Thursday, February 7, 2002 Volume 67, Issue 88


 
 









 

'Classless society' shows its utter lack of class at the 'super bowl'

Paul Schwartz

Every time I begin to feel complacent or think people are responsible enough to make good decisions, I am shocked awake by another
heartbreaking example of human shortcomings.

The latest example I have witnessed is the super bowl (I refuse to give that name respect by capitalizing it). The super bowl, a true show of
unity and patriotism. We showed the world what we are all about: football, beer and pornography. What better way to show terrorist agitators
that we are going to "tackle" them than to turn a football game into a display of "patriotism"?

During Paul McCartney's performance, while he sang about fighting for his right to live in freedom, the word "freedom" flashed on a screen
which is not so bad, except it was right next to a large Bud Light sign. What on Earth could be cheesier than that?

A careless mistake, perhaps, but it seems to say something deeper about our culture and what we value. 

The final straw was the presence of the Playboy Playmates at the super bowl. The pre-game show was filled with American pride and
patriotism. However, the fact that Playboy was somehow brought into this whole display of unity somehow cheapens it.

It is funny that a corporation that is deeply invested in the industry of promoting sexual misconduct was invited to take part. Is this what it
comes down to the bottom line? Did getting high viewer ratings somehow pass up moral and ethical standards? Are people no longer held
accountable for their actions?

It seems that the corporate-owned media had little objection to the porn industry being present amid all the fuss about freedom. Could it be
that big businesses scratch each other's backs, regardless of what ethics they lack? All of these questions seem to point to one problem: Our
society values profit above people.

Our society would prefer to go to war, rather than engage in dialogue to prevent hatred that causes war. We would rather spend billions of
dollars on "defending" ourselves out of some blind fear than spend that money on education to teach our children that they do not have to live
in fear. We would rather stay complacent and live in a negative kind of "peace" instead of real, creative peace that is the essence of
democracy.

We would rather deny that the products we buy force others into sweatshop labor and near-slavery than take responsibility for our actions.
And we would rather pay $500 for a football ticket so that the world's problems can just melt away. At least from our conscience.

Schwartz, a freshman sociology 
major, can be reached via dccampus@mail.uh.edu.


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