Reflections on Secular America’s High Holy Day—Super Bowl Sunday
In this space next week, we expect to publish the insights of our mild-mannered, sideline reporter, whose unique perspective will either mystify you or cause you to marvel at Someone who has all things under His Plan—yes, including the Super Bowl! While we await that report, we will give you a few of our own observations about the annual rite. Yes, the game itself has been likened to a religious ritual, but I will limit my comments to the sideshows—or are they the prime raison d’être?—I am referring to the intermission rituals: the commercials and the half-time festivity.
Super Bowl ads have become highly anticipated by the viewing public primarily because in years past they have represented the best creative work of Madison Avenue. This year was a dud, in this writer’s opinion, but not merely a dud, but one offering was patently and shamelessly offensive and another was at best simultaneously puzzling and spooky. If you missed them, you can find all of them listed according to the quarter of the game in which they aired at this URL:
The most offensive one is called “Casual Friday,” and if you were fortunate enough to have missed it last Sunday, I would suggest you not watch it. Based on the practice in some businesses to allow their employees to “dress down” on a given day, a “casual Friday,” this ad has a corporate office scene where all the employees except one are nonchalantly going about their work in their underwear—yes, ordinary men and women in their BVD briefs, bras and panties.
No doubt, the ad agency thought they were following one of the tried and true paths in successful advertising; namely, create an ad that will be remembered and thus the product or company will reap rewards of increased sales, hits on a website, etc. Perhaps they will learn a new rule-of-thumb from this “bomb” of an ad. If the ad is so crude, so disgusting, so offensive, so over the top, it will backfire because if the viewers even remember the company it was associated with, many of them will consciously not avail themselves of that company’s product or service as a solitary protest. No need to organize a boycott—they usually backfire by simply giving the target company free publicity—but individual people will demonstrate their feelings about a tasteless ad by voting with their wallets—at least, that is my hope.
In the third quarter, an ad aired entitled on the URL, “Paper or Plastic.” It begins with a young man answering the grocery check-out cashier, “plastic,” in response to what kind of bag he wants his groceries placed in. Immediately, the Green Police are there, cuffing him, hauling him away, and accusing him, “You picked the wrong day to be messing with the ecosystem, plastic boy!” From there the ad quickly shows vignettes of other violators of the brave new world as Al Gore might imagine it: a squad of Green Police find a battery in a trash can and go to the house to arrest the owner, a SWAT team-like bunch of Greenies give chase to a man who was not composting properly; next, an upper middle class man comes to answer his doorbell only to be arrested (as the news reporter on the scene tells) “for possession of an incandescent light bulb.”
A couple more scenes of equally outrageous “crimes” are shown before we come to the point of the commercial: Aha! Audi has come up with a “green diesel” automobile which is waved through an “eco-roadblock” set up by the Green Police. A final scene shows ordinary city police in their squad car, being (presumably) arrested for having their coffee in Styrofoam cups. Ah, soon we will all be criminals if the wacko-Greenies have their way. Audi is a German company. They already have a type of environmental police in Germany. It is difficult to tell if Audi and their ad-makers were trying to be satirical or prophetically warning of what is coming. Either way, this was one spooky commercial!
By the way, did you ever wonder why it is that so many former communists (the Reds) have in recent decades migrated into the environmental (Green) movement? Could it be because that is where the power over people is? Communists, socialists, progressives—they change names whenever it becomes necessary to hide their real goal—total control over all people = totalitarianism. The former reds became greenies because they see it as the vehicle to control just about every aspect of life, and the Audi commercial gives a good representative sampling in just thirty seconds.
Hmmm. So let’s see: First we have the Reds. Now we have the Greens. What do you think of when you think of the colors red and green? Christmas? Is this one of our Father’s subtle signs that the second appearing of Christ is very near? (Yes, we know that Jesus was not born on December 25th, but that’s another discussion for another time.)
There were many other ads which ran in the Super Bowl, but we will comment on only one more. In the days leading up to the Super Bowl, the National Organization for Women [NOW] was getting a lot of air and time and blog space as they decried the fact that CBS was going to permit the airing of a spot featuring Heisman Trophy-winning University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow and his mom. NOW was griping and gnashing their teeth insisting that a pro-life message should not be allowed in the Super Bowl broadcast. The word was out (they thought) that the spot would show Tim’s mom explaining how she was advised to have an abortion when time came to deliver Tim but she declined. (She was in the Philippines doing missionary work and had become very ill during the pregnancy.)
That’s a powerful message—similar to the story of Ludwig van Beethoven’s mother having had four previous children, each of them “defective” in some way. What if she had aborted her fifth child? We would never have been able to enjoy Beethoven’s Fifth! Anyhow NOW was very upset that CBS refused to pull the spot out of the Super Bowl line-up. As it turned out, NOW had egg on its face as Mrs. Tebow said nothing about her decision during Tim’s pregnancy. It was a cute ad; however, it did have the web address of Focus on the Family at the end where indeed one would learn the story of how this stellar football talent would not have been here had Mrs. Tebow followed the advice that NOW and their allies would have given, had they been at Mrs. Tebow’s side in the Philippines back then.
Speaking of Tim Tebow, I have also noticed in the past couple of months how any number of sports analysts and commentators have made comments here and there denigrating Tim’s football talent. I have heard them say things like, well, he may have won the Heisman, but he really just doesn’t have the skills to play at the next level (meaning, in the NFL). Or, Tebow seems to be weak in the fundamentals; just doesn’t have the package to make it in the NFL. These are just samples. It was like the sports programs were flooded with a “bash Tebow” mentality.
After a while, it occurred to me that this was no accident. It is my opinion that because Tebow has been so outspoken about his Christian faith—and he walks the walk, doesn’t just talk the talk—that the word has come down to numerous writers, sports analysts, etc. to do just as I have observed being done. Any football fan with half a brain can see that Tebow is an exceptional player, that he does have the “package,” the physical ability and the intelligence to make the grade in the NFL. If they want to say those things about college players, I can name at least one other prominent college quarterback whom their comments do fit, but I will refrain from naming that individual for now.
Finally, concerning last Sunday’s Super Bowl, the legendary British rock band, The Who, provided the halftime entertainment. If you are/were a fan of The Who, you would have to say that they still “have it.” They played a medley of some of their many hits, including: My Generation, Tommy, Pinball Wizard and Who Are You. The last song, of course, became the theme song of one of CBS-TV’s biggest hit dramas, CSI. Hmmm. A little cross-marketing going on there, eh? Oh, and I left out that other great hit by The Who, We Won’t Get Fooled Again. Really? It seems like the American populace gets fooled every presidential election. The lyrics were written several decades ago but still seem timely. There are about six stanzas plus a bridge. Just plug in the title in a search engine and you can find the entire song. Here’s the last verse with underlining added:
“I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around me
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I’ll get on my knees and pray
We don’t get fooled again
Don’t get fooled again
Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss”
Yes, slumbering America, “Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.” Indeed, we have been fooled again—every four years. But soon, the current bosses’ allotted time on the divine calendar will end and God’s Kingdom, the Stone Kingdom, will bring a new constitution, as found in Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy…Revelation. Then, and only then, will the song change: Meet the new boss: Jesus Christ our Lord! The King of kings! Hallelujah!