Yeah, I watched it ? Superbowl Notes | Raucous Caucus | Tom Cushing | |

Local Blogs

Raucous Caucus

By Tom Cushing

E-mail Tom Cushing

About this blog: The Raucous Caucus shares the southpaw perspectives of this Boomer on the state of the nation, the world, and, sometimes, other stuff. I enjoy crafting it to keep current, and occasionally to rant on some issue I care about deeply...  (More)

View all posts from Tom Cushing

Yeah, I watched it ? Superbowl Notes

Uploaded: Feb 3, 2014
Okay, so despite my recent protestations to the contrary, we did watch the Annual Extravaganza: here are a few thoughts on the NFL Championship Game just concluded. In the spirit of acquiring a certain gentlemen's periodical for its literary merit, only a few will involve the visual splendors of the actual contest.

* Getting that part out of the way first, it turns out that the 49ers are a pretty good team, having stretched the Seattles to the breaking point in their own asylum. I do enjoy watching excellence, and the Seahawks were utterly superior in every phase, perhaps in defensive preparation most of all. Denver was reduced to a pity-patter of two-yard passes, lots of them -- and when their players were tackled, they went backwards. Usually, if the final teams played ten times, the championship loser might win three or four games; after last night, it would be hard to predict the Broncos would win even one.

* Halftime: is that it? Bruno Mars was a weak pop imitation of Motown past, with fewer memorable lyrics. It was flashy and completely derivative. I understand why HE wasn't paid to perform, but I hope the waves of made-up enthusiasts around the stage at least got minimum-wage ? they earned it.

* The NFL PR machine was in full bloom, wrapping football in Americana, served with apple-pie and home-made ice cream ("a la mode" would be just too French). Endless military salutes, TWO patriotic pre-game anthems AND a flyover (were those drones?). Please hold the outrage until after you consider that this was all cynically done ? not for love of country a la (sorry!) Actual National Holiday, but for the commercial motivations of a sport that finds itself under fire for its brain-scrambling side-effects. I just felt manipulated. Baseball is the American game, as Walt Whitman intoned long ago, with nobody paying him for the endorsement.

* That the national anthem was performed by an opera soprano, rather than a pop diva trying see how many notes could be injected into the melody, was an improvement. But the slow meter that turns it into a dirge is excruciating, albeit it allows the camera to linger over those nice boys mouthing the words, hands over hearts. Up-tempo please!

* With the game's outcome a foregone conclusion by half-time, or twelve seconds into the third-quarter anyway, does that help or hurt the later commercials? Given the social setting of the event, it's not likely that parties adjourned early for lack of competition on the field. It seems to me that the second-half breaks in the action got relatively more interesting as the evening's only sources of drama.

* How quickly times change: it was only recently that the WingNut Outrage Industry labored overtime on that nice interracial Cheerios family. This year, as the cereal reprised that old joke about the kid preferring a puppy over a coming younger sib ? barely a ripple.

* And yet, lest that be miss-interpreted as a hopeful sign, the 'Murkin twitterverse waxed apoplectic over the multilingual rendition of America the Beautiful. So much for "crowning thy good with brotherhood?" (corone el bien thy con la hermandad?).

* The Dylan ad from Chrysler was memorable as a thematic follow-on to its earlier Eminem rap (who has actual Detroit roots ? were the MC5 unavailable? Bob Seger?). By now, I expect old rockers to sell-out, and at least this one had a kinda/sorta patriotic theme: buy American-made. It was also pretty well-done, but that said ? he and Charlie Sheen look more like each other by the minute, which is not good for either of them.

* Sex didn't sell, much. Well, there was the yogurt spill leer -- and Scarlett Johannsen's lingering straw. Go-Daddy and Doritos changed teams.

* Finally, in a matter close to my heart, commercial animals did pretty well ? except for creepy Jack-in-the-Box suggestion that pigs can't wait to commit themselves to your burger, and that creepier attention-wh ? err, hound Joe Namath in a coat that looked much better on its original owners. The Budweiser adoption ad was no-end-of-cute (I might have preferred a canine of an older blend, but appreciate the small favor). The Dober-hwa-hwa was hilarious as a send-up of puppy mills and dog shows -- and Sara MacLachlan was brilliant in her cameo. Only trouble is ? I can't recall which car company sponsored it, only that the vehicle was "red." Oops.

So, are you ready for some BASEBALL? Pitchers and catchers report in eleven days -- Let's go, Oakland!
Local Journalism.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by spcwt, a resident of Danville,
on Feb 3, 2014 at 12:35 pm

I knew you'd watch it.

Liberals love to moralize and finger wag, but in the end, they're hypocrites, just like everyone else.

Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Feb 3, 2014 at 12:44 pm

I was young, and needed the money. And a blog subject.

Posted by Pololo Mololo, a resident of Livermore,
on Feb 3, 2014 at 5:14 pm

The way I heard it is that the [Seahawks] and their [Broncos] did a land slide business and don't even have to pay taxes on their extra weekend change!!!



[mildly edited to respond to an objection]

Posted by Doing something other than vegetating in front of tube, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Feb 4, 2014 at 1:42 pm

I spent the day in the library. Hope you'll forgive me for not going beyond your second paragraph. Keep up the good work. You're an intellectual beacon for us all.

Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of another community,
on Feb 4, 2014 at 1:58 pm

Really? I could have sworn you spent your day composing incendiary screeds to irritate others -- then basking in their annoyed attentions. Odd pastime -- I recommend baseball.

Anyway, as a great American advised over on Gina's blog: "Thanks for sharing."

Posted by Doing..., a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Feb 4, 2014 at 2:45 pm

I guess if I were doing that, that would make me a PW blogger, though to be a member of that enshrined clown club I'd have to delete 'incendiary' and put in its place 'insipid'.

Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of another community,
on Feb 4, 2014 at 2:54 pm

Web Link

It's probably available at the library.

Posted by Davey, a resident of San Ramon,
on Feb 6, 2014 at 1:27 am

Tom, if you ignore the drivel, it will dry up and go away. DON\\\\\\\'T FEED THE TROLLS! IGNORE!

Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Feb 6, 2014 at 7:57 am

Hi Davey: I hope you don't mind if I respond to your post.

You're right, of course. The urge to provide troll snacks should Always be resisted.

That said, interactivity is something that differentiates blogs from columns. Most comments are interesting, even/especially if they disagree. On the rare occasion that a troll is irredeemably offensive or repetitive, I will just spare us all the comment. A blog is a bit like a social gathering -- a pattern of flatulence can get you dis-invited.

Also, occasionally there's ongoing banter with a regular like spcwt, who often trolls, but not always (methinks). Or the needy guy above, who has so many IDs but only one message -- he's lonesome. I'll do my best to ignore him in the future.

Posted by Daveg, a resident of Birdland,
on Feb 6, 2014 at 11:36 am

Daveg is a registered user.

Tom, I don't always agree with your remarks, however I always enjoy your comebacks! Love the suggestion for the library :)

Posted by Me Too!, a resident of California Reflections,
on Feb 6, 2014 at 12:12 pm

Tom, we know you're something of a lonely troller yourself who fits himself in most of the conversations on these threads and blogs, even trolling your own blog! (Flatulence much? But we love it! It enhances your credibility!) Still, insofar as myself and other local race preservationists, rescuers of children from gay predation, and staunch resisters of unions have been coming to your defense with gushing compliments, you know you must be getting back closer to home where your heart truly lies. I, for one, hope you keep up the good work! You have expressed with great conviction how this town, its newspaper, and its owner needs to remain mired in what the diseased libs might call its white, country bumpkin ways. But we know better. There is much to be preserved and safeguarded against the plague-like forces of change the diseased libs with their lips securely fastened around entitlement teets want to fob off on us real Americans who know who we want in this town and who we don't want. Stay classy, fella.

Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of another community,
on Feb 6, 2014 at 12:14 pm

Well, thanks Daveg -- positive reinforcement is a rare treasure around here. I hope you'll chime-in, too, when you disagree.

Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of another community,
on Feb 6, 2014 at 12:25 pm

Forecast for California Reflections neighborhood: cloudy, with a 100% chance of drivel.

Posted by American, a resident of Danville,
on Feb 6, 2014 at 1:51 pm

Game was so one sided and boring, actually turned off the t.v., and read Bill O'Reily's book, "Killing Lincoln", which was an extremely good book. I have already read "Killing Jesus", and plan to read next his book, "Killing Kennedy". Think "Killing Lincoln" should be required reading in high school, as so many young people do not realize that it was Lincoln, a Republican, who sacrificed so much for the greater good of our country, and that it was a Republican who did more for African-Americans than any other President in history.

I think most people also forget that Jackie Robinson actually endorsed Nixon, not Kennedy, for President, as he thought Nixon truthfully cared more about helping race relations and ending discrimination than Kennedy.

Enough political talk, can not wait for baseball to begin...Let's go Oakland!! I see a healthy Cespedes hitting 40 home runs and stealing 40 bases this year.

Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Feb 6, 2014 at 3:15 pm

'Murkin! How have you been? Are you going to Phoenix this Spring?

I think your facts are okay as far as they go. The white south was Dem until the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed after JFK's death. He insisted on it, and specifically the inclusion in it of Title 7 on employment discrimination. And let's not forget the Voting Rights Act of 1965, an even more successful civil rights law that your current Republicans are busily trying to gut. Those kinds of things, combined with the Great Society programs under Johnson and Nixon's racist Southern Strategy in 1968, pretty much flipped the white south into the GOP column, with blacks voting overwhelmingly for Dems if/as/when they could/can.

What, do you suppose, Lincoln would think of his Party's approach to race today?

Posted by Doing...., a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Feb 6, 2014 at 4:16 pm


I too am a worshipful reader of the extraordinary sage, Bill O'Reilly. Until I read him, I didn't realize Jesus was crucified because he wanted to lower taxes on the wealthy. Nor did I realize that Abe Lincoln, Dick Nixon, Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin were all Republicans cut from the same ideological cloth.

If only African Americans knew this, they wouldn't have voted 92% Democratic in Presidential elections as they have done for decades now.

But, of course, American/'Murican you don't exist except as a figment of a lonely blogger's mind, who constructed you in a pathetic effort to save some face. See ya in Phoenix. Now, I bet that's a city you and Tom would feel really comfortable in.

BUSTED!!! Tee-Hee.

Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Feb 6, 2014 at 4:44 pm

Aw Going, really? SOS again? I can assure you that if Am and I inhabited each other's skulls, they would both explode. You can look back in the archives, when the RC was just a wee sprite of a blog on the DanXp, and see some of the go-'rounds we had before he gave-up on me (as you should, too). Or we can arrange to meet you at Hap Magee dog park after it reopens in March. He says he knows me from there, and I'd like to figure out who he is.

Not that that's as much fun as slinging the ol' semi-solids, but it would have the virtue of making it pretty clear that we are not the same person.

Follow this blogger.
Sign up to be notified of new posts by this blogger.



Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed.

Get the day's top headlines from sent to your inbox in the Express newsletter.

Burning just one "old style" light bulb can cost $150 or more per year
By Sherry Listgarten | 12 comments | 3,037 views

Premiere! “I Do I Don’t: How to build a better marriage” – Here, a page/weekday
By Chandrama Anderson | 2 comments | 1,449 views

Community foundations want to help local journalism survive
By Tim Hunt | 7 comments | 725 views