Jewish World Review Feb. 9, 2004 / 17 Shevat, 5764
American culture exposed
The Super Bowl and Miss Hilton were perfect companions, as both are glitzy, hyper and well financed.
And the event itself accurately portrays what is good and what is bad about America. The actual game was
magnificent; hard-working athletes performed heroically on both teams, and the competition was breathtaking.
American society was built by hard work, competition and self-reliance. All of that was reflected on the field.
But the excesses of the Super Bowl got just as much attention as its champions. Janet Jackson's sleazy
halftime performance symbolizes the debasement that has befallen American culture. But far from being
outraged, I'm glad Ms. Jackson and the Timberlake kid did what they did. Now there is nowhere for the
purveyors of crude to hide.
Let's walk through this. As a regular guy, I have no problem with Janet Jackson's chest. Quite the
contrary, if the diva were to offer me a private look, I'd charter a plane. However, Ms. Jackson's halftime
exposition was inappropriate and disrespectful. If she is capable of one lucid moment, she had to know that
millions of families were watching the performance and her sexual writhing and breast baring would offend
many of them.
But like Madonna and Miss Spears, Janet simply did not care. She makes a ton of money acting
lasciviously, and blank you if you don't like it.
I got a great kick out of MTV and the NFL honchos being shocked, just shocked that something crude
happened on stage. MTV produced the program, and for years that outfit has reveled in debauchery. It should
be named DTV. I mean, come on, what did the moguls expect would happen when Kid Rock, Nelly and the rest
took the stage? In the world of rock and hip-hop anything goes, the more provocative the better.
Perhaps now Americans will face the facts. Our popular culture has collapsed. For every Beyonce who shows a bit of class, there are dozens of performers who can't write lyrics about whores, glocks and drugs fast enough. The sex and violence available on the net, CDs and DVDs is numbing. Children are exposed to a constant media barrage of degenerate behavior, and if they want a break, commercial television now offers them a variety of "reality" programs where they can watch people eat bugs and demean women.
Of course the rich and powerful in this country couldn't care less about all this. Howard Dean, for
example, doesn't know what all the fuss is about vis-à-vis Ms. Jackson. You won't be hearing much about the
debasement of our culture in the upcoming presidential race because, more than likely, the candidates will be
contributing to it with slanderous personal attacks on one another.
Here's why all this matters: Children who admire crude performers are likely to incorporate some of
those attitudes into their own lives. Already you see millions of young Americans covered with tattoos, unable to
speak proper English, unwilling to read a book or a newspaper. How do you think these people are going to
compete in our hypercompetitive economic marketplace? The answer is that millions of them will be unable to
compete and will be doomed to a low wage existence. IBM will not hire you if you have a tattoo on your neck.
And P. Diddy won't help you either.
So maybe this Super Bowl halftime controversy will finally wake some people up. American culture has
collapsed, and big corporations are responsible. However, they, Janet Jackson and the MTV executives are
laughing all the way to the bank. A bank millions of young Americans may never even need if they continue to
buy into this garbage.
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