American Bacchanal XLII
In the early evening spilling over into prime time of the first Sunday in February tens of millions of Americans will be glued to their beloved televisions for the annual celebration of the crowning achievement of the post-industrial age of unfettered capitalism run amok that is the forty second edition of the Super Bowl. A more often than not bad football game will be stuffed, chunked and wedged in between million dollar commercials that in a sad indictment of our gross consumerist culture are often discussed more enthusiastically at water coolers and over coffee than the game itself. The hype goes on for two solid weeks over the run up to this American bacchanal and the Super Bowl is normally the most watched program of the year therefore making it the premier vehicle to reach the largest marketing audience. The commercials have come to have a hallucinogenic quality with the advent of computer generated special affects. They are like the most garish imagery of nightmares or the distorted visions of bad acid trips. Imagine a hookah smoking caterpillar hawking beer, soft drinks loaded with high fructose corn syrup or snack chips with enough trans fatty acids to juice the sales of the latest cholesterol drugs that are also pimped to the masses of asses.
Far more attention will be paid to this game and the ridiculous reality television shows that the host network mentally bludgeons viewers with than such trivialities as the ongoing and increasing bloody and immoral war ostensibly being waged for Americans to enjoy their precious freedoms to prostate themselves in front of their beloved high definition, big screen televisions and gorge themselves on the very foods and beverages to which they are a captive audience. While Iraq continues to burn, the blood of our young soldiers running in the streets the indolent and blissfully ignorant serfs in the kingdom of Bush will sit upon their plush sofas and drag tortilla chips through bowls of salsa dip even as the charred, limbless remains of bombing victims are dragged off of Baghdad streets, screaming in agony and probably cursing General Petraeus, the nation’s homeless and uninsured children are freezing and starving in our own streets and the looming CDO catastrophe threatens to make the subprime crises losses look like chump change. So just fuck it all, praise Jesus and pass the chips and the remote, it’s time for the Super Bowl!
What is it with the goofballs in the media who are so goddamned fucking lazy that they have to attach “GATE” to the end of anything where there is even a remote controversy? If there is one thing that keeps me blogging other than my burning hatred for hypocrisy, dumbness and corruption then it is the hope that one day even I may be able to collect a consistent paycheck from writing on a regular basis if the competition for gigs is that unimaginative, lazy, trite and inept. And in a sure sign that the Super Bowl is upon us official joining in milking the entire goddamned incident is none other than Senator Arlen Specter who has taken a break from his normal gig as a foot stool for the Bush administration to haughtily hector the the NFL about why the infamous Belichick tapes were destroyed. I mean give me a motherfucking break! What about the CIA destroying the Gitmo torture tapes, or those millions of missing archived emails from the White House that were allegedly ‘accidentally’ taped over? Specter is notorious as a stooge for the system and is invaluable as a reliable drama queen whenever mock outrage and no follow up is required to put up a smokescreen for the latest travesty of a tyrannical regime running up the score against the American people.
Anyway, back to that hype thing now…
Think of the Kurt Warner era St. Louis Rams, “The Greatest Show On Turf” and the near masturbatory frenzy over that team that was in the end as soft as your average Freeper or Dittohead when it came to playing defense. Sure the Warner story was made for television canonization with a rabid Jesus freak gone from chucking cans of creamed corn at his local supermarket to heaving touchdowns to an ultra speedy corps of fleet footed receivers that nobody could figure out how to stop until it became clear that they developed serious cases of alligator arms when faced with a physical defense but the Rams were largely a creation of the media. They won exactly one Super Bowl with that sensationalized and prolific offense and that one was only by the grace of God as time ran out with the Titans inches away from the goal line and Eddie George and Steve McNair having worn down the Ram ‘D’. Of course they only got to the big game after a mysterious review call from the replay booth overruled a Tampa Bay Buccaneer catch by the lamentable Bert Emanuel that would have given Tony Dungy’s team a first down on the way to a game winning score that would have had network and league execs flooding their local suicide hot lines and even had iconic football diety John Madden practically screaming “What the FUCK?” but I am rambling.
The point that I am making is that the national establishment sports media can always be counted on to ride whatever bandwagon offers the most luxurious ride and is the easiest to drive, they sell us our sports champions the same way that they sell us our politicians, our junk food, our investment plans and our boner pills.
But I digress….
A Patriots loss may be phenomenal and the story of the century to the media but to even the casual, serious NFL fan it really wouldn’t be a surprise at all. Hell, it’s not like New England has been playing dominant ball the last month or so and were given all that they could handle by a hobbled San Diego Charger team coached by Norv fucking Turner for Christ’s sake to even get to the Super Bowl this year. The 2007 version of the “Greatest Show on Turf” has been downright ordinary since rolling the hapless Buffalo Bills by 46 points back in November. The unbeaten streak may be nice (and I am actually hoping that they cap it off just for the sake of shutting up all of those classless motherfuckers on the 72 Dolphins once and for all) but it is only intact because A.J. Feely finally remembered who he was and the Baltimore Ravens punk mentality combined with the refs for an assisted suicide that was worthy of Dr. Jack Kervorkian so all of that bullshit about the 18-0 juggernaut is just that – bullshit. As the maxim goes in regards to the NFL on any given Sunday…
The Patriots are definitely beatable what remains to be seen is whether the New York Giants are the team to finally put the spear through the dream season. The Giants DID manage to nearly upset the Pats back in week 17 and appear to match up well in addition to being on a king hell roll after having overcome the elements, a kicker who will never be confused with Adam Vinatieri (let alone Scott Norwood) when it comes to making the clutch kicks, the foaming at the mouth Colonel Nathan Jessup style dictatorial tyranny of coach Tom Couglin and the odds to even be in this game. Practically the entire country was pulling for the Green Bay Packers and a fairy tale end to the Brett Favre story until the clock struck twelve and Favre was once again transformed into an inconsistent, interception chucking geriatric in the NFC title game.
Truthfully though the Giants tenacious play against the Pats in week 17 is an illusion and in all likelihood they are going to be rolled in McCain country come Sunday evening. I watched that game too and the one thing that I really came away with was that the Pats were utterly bewildered that New York played what should for all intents and purposes been a meaningless game as though it were the fucking Super Bowl. It was 28-13 before New England actually started playing as though it were a real game and in the end they prevailed 38-35 in what was one of the season’s best games despite looking like one of those typical week 17 dogs where teams choose to rest their starters. The Giants then used the momentum of the game, trumpeting a loss like I have never really quite seen a team do to knock off the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and their megalomaniac leader Jon Gruden who had the best rested team to get knocked out of the playoffs in round one and a Dallas Cowboy squad embarrassed by their pussy whipped quarterback’s Mexico fuck safari with Jessica Simpson before feasting on Favre to get to Phoenix.
I wouldn’t count on the Pats taking the Giants lightly again and coming off of an easier than what logic would dictate path to the big one given the regular post-season Peyton Manning choke job they are healthy and motivated this time. I wouldn’t count on a repeat of week 17 and given the additional fuel provided by loudmouthed Giant’s receiver Plaxico Burress’ prediction I would definitely take the over on this one if I were a betting man. Despite my wishes to see a competitive game this one has the smell of one of those big time ass whippings of yore. I may be going out on a limb here but I say that Patriots put up at least 17 points in the first quarter on the way to a huge margin of victory along the lines of the stompings administered by those great 49er teams led by Joe Montana. I would predict somewhere along the lines of 48-17 or so although I really hope I’m wrong because I just want so see a good game so I can tune out the fucking commercials.
Now that I have done my sports analysis I need to at least comment on the societal aspects of sports in modern day society. Americans are totally fucking obsessed with games, trivialities and minutiae which serve the purpose of the system by acting as necessary distractions in much the same manner as the Roman empire’s panem et circenses or bread and circuses to those unfamiliar with the Latin tongue. While the American empire continues the long, slow slouch towards mass dumbness, despotism, bankruptcy and historical infamy it is imperatives that the frogs sitting in the pot are kept largely oblivious until dinnertime and our degraded celebrity saturated culture is only going to be able to suck in so many so therefore there is a need for games, contests and other amazing feats to enthrall the others. We have fighting contests, shows were people eat worms, talent shows for the talent deprived, fuckover fests that encourage the same deviant psychopathic behavior that is conducive to climbing the corporate ladder like Survivor and culinary contests like Iron Chef and the more peasant oriented eating contests that are occasionally featured on ESPN2 where consumption, gluttony and the vein bulging trench match collision of gastro goliaths are the freak shows that pass for competitive exhibitions are a sure sign of a rotting empire.
I may yet live to be 100 and will undoubtedly have seen a shitload of truly abominable things by then but I am reasonably certain that nothing will ever surpass the Philly Wing Bowl for a sheer and unpolished look at the spirit of America circa The Clinton-Bush years. You can take this one and seal it in a fucking time capsule! One night quite awhile back while channel surfing through the tsunami of cable television bullshit that is routinely foisted off as filler to the public I happened to stumble upon a show on some third rate network such as Food TV and was transfixed by the utterly unbelievable festival that was unfolding on the screen of my 27 inch Zenith. The show contained footage from something called the Philly Wing Bowl that was a surreal melding of arena football, heavy metal rock and roll, pop culture, sleazy sexuality and good ole all American gluttony. The purely primal competition that was on display was an exhibition of endurance and sexual bravado that was utterly oozing with raw prehistoric male machismo unseen since the days of Neanderthal fertility rituals or at least since the unstoppable duo of Flintstone and Rubble were still urling the rock around.
It was an astounding thing to behold. I was of course mesmerized by this glimpse into the strange netherworld of Philly fan distilled down to his purest form and unleashed in the circus maximus setting of a drunken mob of hooligans and borderline degenerates. This hoodlum swarm had gathered en masse at the Wachovia Center for a freak festival extraordinaire that had been sponsored by a local sports radio station and were likely strict adherents to the normal pattern of binge drinking that occurs prior to any Eagles home game where hooligans gather the day before to get liquored up and spend the time getting liquored up and rowdy on the eve of the great battle of the week. Of course it has never been quite the same in Philly since the days when Veteran’s Memorial Stadium was still standing.
The rodent infested house of steel and concrete hell known simply as The Vet was best known for the actual jail that was present in the bowels of the stadium and on game days was open for business as a judge conducted business on whatever member of the inebriated and ill mannered herd happened to be swept up by police who roamed the stands seeking to set examples to quell disorder. The Vet was a dank, stinking old remant of those cookie cutter stadiums where the defective plumbing pipes leaked beer and urine on the heads of passers by and where only the most evil of rodent vermin lurked like street gangstas defending their turf against that were the mortal enemy stray cats who also called the stadium home with the same vigor that possessed gangs of rowdy, drunken Philly Phanatics who prowled the 700 level during blowouts looking for hapless Cowboy, Giant and Redskin fans to mercilessly bludgeon or mirthfully sodomize just for the sheer hell of it.
In kind of a perverse way it was sad to see The Vet go, it was a time honored local tradition seeing pick up teams of rowdy, uncouth drunks playing ‘hockey’ on a rink of ice and frozen urine by using their feet as sticks to kick a frozen egg mcmuffin that someone had found in the trunk of their car along as a puck at 7:15 on the Sunday morning before a late winter Iggles game. Cheap thrills for the masses that went by the wayside after most of the contestants were forced out due to the increased costs of a new state of the art stadium, where seat licenses are peddled like Bolivian flake cocaine to those who can afford it. For the others, there was the cheap crack high of continuing to gather sans tickets in order to watch the home team’s contests on mini TVs in the parking lots and still participating in their tailgate parties on a frozen blacktop tundra where their unique little tribe cedes more of it’s former territory as the price of football goes up, being continually pushed farther and farther out towards the outskirts of the RV parking lots. But always they are loyalists and always faithful to their chronically underachieving but beloved Iggles.
But again I digress…
The Wing Bowl bacchanalia featured horrifying scenes of intense, pagan festivity that should never be seen by women or children or any other member of a civilized society the vignettes of this horror included a man who was wearing a studded black leather jacket and an actual pig’s head that was hollowed out to fit on his face like a mask strutted his stuff. Another contestant was wheeled in strapped to an upright gurney wearing a straitjacket and mask ala Hannibal Lecter. It is a searing indictment of the declining quality of American culture as well as symptomatic of an incurably sick society when a diabolical serial killer who also happens to a cannibal is glorified and elevated to heroic status but this is a topic for another time. The pre-contest ‘entertainment’ featured an amazing individual whose apparent greatest talent in life was bashing cans of beer open against his bloody forehead and then spraying the contents into the roaring crowd. Nice but this type of etiquette is fairly commonplace at Eagles tailgate parties. His demonstration was accompanied by 80’s hair metal band Quiet Riot’s teen angst anthem Bang Your Head over the arena loud speakers and which was met by thunderous applause.
If I personally was horrified after only ten minutes or so of such graphic imagery on Food TV it is damned near impossible to conceive of the outrage of actually having to attend this pagan ritual of gluttony in person or to imagine the stench. The air had to have been thick with the musky aroma of testosterone, stale tobacco, rotgut alcohol, congealed grease, rancid sweat and the spicy vinegar based red pepper sauce that the chicken wings had been dipped in prior to being laid out (in plates of 20) upon the altar of gluttony that was the bunting and banner draped banquet table row in front of the chosen fearless gladiators who would be vying for the dubious honor of being named KING WING!
Sluttishly garbed hoochie mamas called Wingettes strutted their stuff, parading around in G-strings, their shaved pubic areas and silicone enhanced breasts attracted and aroused the males in their immediate vicinity like pieces of raw meat thrown down in front of a horde of starving wild animals. The very presence of these women and their imitators only served to further crank up the testosterone level among the miscreant hordes that at best were a parade of utterly abominable, knuckle dragging, hairy fatsos who looked like they had collectively crawled out of the sensory deprivation tank in Altered States. They were mankind reduced to its knuckle dragging primal basic instincts, carnivores seeking to feed on the prized meat and then return to the cave to slobber over subservient female flesh in the aftermath of the hunt. A morbidly obese bare chested, bearded dude who looked a bit like Jerry Garcia only fatter, was wearing an Eagles baseball cap backwards and who had bigger tits than Pamela Anderson only much hairier grasped his set of gobdobblers and squeezed them together to further enhance their enormity…then he wiggled that hot sauce spattered pair of pink nosed puppies directly into the camera eye and straight into the living rooms of America!
You could practically hear the sound of hot rendered deep fryer fat sluicing through arteries as the arena horn sounded and the contestants dived into their plates discarding drummette bones as they ravenously pillaged. When the plates were clear of all but bits of coating swimming in hot sauce a wingette would shake her booty to the fore in order to replace it with another platter. The gallantry and gluttony were as unrelenting they were intense and the ten minutes or so of actual competition was heated indeed, ambulances circled the arena hoping to cash in on chokers or heart attack victims. By the time that the champion was crowned the floors were slick with vomited remnants of undigested, half chewed bits of fowl meat, grease, fried coating and hot sauce, it resembled an abattoir or the scene of some bloody atrocity. The real atrocity however is the fact that most of these losers were proud of themselves, they actually enjoy being grimy, inebriated, belligerent, miscreants who couldn’t get laid in a women’s prison if they had a pocketful of pardons. The definition of a hot date for the majority of them consists of a twelve pack of cheap swill and a copy of the latest issue of Penthouse.
In the aftermath of the carnage, the triumphant victor was borne forth on a wheeled cart pulled by four scantily clad ‘Wingettes’ to the lusty, full throated cheers of the crowd who paid homage to their victorious gladiator, the winner of this great contest of olympic proportions threw his head back and loosed a horrifying belch that not only rose above the din but rattled the plexi-glass boards that encircled the ice on which the mighty hometown Flyers soundly defeated their hated rivals the New York Rangers only two nights prior. The decibel level of that great discharge of pent up gastric fumes was so loud that it was as if King Kong himself had roared in primal, chest thumping rage. The champion was El Wingador whose triumphant and epic display of gluttony for the ages was immortalized by his ravenous consumption of 154 wings! 77 chickens paid the ultimate price so that this fat, drooling, slob could be anointed with the deified title of KING WING. The runners up, men with the nicknames of Kid Meatball, Winga the Hut, Kid Diesel, Doughboy, Lord of the Wings, Sir Wingalot, The Inhaleionator, Kid Knish, Massive Mike and yes, even Jesus himself were left to seek refuge from their disappointment in gallons of beer and then to slowly gather it back together for another run at the hallowed title next year, kind of like a white trash version of the Buffalo Bills. Maybe they can even line up Arlen Specter as a judge since it is his turf and he has so much fucking time on his hands.
I guess that I just had to get that off of my chest, so severe the nightmares have been over the years as does the Wing Bowl and if we have anything to truly be grateful for this weekend it is that el fascisto Americano Rudolph Giuliani has officially dropped out of the race for the White House. Now we can take some solace in knowing that the parallel reality of what Giuliani presidency would have meant for the first Super Bowl to be held in New York City with Il Duce himself crooning the national anthem in a Tony Bennett falsetto and the references to 9/11 would dominate the weeks of hype. There would have been the inevitable 9/11 tie ins including a state of the art reenactment of the devastation of the twin towers during a halftime show that will feature ‘patriotic’ music by country western stars like Toby Keith and Lee Greenwood among others. There would have been military marching bands, honor guards, flyovers, gospel choirs and the new mass reality television sensation of summary executions of several prominent liberals and other enemies of the state ad midfield. It would have been our very own Nuremburg rally only swaddled in stars and stripes instead of swastikas.
So Happy Fucking Super Bowl weekend! Fuck the wars, fuck the stock market, fuck the repression, fuck the futility and just fuck it all for four hours or so – let’s all just relish in that one hallowed thing that makes us all proud to be Americans.
By Ed Encho