While catching up on my reading I went through a couple issues of the local alternative weeklies published shortly after the election. Both papers were wall-to-wall anti-Trump, as if overnight we went from an incipient Worker’s Paradise to a totalitarian State. You’d think the Left would be OK with a repressive, controlling government, but apparently it’s not OK if it’s not their brand of oppression. Dissent is patriotic again.
From the articles and pictures of protesters with their mouths taped over, the casual observer might think that the oppressed people of Amerika were struggling to break free of a tyrant and their oppressive government apparatus. Women and minorities hardest hit, of course. And the media drumbeat is incessant: Dark Ages the next four years.
Every day I’m continually flabbergasted that the threats these folks are reacting to are a complete fabrication. A whole lot of highly schooled people have created a self-consistent world to which they are reacting logically, if emotionally, and which has no basis in reality. Donald Trump said things with which they disagree, and his actions to date are consistent with his campaign, but as far as coercion of American citizens, I haven’t seen it. Indeed, President Trump has maintained Executive protections for the queer community, and going Obama one better by extending considerations to historically Black universities.
But the Left has set Trump up as the Evil One, and when his actions or lack thereof belie The Narrative, they are stuck. They are invested in their position to the point that to save face they must invent responses to conditions that they have created. It’s insular, self-referential, and not reflective of actual conditions. The Bubble indeed.
We’ve seen this before. After 9/11 Congress passed new
lows laws creating oppressive bureaucracies and regulations: chief among them TSA and the ill-named and begotten PATRIOT Act, as well as vastly expanded surveillance powers on citizens. These were areas of legitimate concern to reasonable people, but the Left went completely off the rails. Muslims and Mexicans were going to be rounded up and prison camps for everyone. The government was going to tap your phone and if you were the least bit suspect you’d be ‘disappeared’.
The Left whipped itself to such a frenzy that public calls for the assassination of President Bush were commonplace. After the initial shock of the attacks subsided, the Left looked around and saw that things weren’t anywhere near as bad as they’d sworn they’d be. So for the next several years there was a lot of “Hey, look at me! Look at how I’m standing up to oppression and risking arrest for speaking my mind!”. And we’re seeing that now. These folks aren’t risking anything, and some of them are even aware of that. But virtue-signaling is far more important than sanity. People on the Left aren’t stupid, but they seem to spend their time investing in things that have little to do with maintaining a society, much less advancing it.
As of this writing there are still violent protests against the President. My response probably mirrors that of many other Americans and expressed by Malcolm Reynolds:
“Why are you arguing what’s already been decided?”
Super Bowl LI
I thought the NFL was going to stop using Roman numerals.
I wasn’t particularly interested in this game. I didn’t have a rooting interest in either team, and Super Bowls tend to be one-sided affairs. The spread prior to the game slightly favored the Patriots. I was a bit surprised, because Atlanta plays in one of the worst divisions in the league, and the Patriots are, well, the Patriots. I’d seen the Falcons play a few times during the season, and during the playoffs they looked like a complete team. On the other hand, New England had torn up the schedule on the ‘Tom Brady Revenge Tour’.
The first half was all Atlanta. Patriots receivers seemed to be football-adverse: perhaps they weren’t used to catching properly inflated balls. The Falcons defense kept the Patriots offense off the field, while the Atlanta offense was effective. By the end of the third quarter, Atlanta was up by 19 points and it looked like the game was over. I and many others bailed on the bar.
However, this was still New England with Tom effing Brady at the helm. I listened to the remainder of the game on the radio, and as a football fan was pleased and a bit stunned as the Patriots found their offense and reeled off 19 unanswered.
I expected overtime to be played under regular season rules, where each team gets a possession. For this game the league reverted to sudden death, and it was for Atlanta.
From my perspective Atlanta started playing not to lose in the fourth quarter, rather than play to win. This was understandable: the defense had been on the field for much of the game and been very effective, but by the fourth quarter they were tired. Defensive coordinator Coach Richard Smith likely took this into account in calling a more conservative defense. There was also a loss of focus on the part of Atlanta’s offense, when a key series of penalties in the fourth quarter put them out of range of a field goal that would have iced the game. Still, very entertaining from the stands.
I didn’t watch the halftime show live. I’m not a huge fan of modern musical productions, and I knew nearly nothing about Lady GaGa other than I couldn’t identify any of her songs and she wore a meat dress once. I wasn’t even sure what she looked like.
People I talked to said I should watch the show, so I looked it up.
Lady GaGa is a talented, gifted performer with a flair for showmanship who completely crushed that show. I enjoyed her performance from beginning to end. Heck, I even liked the music. I could have done without the entourage of dancers: any entertainer worth their salt should be able to carry a performance on their own, and she can do that with room to spare. Well done, ma’am.
Super Bowl Commercials
Well, really only one commercial. The halftime video had three embedded commercials, which were annoying because they interrupted the flow of the show, but in this case I didn’t mind so much because Super Bowl commercials are usually worth watching.
Until the Audi commercial.
I don’t know when the spot aired during the game, but in the video it comes during the final song. It’s a solid minute of whining about how unfair society is to women, implicitly citing statistics that have been shown to be inaccurate. I’m sure the folks at Audi thought they were being progressive and forward-thinking, but what they actually did was perpetuate the Leftist Narrative. Of all the ways to portray women in society, Audi chose one of the most negative. The commercial is a complete downer, and coming as it did during the rousing final number, took me right out of the show. Not even Lady GaGa could effect that recovery. If I’ve ever considered buying an Audi, I certainly wouldn’t now.