Monday, February 02, 2004

Super Bowl XXXVIII

The New England Patriots won.

People assume that I am a Patriots fan because I am originally from Boston, which is in New England. When the Patriots moved to Foxboro in 1971 and became the New England Patriots, I stopped supporting them. I haven't been to an NFL game since I saw the Houston Oilers play the Boston Patriots at Fenway Park in 1967. That is not to say I wish them ill; I prefer they win, but I just don't get excited about football like I did as a boy.

In the big picture of Super Bowl XXXVIII, my team lost. My team is America and the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and the former greatness of a nation that is being slowly reduced to an avaricious, insatiable bastion of corporate greed and disenfranchisement.

The thirty-second film "Child's Pay" was selected by to run as an an advertisement during the Super Bowl. The film highlights the impact of the fiscal atrocities perpetrated by the current Bush administration on the children of the future. Even though MoveOn had the money to purchase the advertising slot, CBS thought airing the short film was not in the best interests of their network because it was too controversial. Suddenly, fundamentalists are saying that discussion of the national deficit is controversial!

Since the Reagan era, fundamentalists have been going on and on about the negative impact the deficit has on our future. They have convinced working Americans, even intelligent suburbanites, that social services and assistance for the needy are to blame for our children's bleak future. They finally get a religious fanatic in the White House who starts implementation of the final solution for social services and drives our deficit to one trillion dollars by giving billions to his small circle of friends. Discussing this deficit is now controversial!

It is an uncomfortable film showing children doing work that is difficult, dangerous and demeaning for an able-bodied adult, so it is controversial in that it evokes discomfort.

During the Super Bowl, CBS ran an ad for Budweiser that showed a young couple in the back of a one-horse open sleigh. The man handed the woman a lit candle while he opened a cooler to reveal romantic bottles of Bud Light. As he was admiring his beer, the horse lifted its tail to let out a gigantic fart. The gas from the fart turned the romantic little candle into a torch which burned the face and hair of the woman. So, the irresponsible consumption of alcohol outdoors and burning the face of a woman doing what she has been told is not controversial. I guess it is informative or entertaining.

I wrote to CBS explaining my displeasure about refusing to sell advertising time to MoveOn and I joined in the half-time boycott. I hope you will consider reading about MoveOn's continuing work and I hope you will take some action, ANY action to prevent the fundamentalists from gaining complete control of our society..

Remember, the airwaves are owned by the citizenry. The networks do not own the airwaves, the citizenry owns them. We lease the airwaves to the networks. These are OUR airwaves, and prior to the fundamentalist rise to power, the airwaves were used to broadcast all ideas and opinions. Now that the fundamentalists are controlling the Republican Party, which is controlling the government, they are allowing the networks to broadcast only one flavor of information: fundamentalism.

I am taking my actions a step further and I will not be watching any CBS programming for the foreseeable future. I'll no longer sit with my family to giggle at "Everybody Loves Raymond" or "Two And A Half Men" or "The King Of Queens." I will write letters to the agents representing Ray Romano, Charlie Sheen and the rest of the actors starring in these shows, and I will tell them I am not watching them anymore because they are helping dismantle the spirit of America by working for a company that thinks the airwaves are their own private domain and refuses to broadcast ideas that conflict with their narrow vision of a great new corporate America.

A short film highlighting the financial burden placed on our children by President Bush's trillion dollar deficit is too controversial, but it is A-OK to show a short film depicting a horse's fart burning the face of a young woman. Think about that!

Sure, the Pats won the Super Bowl and I am happy for them (well, not for Tom Brady who is a good friend of President Bush); but, I am happier for this new reason to become politically active in the fight to save our nation from the grips of CBS, Bush and their friends.