Super Bowl XLVII: Lights Out for Today's Nihilistic Pop Culture
But SI's railing against the heavens aside, perhaps God has quite a well-developed sense of humor, given the power outage in the Superdome last night immediately after halftime and brilliant 108 yard kickoff return for a TD by the Ravens' Jacoby Jones. In the NFL, if a player spikes the ball before reaching the end zone, the ref will throw his yellow flag and punish his team with a five-yard penalty. Similarly, as the Weekly Standard noted last night, the Superdome blackout was preceded by more than a little premature gloating from the Obama Energy Department.
Last week, in a blog post titled, "Super Bowl City Leads on Energy Efficient Forefront," the Energy Department touted the Superdome's lights. The Superdome, in New Orleans, is hosting tonight's Super Bowl, where a power outage stopped play for more than half an hour.
"While the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers compete to hoist the Vince Lombardi trophy this weekend, eco-friendly fans and city leaders in New Orleans are competing to maximize sustainability practices to the fullest," wrote John Horst, a public affairs specialist with the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.To make this the greenest Super Bowl, the New Orleans Host Committee has partnered with fans and the community to offset energy use across the major Super Bowl venues. The exterior of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome features more than 26,000 LED lights on 96 full-color graphic display panels, designed to wash the building in a spectrum of animated colors, patterns and images. The system draws only 10 kilowatts of electricity -- equivalent to the amount of energy used by a small home -- and the lights are expected to last for many years before needing replacement.
The Energy Department bragged, "Embracing energy efficiency and renewable energy is having a profound impact on attracting developers and private industry in the New Orleans’ re-building efforts. The push to re-invent this destination city contributes to making Sunday’s game the greenest in Super Bowl history."
As Jim Treacher writes today at the Daily Caller, "What’s more energy-efficient than darkness? Green is the new blackout."
Well, it's not all that new. Radical Environmentalism -- to the point of turning the clock back on mankind's technological progress -- began around 1970. Thirty-seven years later, Bob Costas of NBC created what today seems like a miniature diorama version of last night's stadium-wide blackout:
[flashvideo file=http://pjmedia.com/media/video/lightsoutonNBC-SNF.flv width=352 height=288 image=http://pjmedia.com/eddriscoll/files/2009/05/nbc-green.jpg /]
Yesterday morning, Costas, the man who brought you the NFL's original lights out moment, threatened to permanently turn off the power on the entire NFL. Sunday's Meet the Press featured videotape of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell addressing concussions in the NFL. Costas retorted that in his own expert opinion as a professional newsreader with Very Serious Hair, “For all the drama, the excitement, the strategy, all the appealing things about football, the way football is currently played in the NFL is fundamentally unsustainable.”
For once in his life, Costas might actually be correct, if only because our current pop culture is itself unsustainable.
I doubt there will be any sort of large scale conservative revival in pop culture anytime soon, however. And I shudder to think what's coming down the pike in a few years to make today look like Ye Ole Good Days when we look back in five or ten years.
So how do you see the current state of today’s pop culture playing itself out in the coming years? Let me know in the comments below.
Related: From Ed Morrissey at Hot Air, a video from CBS sportscaster James Brown asking, "Did the Super Bowl hold back recovery in [New Orleans'] Lower Ninth Ward?" And as Twitchy notes, "Paul Harvey wins: Super Bowl ad tribute to farmers earns praise, nostalgia" It is indeed a power ad, though as with other recent Red State-themed commercials from Chrysler, keep in mind that it's an ad created by one giant Blue company, a division of Government Motors.
And great catch by Ben Shapiro of Big Hollywood of yet another example of '70s-era nostalgie de la boue last night: "Super Bowl Coke Ad Endorses Antiwar Graffiti."
Curiously, as with the L.A.’s Museum of Contemporary Art freaking out when Heather Mac Donald of City Journal magazine attempted to spray on a few embellishments of her own to the museum's pro-graffiti exhibition, I suspect Coke would likely call security or the police if someone took their own ad's advice and added a Krylon-powered statement to the front of Coke's corporate offices.
Update: After I published this post, I realized I had forgotten to mention the recurring "all men are dopes" theme that runs through so many of the ads; yet another trend in the corporate overculture that has been ongoing for at least a decade. Perhaps one reason why the stark Paul Harvey-narrated Chrysler ad resonated so powerfully is that it pushed back against that trend.
* I spent a fair amount of time searching for the source of this quote late Sunday night. I don't think I'm imagining I read it. If you know who said it, let me know via email or the comments.
Late Update (2/5/13): Found -- it was the headline on the cover of a January 1976 edition of Sport magazine, as found by one of the readers in the comments. Thank you!
(Thumbnail on PJM homepage based on a modified Shutterstock.com image.)