Sunday, February 06, 2011


Update: I address the anthem warbling specifically and in greater depth here.

I'm really not into professional sports.  Used to be, big time.

I do like the game of football.  And baseball.   But professional sports lost me in the early to mid 80's.   I have a residual fondness for the St. Louis Baseball Cardinals ... but I really don't follow them closely.   College football, I'm slightly more interested in.  I enjoy watching a game.  But don't go out of my way to watch any except those of my alma mater, The Missouri Tigers. And if it's between that and spending time with my grandson ... he wins in a no-brainer.

However, we do tend to watch the World Series and the Superbowl.  Kind of a cultural event.  Thaaaaaat's increasingly leaving me "behind" ... (but not from my point of view -- that would imply it was progressing in a positive direction).

I have been for years, but once again I was completely turned off by the performance of our national anthem.  All the warbling and wavering and deviations from the melody for the sake of deviating from the melody... it's gone far beyond a little embellishment here and there. This was horrible, and these performances have been for a long time.

We muted it just one line in. I could tell what was coming. So I didn't even hear her botch the lyrics. My ears would have been bleeding by that time anyway. At least she dressed appropriately. Seriously, I thought her dress was nice.

Then there was the over-the-top Michael Douglas "The Journey" video.   I'm sory, it is just a %*#!ing football game, especially compared to what this short film or whatever you want to call it attempted to compare it to.

And finally, there was the halftime show. The Black Eyed Peas ... whom I've never really heard before (well, maybe I have but I didn't know it was the and I can't distinguish it from the other cr*p that passes for "music" today. Yeah, what of it? Get the %*#! off my lawn!) 

Now I'd heard of "Fergie", and I'd heard people say "I really like her".  And I've heard people speak approvingly of the Black Eyed Peas.  So I went into this with a relatively open mind, thinking maybe it'd be better than what I expected.

It was worse.  Ho, pump it up, party all night, ho, ho.  Over and over.   Not musical at all. Lots of chanting and posing. Glitz and flash and zero quality.  No substance, except for the last bit where they were trying to be all substantive and stuff without actually saying, you know --- anything.  Hey, they spelled out "Love" on the field.  Nah, actually that sucked, too. It reminded me of ... hey -- our president. Big show. Everybody for Hope and Change and Love, pump it up! Are you fired up? Ready to go?

The brief, lone bit that started to sound the least bit musical turned out to be the guitar lick from "Sweet Child of Mine" from Runs and Gozes ... whom I've never, ever liked.  They even brought "Slash" himself out on a flying manhole or something to play the bit, while Fergie butchered a song already ... didn't care for with her flat, uninspired vocals.  But hey, their costumes flashed leds to the "music", as did their creepy dancers on stage and on the field.

And is it just me? I absolutely HATE the recent trend of vocordorizing vocals, tweaking the processing with rhythmic discontinuities ... it sound so ... cold. (Ok, yes, I like Alan Parsons "The Raven" and some of the stuff Tangerine Dream did with vocorders ... that was different. This is doing it for the sake of doing it because it's the "in" sound with the teenie boppers.)

[guess the black eyed peas halftime video was removed. oh well. you know how to find it]

It was a good game. In the end, I didn't care who won. Some of the commercials were good.

But can we maybe have people sing the anthem with a little more respect to it rather than using it for a showboat platform for themselves?

1 comment:

Chris said...

I usually enjoy the Super Bowl, but this one was a massive fail. That ridiculous short, the botched anthem, hell, they couldn't even get the Steelers to pay attention to the coin toss long enough to choose a goal to defend.

The commercials were mostly crappy or designed to make me hate the sponsor forever. I'd already seen the Darth Vader kid bit earlier in the week.

On top of that, the game, while close, was a letdown in that both teams committed absolutely retarded penalties at the most inopportune times, and the Steelers completely forgot how to run a two-minute offense. Good thing they saved that timeout they chose not to use on fourth down.

This had to be one of the least satisfying games I've ever witnessed, and the teams were evenly matched and competitive. The whole thing was off from the beginning. Thank God I didn't watch any of the pre-game show.