To Hell with America’s Superbowl, Superstars, and Superhuman Ability to Move On
I’m glad the elites and the football-obsessed got a chance to return to their favorite pasttime. Really, I am. What would America be without Entertainment after all? Just a rain cloud with no silver lining.
But I often wish I could unsubscribe from the circus. Which celebrities were spotted at the game. Which celebrities are currently feuding. What they wore, what controversial thing they did, how amazing their performance was, what the awkward moments were. Celebrity worship is the true religion of the United States, they only call it Christianity. So it’s no wonder that few celebrities care for much more than fame, fortune and a global platform to celebrate their own greatness. It’s enough to escape the hood and be proud of the fact that you were able to escape the hood for the next 20 years of exorbitant wealth. It’s enough to be a representation of blackness, the top 1% of black earners that society thinks is a reason to deny reparations to the 99%.
I can’t bring myself to actually watch what happened. Apparently, Dr Dre sang some anti-police lyrics in spite of being told not to by the NFL, such bravery. And Eminem took a knee after his performance of “Lose Yourself” in spite of being told not to by the NFL, even more bravery. Kendrick Lamar censored his famous line “And we hate po po, wannaa kill us in the streets fo sure”-less than bravery.
Of course the bottom line for me is that Colin Kaepernick is still covertly blackballed, that kneeling in protest of police brutality has become a thing of the past, and that the Superbowl has been able to successfully move on from its brief moment of controversy.
It reflects the larger pattern of a sense that a tense moment has passed in society as a whole, the status quo has returned, as white as ever, with no meaningful reforms in any of the spheres that need it most; voting rights to criminal justice reform to police brutality to reparations. Burning issues that needed the momentum spurred by public attention and a little discomfort, now taking a back seat to some escapism for the pandemic-weary masses.
I long for the day where America will no longer be able to move on. Where it will be stopped completely in its tracks and forced to look at its ugly, evil self beneath the heavy makeup and the ridiculous costumes, where it will answer to a higher power for its rabid indifference to relentless cries for change. And there will be no more moving on. No more fun and games for the rich elite. No more power plays for the politicians. No more distractions numbing us from the pain of constantly being brushed aside in our demands for justice, our right to shake up the superficial status quo.
One day soon.
Until then, we get to aspire to be as “successful” as the celebrities dominating our news feeds with their glamorous nothingness, while we suffer in obscurity.