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February 02, 2004: Keeping America's priorities straight

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Let me tell you what I did not do yesterday.

Yesterday I went to church. I taught my class on the gospel according to Harry Potter, and I sang in choir, and I got a chance to talk to some friends, and I ended the day feeling pretty bleh as another round of the winter crud took a hold of my throat and nose.

But yesterday I did not watch the Super Bowl. This is because I could really not care less about pretty much every major sport out there, and most certainly I could not care less about football. The only thing remotely useful about Super Bowl Sunday, for me, was when I had my paper route back in Junior High, back in the days when we still would collect the money door to door each month. Super Bowl Sunday was great because everyone was so desperate to get back to the television to watch grown men scrabble around in the grass for a lopsided ball amid much grunting and yelling and testosterone-infused stupidity that people were willing to toss large bills at me and exclaim "keep the change" as they slammed the door in my face.

But I am digressing. So let me repeat myself. I did not watch the Super Bowl yesterday. So I was perhaps one of the few people in this country who did not see Janet Jackson's bared breast during the split milliseconds in which it actually happened, real time.

Not, mind you, that I have been lacking in opportunity since the great Nipple Escape occurred. The uproar that has ensued has been nothing short of laughable, if it weren't for the fact that people seem to be taking it so seriously. An outrage, it is called, a moral outrage that such a thing would be shown on prime time television. And in case any of us missed the initial titillating shot, there have been all manner of news spots happily willing to show it to us, again, and again. See? See? If you weren't outraged before, aren't you outraged now?

Well, as a matter of fact, I am. But my outrage has absolutely nothing to do with Janet Jackson's star-studded (literally) bosoms. So she bared her boobies on prime time. So. What. Big. Deal. Who the hell cares? It's not as if we don't see things even more blatantly seductive in other programming. After all, one doesn't have to look too hard to find other examples of nudity on prime time, although I suppose in Survivor's case, they oh-so-carefully blurred out all the naughty bits so you have to use your imagination a little bit more in order to figure out that one of their contestants was prancing around in his birthday suit.

No, my outrage about this whole thing is in how it is being blown so completely out of proportion. A woman accidentally flashes a nipple on television and suddenly everyone is in a tizzy. Hell, the FCC is being called in to do an investigation. No mention at all of the streakier who ran across the field itself, baring a lot more than just one teeny nipple to however many people were present at the game. No mention of how those skimpy little outfits the cheerleaders for the Super Bowl contenders usually wear leave practically nothing to the imagination. All of those are just fine and dandy. But one little accidentally bared breast and you'd think the world was coming to an end.

Never mind that we've got a man in the White House whose administration is dragging this country down with his sorry, useless ass. Never mind that our soldiers are still dying daily fighting a war in Iraq based on intelligence that was being questioned even before it was used as 'proof' for a war that the Shrub wanted long before he ever made it into office in the first place. Never mind the continuing hemorrhaging of jobs to other countries and the continued erosion of personal liberties. Never mind anything that actually *matters*. No, the big news of the day is that Janet Jackson flashed America.

Sometimes it's not so comforting to be reminded that just when you thought the media couldn't get any worse, they prove you wrong yet again.

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