Non-Football Super Bowl Notes

1) I wish Beethoven could know they were using his music to sell Coca-Cola during the Super Bowl. (“Coca-Cola? Super Bowl?”) (The music was from his Fifth Symphony.)

2) There was a hint of Wagner in a Lexus commercial. (A motif from The Ring.)

3) There was Verdi in a Doritos commercial. (“La donna è mobile,” from Rigoletto.)

4) There was Bach in a Time-Warner Cable commercial. (C-major prelude from Book I of The Well-Tempered Clavier.)

5) You might think the Obama presidency is the ultimate in the triumph of hype. But I ask you to consider Madonna’s career. This is what America — nay, the world — pants for? And we think our problems are economic!

6) At the end of the halftime show, they displayed the words “World Peace.” They never, ever say “World Freedom,” do they? Never. (A point I make in a book to be published next month. Sometimes — not always, but sometimes — you could cut the tension between freedom and peace with a knife.)

7) Outside my window, here on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, they’re whooping it up for the Giants. Last time I heard such whooping, I believe, was in November 2008, when Obama won.

Most Popular


Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More