Thursday, February 03, 2005

The Other War

This Frank Rich column in the New York Times takes aim at what the author contends is a Bush Administration jihad against "non-traditional" families and values. Mr. Rich traces the beginning of this phase of the culture war back to the unleashing of Miss Jackson (if you're nasty)'s breast during the halftime show of the 2004 Superbowl. He renders harsh judgement:

This repressive cultural environment was officially ratified on Nov. 2, when Ms. Jackson's breast pulled off its greatest coup of all: the re-election of President Bush. Or so it was decreed by the media horde that retroactively declared "moral values" the campaign's decisive issue and the Super Bowl the blue states' Waterloo. The political bosses of "family" organizations, well aware that TV's collective wisdom becomes reality whether true or not, have been emboldened ever since. They are spending their political capital like drunken sailors, redoubling their demands that the Bush administration marginalize gay people, stamp out sex education and turn pop culture into a continuous loop of "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm."

The most pathetic part of this tale goes unexamined in the piece, however. If Rich is correct, then the first shot in this war was fired for the sake of pure venality.

Remember that Janet Jackson's appearance during that Superbowl was the beginning of her publicity campaign for a new album. The tactical goal of that bare, 39-year old breast was to generate controversy and, by extension, publicity. The strategic goal was to instigate massive record sales.

Who remembers what that album was even called? Who can name one of its songs?

Talk about winning the battle and losing the war!


ma said...

I do recall the incident: buzzword of the day now forgotten,(2007) "clothing malfunction".