Marianne Spellman

Marianne Spellman
Seattle-ish, Washington,
April 06
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Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 3, 2013 7:13PM


Rate: 10 Flag
Less than two months ago, a man entered an elementary school in Newtown, CT. and shot to death twenty children and six adult staff.

Today, a group of surviving children from the Sandy Hook school were paraded out on a football field to sing "America the Beautiful" along with pop belter Jennifer Hudson, whose mother and brother were also shot to death a few years ago. The director of this spectacle made sure to include lots of cutaway shots to teary-eyed football players, just to remind people that they were still supposed to be sad.

What is noble or healing or supportive in any way about allowing a group of traumatized children to be used by a giant commercial enterprise -- the NFL and the Super Bowl -- to bring in more gawking victim-viewers to generate MORE AD REVENUE for a brain-and-bone crushing sport? What is "beautiful" about "America" in reminding viewers that we are so quick to profit off the salient misery of others, while doing nothing to stop more misery from occurring?

I don't care if the NFL shoved a million dollars at Sandy Hook. I don't care if the view is, hey, give these poor kids a free trip to the Super Bowl so they can get autographs from pop stars and athletes whose brains will be so scrambled by football-related concussions that they might someday suffer Parkinsonian tremors or severe personality changes or commit suicide. I don't care if you want to push a bunch of bullshit at me that life goes on and our country is still the best and we all should find hope and peace in the faces of the kids that were so damn lucky not to get killed at their school that day.

Less than two months ago, the blood and the gore and the horror were incomprehensible, ghastly, fresh. Today, the blood is mopped up, the dead are buried, and fake sentiment is delivered in the nation's cathedral, a fucking football stadium, floodlights burning, cameras whirring, money flowing in red, gushing, pulsing rivers.

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And images of the drone king shooting skeet - as the new world order moves its obsolete pawns through the maze of mind making images - pictures - crafted to create - more of the same and less of us - the no longer needed warriors or workers.
Yes - there will be no Rollerball, no Jon-A-Thin - just as there is no more JFK or MLK, Just images and high paid men smashing each other to sell guns and pepsi for their masters.
Not being a fan of professional sports (and being married to man who is not either, for which I am very grateful), I had no idea that this was a part of yesterday's soul-sucking spectacle.

This was a very righteous rant.
Sometimes, it's just all too damn much.
Disagree. Strongly.

I’ve checked the local newspaper for Newtown and I’ve checked the online discussion about the Super Bowl appearance on the town’s website. The pride in the kids’ performance was universal. If there was anyone in Newtown who felt exploited, they haven’t made their voices heard in any forum I have seen. Pairing them with Jennifer Hudson, whose family was also the victim of horrific gun violence, made a statement that I found moving.

It sounds like your objection is really about the Super Bowl itself. Fair enough. Is the Super Bowl an ode to American excess, gluttony and self-satisfaction? Absolutely. That’s the subject of a good rant. I’ve thought about writing it myself. But to use the performance by the Sandy Hook kids as the basis of that rant – well, I think your cynicism got the better of you this time, Marianne.
But congratulations on the Editor's Pick. It's about time they gave you one.
America the Beautiful, the incomprehensible, the place that for all its abused beauty takes trust and the dollar as indisputable proof of its sovereignty over the rest of us.
We're done.
Hello China, Nee Ha.
Cranky, I still just cannot find the good in this. Of course, anyone would be proud of their children appearing at a major event, but it all seems exploitative in the end, awareness of such by the Newtown community or not.

And thank you re: the Editor's Pick...I didn't know! ;)
You make some points, but I'd defer to the parents of the victims and survivors on this one. If they thought it was helpful and appropriate and gave their approval, then I'm good.
If I could, I would give them a stable of ponies, all the glitter and Christmas lights that exist, and a parade every weekend. Sometimes it is just what it looks like, and I am going to go with the thought that this was done out of compassion and deep sorrow for what happened, in the hope of giving those kids some better memories. I may be wrong, but I choose to see it that way.
If this weren't tied into just a plain old commercial fact that the appearance of these children at the Super Bowl was guaranteed to bring in broadcast viewers that perhaps normally wouldn't even tune in, I might be less appalled. People made money off them.

A sincere effort to help these kids, their families, their community, and our country's violence problem didn't need to be part of an entertainment package.
Thanks, Seer. I do understand the point that there may have been some motive to keep the tragedy fresh in the minds of the public in this, one of the most-viewed TV events in any year. But I will never believe that was the prime motivation. In the end, it was hollow, did nothing to help anything, and is already forgotten. What's next? An American Idol spot? Dancing With The Sandy Hook Kids? I remain appalled.
Any change has to be driven hard via our sympathetic lawmakers, but even if and when that happens, it won't be near enough. We have such a beautiful country. We are bound and determined to destroy it in so many ways.
Please see the 14 Feb 13 Rolling Stone article by Tim Dickinson,
'The NRA vs. America'

That the chorus would have had 20 more children singing.
I read this at Our Salon and commented there...

(if anyone's interested...)
Excellent rant - textbook. Hopefully a gun toter or two was reminded to lock the old gun cabinet. A team named after a poem prevailed over a team running The Pistol. A ray of sunshine?
I hope so, Damon. Thank you.
I'm with you on this topic. Could be because the media hype money-grubbers have always been this way! Well-written. R.
Although the USA is losing out in medical care, education, police brutality, citizen's rights, and a few other non-essentials, there's just no beating it for bad taste. It's always been right up there at the top in that and its glory in that vital factor is undiminished.
I don't watch the Super Bowl, but saw the news stories about this. I was wondering if anyone would notice how obscene this spectacle was. Thanks for writing it. Gads, the times are so weird. You can't make this stuff up.
Thanks, John. Glad to have a forum to speak here!