I know every other blogger on earth is talking about this, but I found Janet Jackson's Super Bowl boob to be among the more refreshingly cynical things to happen in mass American culture in a long time. The weird backpedaling of the Powers That Be notwithstanding, you have to see this as a the ultimate – and I would say successful – use of Spectacle.
Think about it: nobody is hurt by this. CBS gets boffo ratings and makes it the water-cooler talk of the week. MTV gets itself involved with scandal, which is their life's blood. Justin Timberlake gets to officially graduate from "ex-boy band member" to "someone who has the nads to fondle rock royalty." And Janet Jackson, who is about to release an album in the long, dark afternoon of her career, gets more free press than the President of the United States.
I mean, come ON, people: the last line of Justin's lyric was "I'm gonna get you nekkid before I finish this song." Janet's acting in the split second after the reveal was so good that it's a shame she sucked so bad in "Poetic Justice." I think the whole thing is wonderful, as it is the ultimate subversion of our draconian nudity laws and a giant middle finger to conservative thinking – all in the name of big business! It's the endgame of strange bedfellows, which is this country at its best.
Thank god for TiVo, so we could rewind it forty times. And if that wasn't cool, how about our beloved Shelagh Ratner in the Toyota ad? Getting a commercial during the Super Bowl is the Holy Chalice of actors doing these gigs, and it couldn't have happened to a cooler chick. Go Shelagh!
Posted by irw at February 1, 2004 11:33 PM
"What planet are you from? Are there more of you?"