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Twilight’s Last Reaming?

Who writes the ads for the superbowl these days? What happened to all of those clever people? The good thing is they seem to have realized that women also watch the game so there were fewer stupid looking young guys being presented with beautiful, scantily clad women who normally wouldn’t give the time of day while they are studying for some advanced degree. But most of the ads were just uninspired. Like, the opposable thumbs on the android? Google/Sony couldn’t come up with something better than that? Then there were the disturbing ones, like the Doritos weirdo who was sucking other people’s fingers and smelling their pants. Or the test baby’s squished face on the window. Yeah, we get the point but that kind of stuff just brings out those tut-tutting uber nanny types who lecture us all about child abuse and sensitivity and personal responsibility and yadayadayada. They have no sense of humor and since the ad wasn’t all that funny anyway, was it worth all the grief that will come over it?
The best ads, imho, were from Sealy, Teleflora and Chrysler. Really liked the Chysler one. Beautiful.
Then there was the damn anthem. Sigh. Where to start?
I understand why they pick pop singers. *Presumably* professional singers can carry a tune in a bucket and won’t flat the high notes. And sure, it was based on an old drinking song. But we did choose the music for our ANTHEM. Therefore, sing it like a fricking anthem, not the opening song of your Vegas show. A few grace notes are permissable to show how the swelling of emotion inspires you. Endless, interminable, Handelesque runs of R&B style melisma are just painful to listen to. I kept asking myself if she was done yet. And then she reamed the twilight. The worst rendition I’d ever heard. But you be the judge. Here’s Christina Aguilera’s version:

And here’s my kid’s version from last year.

[YouTube= http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLg9Q9DT_qA&%5D

The kid is taking voice this semester but she hit all the notes and sang it like an anthem.

Not that hard, Christina.

40 Responses

  1. wow…last reaming, indeed. We thought the whole evening was like watching American culture, the heart and soul of American culture represented by Pittsburgh and Green Bay, in a shattered mirror. First though, as a Pittsburgher, I was truly saddened by the Steelers loss and lack of …something. The ads though are exactly this problem, how to sell things to American culture. And this is where we are? My girlfriend commented that a majority of the ads were actually “hurtful”…and not like the Three Stooges were “hurtful” in a by-gone era. Have we, indeed, become a hurtufl nation. Growing up in Pgh in the late 50s and early 60s, we knew the differences between Serbs and Croats and Hungarians and Polish. We respected those differences and when, and if, we became good friends, we might joke with each other about our differences. But that was healthy and built our respect for each other….as well as our knowledge of geography…..among other things. Those ads are a reflection of where we are now and the sad state of our reality….everything is becoming “hurtful”…..our ads, our politics, our discourse with each other, our relationships…..interesting.
    Now the singing both the anthem and half time show. You nailed the anthem…it was awful…from beginning to end….and when she muffed the words it was an incredible moment. Did you seee the faces of the military people? They were stunned. Now all her supporters are saying how well she recovered and kept going…what a pro. Well, she wasn’t there to remind us of the importance of the song, she was there to remind us that she is a famous performer….performing….performers should do this song at various events out of reverence not relevance to their career. Sad. And now equally sad, is some attacking her for , not being “American”….and in comes the “hurtful” element again. Still, as someone who has worked in government and community development all over the world, I find this a sad testimony to how little people know exactly how “things” work…..how our songs go, what the constitution really means and how it evolves, what was the Declaration of Independence, who was Geral Ford’s VP, why did we go to Vietnam, how does city governement work, who are your local County representatives??? and we want to talk national politics!!!…..it’s all reflective, in a song or lack thereof.
    Still and all, as a guy, I like a good “guy” commercial….so my favorite was the guy beaming over how well he had redecorated the kitchen….by placing a 6 pack of Bud Light on the counter….subtle, funny and effective….kinda how I remember Pittsburgh humor as a kid……

    • I realize a lot of people are piling on Aguilera for forgetting the words to the National Anthem, but let’s be fair about this…first, the people who chose her knew her signature style of signing when they signed her up, so, I don’t think she is to blame for simply singing it “her way.” As for forgetting the words…I don’t think there is one performer (professional or non-professional) who has not “gone blank” while performing. It happens.
      Having been a theatre major myself, I remember a couple of times I’ve forgotten lines that I’ve rehearsed for months and it was humilating enough without others criticising me for forgetting the lines, which is why I cannot condemn Aguilera for being human. Furthermore, her apology came across as sincere and I’m accepting it.

      As long as men control the media and just about everything else in society, we will continue to see huge amounts of money being pored into sports. Sports to most guys is a religion and how they measure themselves as men.

  2. I never watch the Stupid Bowl and am not really familiar with Aguilera. But I took a pretty good guess about how she sang the anthem based on having heard other pop singers do it, i.e., ridiculously crazy riffs and flights of fancy with the music. I said to my husband if she had sung it the way the music was actually written and the way we ordinary folks sing it, she probably wouldn’t have messed up.

    • I kind of liked Roseanne Barr’s version, occasionally watch the u-tube clip. Clears my sinuses.

    • yup, had she not got lost doing vocal gymnastics she wouldn’t have gotten that far away from the lyrics and thus would not have forgotten them. I blame Whitney Huston.

      Only classically trained singers should sing the National anthem at public events. I remember when the audience was encouraged to sing along. Having the audience join in was the whole point of someone singing at the microphone.

  3. Aside from the obvious profane meaning, perhaps Christina was expressing the subliminal meaning as well, that our once proud and free country is getting shafted by the DHS. (Did she get one of those TSA perverted pat downs when she entered the stadium?) I think it was no mistake at all, she deliberatley sang it that way (and wants you to think she flubbed the words). Bravo!

  4. Oh well, I guess diversity is what makes this country great. For me, the big shame and disgust and embarrassment as an American has to do with the idea that so many Americans actually care about, and so much money is dumped into, professional sports. I didn’t watch the silly game, but I would wager that Christina’s performance would have been in my opinion the only worthwhile thing about the whole event. But, to each his own. I’m cool with that.

    • ” For me, the big shame and disgust and embarrassment as an American has to do with the idea that so many Americans actually care about, and so much money is dumped into, professional sports.”
      Why would you assume that it’s only an American thing to care about pro sports (besides to use it as an excuse to bash our culture)? Have you seen what professional soccer is like in Europe and South America? How about ice hockey in Russia, or cricket in Pakistan and India? Rugby in Australia, maybe? Why don’t you get your head out of your butt and accept that fact that humans like to watch the fastest and strongest among us compete in athletic contest, and that human desire to watch that naturally brings in money.

      • I’m a human, and I don’t have that desire. Perhaps you should read my comment again about diversity.

      • Do any of the other nations you metion pay multi-million dollar salaries to their players, including those convicted of felonies? Do any of the rest have year-round cycles similar to the US’ football-basketball-baseball “seasons?” Professional sports franchises are corporations, no different from any other business in their goals and intent.

  5. The ads were pathetic….mostly reflecting ther humor of 8th grade boys ( really immature stuff).. The ONLY one I liked had monkeys in it……they were great.

  6. The “kid” is your kid, RD? Fantastic! She’s got a great voice. I see your point about Christina’s performance … I only watched bits and pieces and picked up all I needed to about the ads on T.V. this morning.

  7. The BEST Super Bowl commercial – it made me proud to say I am from Detroit (actually, I’ve always been proud….it’s a beautiful city that has been beaten down…and Michigan is one of the most beautiful states.).

    • Chrysler has a lot to live up to now after that ad. There better be no flaws at all in that car.

  8. knowing the words to the national anthem should be a requirement for graduation from elementary school. it’s particularly embarrassing that citizens don’t know the words to this anthem which is rather short, compared to other anthems I’ve heard.

    I was bored with the game; and I’m a big football fan. I’m not a fan of either team so I didn’t care who won. I think Big Ben can clear out his locker in Pittsburgh. I was glad for Donald Driver and Woodson ( the “old” guys on Green Bay) both of whom do yeoman’s work, week in and week out. Both of whom were sidelined early in the game, ironically.

    The ads were pitiful although, RD, I did like one Doritos ad that had a guy house sitting for a week. He spends the week in front of the tv eating Doritos then looks up and realizes the week is over, the plants are dead, the fish is dead. So he feeds them Doritos and they spring back to life. Then he knocks over an urn on the mantle piece and the home owner returns to find his dead uncle sitting on the couch. I thought that was funny. The best ad I saw was actually for the NFL and featured a compilation of clips from old tv shows. The rest of it was forgettable.

  9. What is this “Super Bowl” of which you speak?

  10. I loved the Super Bowl… probably being from WI has something to do with it. A great thing for WI.

    Most of the ads were just strange. I agree that most just weren’t that creative. And those ones with the baby’s with kid voices creep me out. I agree with Joanie about the rest of the ads.

    I thought the Half-time show S-U-C-K-E-D. Just pretty much a rip off of other better songs, and I do like the Black Eyed Peas, but this new form of hip hop, using other songs while you rap off of them is uninspired and is too jolting. Not enough of a good mix. Fergie is no Axel Rose, that’s for sure. The light show was just boring. And now we know why it was so important that all of Arlington’s energy went to the stadium. They just had to have all those lights and the strange post-acopyltic attired BEPs being lowered onto the stage.

    As for Christina’s performance. Did we really expect any different? I was moved by her voice as I always am, but I agree the national anthem should only be sung like RD’s daughter did (wait until she develops those pipes) without much flourish added. Even Opera singers keep it contained.

    I wish though they had did a bigger thing out of the first living soldier to receive the Medal of Honor since ‘Nam. He just seemed thrown in there. Much like the rest … Overall, the whole event was just a hodgepodge of things thrown together.

    Anybody else catch the lie about Roethlisberger having ‘no charges against him’? A point made by the miserable Fox News announcers?

  11. RD, tell Brooklyn she done good. She’s developing into quite an impressively versatile young woman. Perhaps she’ll sing the national anthem at her own presidential inauguration. 😉

    My favorite renditions are Marvin Gaye’s and Whitney Houston’s.

  12. I must say, however, that the “Imported From Detroit” commercial absolutely deserves a Clio.

  13. twilghts last reaming hmmmmmmmmmmmm interesting choice of words.

  14. I experienced the Super Bowl by not watching the game and instead reading the tweets and Facebook comments of those who were watching it (while keeping an eye on the score on a news site). This method of “watching” the game translated into pure comedy gold for me.

    I blame Christina Aguilara for the Steelers’ loss. A jinxing, that’s what it was.

    Having actually just watched it today, I suspect I’m the only person on the face of the planet not impressed by the Chrysler ad. And I think I know why: it is a glorious triumph of production. Every image is flawless, every word perfectly placed, the music swells at just the right time and the overall tone is spot-on to pluck the right emotional response from the viewer. To be blunt: it’s completely fake – a marketing department’s wet dream.

  15. sas said: The ads were pathetic….mostly reflecting ther humor of 8th grade boys ( really immature stuff)..
    Exactly what I said to my guy that night – there was little humor, but a good deal of contempt reflected in them.

  16. The “Obama is likable enough” edition of the DUdies

  17. Am I supposed to become upset that a pop singer flubbed the anthem of the world’s foremost prison, torture, and war nation?

    If yes, why?

  18. Oh, monster – go to your room and sulk

  19. Everyone makes mistakes !! Thank goodness I believe in the word “Forgiveness”. Why do people continue to find only the errors of one’s way, instead of looking for the good.

    • For the amount of money those pop singers get paid to perform, I expect something resembling perfection. Kind of like how I don’t expect my doctor to flub a surgery, my mechanic to break parts on my car or my electrician to wire the house so that I end up crispy upon entering the shower.

      Am I comparing potentially deadly situations to the mere annoyance foisted upon us by a pop singer? Indeed I am. However, allow me this hyperbole to really drive the point home: if you call yourself a professional, you’d better know how to do the job correctly. “Forgiveness” is what keeps incompetent ingrates on the payroll, to the detriment of the system and those of us who pay attention to detail and work hard to try – often futilely – to get ahead.

      • Seth,

        So, what you’re saying is that if you are paid a lot of money, then you can never make a mistake?

        Well, I know a lot of football players who make a lot of money and make mistakes all the time. In the case of the steelers playing in the first quarter, they made all kinds of mistakes, despite their huge salaries, but you don’t blame them, you blame the woman!

        No wonder guy’s don’t ever want to admit sexism is pervasive. Who would they blame for their mistakes, if they can’t blame the women?!

        • Calling me sexist is not a good way to buttress your argument. It’s a bit like calling me racist because I didn’t vote for a certain candidate. Now that I have THAT out of the way…

          My point, which you completely missed, is that anyone who claims to be a professional, regardless of gender, should know their craft well enough to avoid the pratfalls of foolish errors.

          If you look several comments up, you’ll read that I didn’t actually watch the Super Bowl. Everything I’ve seen – the Chrysler ad, the National Anthem, etc. has all been online after the fact. As such, between that and my ignorance overall as to the way football should or should not be played, I am ill-equipped to comment on the performance of either team.

          • Seth,

            Don’t change the subject. You blamed the woman and that’s a convenient response made all the time by men. You also proved my point that guys can’t admit that sexism exists, because you turn yourself into a pretzel ignoring the fact that you just imposed a double standard on the woman who made a lot of money shouldn’t make a mistake, but totally ignored the many mistakes made by the very high paid football plalyers AND you put the onus on Aguilera for the Steelers losing!

            It’s the double standard that is sexist and you know it. It’s just that guys, in general, have gotten away with this double standard since life began and you don’t know how to deal with the possibility that you judge women on a higher standard than men. Don’t get me wrong, far too many women judge women more harshly too. They misguidingly think they will be approved of and accepted by the “boyz club” when they attack their own gender.

            As for Aguilera being singled out for singing the anthem in her own style — she’s not the only artist not to sing the song in a conventional style, so, why pick on her for doing what many have already done before her?

            I remember how alot of dems had the same mentality when it came to attacking Hillary, while letting the guys she was running against (particularly, obama) get away with far worse (hence, in your face, over-the-top sexism). I’m never going to remain silent while a woman is being unfairly attacked because she’s a convenient scape goat for whatever someone happens to be pissed off about at the time. I’m talking about focusing your anger at the person or person who deserve your angst and stop using women as the convenient whipping post.

  20. My personal feeling is that the national anthem is the one song that should always be about the song and not the singer. If these celebrities think they need to “make it their own” ask them to go somewhere else, and call RD’s beautiful daughter. Many in the crowd like to sing along, kind of hard to do when some diva is singing 45 notes to each word, and most of them not doing it very well. You can’t “make it your own”, bimbos, it belongs to the heart and soul of a nation.

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