Okay, so the simple fact is that your NCN guys took the night off to watch the Super Bowl. Why? Maybe because one of us is from Indianapolis and wanted to root for the Colts … or maybe out of some primitive desire to remember what rock ‘n roll once was. We could say we were disappointed on both counts, but not really. The game was well played (despite the outcome), and even while Roger Daltry couldn’t hit all of his notes and watching an aging Peter Townsend prance about the stage was something of an embarrassment, the halftime show was nevertheless a reminder to us aging, academic baby boomers who too easily think of nostalgia as little more than an ideological problematic that … well … even we can be sucked in by its charms.
All of that aside, there is one other point to be made: As Carrie Underwood completed her rendition of the Star Spangled Banner there was an (almost) perfectly timed military fly over and no one seemed to notice. No one mentioned it on the CBS broadcast, the audience didn’t react, and I couldn’t even find a single photograph of it at any of the slideshows that appeared on various U.S., national media websites following the game. I’m not entirely sure what to make of that fact given how much hype as been given to the military presence at such events since 9/11, though my worry is that it is one more piece of evidence in support of the normalization of war thesis which suggests that we are altogether inured to the presence of the military in both our ritualized and everyday lives. Maybe that’s what accounts for this photograph that showed up at the Guardian (though nowhere else as far as I know):
And so the question has to be, “Whooooo are we … who, who … who, who …?”
Photo Credits: Robert Carr/AP’ Charlie Riedel/AP
Meet the new boss.
Same as the old boss…
I thought the Who were fantastic – a fair point about the toll that time takes on rock n’ rollers, though. I had the same reaction watching Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones play with the Foo Fighters at that concert in England not too long ago.
Though oddly, I wasn’t actually alive to see either band in its prime – can you still be nostalgic about something if you weren’t there to see it? Memory is a very different thing now, thanks to video recorders and the internet.
Re: military presence – we seem to be experiencing something similar in Canada with the Vancouver olympics. Apparently the budget for the military presence at the games has more than quintupled and the big news in Toronto this week has been people taking cell phone pictures of subway operators. I had to go to an English newspaper to even find the statistic: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2010/jan/31/vancouver-winter-olympics-police