Friday, February 12, 2010

Super Bitter Bowl

Monkey Reaching for a Banana

There is a parallel between the Super Bowl and the epic battles that the Romans entertained themselves with in the coliseum. That may seem a bit gloomy Gus like but at least our version is much more advanced and has ethically evolved a bit…maybe.

Last Sunday, shield and sword in hand, 100 modern gladiators stepped on the scene before 75,000 audience members plus an additional 150 million television viewers. Most of the spectators, peasants, gathering to witness the ultimate battle of the year. Some just looking for an excuse to make a blur of the occasion before returning to an 8 to 5. Some, true fanatics.

The masters of it all enjoy their work from the most prestigious seats in the coliseum. They own the pieces that are about to duel. They are looking down on their chessboard for the last match of the year. They have spent their wealth polishing every one of their pieces to get to this moment. To them every piece has monetary value, and can be disposed of at any moment.

Commentators interpret the results to the peasants, for weeks before and weeks after the battle. They funnel many minds to perceive everything a certain way, and it works because many peasants can’t draw their own conclusions. But listening about the battle itself is not enough. So then focus is set on individual pieces. Fine polished ones become the heroes, celebrities, icons. Every great warrior has a statue somewhere.

The gladiators themselves are driven by their passion to defeat and their avarice. They have mastered the ability to be the best in the world at what they do and are rewarded accordingly, but only as long as they are the ideal piece to the puzzle.

“When the ape can’t reach the bananas he says they are sour.” Well, the Vikings failed to reach the bananas, which clearly made last week’s game a bowl full of super bitter for me.

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