February 06, 2012
America on the Couch

Here’s James Howard Kunstler with a close textual analysis of yesterday’s Superbowl half-time weirdness. He segues from the apocalypse into Madonna, but for that you’ll have to go here.

The Superbowl pageant is a window into the condition of American manhood, and the view is pretty pathetic. It’s a picture of men who feel so weak, insecure, and fearful that they have to compensate with fantasies of limitless destructive power. Ads for several new movies and (I think) video games followed the Silverado apocalypse romp. There were unifying themes throughout. All depicted the problems of life as 1) coming from outside our own society (or world); 2) in the form of aliens who wield mystifying technological destructive power; and 3) leaving a few human remnants on a smoldering landscape after a cosmic showdown.

These onslaughts from elsewhere in the universe always end with superior American guile and the latest technology defeating the purblind invaders. The aliens are vanquished by Apple computers, Air Force stunt pilots, and a little extra help from God Almighty, who is surely on our side. From these realms of engineered grandiosity, we slip in and out of the grinding ground game in Lucas Oil stadium in Indianapolis, another pseudo-military operation loaded with acronyms and jargon intended to confer an illusion of control and competence.

The reality out there in “flyover” land is an audience of diabetic fat men in clownish loungewear slouched on sofas in foreclosed houses enjoying stupendous portions of cheesy and lard-laden foodstuffs between cigarettes and beers. They have a lot to worry about and they have no idea how they might overcome their financial, familial, and medical problems. The real onslaughts besetting the nation in realms such as banking fraud, money in politics, peak oil, climate uncertainty, and economic contraction are at once too complex for the diabetic fat men to comprehend, and grossly misreported in the public arena, where Cable TV and newspapers work the levers of propaganda for one client or another…


Posted by Jerome Doolittle at February 06, 2012 11:16 AM
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And what's with that new slogan anyway. "Chevy Runs Deep?" Forget about psychoanalysis, what the hell does it even mean?

Posted by: Special Ed on February 6, 2012 11:30 AM

Too deep for me.

Posted by: Lou Garou on February 6, 2012 11:59 AM

Yeah, but if Sam Elliott's saying it in that basso profundo drawl, it doesn't have to mean anything ... oh, wait ... I guess that's Dodge.

Posted by: Tim on February 6, 2012 4:11 PM

Perhaps "deep" refers to how large your pocket must be to keep the car in gas?

Posted by: John Anthony Curran on February 6, 2012 8:54 PM

Barry Manilow!? barry freaking Manilow!!???

Speaking of Dodge, several years ago i coined the phrase "jacked-up, de-engineered suburban assault vehicles with tires the size of Volkswagons and the hood icon a perfect rendition of the human female reproductive system." Fits nicely, don't you think, Superbowl watching "men" who drive trucks with the hood icon the perfect rendition of the human female reproductive system.

Posted by: Ten Bears on February 7, 2012 12:30 PM

The Eastwood add for Chevy is odd. Why draft that rhetoric about winning in the second half and then place it in the mouth of a grand old man who is clearly nearing the end of a good run?

Posted by: Martha Bridegam on February 8, 2012 6:47 PM

I noticed on my Twitter feed that men were as hostile to Madonna as Kunsler and women loved her act.

Another factoid: audience numbers for halftime were higher than for the game.

Still more: Rush Limbaugh saw the game in one owners' box, and Eric Cantor watched from the other owners' box.

Posted by: JoyfulA on February 8, 2012 10:20 PM
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