Monday, February 6, 2012

Feb. 5, 2012, or How I Found Myself Watching the Superbowl and Not Caring

Honestly, I am a futbol girl (that's soccer, for you Amurikuns), and the Superbowl has never really been that big of a deal to me. Sure, I like watching for the commercials, if only to see what stupidity ends up making it. In my opinion, the quality has gone down since the Bud-Wei-Ser frogs of my middle school days, and this year was no exception. GoDaddy.com obviously had the most offensive ad, and as a tweet from aspiringmama stated, "So is Danica Patrick gonna stop pretending she has a racing career? cuz [sic] all I see is one step away from porn."

I went over to a friend's apartment to watch with her husband, son, and a group of friends and was drafted as a Giants' "fan," mainly because both my friend and her husband were outnumbered. After the first quarter, I was bored, so I played with their year-old son, who had a much more entertaining itinerary of banging on doors and trying to get inside people's purses. Of course, I had to stop for the 12-minute Madonna performance, which rocked my socks off - I mean, come ON: Ma-fucking-donna, Nicki Minaj, M.I.A., AND Cee-lo Green? Holy shit, that's a powerhouse experience. I will be purchasing Madonna's new album, of course.

But afterwards, my friend and I got to talking about all of the other things that we've both been going through for the past few months. We try to get together fairly often, as our schedules will allow. We both have full-time schedules, her with her son and me with my job, so it's not always doable, but she's one of my oldest friends (we met in fourth grade). Our lives have not always been intertwined, but she has one of the truest souls I've had the pleasure of knowing. We talked about their chapter 7 bankruptcy a few months ago and then delved into familial relationships, Meyers-Briggs typologies, and ultimately our plans for the next few years.

It was only after her husband jumped up in glee about a play (touchdown? sack? I don't know) that I realized, hey, I'm not actually watching the Superbowl, for which I am apparently attending a party that is celebrating it. And I actually got a little resentful. There is SO MUCH MONEY spent on this one event, including the half-time show. Madonna did not get paid one penny to get on that stage, but for the sheer amount of dancers, special effects, and TV time, about $85 MILLION was shelled out. I mean ... what? Couldn't that $85 million be spent in better ways? Don't get me wrong: I love seeing Madge up there, dancing and lip-syncing her ass off, but ugh. Maybe it's because I'm currently dealing with financial issues, or maybe it's because I see so much poverty coming in and out of my office on a weekday basis, but it made me really mad; almost irrationally mad. Is this what we as a country find more important? Sure, thousands of people are without jobs, BUT WE CAN PAY MILLIONS FOR ENTERTAINMENT, RIGHT????

There isn't really a simple answer, I suppose, and I'm not harping on the people who enjoy it. The entertainment industry really helped people escape their troubles during the Great Depression. They could, for a few minutes, forget that they were struggling just to put food on the table. And I don't know what was spent back then on movies or radio programs. Maybe it was just as wasteful. I don't think I'm going to boycott the Superbowl in the near future, but I did get to thinking about what I will spend my money on in the future. And this isn't just the bankruptcy talking, even though that definitely plays a part. But what will my money do? Who will it help? Will it pay somebody to throw a football and/or catch it? Or will it help a local business pay its employees?

I don't mean to sound self-righteous, although I'm sure that's how this comes across. And I don't have the foggiest hope that what I write today will make much of a difference in the long run. But I'm going to try, at least on the micro-level that is my life, to be mindful of things like this. I think that's really all that any of us CAN do.
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