Sunday, May 25, 2008

PsyOps Detroit by Louis Evan Palmer

In 2005, the 40th playing of the Super Bowl came to Detroit (do they still makes cars here?), Michigan. It had been 23 years since it had been to Detroit in 1982 - basically, a generation ago. The game featured the Pittsburgh Steelers (do they still make steel here?) and the Seattle Seahawks (do they still make planes here?)

The half-time show "starred" the geriatric (yes, censor me) Rolling Stones who put on a pitiful stale performance of intensely over-played songs - how could people not retch at the sound & sight of "(I can't get no) Satisfaction" as sung by a faux-angry pathetically strutting rooster-like Jaggar? Being surrounded by his night-of-the-living-dead cohorts wheezing and bobbing with ghastly "smiles" pasted to their wrinkled drug-addled faces didn't help.

It would have been an affront at any venue - who does the NFL think their audience is anyway? But to "showcase" an ancient British band fronted by hundreds of phony young fans clapping and waving their arms in the birthplace of the Motown sound was as jolting an insult as could be delivered to a city. To be in the home of the one of the most amazing and popular musical styles of the 20th century and not to make that the centerpiece of the half-time show which is first and foremost a musical celebration boggles the mind. It's so nonsensical that one begins to wonder if this was a deliberate denigration of Detroit, even a psychological warfare operation.

Was there a massive pre-game protest campaign against this affront? Don't know - if there was it was remarkably quiet or hidden (or suppressed). Was there a boycott or post-game complaint mail-ins? There was at least one article in the local Detroit newspaper (McGraw, Bill. "JOURNAL: No R-E-S-P-E-C-T for Motown halftime"; Dec. 1, 2005, Detroit Free Press) which is no longer accessible via the internet. (surprise!) But not numerous articles and talk-shows, etc. Not numerous and loud and effective.

That it happened is bad enough. That it happened with barely a whimper of protest is worse. Detroit has its problems but it doesn't need gratuitous violence being done to its heritage and pride - which is what the Super Bowl 40 half-time "show" was. And a Motown half-time show would have been so much better!

PsyOps Dettoit, Louis Evan Palmer, The Way It Can Be,
Copyright 2008 Louis Evan Palmer lives in Ontario Canada. His short stories have appeared in numerous publications.


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