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That’s Entertainment

Graham Greene, a 20th century author who worked in a variety of literary genres, made a distinction in classifying his work as either a “serious” work or an “entertainment.” Greene did write about serious issues in some of his novels—most notably the meaning and sustaining of faith in a world that oftentimes wracks us with existential doubt. But he also wrote stories that were meant to amuse us, to reduce the amount of ratiocination required while perusing the words on the page. I’ve always thought that this distinction between the two types of work is a good one.

Although Johnny deals with some aspects of Super Bowl XXXVII in the post below, I’d like to make a few different observations about what is evidently a testosterone-fueled event that has taken on mega-Dionysian proportions during the past few years. It is interesting to look back at Hunter Thompson’s writings on his holding forth on the scriptures while on the balcony of a Hyatt with what was perceived a large leech crawling up the back of his spine on a Super Bowl Sunday morning. The absurdity of the actual event in and of itself today is in many ways far in excess of what was then chronicled by Thompson as something that was bizarre.

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Some Final Words on Super Bowl XXXVII

Celine Dion, “God Bless America” – The woman has an extremely large, extremely froggy voice, a husband whose first job was as a deckhand on Sir Walter Raleigh’s frigate, a promotional contract with Daimler-Chrysler, and an irritating French-Canadian accent. While all of these things bother me, it’s the last two that REALLY cream my brie. I mean, did the CFL get Mariah Carey to sing “Oh, Canada” at the Gray Cup? And as Chrysler bought ad time during the Super Bowl, was there some back-end hanky panky going on to install the company’s newest spokeswoman onstage? (This paragraph is funnier when read while impersonating Dion’s stupid, pinchy-mouthed accent.)

Dixie Chicks, “The National Anthem” – These girls can sing. Natalie Maines has a distinctive voice, one which immediately stands out while your car radio scans for music. As she harmonized with her bandmates, their collective voices and the inventive arrangement made for one of the more interesting performances of the anthem in recent memory. Or at least it was better than that kid on the “American Idol” premiere.

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