The Super Bowl Shows A Way Forward

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Tuesday, Feb 13, 2024 - 10:40 PM

Authored by Jeffrey Tucker via The Epoch Times,

Public media culture has been mostly something to dread for several years at least. So we watched the Super Bowl only with trepidation. What woke nonsense was going to be dumped on our heads? How will the ads manipulate us? How will the official program preach values to us that are contrary to how we want to raise our kids?

To my great relief and surprise, I did not detect any of this. It seemed like men and women gathering to enjoy a nice competitive game and having fun, like the old days. That’s it. Nothing more. I asked several others if they had seen anything weird going on and everyone said no.

Well, there were two exceptions.

  • First, the idea of two national anthems is highly dangerous and divisive, even evil. That must end immediately.

  • Second, some creepy pro-devil stuff seemed to be going on in the Taylor Swift box, about which we could have seen much less.

Other than that, it was largely a woke-free event.

What’s happening here? How did we go from several years ago when the halftime show featured China-style hazmat suits and other creepy “Great Reset” outfits to what seemed now like a normal and old-fashioned show? How come the entire event seemed to lack the preachy and leftist quality we’ve come to associate with public culture?

My suspicion is that it comes down to the slogan “Go woke, go broke.” These companies now realize there is a major revolt taking place in the United States and around the world against extremist ideology and everything associated with lockdown evil. Instead, they have replaced all that with a fascinating nostalgia for the old ways of America.

Look at the ads, for example. They were so thrown back. The music was from the 1970s and 1980s, including Neil Diamond and Queen. The aesthetic was generally old-fashioned too, in the best possible way. Companies that advertised, Volkswagen for example, emphasized their deep roots in U.S. history, even showing images of Herbie. The old stars were back, including Christopher Walken. Even Disney was trying to remind people of its better days.

The only political ad in the entire show was sponsored by a PAC supporting Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

This one was enormously fascinating. It took a jingle and ad from his uncle’s campaign of 1960 and superimposed RFK’s face. It was a huge hit and very effective. It carried forward a major theme of the campaign, which is the desperate need to restore the greatness in this country we once knew before it Obamanated and Faucied to pieces.

RFK is counting on this nostalgic idealism to carry his campaign, a deep memory of times when the public controlled the government, media was trusted, the American household could live well on one income, houses were affordable, school meant something, cities were clean and safe, and so on.

Without this memory—and it is fading fast—we do not know what it is we are trying to rebuild.

Then there was the Pfizer ad, which was brilliantly done and celebrated the greatest scientists since the ancient world. It was a great ad. No one had any idea it was a Pfizer ad until the very end, when a tiny logo appeared. That they had to bury this is revealing.

I can imagine that many people let out a big: booo!!

Pay special attention to the wildly desperate moves by Anheuser-Busch to revive its failing brand Bud Light. A year ago, the company sent a customized can to the fake woman Dylan Mulvaney to push on his Instagram account, which he did. This sparked a massive backlash that caused a huge decline in sales. It is a major test of who would be in control: corporate elites or consumers.

Without ever acknowledging error, the company embarked on a massive campaign to revive the brand and reroot in mainstream American culture. The ad executive—educated by the top schools and graduating from the Ivy League—was summarily fired. Now the ads feature cowboys, dogs, and Clydesdale horses, along with deep Western accents and real men doing manly things.

It seemed like a crazy bet that they could overcome what happened but maybe it will work. Who knows?

Maybe Bud Light will not be forever tarnished by its preposterous and failed foray into woke culture. The answer is really up to consumers, and therein lies an important point. What the government has ruined, the forces of the market economy are working to repair.

If you think about it, it is rather remarkable that four years ago, most governments in the world slammed shut most of society, including small businesses, church services, and sporting events, all because of a pathogen that our elites assured us was there but no one could see without a microscope and petri dish. All data we had up to that point indicated that this was not dangerous for anyone but the elderly and infirm but still we shut down anyway.

In 2021—this really happened—the Super Bowl was played without the usual number of in-person fans, all in the name of virus control. In the previous year, people like Anthony Fauci were talking about a future without any in-person events and where no one would shake hands or own pets without government permission. It was like crazy people took over the world.

Along the same time, woke ideology made massive advances in the corporate world and academia. This bled into the culture in a huge way, flooding whole societies with insane theories of gender and politics. And this went on for the better part of two years, with whole societies closed on the advice of scientists. It’s simply incredible to imagine that this happened only so recently.

And yet look around. So much has been rebuilt. Not by government. It’s been rebuilt by the forces of society itself, particularly within its commercial sector. The Super Bowl puts it all on display, with a message that all the things you love are back and getting better. And the absence of obvious signs of evil are especially notable.

If you want to know the attitudes and opinions of people today, I cannot think of a better barometer than advertising. This is how business persuades the public to buy. What these companies pay to get on your screen indicates their own evaluation of your preferences and values.

Of course what we saw is an idealized version of what we wish life were really like. The reality in the cities is far grimmer, with refugees flooding in, crime taking over, and people far less prosperous than they once were. Our lives in general function much less well than they once did. The economic data, despite what they tell us, looks terrible. The debt burden for households and government generally is overwhelming.

Still, one cannot help but observe that real restoration is impossible without ideals. And what we saw at the Super Bowl was this ideal in action. It was not perfect. But it sure was a great improvement over the last several years of disaster. At least it gave the country and the world a glimmer of what it is we need to recapture in the aftermath.

In some ways, however, it is deeply tragic that most of what claims our affections and attention are the sights, sounds, and symbols of the past. Public culture took a huge departure and we are left with nothing but what used to be. Still, that all of what we once loved was on display we have to count as progress.