Monday, February 08, 2016

Super Bowl L: Bread and Circuses. Plus, Symbols.

Super Bowl L aired last night, marking the end of many eras. Peyton Manning looked every bit like a man all-too-ready to retire, kept aloft only by the most dominant defense in football.*

The Panthers seemed dominant this year but were helped along by a schedule that wasn't exactly back-breaking, leading Five Thirty-Eight to declare them the worst team to ever go 11-0

Cam Newton may be an excellent athlete but he's a terrible sportsman, throwing tantrums during the game and walking out on reporters' softball questions, leading The Sporting News to headline "Sore loser Cam Newton embarrasses himself with disastrous postgame press conference."

But give the guy a break; playing a string of 4-12 teams didn't prepare him for Denver's Terminator D-line.

And no one else exactly covered themselves in glory. I called this the "Screwup Bowl" on Facebook, the worst Super Bowl game I remember seeing. Fumbles, dropped passes, one-yard rushes, the goddamn punters on the field ever time I blinked- ugh. In the end it would be a question of who screwed up less. Well, other than Denver's flawless defense. Terrifying.

And Newton wasn't helped by the fact that his receivers couldn't manage to catch the frigging football or that his offensive line couldn't seem to stop him from taking seven brutal sacks. The man was getting hammered like a cheap nail all night, surely not the way he envisioned the game going. When he wasn't getting slammed he was getting swarmed. It was unrelenting. 

But that's the game. You take the gore with the glory and smile all the same. Or at least that's the way it's supposed to go. It rarely does.

Cam Newton's gushing, nerdy fanboys in the media (who Newton wouldn't piss on if they were on fire) took the loss even worse than he did, with sites like Deadspin writing classy headlines like "Peyton Manning Can Eat Shit" and ESPN writing apologias for his unsportsmanlike conduct.

I'll let their therapists sort all that out.

The end of the other era was seen in the incoherent mess of a halftime show. That the NFL is aggressively courting the female market was seen in the entertainment portion of the bread and circuses, with Lady Gaga (who looked more like Barbra Streisand than Dale Bozzio, another sign of the times) singing the National Anthem.

Well, almost; look at those creepy red eyes painted on her lids.

Then you had soft rock icons Coldplay looking totally lost and bewildered, lip-synching to a medley of something or other and wishing they never agreed to this.

Sure enough, you had Beyonce and Bruno Mars totally steal the show with their tightly choreographed dance performances (the songs themselves were tuneless dreck). 

The Mars symbolism should be obvious, given the huge push for Mars exploration we saw this past year (and will continue to see with the movie awards for The Martian) but I got a distinct whiff of Knowles' Law (a controversy over symbolism in the media is usually disguising a totally different symbolic message) with Beyonce Knowles' performance of "Formation", which was pre-billed as a tribute to the Black Panthers.

Katrina theme from "Formation" video†

But the lyrics to the song itself are the usual boasting and odes to materialism and consumerism. And the only Panthers Beyonce (who came to the game with a full police escort) probably cares about are the Carolina ones.

You know, the rich ones.

And what we actually saw- as in past Halftime Showswas more female militarization, a theme that's becoming increasingly important now with the idea of the draft for women being floated. 

And a curious fact about the title "Formation"....

... its value in the English Sumerian system is 666. Huh.

After all the militarism and black leather and Coldplay looking ridiculous in this mash of symbol and nostalgia (better Halftime shows from previous years were projected onto the stage and there were all kinds of people in colorful outfits wandering around and generally looking idiotic), we see this giant cross (!) and then this quasi-rainbow "Believe in Love" message that had nothing to do with anything we just saw.

Speaking of symbolism, it should be remembered that Denver is home to one of the big daddy of all occult symbol sites, the Denver AirportThis and the fact that the Broncos logo is a white horse, have made the Broncos appearances in Super Bowls a constant source for conspiranoid anxiety.

Another Knowles' Law eruption emerged with some on Twitter claiming that the halftime show was a gay messaging ritual, when in fact the color scheme and stage set come from Coldplay's new album cover.

In other words, it was all actually a big advertisement for the new Coldplay album. Talk about "audacity."

But what is all that symbolism on the cover supposed to mean? Note the rainbows in those eerie murals from the Denver Airport. And why do we see this at the same they appear on the Super Bowl featuring a team from Denver? That's one heck of a coincidence, Brownie.

Also note those big Saturns. Hmmm. There was also an ad for Skittles ("Taste the Rainbow") featuring Steven Tyler last night. It was painfully bad. Which brings us to the next portion of our show...


The ads were so lame that their lameness became a story, even in Madison Ave's pet paper The New York Times. The appeal to the female market resulted in a bunch of ads that made men look so stupid that even extreme-left clickbait-farm Salon was inspired to criticize them.

Or was this all more deflection? We saw the usual militarism (the Navy Blue Angels opened the show with a flyover) and globalism and alien-memes (and all three with the new Independence Day trailer) and then of course the gene-editing agenda with "puppy-monkey-baby." 

Speaking of babies, we also saw the "Super Bowl Babies" spots, which repeated throughout the game, almost felt like "time to make more, we mean citizens, America." Something to watch out for.

Giorgio Tsoukalos graduated from internet punchline to official icon with his one-second appearance as an "alien expert" in a Taco Bell ad. 

I recently saw some numbers on
Ancient Aliens and realized why they keep renewing it: the series gets an average of 1.6 million viewers per episode, which doesn't sound like much, but is actually huge for a basic cable show that probably costs next to nothing to produce. That's a much bigger number than shows that get a lot more attention in the press.

And see this is The Year of Our Bowie, it's only natural that a Bowie song would make a Super Bowl ad, this one being one of his many odes to aliens.

Speaking of aliens, X-Files boards were ablaze with controversy when The X-Files' halftime teaser showed a preview from 'My Struggle II', featuring Scully morph into a Grey (or Pink, if you prefer). 

Chris Carter is going for broke. The man just doesn't care anymore.

Speaking of Ten Thirteen, we saw this Ouroboros in this LG ad featuring Liam Neeson. Why, I have no idea. Signaling to someone, surely. Liam Neeson was also in a movie called Taken, also the title of the miniseries I referred to as "X-Files Season 10" prior to this year.

What does it all mean? I can't put my finger on it quite yet but things are changing, moving behind the scenes. Plates are shifting beneath our feet. The next eight years will not be like the previous. Major changes are being readied. It seems right now there is chaos behind the scenes, kind of like what happens on a TV series when a new production team is coming in.

The Super Bowl is America's great secular holiday and also when its themes for the coming year are rolled out, movies, ads, social issues. That this show was such a mess seems to indicate that my suspicions are correct.

Strap yourselves in, the ride's going to get rough.

UPDATE: I can't believe I missed this ad- Colonial Williamsburg actually used "reversal of time" in their commercial? And 9/11? OK, something is definitely up.  

 *Had the Patriots not lost so many key players to injuries over the season, putting all the pressure on Tom Brady's still-lethal passing arm, we would have seen a different game.

† For bonus Secret Sun synchitude enter my birthday-70166- as a zip code in Google Maps