Last Sunday, I was about 2/3 finished with the weekly post I had planned for today when it was time for Super Bowl LI, so I put my writing down to watch the game. As always, I enjoyed watching the last game of the season for the professional-level component of my favorite sport, but this year, something else struck me more than the top-level performances of the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons — so I changed my game plan for this post.
As for my Super Bowl experience … During the commercial time out segments cleverly placed at opportune breaks in action during the game, I watched 30-second commercials that cost $5 million a pop and left me wondering what product had been advertised. Then, although I don’t usually watch half-time shows, I decided to watch this one. The star was a woman I would not have known if I’d seen her on the street that afternoon. Although the show was apparently very well done if you like that kind of thing, it sounded to me like an inaudible collection of gibberish that left me wondering what, if anything had been her basic theme [modern sound systems tend to drown lyrics out — in my ears, at least].
Given the resounding applause and apparent adoration of Ms. Germanotto’s [Lady Gaga’s] fans on the field [and in the stands], her performance was apparently a booming success. Because of her strong support for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election campaign, media pundits all week had been predicting that she would have some anti-Trump sentiments built into her show. Whether she did or not, I have no idea because, as is the case with most “music” [to use the term loosely] and sound systems these days, I simply could not distinguish enough of the words in most of her lyrics to make sense of them. Her opening, though, seemed at least a little encouraging because I did make out a phrase or verse of God Bless America and “one nation under God, with liberty and justice for all” from the Pledge of Allegiance. It also contained a phrase or verse from Woody Guthrie’s This Land is Your Land, which seemed fine to me until I learned later through some media reports that this has been a theme in anti-Trump protests around the country. But as best I could tell, there were no direct anti-Trump slogans — and interestingly, USA Today’s coverage said “but a political protest never arrived, as Gaga opted for patriotism and unity over making a divisive proclamation” [emphasis mine].
I guess this is the point at which I must confess, if it’s not obvious from what I’ve written in this post to this point, that I am apparently “old”. At 71, I don’t really think of most of my life being in the past [although mortality tables say that is the case], and I’m actually excited about what I’m doing [including but not limited to this web site and my blog posts] and look forward to where my current pursuits might lead. But if “young” people can extract meaning and significance [or entertainment, for that matter] from last Sunday’s Super Bowl commercials and halftime show, I am definitely not one of them, which means that I must be “old” … Q.E.D., as mathematicians would say after proving a theorem [Quod Erat Demonstrandum, Latin for “which was to be shown”].
One thing I did pick up on, unless it was buried in the difficult-to-hear-clearly lyrics, was the absence of vulgarities and vitriolic tone like what spewed out of the mouths of Ashley Judd and Madonna Ciccone in the 1/21/17 Women’s March. So if Ms. Germanotto’s performance did include any of that kind of thing, my “oldness” mercifully shielded me from it. To the extent she intended the show as a protest against our President and I just didn’t pick up on it, my hat is off to her for rising above the kind of ridiculous profile exhibited on January 21 by Mses. Judd and Ciccone.
Anybody who makes anything other than unsupportive remarks about almost anything President Trump says or does these days is viewed by liberal media pundits as small-minded and unable to understand what a terrible thing his election is turning out to be for America. When I say something positive about what he is doing, it is not a blanket endorsement of him, the person — his is definitely not the profile I would like the person in the White House to have. But when I consider the other person who would have moved in had she won last November, and what the outlook would be now, I am elated. There would have been fewer perceived snafus than many believe have occurred in Mr. Trump’s first two weeks in office, but that would simply be because she would not have had to get anything done that quickly in order to maintain the status quo — not because she is a “better” person or would have been a “better” president. The first two weeks of her administration would have been nothing but celebratory events touting the historic significance of the United States electing its first woman president, a very high percentage of media coverage dedicated to special programming about her life and many accomplishments, appearances by her on all the “respectable” Sunday morning shows, etc. Nobody would have expected her to actually accomplish anything in her first two weeks.
The 1927 poem Desiderata, by Max Ehrmann, contains this line: “Whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should”. The poem’s name is Latin for “desired things”. For those who share my Christian worldview, these excerpts from the Bible, viewed collectively in context with each other, convey the same sentiment: “No one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end” [Ecclesiastes 3:11 NKJV]; “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose” [Ecclesiastes 3:1 NKJV]. “There is a time for every purpose and for every work” [Ecclesiastes 3:17 NKJV]; “The vision … will surely come” [Habakkuk 2:3 NKJV]; “[God] changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding” [Daniel 2:20-21 NKJV]. Wise words for all of us to consider in the current environment.
Personally, I would prefer that Mr. Trump find ways to be less abrasive if [and only if] he could do that without compromising his clear conviction to do what he believes is right for our country. However, the odds are that the most militant of all the blocs and special interest groups that oppose him [supported by the liberal media through wide coverage], would still be second-guessing his every move even if he had done that part successfully.
I am seeing a major common element to all the demonstrating, the dis’ing from some of Mr. Trump’s remarks and actions by “establishment” politicians [even in his own party], and the insistence of media pundits [liberal and conservative alike] to try to filter everything he does through their traditional lenses [while turning a blind eye to new lenses they need to be developing in the rapidly-unfolding New Paradigm] — resistance to change, which is a natural human tendency. This is yet another manifestation of the major paradigm shift that is underway [see the page Major Paradigm Shift Well Underway at this site].
I, for one, want to give our new President the opportunity to do his job. I do not categorically endorse everything he says and does, but I respect the fact that he is the duly-elected President of our country, and I do believe that he truly desires the “great again” America he promoted in his campaign. I honestly hope we can soon get to a point at which more people see the situation that way and at least consider giving President Trump a little more latitude rather than making an issue out of practically everything he says and does.
Charles M. Jones