By Nathan Barton
This week was the Super Bowl, or the “Easter” of one of America’s most fervent religions, professional football.
There are lots of things to note about this event, and the lead up to it and the responses to it. Here are just a few.
But first, a disclaimer. My family is NOT a “football” family. Football is, at best, an expensive distraction from more important (and fun) matters of life. At worse, it is a false god, an idol, which helps reinforce the power and cult of the modern state. It features and promotes the adoration – even worship – of some of the most immoral people to live on this planet. It is used as an excuse to steal billions from people by government, and worse. It is an excuse, a justification, and an opportunity to promote all manner of bad habits and questionable actions. There is nothing anything more wrong about playing football (or watching a football game) than there is playing cards or shooting a pistol: as always, it is the purpose and the actions and attitude associated with it that makes it a good or bad action.
Now, what about the SuperBowl? Viewing was down, quite a bit. This is in line with the prediction by many that the “kneeling for the National Anthem” business would cause problems. Viewing of other NFL games has been dropping steadily, and even many of the otherwise dense media are questioning whether Pro Football has finally started to lose its cachet with the viewing public. It will certainly have an impact on advertising revenues for 2019.
Which brings me to the next observation. Advertising.
This Superboll LII features a “hideous” advert for Dodge Ram trucks featuring “Ram Volunteers” and the words of a 50-year-old sermon by another modern American false god or demigod, Martin Luther King, Junior. The WaPo agonizes over this. The WaPo makes a big deal about the “social media” backlash against this “disrespectful” (impious?) use of a sermon by the beloved/sainted/deified martyr by the public.
What I find MORE ironic is the sermon recording (while flashing scenes of Ram owners doing good deeds as volunteers). These are the words of a man who was clearly socialist and communist in his teachings (despite what people like Glen Beck brush aside) – being used for capitalistic purposes! How droll! And even more ironic, that very sermon contained some comments that most people view as anti-capitalist.
Of course, the tweeted objections seem to all be from the usual Tranzi fellow travelers: the social justice warriors and snowflakes who have NO sense of humor, NO understanding of irony, and (especially) ARE NOT the demographic to which Fiat Chrysler expect to be selling RAM pick-ups. And since the Fiat side is no doubt far more liberal/leftist than even American automobile manufacturers, I believe that it was honestly intended as a tribute (read, “act of worship”) to MLK. Which is why not just being able to broadcast the ad precisely ON the 50th Anniversary of the original sermon, but doing it during Black History Month was NOT a defect but intended to be a benefit.
Indeed, maybe the public relations company actually anticipated and planned on getting this negative feedback to help overcome the predicted drop in viewership: the backlash by the progressives will be an encouragement to the crowd that usually buys Ram trucks. [Further disclaimer: I own and operate (when its not in the shop after killing elk) a Ram 3500 for my many miles on the road, both because it can haul a whole lot, does very well in snowy/icy/mud conditions AND is going to help me survive a whole lot more than an itsy-bitsy roller skate car.]
What the advert and the backlash WILL do is further divide the Fifty States along partisan lines. The NFL is doing a credible job of driving off people of faith, even though the sport has long harmed religious congregations. (Readers might be amazed to find out how many congregations postpone or even cancel afternoon/evening services on SuperBowl Sunday. And have done so for decades.) Although the death of an NFL player by a border-jumper in a case of vehicular homicide will bring some sympathy, fewer and fewer NFL players garner much sympathy because of the gross immorality, often in the most gross forms. And NFL’s treatment of players with religious leanings is well known, as well.
Of course, the NFL’s owners constantly stuffing themselves at the public (taxpayers) trough is even more a reason for people to get upset – and pay them back at the ticket office and the television screen (and therefore cut profits from advertising). The refusal of the NFL owners and the NFL itself to take a firm stand on the anthem business just further aggrieved the sports fans.
But the bottom line is, too many people do NOT want people -even businesses- to have freedom of speech. Not even the freedom to quote and use the words of public figures and icons. The amount of ink and time devoted to trashing Ram and the NFL for this two-minute broadcast could have been far better spent going out and doing good things for people – just like the people in that deplorable ad.
Mama’s Note: I’ve long been convinced that most “professional” sports, to one degree or another, are much like wrestling. Fake, but entertaining to some. The fact that “fans” riot and destroy property when disappointed is insane, of course – but is common around the world.
About this “freedom of speech.” It can’t stand alone, any more than any other of our natural rights. The only way to have freedom of speech in society is to have a society of individual liberty, self ownership and responsibility. The controllers certainly don’t want that. Too many people want their own “freedom of speech” while doing everything they can to control other people, depriving them of freedom to live their own lives as they see fit.