The Jingo Bowl

Will Grigg on that annual spectacle of national self-indulgence disguised as a sporting event:

Superbowl Sunday, the High Holy Day of our de facto state religion, has become such a brobdingnagian spectacle of militarist self-worship that Leni Riefenstahl would probably find the proceedings a bit excessive. The Caligulan feast in Dallas did offer one small source of consolation: Contrary to what compulsive mosque-baiters would have us believe, the culture on display is not haunted by the specter of impending Sharia rule.

I had a similar thought while watching the pregame show, although I probably would have gone with Kim Jong-il instead of the Nazis.  But no matter—gaudy displays of militarism and paeans to the dear leader (or, in our case, leaders) are all more or less the same anyway.

My favorite part was the tribute to the glories of the US Government narrated by Michael Douglas.  Images of past emperors—I mean, presidents—flitted across the screen, accompanied by references to their most famous speeches.  “Where would we be if He hadn’t asked us what we can do for our country,” said one of those supposed America-haters from Hollywood.  

I almost spat out a mouthful of crab dip when I heard that one.

Let’s see, where would “we” be if JFK hadn’t made a bullshit speech 50 years ago?  No doubt we’d all be dead, all 300,000,000 of us having long ago succumbed to collective inertia and self-neglect.

“Fill out a complaint form and leave it in the box. We’ll get to it a soon as we can.”

While at the mall the other day I saw a man wearing a Philadelphia police T-shirt that said: “A city that makes an enemy of its police force is a city that will have to make friends with its criminals.”

I’m not sure whether this is supposed to be a response to a specific incident or not, but either way it’s pretty much standard fare for police propaganda, resting on the bogus assumption that without a full-time, professional, tax-funded police force criminals would run rampant and good people wouldn’t be able to walk down the street without being robbed or murdered.  Of course, people are robbed and murdered on a daily basis, in spite of the presence of our heroes in blue—in some cases, by the police themselves.

So I’m thinking maybe the residents of Philadelphia need their own T-shirt, which says: “A city whose police force makes an enemy of it will have to file a complaint with Internal Affairs.”