I don't watch much football. It's not that I don't enjoy it when I do sit down to watch a game, I am just not invested enough to put that much time into it. Unless the Steelers are playing, I don't particularly care who wins (if the Cowboys are playing, I want them to lose. Can you tell which decade my football alliances come from?), and I have so many other things to do. This is not to denigrate the joy that others get from the sport. Plenty of my entertainment indulgences would be trivial and banal to much of the world.
I do usually watch the Superbowl, however. It's a good time to get together with friends, drink beer on a Sunday (I do this anyway, but it's nice to have it not only validated but expected), and whoop and holler. I get to critique that ads and see a spectacle of a half time show. Hopefully the game is good.
This year, rooting for no one, we spent the Superbowl at the home of good friends who are the parents of babywhumpus' best friend. The kids get to play, and the adults get to watch the game (Mostly. The boys are three, after all). We were also treated to scrumptious Mexican food, thanks to our host. I was most looking forward to the halftime show, as Madonna was performing. I have a deep love for her that goes back to her first album when I was 12. She is an enduring and talented female artist who has been in my life for the past 30 years.
Along with many individuals, I am rather involved in Twitter. While I only regularly "live tweet" one program (Nature on PBS. Yes, I am that kind of nerd. It's OUR version of football.), I enjoy following the live tweets of others who watch Downton Abbey or award shows along with me. I was interested to see what my feed would produce about the halftime show.
It's always a spectacle of some sort. Hopefully. It's supposed to be 12 minutes of jam-packed entertainment. Of course, no one will ever forget Boobgate and apparently the Black Eyed Peas came close to annihilating the entire western world with the awfulness of their performance, but Prince put on one of the best shows I have seen, and Bruce Springsteen not only ran into a camera on one of his knee slides but he also tore up the place.
Funnily enough, I don't remember many comments the next day about how old those guys are. Prince is the same age as Madonna, and Bruce Springsteen is ten years older. I love both of them, and they put on amazing live shows.
I should not have been surprised to watch my Twitter feed fill up with jokes about how old Madonna is, one tweet after another, how she's a has-been (haven't people been saying that for 30 years?), and how terrible the show was. Granted, I am a fan, but that doesn't mean that I love everything she does or am incapable of seeing her with a critical eye. (I barely cracked her album "Hard Candy," and I have never seen the movie "Swept Away.") She seemed a bit nervous and a little stilted at the beginning. I heard somewhere that she was nursing a hamstring injury, but I don't know if that's true. I thought the show was over-the-top--a little bit hilarious due to the Gladiators and the obvious references to the male sports event happening around her. It was entertaining, splendid, and she chose great songs. Not to mention, she looked amazing.
Let's check the Twitter feed, shall we? Old, old, super old, oh em gee so old, old joke, old.
Neither terribly clever nor funny. All by men.
The next week, I sat down to watch the Grammys. Bruce Springsteen performed. Paul McCartney performed. The whole show ended with old white guys playing the guitar. Penis, penis, penis. (Oops, did I type that? Forgive me, it's early, and I haven't written in awhile.) Twitter feed: nary an old joke.
I am not saying they were not out there, this is anecdotal data based on who I follow, and I was busy being appalled that a batterer was being given stage time--TWICE--plus an award and a standing ovation, but given the amount of old jokes laid down for Madonna, there should have been at least one for Paul McCartney. Come on, the dye job alone should have been enough for at least one comment!
You know, I don't need to rewrite territory that has been written much better by Naomi Wolfe over at The Guardian, so just read this. I have a lot to catch up on.