DIVINE FOOTBALL AT HALF TIME LVII

As I was searching the Internet for something that might interest me, I came across an image that jolted me to instantly think that I was not tuned into mainstream television. Make no mistake about it. There it was…live!… and in broad Arizonian daylight during the Half Time break for the Superball football classic at the Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City and viewed on television by millions of people throughout a good piece of global real estate, including the United States, Canada, Alaska, and certainly Barbados, where the Half Time goddess, Rihanna, was born. 

I hit the Superball event when its Half Time show was in progress.  In retrospect, I’ve since learned that its Half Time star, Rihanna had not performed for seven years. However, a large number of her fans attended the football game not necessarily to watch the game but because of her very successful career as a vocal artist whose credits include her lyrics.  The reviews of her performance are not as kind as mine]

[Note: There is a plethora of techniques re film editing which makes it virtually impossible to discern exactly when or where a splice has been made into the body of the whole. The close-up of Rihanna’s pelvic area was front and center and in sync with the lyrics and music, but not at all sexy.  After all, sex  and geometry don’t resonate. She uses her fingers heavily pressing against her skin to pantomime the rigid form of a rectangle surrounding the area in which her vagina resides. The reviews of her performance are not as kind as mine.]

I don’t know what Rihanna and Michael Jackson had in common other than their enormous wealth and an insatiable need to be noticed as unique pioneer entertainers. Michael thought that using his fingers to…er…playfully—er— gingerly jiggle his ‘member’ …would arouse sexual excitement in his audience and Rihanna thought that using her fingers to geometrically outline the parameters of her treasure immediately under the cloth of her jumpsuit  would at the very least rival Michael’s ‘bit’ under the fly of his pants (again, no pun intended.) 

We may never know what they intended, especially because of the two camera versions of at least one section of the Half Time entertainment. But one thing is certain: there was nothing sexy about Rihanna’s virtually soiled fingers, let alone when she smelled them after she had firmly and symbolically tinkered with the cloth flush over the location of her vagina, thereby reassuring her audience that she was as raunchy as they are—a touch of class. )

Some people might say I should mind my own business. Well, I usually do. But a rapid and global-wide cultural spiral is everyone’s business. Judgment is a major characteristic of human beings. Am I judgmental?  Of course I am. Judgment defines humanity. I don’t share my judgment about someone unless he asks me to do so. But I don’t mind judging celebrities because celebrity obliges them to accept judgment, like it or not. 

This time, I’ve expressed my concern about a rapid downward cultural spiral— tongue in cheek. This time, I am compelled to highlight the ever-increasing degeneration of our culture. This time, I add a simple yet significant suggestion here. Compare the following two quotes, the first a lyric composed by Rihanna, the second by Shakespeare, spoken by Romeo to himself and thereby to an audience, as Juliet’s hand happens to be close to her cheek.

Rihanna: Bitch better have my money.
Romeo:  Oh, that I were a glove upon her hand that I might touch that cheek.

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“In Broad Nightlight”

    –A synopsis for an unspeakable play  

Dramatis personae

Tyre Nichols, 29-years-old

Five police officers for the now deactivated Scorpion Unit for Nashville, Tennessee

Several prominent United States government officials

News commentators and celebrities in the United States and abroad 

Both the domestic and global public

Plot

It is a clear night in  Nashville. Body cameras fastened onto four or five men reveal a scene which evokes an anachronistic image comparable to those associated with the dark ages…BUT  THIS IMAGE IS REAL! 

So real, that the 29-year-old victim of a barbarous assault had him desperately cry out for his mom! 

This image  has everyone—except  profoundly political biased individuals—feel, think, and share similar reactions to an event which trumps political differences. 

This image should serve as a catalyst for Americans to rationally and therefore peacefully discuss and resolve their political differences. 

This image should serve as at least a pathway towards a more united United States of America. 

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Portrait of Profound Hatred

Among its many unprecedented innovations, the Internet has provided human intimacy at an international level. Here, I refer to a recent incident on television wherein Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Marple were ‘alone in public.’ The camera was rolling; it was trained on two people for the edification of millions; its impact seemingly extemporaneous…but obviously not so.

In an unsolicited dumb show, Meghan suddenly displayed an extensive curtsy, fully intended to mock that traditional court gesture for a thousand years. Prince Harry was visibly shaken by Meghan’s ‘extemporaneous’ performance. 

At first, the couple’s body positions were such that Meghan did not see Harry’s nonplussed reaction to Meghan’s show until Meghan moved in a manner that made her face visible to Harry, at which point Harry managed a stifled smile. But Harry was ‘not amused’—as those words are mostly erroneously attributed to Queen Victoria and others —the ‘we’ being a monarch’s embodiment of the nation itself. 

Meghan’s performance within a performance was not a good one. The televised interview with the semi-royal celebrities, although palpably embarrassing, was unimportant on its surface. But notwithstanding, the serious ramifications of societal ‘class,’ past and present, Meghan’s fundamentally offensive statement expressed in the guise of humor was at the very least abysmally inappropriate.

Fortunately, Queen Elizabeth ll died before she was subjected to another Annus Horribilis moment.

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A SPECIAL SPECIES

Unlike all other species that preceded us, mammals added empathy to its arsenal of characteristics. Yes, vegetative species like trees communicate with others of their kind, but that phenomenon is fundamentally automatic and is not identical to empathy, but only to the survival of the species.

Intelligent life radically differs from the automatic reflexes of muscles, nerves and bones. The source of empathy is far more complex than that of automatic reflexes. The source of empathy consists of an amalgamation of an individual’s characteristics, including understanding and imagination. Since emotions play a large role in the phenomenon of empathy, there is a plethora of definitions of and explanations for the words, empathy, sympathy, compassion, understanding, etc..

Scholarship aside, after a series of frauds, the ‘Missing Link” theory is no longer an issue, I never thought it was. And I’ve never subscribe to the notion that ancient or modern humans required a missing link, and certainly not that they are imported from some other planet. Or, for that matter, that the Pyramids were constructed with the aid of aliens.

It seems that there are people who take every opportunity to degrade humans as such. It also seems that there are many people who believe that goodness is a sham; that the works of Shakespeare were written by someone else (as though that would change the stature of whomever was supposed to write them) and notwithstanding a few minor playwrights with whom Shakespeare collaborated, mostly at the beginning and ending of his career. To quote Shakespeare himself, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” (“Romeo and Juliet”).

Like butter, cynicism should be spread thinly.

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LADY LIBERTY REVISITED

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teaming shores,
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door
– Lady Liberty

As I understand that inspiring poem, I see no mention of cartels, rapists, criminals, and other human refuse. They, of course, are an extreme minority within the ranks of immigrants crossing the border. But the immediate and potentially future consequences of that massive crossing is like opening Pandora’s Box. Displaced people, especially unattended children, are in tentative and hurried custody. And what about criminals who successfully disappear into the United States? And the host of unforeseen complications that attend mass international movements.

Yet, at the cusp of a midterm election runoff on the 8th of November, President Biden opened the southern border to migrants who then began a mass crossover of the Rio Grande in huge numbers and continues to do so now, in the middle of December…and still counting. Every day, there are television images of river crossings, along with the activity at nearby crowded shelters.

President Biden has been asked the question, “What about the border?” He replied, “There are more important things going on.” He didn’t offer any examples of what some of those ‘more important things’ might be. He is not the only–if not the most important government official–who dodges questions about the volatile situation. Suddenly, there is a tide of homeless and jobless people who do not know the language in what, to them, is a foreign country; small and mega cities which are short on housing (e.g., a luxury hotel is known to have been forced to house aliens); bussing migrants to large cities, and a host of other urban upheavals.

Political differences are exacerbated as well. For an extreme example, there is the bussing issue. Governor Ron DeSantis had immigrants bussed to Martha’s Vineyard. This was openly an act to make a definitive point about the floodgate of immigrants. There is forced justification for that act because the placement of immigrants should not be based on the southern segment of the United States merely because the southern sector happens to be the closet entry to the United States from the south. There followed the spectacle of settled inhabitants of Martha’s Vineyard slumming or pretending that the migrants were welcomed.

Lady Liberty would shed tears were she not made of copper.

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