    Well shit, all this time and I never knew I needed you to tell me what to do and think.

    You don’t. If you’re violently anti-humanistic and you enjoy watching men kill each other for sport, that’s a barbaric ritual which society has not yet collectively condemned and you still have the right to participate in it. I’m just expressing my opinion of the activity. And stating my reasons for that view. As a veteran Pharyngulite, your response is pathetic.

  145. 145
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    vltava:

    So, having played organized football at the high school level, does this mean that I am still violently anti-humanistic, or is there hope for me?

  146. 146
    vltava

    I was referring to adult, skeptical humanists who are fans and ought to know better.

  147. 147
    andyo

    If you’re violently anti-humanistic and you enjoy watching men kill each other for sport, that’s a barbaric ritual which society has not yet collectively condemned and you still have the right to participate in it.

    “making arguments” is not so much your thing, is it?

  148. 148
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    I was referring to adult, skeptical humanists who are fans and ought to know better.

    Hmm. I wonder which one I am not. Do I have to guess, or will you inform me of that at your convenience?

  149. 149
    carlie

    Seriously? That weird British musical gets an entire channel? That’s odd, mate. Odd.

    Bangkok! Oriental setting and the city don’t know what the city is getting

    Thanks, now that will be in my head all day.

  150. 150
    leonpeyre

    There are up sides to being uninterested in spectator sports. I took advantage of the afternoon to make a Costco run–it’s always less crowded on Superbowl afternoon.

  151. 151
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Thanks, now that will be in my head all day.

    Glad to be of service.

  152. 152
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    I don’t like it either when stars are into woo like Madonna seems to be because of the influence they have on society as potential role models (Scientology also comes to mind as a group that actively tries to exploit the pull of stardom for their own purposes), but unfortunately the list is long, and even more stars are into the woo that is called mainstream religion…

  153. 153
    vltava

    PZ Myers and Pharyngula have had a profound influence on me – making me more skeptical, better at reasoning, more liberal, more feminist, more unflinching and emphatic in speaking unpopular truths. The responses to me in this thread from core posters are lazy and not typical of my experience.

  154. 154
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    …and even more stars are into the woo that is called mainstream religion…

    Leave poor Mr. Cameron alone. After all, I’ve heard his choo-choo has gone around the bend.

  155. 155
    andyo

    Of course, my snark in #141 was at Chris Booth’s drivel, not at Janine’s #140 which wouldn’t make sense anyway.

    Science works in a different way. [irrelevancy cut] Even sports–Pele is Pele, but no team wants him now; there are empirical results that supercede stardom. If you extend the same standards into pop culture–even within the standards of pop culture–Madonna wouldn’t get a moment’s consideration, and never would have.

    They’re all the same. The most important thing that matters in science, sports and pop showbiz are results. Madonna is very popular, period. Pelé can’t give results now because of age. You think it’s the same for Madonna?

  156. 156
    vltava

    Hmm. I wonder which one I am not. Do I have to guess, or will you inform me of that at your convenience?

    I know your reading comprehension is not normally as spectacularly poor as you demonstrated in this post – quite the opposite. I believe that you are exactly what I stated: an adult, skeptical humanist who ought to know better. I think this is a good example of compartmentalization and how people get touchy and less clear-thinking when their sacred cows are slaughtered. cf. the Fireplace Delusion.

  157. 157
    vltava

    “making arguments” is not so much your thing, is it?

    Your concern is noted.

  158. 158
    andyo

    PZ Myers and Pharyngula have had a profound influence on me – making me more skeptical, better at reasoning, more liberal, more feminist, more unflinching and emphatic in speaking unpopular truths. The responses to me in this thread from core posters are lazy and not typical of my experience.

    Your hollow, dismissive, condescending concern is noted. You still haven’t made your case that (American) Football is “men killing each other for sport”.

  159. 159
    andyo

    Your concern is noted.

    jinx!

  160. 160
    andyo

    …except that you don’t seem to know what is concern trolling.

  161. 161
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    I know your reading comprehension is not normally as spectacularly poor as you demonstrated in this post – quite the opposite.

    Oh, ye of unfounded faith.

    Tell you what. Since you know what you want as a response, and my response (and others) are not up to your standards, go ahead and compose the response I should be giving to elitist demagoguery. Then you can be happy with the response you recieve.

  162. 162
    vltava

    I linked an article.

    It’s interesting how often football players are knocked out and leave the field on a stretcher, yet the entertainment value of the rest of the game lets people rationalize away this evidence of the harmful nature of the sport as if these occurences were an aberration instead of a completely natural and unsurprising consequence of the repeated clashes between the offensive and defensive lines.

  163. 163
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    You don’t. If you’re violently anti-humanistic and you enjoy watching men kill each other for sport, that’s a barbaric ritual which society has not yet collectively condemned and you still have the right to participate in it. I’m just expressing my opinion of the activity. And stating my reasons for that view.

    Oh I apologize that I don’t agree with your opinion, even when you tell me I should think exactly like you do you or I’m a violent anti-humanist.

    Are you condemning just football or is it any competitive endeavor where the participant, who chooses to play, risks injury?

    As a veteran Pharyngulite, your response is pathetic.

    I don’t fit into your little box of what a Pharyngula veteran should be? I has sad.

    I was referring to adult, skeptical humanists who are fans and ought to know better.

    Whew, I was worried my new life coach had run off.

    PZ Myers and Pharyngula have had a profound influence on me – making me more skeptical, better at reasoning, more liberal, more feminist, more unflinching and emphatic in speaking unpopular truths. The responses to me in this thread from core posters are lazy and not typical of my experience.

    Because some of us just don’t fall in line with your hyperbolic outburst about a fucking sport (not sacred cow) we’re being lazy. And even when you toss out buzz words anti-humanistic we don’t fall in line. Oh no.

    And then you’re compounding it with a lot of hollow lecturing and not much substance.

    Perfect.

  164. 164
    vltava

    Ogvorbis – “Elitist” as a pejorative? Surely you haven’t been watching Fox News, at least, I hope not.

  165. 165
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    I linked an article.

    What should my proper response be to your linkdrop?

  166. 166
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    It’s interesting how often football players are knocked out and leave the field on a stretcher, yet the entertainment value of the rest of the game lets people rationalize away this evidence of the harmful nature of the sport as if these occurences were an aberration instead of a completely natural and unsurprising consequence of the repeated clashes between the offensive and defensive lines.

    Ahhh yes. But this is an issue that needs to be addressed. And to some extent is. But that is not a condemnation of the entire sport, or sports in general, it’s the highlighting of an issue that has been recently shown to be more of a problem than they thought.

    I’ve known lots of high school and college and a few pro football players. I’ve also known lots of skiers and lots of climbers.

    Guess from which groups of the above I’ve known multiple people die by participating in their chosen sport? Hint: we haven’t been talking about them so far.

    Yes I know the plural of anecdotes is not data, but are you willing to condemn fans of all sports or is it just football because it’s the most popular and therefore an easy target?

  167. 167
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Ogvorbis – “Elitist” as a pejorative? Surely you haven’t been watching Fox News, at least, I hope not.

    No, elitist as in, ‘since I do not agree with you, I am inferior.’

  168. 168
    vltava

    Whatever you like. If you aren’t interested in the article then you and I are not really capable of discussing it, are we?

  169. 169
    vltava

    But I don’t think you’re inferior, Ogvorbis. I used unequivocal language as I’ve learned to do here, that’s all.

  170. 170
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Whatever you like.

    Except that when I do give you my thoughts, they are dismissed as unworthy of a regular. They are not good enough for you as the arbiter of what a reply to you should be. So it is not whatever I like.

    You are not happy with the responses you have gotten. Fine. I’m okay with that. Write your own and then we will both be happy.

  171. 171
    vltava

    BDC – skiers and climbers die in accidents. The very nature of football, however, spares no one on the line. Brain damage, early onset dementia, are the norm, not an accident, as anyone could expect if they were to be in several dozen small car crashes daily. I do implore you to read Gladwell’s article, if you have time. Whatever you may think of Gladwell and his penchant for drawing far-reaching conclusions from limited data, that is not the case here.

  172. 172
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    But I don’t think you’re inferior, Ogvorbis.

    Your comments suggest otherwise. You have stated that those who do not agree with you about this particular subject are unworthy of being adults or humanists. You have also stated that no reply to your comments has been good enough to satisfy you. You have, rather than making your own argument, droplinked, and expected us to immediately be converted to your opinion. Since we did not, we are, by inference taken from your writings, inferior.

  173. 173
    andyo

    I linked an article.

    Can you point out where in that article it says football is “men killing each other for sport”? I don’t think anyones is saying it’s not violent, and others have said that being a fan of the violence itself is nothing to be proud of. What you’re doing is plain hyperbole with a little strawman on the side.

  174. 174
    vltava

    BDC – I think you’re *not* violently anti-humanistic. I think compartmentalization is required to be humanist and a football fan. I am trying to point out problems with the game. The thread was in part about the Super Bowl, that’s why I wrote about it here, but of course I think similar things about hockey, but not about baseball and basketball. I agree all sports carry an element of risk – indeed, everything – carries an element of risk, but I think that some levels of risk are unreasonable, and that an essential guarantee of serious injury ought to be considered unacceptable.

  175. 175
    vltava

    Naturally most people who watch football are not doing so because they want to see people get hurt. What I am saying is that football guarantees its lineman serious injury and a dramatically reduced life expectancy, and the evidence of all this is available, but football fans avoid noticing that in order to carry on being entertained.

  176. 176
    feralboy12

    If you’re violently anti-humanistic and you enjoy watching men kill each other for sport,

    PZ Myers and Pharyngula have had a profound influence on me – making me more skeptical, better at reasoning,

    News flash: you’re still not very good at reasoning or skepticism. Skeptics care about evidence and try to avoid hyperbole; your “kill each other” remark doesn’t line up well with what I’ve seen watching football for 40+ years. Hundreds of games, thousands of players, haven’t seen anyone die yet.
    You make shit up.

  177. 177
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Well, much as I enjoy being told what I, as an adult and humanist, should think, I’m heading on out. Gonna take Wife out to dinner.

  178. 178
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Oh for goodness’ sake, vltava, get down off your 50-foot-high horse. I don’t like football (the aggressive machismo doesn’t appeal, unless it’s sexeh time) but I don’t think those who do are morally suspect or compartmentalizing anything. Regardless of how dangerous an activity may be, grown people get to do dangerous things and they get to decide that their quality of life is informed by trade-offs and consequences. Just like grown-ups get to smoke. Or do drugs. Or sky-dive. Or over eat. Or whatever.

    And spectators get to enjoy it. No one but Prissy PuritanPants wants to live in your anodyne, sterilized, warm-n-welcoming, safety-appropriate world.

  179. 179
    vltava

    No, feralboy, I don’t make anything up. Read the article, or, at least, read this thread. I care about evidence. I abstain from hyperbole. They don’t die on the field. They die decades early from the brain damage which is the natural consequence of being in what amounts to several dozen small car crashes daily; at least, linemen do.

  180. 180
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    If you aren’t interested in the article then you and I are not really capable of discussing it, are we?

    Apparently you aren’t capable of discussing it intelligently either, but merely keep refering to it, like a tone troll, and like you expect us to mimic your response. Anybody who has lurked here for a while would know better. What’s your excuse? Let’s discuss that.

  181. 181
    vltava

    Have a good meal, Ogvorbis. I didn’t respond to you directly, but the substance of the relevant commentary was covered in the replies I made to BDC and in general.

  182. 182
    vltava

    Nerd of Redhead – in at least three posts, actually, I *have* discussed what is covered in the article.

    This sucks. I love you guys.

  183. 183
    vltava

    Josh, I think you’re drawing false inferences about what I advocate. I am not talking about making football illegal, nor am I condemning the players. I hoping that adult, humanist, skeptical fans would come to acknowledge the effects of the game on the linemen, and that the effects are perhaps much more grave than you realize – it’s not just me saying “oh, they’re getting rough, that’s icky”.

  184. 184
    Therrin

    Put down the shovel.

  185. 185
    vltava

    I’m not in a hole, unless disagreeing with the majority qualifies.

  186. 186
    Nick Gotts

    Well, I see the sports fans for the most part sedulously avoiding discussion of the article vltava linked to, while making a great fuss about an ill-chosen phrase. Rev BDC does admit:

    But this is an issue that needs to be addressed. And to some extent is. But that is not a condemnation of the entire sport

    Seriously? Apparently routine brain damage, dementia and premature death? And a fan, gridlore, tells us 70% of ex-professional players have disabilities acquired from playing. If true, this is hardly something that could have escaped medical notice. Nor should a significant risk of traumatic brain injury have done so. But apparently it did – presumably because: Sport!!!!one!eleven!! Oh, and Profit$$$!!!!!

    WTF would be a condemnation of the entire sport?

  187. 187
    Walton

    Regardless of how dangerous an activity may be, grown people get to do dangerous things and they get to decide that their quality of life is informed by trade-offs and consequences. Just like grown-ups get to smoke. Or do drugs. Or sky-dive. Or over eat. Or whatever.

    I agree with this wholeheartedly, as a principle; and I don’t think anyone is arguing that American football should be made illegal. (Nor should boxing, which is at least equally dangerous.) Individual freedom is important, and that includes the freedom, for adults, to choose to take calculated risks with one’s own body. Just as I think recreational drugs should generally be legal for adults, so too should dangerous sports be. What adults want to do with their own bodies isn’t, in general, the state’s concern.

    However, I think KG is also right that attention does need to be drawn to the medical risks – especially as this is a sport which, as I understand it, boys often play from their early teens onward. I don’t know if vltava’s medical claims are accurate, but if they are, it should have implications for policy. Few of us would argue that thirteen-year-old boys should be free to smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol, say, because they aren’t considered to be old enough to properly appreciate the risks of those activities and to give informed consent; if the claims being made here about the physical dangers of American football are accurate, it seems worrying that the American school system actively encourages, and in some cases compels, boys from their early teens onwards to take part in this sport.

  188. 188
    andyo

    Well, I see the sports fans

    I’m pretty sure some of us don’t even like football. Like me, for instance. I really don’t like it.

    for the most part sedulously avoiding discussion of the article vltava linked to, while making a great fuss about an ill-chosen phrase.

    Maybe cause we don’t take issue so much with the article itself, but the hyperbolic and holier-than-thou conclusions vltava came out with?

  189. 189
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    vltava:

    Josh, I think you’re drawing false inferences about what I advocate. I am not talking about making football illegal, nor am I condemning the players. I hoping that adult, humanist, skeptical fans would come to acknowledge the effects of the game on the linemen, and that the effects are perhaps much more grave than you realize – it’s not just me saying “oh, they’re getting rough, that’s icky”.

    OK. I’m leaving aside the snark totally right now because I want to convey why I think you’re getting the reaction you got. And, I don’t think I’m the only one who inferred this, so I ask you to please consider that it might be the way you wrote.

    You came across as moralistic to the point of being insulting. You made it clear you thought enjoying football (substitute whatever you want) was not compatible with humanism. You were extremely condescending about it too.

    If you meant to convey that the medical risks should be more generally recognized (something I agree with) this was the wrong approach to take. You were more concerned with making character judgments about “bad” humanists (no, no, going on about compartmentalization doesn’t remedy your approach) than you were about the medical issue. If you didn’t mean to seem that way, then you really needed to write in a very different way. My reading and inference is not outrageous or unreasonable—most people would make the same.

    It’s hard to write about things like this without sounding stuffy and pious. We all find it very easy to get up in moral high dudgeon (even if our motivations are good) and get sniffy about the character of people we’re seeking to convince. I’ve done this too so I’m not singling you out. But it is worth reflecting on.

  190. 190
    vltava

    Thanks for that charitable reply Josh – I have to go to a dentist appointment so I don’t have time to write a serious reply of my own at the moment.

  191. 191
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Make sure they give you lots of painkillers! Good luck.

  192. 192
    Anthony K

    Maybe cause we don’t take issue so much with the article itself, but the hyperbolic and holier-than-thou conclusions vltava came out with?

    How weird to see that used as a defence here.

  193. 193
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    BDC – skiers and climbers die in accidents. The very nature of football, however, spares no one on the line. Brain damage, early onset dementia, are the norm, not an accident, as anyone could expect if they were to be in several dozen small car crashes daily. I do implore you to read Gladwell’s article, if you have time. Whatever you may think of Gladwell and his penchant for drawing far-reaching conclusions from limited data, that is not the case here

    Skiers, climbers and football players all know there are risks in the sports they participate in, some known, some unknown. Extreme (oh how I loathe that word) skiers and climbers who participate in their sport at the highest level just like pro football players take extreme risks in the sports they participate in. But they do so of their own volition. The very nature of high level skiing and climbing is that accidents are more of a when then a maybe. Blown knees, ruined joints, head trauma, broken limbs, puncture wounds from equipment, frostbite, pulmonary and cerebral edema, death. The very same with football players. There are many risks to participate in a highly competitive sport where there is contact. I climbed at a relatively low level doing some big walls and alpine climbing and i was involved in 3 or 4 accidents. One almost killing me. I have been on two body recoveries in the Tetons. I personally know 5 people killed climbing in the Rockies and Himalayas. All of these people were veteran climbers and knew the risks they took. Just like football players who play at a high level. The choose to take these risks.

    Should we find ways to limit or eliminate the risks? To some extent yes. We we ever eliminate all of them? No.

    but I think that some levels of risk are unreasonable, and that an essential guarantee of serious injury ought to be considered unacceptable.

    Unreasonable and unacceptable to you. Where do you draw the line?

    KG

    WTF would be a condemnation of the entire sport?

    Not recognizing it has things to address for the safety of its participants? And not acting on it?

    Sport!!!!one!eleven!! Oh, and Profit$$$!!!!!

    Well yeah. People do things to make money. In some cases, like pro football, a big shitload of money. Is this a shock?

    I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that it’s a big reason they are willing to take these risks. And that’s their decision.

    Josh

    grown people get to do dangerous things and they get to decide that their quality of life is informed by trade-offs and consequences.

    Exactly

    However, I think KG is also right that attention does need to be drawn to the medical risks – especially as this is a sport which, as I understand it, boys often play from their early teens onward.

    And it is. Has it always been? No, but it is now and has been for a while.

  194. 194
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    If you meant to convey that the medical risks should be more generally recognized (something I agree with)

    Something I agree with as well.

  195. 195
    andyo

    How weird to see that used as a defence here.

    I don’t get this comment, sorry.

  196. 196
    Anthony K

    I don’t get this comment, sorry.

    Oh, it seemed to me you clearly made a tone argument.

  197. 197
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    I linked several months ago to a Frontline show about the risks of high school football – “Football High.” It was pretty good. You can watch the whole program at my link in that post (not sure whether you can if you’re outside the US).

  198. 198
    andyo

    Oh, it seemed to me you clearly made a tone argument.

    How? Someone who linked the article proceeded to say hyperbolic, condescending things. How is taking issue with the hyperbolic condescension a tone argument?

  199. 199
    Anthony K

    How? Someone who linked the article proceeded to say hyperbolic, condescending things. How is taking issue with the hyperbolic condescension a tone argument?

    It is when you ignore the substance of the argument to focus on the tone instead. Hell, the title of the Gladwell piece is “Offensive Play: How different are dogfighting and football?” How is that not ‘hyperbolic’? And yet you wrote that there wasn’t an issue with the article itself, but with hyperbole and holier-than-thou attitude in which it was shared.

    Considering we’ve had to defend books with hyperbolic and holier-than-thou titles like God is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything and The God Delusion, I think it’s weird for one from this community to use that as a defence.

  200. 200
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    Regarding health risk in American Football (Fun fact: did you know that the Chinese term for it is “olive ball 橄欖球” gan3lan3qiu2?), there is also this very long article in the New Yorker from last year on the “Concussion crisis”

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/01/31/110131fa_fact_mcgrath?currentPage=all

  201. 201
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    olive ball

    I prefer hand egg.

  202. 202
    andyo

    Brownian,
    You think criticism of this:

    If you’re violently anti-humanistic and you enjoy watching men kill each other for sport, that’s a barbaric ritual which society has not yet collectively condemned and you still have the right to participate in it. I’m just expressing my opinion of the activity. And stating my reasons for that view. As a veteran Pharyngulite, your response is pathetic.

    was about tone?
    “men killing each other for sport”, that’s the phrase we’re supposedly clinging to, but that’s also what vltava was seemingly taking issue with so strongly.

    The article does make a comparison with dogfighting, and I think that’s reaching, so there. But again, I don’t take issue with the article as much as I did with vltava’s assertions. They were two different things.

  203. 203
    Anthony K

    You think criticism of this:

    If you’re violently anti-humanistic and you enjoy watching men kill each other for sport, that’s a barbaric ritual which society has not yet collectively condemned and you still have the right to participate in it. I’m just expressing my opinion of the activity. And stating my reasons for that view. As a veteran Pharyngulite, your response is pathetic.

    was about tone?

    You mean the comment that vltava posted after everyone ignored the article to talk about being told what to do à la “No one should play football. No one should watch it. No one should be proud of being a fan.” The article was linked in that first comment. I see a lot of chasing after the vltava’s tone, and not a lot of reading the article.

    The point here is that there is no objective amount of hyperbole that’s one joke (or snark) over the line, and most of us have used it at some point. My impression of what happened here with vltava strikes me as not fundamentally different than what the accommodationists accuse us of doing—closing minds to evidence with attacks that our opponents see as hyperbolic.

    It was probably unfair of me to single you out, andyo, and I think in your last comment here you made a pretty compelling case for what you found objectionable and why, (and Josh did as well).

    I guess I’m just trying to suss out what metric we use when we decry something as hyperbolic.

  204. 204
    Rey Fox

    Truth be told, I wanted to boycott this Super Bowl because I wasn’t interested in the matchup or the halftime show or the commercials. But my friends finally had a party for it for the first year since I came here, so I had to go for food, folks, and fun*. I also wanted to go outside, but the game starts at 5:30 Central, which is not very conducive to outdoor activity at this time of year.

    * There was also marijuana, but I declined; something about watching the Super Bowl in a pot haze surrounded by 16 people most of whom I didn’t know didn’t appeal to me.**

    ** No need for the “pot is what makes the Super Bowl watchable!” comments, let’s just say I don’t necessarily disagree.

  205. 205
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    Rey Fox,

    I remember an article about White House Super Bowl Parties in the past (they didn’t have one this year), where the movers and shakers were interested in discussing politics and networking more than watching the game (and one of the few occasions Republicans and Democrats meet in a social setting), but not the President. He was apparently glued to the screen, not wanting to be distracted by chatter…

  206. 206
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Brownian, I think you’re wrong to call that a tone argument. Complaining about “hyperbolic and holier-than-thou conclusions” is a complaint against substance. And while we all do a great job here getting to the meat of the matter and dismissing tone-as-a-distraction-from-facing-up-to-things, we do sometimes forget that tone does matter. We just draw the line in different spots and over different issues than the tone-trollers who don’t like criticism of religion.

    Feeling justifiably as though one’s moral character has been insulted through the use of stereotype or as a rhetorical ploy is a form of offense I think most of us would find legitimate (yes, we’ll draw the line in different places, but I’m talking about type, not degree). It indicates an unwillingness to start a conversation in good faith. If you don’t find that offensive, well, OK. But it’s not an empty tone complaint.

    It’s not that tone is so illegitimate a criterion, it’s that it’s that it’s so often used to bleat about what would ordinarily be considered normal conversational give and take if the subject were anything but “My Precious Religion.” Don’t let those who misuse tone arguments as a red herring destroy a concept that informs discourse.

  207. 207
    'Tis Himself

    Who cares about football? Let’s talk about a real sport…

    …snooker!

  208. 208
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    Who cares about football?

    Relax, the Euro doesn’t start until June…

  209. 209
    Koshka

    Any number of occupations leave workers with long term health problems. We get our enjoyment from the internet on the back of miners’ and labourers’ health. We are all a bunch of anti-humanists.

  210. 210
    vltava

    They pumped my jaw full of lidocaine. I’m all swollen. To respond to various in a single post:

    In retrospect, I do understand that when virtual unknowns drop a link here and disagree strongly with the Horde, they shouldn’t expect the link to be read immediately, as people who do this are typically linking to religious apologetics, alt-med sites, or other such nonsense, and the presentation is typically of TimeCube quality. Although I was irritated that I was getting responses from those who hadn’t read it, I did see the point and after the initial reaction, I did loosen up a fair bit and reference the gist of Gladwell’s essay several times.

    Part of what I see as the Pharyngula approach is something like “we’re going to use uncompromising, possibly incendiary (from your perspective) language, but we’re going to use evidence and sound reasoning, and its up to you to sort that out, attempt to respond rationally, and not get all offended,” and that’s just about the rhetorical style I’ve developed, or attempted to cultivate, as a result, because I really like it.

    BDC, I didn’t realize that the risks of those sports are so extreme that the risk of serious injury approaches certainty. I do think that fans, young talents, and parents should be aware and make choices accordingly.

    I hardly think that anyone here would mistake the phrase “no one should believe in Christianity, no one should admire anyone for being Christian, and no one should be proud of being a Christian” for “to believe in Christianity should be illegal”.

    I do think it’s clear that the denizens of Pharyngula in general, and all of the regulars who have posted in this thread specifically, are humanistic and skeptical. I never intended to imply otherwise. The argument I was attempting to put forward was something along the lines of: In light of the information here, and how we shrug off the routine and nationally televised occurrences of football players departing the field on stretchers, it takes giving football a religion-style ‘free pass from critical thought’ in order to remain a dedicated football fan. “If you are…” was intended in the colloquial English sense of “you”, i.e. “one”.

    “Killing each other for sport” is a flawed phrase in the sense that the sport of it, from the view of the players and fans, is not necessarily the physical harm that players cause to their opponents. It’s a loaded phrase, I concede, drawing together disparate facts: it’s a sport, people enjoy watching and playing it, and the linemen die premature deaths from it – a key and admittedly not widely known point for which the article at least provides some good evidence.

    You made it clear you thought enjoying football (substitute whatever you want) was not compatible with humanism.

    I do think that unfettered enjoyment of football is not compatible with a combination of skepticism, humanism, access to the facts, and a ruthless refusal to compartmentalize.

  211. 211
    Evader, the parasite-infested branch on the evolutionary tree

    Nobody but America cares about the Super Bowl.

    Just wanted to let you lovely people know :)

    Evader out.

  212. 212
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    I’m not in a hole, unless disagreeing with the majority qualifies.

    No, you’re in the hole for thread jacking, being a supercilious self-righteous prig, and idjit. While you might have had a minor point, your approach suffered from that that of the typical creobot. Here is an article, refute it or agree with me, or you’re an idjit. And you fail to actually put forward the thesis in your opening remarks.

    Try this next time: “this is what I believe, and this is the evidence to back it up (link).” But, we don’t have come to the same same conclusion you do based on one link, so come prepared.

  213. 213
    mikeh

    I’m not sure I’d call myself a Madonna fan, but I have liked some of her work, especially the Blond Ambition and Confessions tour shows. Yes I’m a gay male.

    I watched the half time performance on Youtube and I couldn’t shake the feeling that Madonna had become a self-parody without realizing it. I get it that grandiosity and lip-syncing come with the job, but the staging was just way, way over the top. I was laughing out loud at the Roman army during the intro. Her cape may have been made by Givenchy, but it still looked like a surplus item from Elton John’s closet. After that, it was difficult to even see the performers for the light show and all the projections. It was like a thermonuclear Cher show, but with the star taking herself seriously. Her exit into the blast of smoke and the “WORLD PEACE” projected over the end of the whole mess were just pure stadium-scale camp, but I have a bad feeling the she truly hasn’t realized this herself.

    And the new song… yikes. She called Gaga’s relentless copying of her old stuff “reductive”, and rightly so, but the new single is pretty much the definition of the word.

  214. 214
    vltava

    @Nerd of Redhead #212:

    No, you’re in the hole for thread jacking

    I didn’t threadjack. I was replying to gridlore and I was not the only one.

    being a supercilious self-righteous prig

    Praise the Lord and pass the smelling salts.

    and idjit.

    [citation needed]

    While you might have had a minor point

    It’s not a minor point.

    you fail to actually put forward the thesis in your opening remarks.

    Try this next time: “this is what I believe, and this is the evidence to back it up (link).”

    On that score, consider me duly chastised.

    But, we don’t have come to the same same conclusion you do based on one link, so come prepared.

    Of course you don’t, and the fact that the Horde will dissect an argument is why I love this place.

  215. 215
    darknbubbly

    The Halftime show was all right, I guess. I was distracted, tough; I kept thinking that Madonna should really fire her costume designer. It looked to me like she was wobbling all over the stage in those ridiculously stilettoed boots.

  216. 216
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    evader,

    you’re mistaken.

    Last year almost 1m Germans watched the Super Bowl (17.8% of the viewership watching TV at that hour). Also, since the Super Bowl is the only American Football match shown on German TV, it is thought that hardcore fans actually sign up for the NFL Game Pass and watch it through that, though the numbers for that are hard to come by.

  217. 217
    vltava

    While the comparison Gladwell makes between football and dogfighting is not rigorous because many – perhaps most – football fans are not actually deriving their enjoyment of the sport from seeing serious injury inflicted, the article made the comparison based on outcomes, not intentions, in light of the shock over Michael Vick’s crimes against dogs and the relative public indifference to the health of human football players. A more accurate comparison would be between dogfighting and MMA, which in fact was recently satirized by the Onion (“investigative journalists uncover brutal Vegas-based man-fighting ring”, or something like that), but the cognitive dissonance Gladwell is poking at is more abundantly in evidence in the views of football fans who are unfazed by the actions of Vick.

  218. 218
    mikeh

    I kept thinking that Madonna should really fire her costume designer. It looked to me like she was wobbling all over the stage in those ridiculously stilettoed boots.

    She’s short and tryng to look taller. She’s been fond of that sort of boots and extremely high heels for some time. Not sure that they help much when you’re standing in the middle of a stadium.

    The designer of the clothes was Riccardo Tisci, the creative director for Givenchy. I suspect that the boots came from somewhere else and that her regular costume desiger Arianna Phillips may have had more to do with them.

  219. 219
    Rey Fox

    Nobody but America cares about the Super Bowl.
    Just wanted to let you lovely people know :)

    Gee thanks!

    Evader out.

    Who?

    Last year almost 1m Germans watched the Super Bowl

    I remember that by the final years of NFL Europa, all but one of the remaining teams were based in Germany. I wondered how much of the fan base was United States military personnel.

  220. 220
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    Rey Fox,

    in 2010 there were 100,000 US citizens that were permanent residents in Germany. In 2009, there were about 65k US military personnel in Germany. I assume the military personnel are not counted among the 100k permanent residents, but that still gets you to 165k. (Also, don’t military bases have American TV? I don’t think they want to listen to German speaking commentators who barely understand the game, though apparently they have been getting better)

    Put this against 970k who watched the match last year, there is a small, but loyal fanbase in Germany, for whatever reason (in France, only 300k watched it last year).

  221. 221
    darknbubbly

    After that almost-tumble off the bleachers, she didn’t look too steady on her feet. Or was it just me? I can’t wear those kinds of shoes myself without doing extensive damage, so maybe I’m not the best judge.

  222. 222
    andyo

    I was laughing out loud at the Roman army during the intro.

    That reminded me of The Dude’s dream sequence in The Big Lebowski.

    Also, this.

  223. 223
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Yeah, she’s been wearing those high heel boots on stage for years. She is quite short and goes for super high heels a lot of the time.

    Ordinarily she has months of rehearsals before she goes on tour and all the kinks are worked out. I saw her last show twice, the second night from the fourth row, and she was wearing boots just as high and didn’t miss a step. It’s a real trick but she usually manages it.

    Also, she got a hamstring injury a few days before the show during practice. I’d say she did pretty well not falling over, considering.

  224. 224
    The Sailor

    The sports are being made safer every year, but every time you address one issue you bump the stats up in another.

    Nobody does it at that level without seeing the downside all the time.

    I’m a pretty smart fellow, and I would have done it if someone had asked me.

  225. 225
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    All my defending of Madonna aside, there’s a lot to make fun of her for, and I do with glee. That Kabbalah crap is nauseating, and I can’t help imitating her faux-English accent if you get a few drinks in me.

    My BFF George and I are Madonna Super Pals and go to every show. Afterward we dream up scenarios of career degradation to take the piss out of her. My favorite would be if she were down on her luck and forced to do the voice-overs for gas-station pumps. “Please pre-pay. Thank you. . .good night.”

    It’s much funnier if you hear me mimicking her.

  226. 226
    Anthony K

    Thanks, Josh. I think that explains your position (and perhaps andyo’s as well.)

    And thanks for engaging my criticisms in good faith too, andyo.

  227. 227
    feralboy12

    While the comparison Gladwell makes between football and dogfighting is not rigorous because many – perhaps most – football fans are not actually deriving their enjoyment of the sport from seeing serious injury inflicted

    Oh, how kind of you to admit that maybe, just maybe, I’m not watching to see people get hurt. That gets a big fuck you. I’ve never known anyone who watched the game for the injuries.
    I’ve read Gladwell. He has theories, and no, they’re not rigorous. Comparisons with dog fighting? Dogs are not willing participants, and causing them injury and death is the object of the activity. That’s how you win. That’s not football.
    And far from ignoring the mounting evidence of the toll the game takes on its participants, it’s actually been a big issue the last several years–particularly concussions and accumulated head trauma, and the sports media are not ignoring it. Nor is the NFL. Rules changes, changes in protocol when handling injuries, regulation of contact allowed in practice–all are happening as more evidence comes in. Will the game ever be safe? No. But stop acting like football fans want to see injuries, enjoy only the most brutal aspects of the game, and don’t want to hear about long-term disabilities or other problems. That’s straw man bullshit, and it doesn’t work here.

  228. 228
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    She’s short and tryng to look taller.

    She is quite short

    A quick Google search says she’s about 5’4″, which is the average height of women in the US. Not short.

  229. 229
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    I’ve never been a big Madonna fan, but the groove in Like a Prayer is stone solid. Unfortunately, I had planned on closing my own halftime show with that tune, and now I will have to choose something else. Suggestions?

    (no hurry…I haven’t been officially invited to do halftime yet, but with my moves it’s a matter of time)

  230. 230
    The Sailor

    Well, if we’re talking about wearing cruel shoes on stage, I should mention that this stage was put together in less than 10 fucking minutes. And torn down in less time than that. Not exactly your Broadway stage.

    Stumbling is fine on an uneven stage, but why does anyone have to lipsynch 1/2 of a 20 minute performance?

    BTW, SC, citation needed for 5′ 4″ being average height for a woman.

  231. 231
  232. 232
    The Sailor

    Well, I should do my own research, average female US height is in Pfft as 5 4.

  233. 233
    andyo

    Stumbling is fine on an uneven stage, but why does anyone have to lipsynch 1/2 of a 20 minute performance?

    Have you ever tried to sing for just a few minutes, while gettin’ physical, and keep tune/your breath at the same time?

  234. 234
    The Sailor

    SC, can I get away with saying *jinx* ?

  235. 235
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    (In which is included the average height for women in the US, which was what I referred to. If you’re going to be a picayune trolling douche, at least correctly state the assertion for which you could have googled a reference in five seconds.)

  236. 236
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    SC, can I get away with saying *jinx* ?

    No.

  237. 237
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Have you ever tried to sing for just a few minutes, while gettin’ physical, and keep tune/your breath at the same time?

    Those of us in the Marching Band had the same problem. Marching without playing, no problem. Playing the music, no problem. Doing both at the same time, fatiguing.

  238. 238
    The Sailor

    andyo – “Have you ever tried to sing for just a few minutes, while gettin’ physical, and keep tune/your breath at the same time?”

    I used to watch performers do that 5 nights a week.

    Has anyone ever asked you to perform at the Super Bowl?

    Prince didn’t seem to have a problem with it.

  239. 239
    kaleberg

    Incredible! She has turned into Mae West. What can I say to that? Hotcha! Mae West was great.

  240. 240
    andyo

    Prince didn’t seem to have a problem with it.

    Prince does it better than Madonna, then.

  241. 241
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Again, she lip-synched her new song “Gimme all your luvin’”, but she did not lip-synch Vogue, Music (though there was a substantial backing track), or Like a Prayer. Have you ever tried staying on pitch during an aerobic workout?

    For what it’s worth (gah, I didn’t want to sound like uncritical fanboi) I critique her mercilessly as a long-time fan, and the last three or four shows I’ve been to in the past decade she hasn’t lip-synched one song. You can tell when it’s the studio track, and when there’s natural variation of pitch, phrasing, and tempo that comes with a live performance.

    No one’s saying she’s fucking Maria Callas, but damn, she could sing a song in three different keys at once and people would still say LIP ZYNCHING!!??@

  242. 242
    andyo

    BTW, some artists are OK to sound more “raw” instead of sounding pretty much like their studio-recorded voice, when they’re singing live. That’s fine (and I like it). I haven’t seen Prince perform, but for example, many rock bands’ singers who run or jump around (Axl Rose or Robert Plant come to mind) sound really different in concert, barely can keep their breaths.

  243. 243
    The Sailor

    Welcome to Pharyngula, the Super Bowl thread turns into a Madonna thread.

    I’d just like to mention I saw 2 of the craziest plays ever; Brady getting a safety for intentional grounding, (in the rules, no argument, but I’ve never seen it before), and the Giant’s running back trying not to score a touchdown with 57 seconds left.

  244. 244
    andyo

    I’d rather talk about how Djokovic and Federer are awesome and Nadal is evil.

  245. 245
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Sorry, Sailor. We fagz gotta get ours back. :))

  246. 246
    The Sailor

    Josh, I was mainly having fun, but you knew that:)

    BTW, Prince did do it better. He was standing, all 5’2″ of him, on a stage constructed of aluminum trusses and plates, under a lighting grid, constructed of aluminum trusses, connected to each other by a, you guessed it, aluminum trusses.

    Powered by 240v. and around 1000 amps. In the rain. He would have made a great conductor.

    p.s. Purple Rain looked awesome!

  247. 247
    andyo

    By “it” I didn’t mean the show itself though. To each their own. What I meant is keep tune and his breath. He does that better, or he just doesn’t care too much about not sounding like the studio recording (again, I haven’t seen Prince’s performance).

  248. 248
    andyo

    btw, what do you guys think of NBS’s “Brotherhood of Man” promo? I expected Liz Lemon or Leslie Knope to make a snark about “brotherhood” or “man”… I don’t quite get what the Parks & Rec part says though, is she quibbling about the word?

  249. 249
    nemothederv

    Halftime is for toilet breaks, drink refills and stepping outside for a cigarette.
    Why would they hire Madonna, Prince, Tom Petty or any other 30+ year old act to perform at the halftime show?
    Is it to draw in viewers that would not tune in otherwise and, if so, does it really work?
    More than 100 million people tune in to the superbowl, advertising is sold at 7 million dollars per minute and I did not watch it.
    I enjoyed my sunday playing video games and going out for dinner.
    Hype does not equal entertainment even if it has Madonna.

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