February 12, 2004

What if?

by Chris Feeney

What if public nudity in the middle of the most watched television program of the year really was a shock? Okay, I admit that I was a bit surprised when Janet Jackson lost her top during the halftime show of the Super Bowl. I looked around at the rest of the party-goers as if to ask “Did I really see that?” While I was surprised, I can’t say that I was really shocked. I guess I was stunned by the fact that I had even paid attention to a halftime show, a first for me. I’m not a big music fan and am even less interested in dancing and showmanship. I must admit I didn’t know who most of the performers were and can’t tell you what any of them sang about. So the fact that I made it through all of the trash to even see the final flash was unbelievable. But as far as what happened then, it just was no big deal. I quickly forgot about it and returned to the game, when it finally came back on after they disposed of the streaker who rushed onto the field before the start of the second half.

I guess what I’m saying is we should be used to this by now. I’m not saying we should like it, just simply that this is what we see everyday. What shocks me much more than the singer’s bare breast is the public outcry it has created. Everyone seems upset by this second of nudity. Would anyone even have mentioned the musical interlude if it hadn’t been for the now famous “wardrobe malfunction”? The halftime “entertainment” was filled with scantly clad folks bumping and rubbing against each other. Was Miss Jackson exposed any worse than her and Justin Timberlake fondling each other as he sang “I’ll get you naked by the end of this song?” How about Kid Rock, while draped in the Stars and Stripes, singing about hookers and P. Diddy and Nelly, well, just rapping should be an offense in itself. Okay, so I’m old, and out of touch with what’s hip and trendy. Still I think it’s sort of like pulling the fire alarm after the building has already burned to the ground. I don’t think a person should be complaining about their kids seeing this halftime show. Besides, by that point they had seen the half-naked cheerleaders, two-dozen beer commercials, a crotch-biting dog, a horse with bad gas and plenty of other moral dilemmas. Was the split-second glimpse of Janet’s bare breast really any worse than all the rest of this junk that we are bombarded with on a daily basis? I didn’t hear anyone complaining about the episode of Survivor right after the game where one contestant on the reality show ran around buck-naked on the beach. Sure his private parts were blurred out, but all that shows is that it was planned nudity instead of just an “accident”.

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