NYT disses Maroon 5’s Super Bowl show as not sufficiently woke

For a while I’ve been saying that liberal media like the New Yorker and the New York Times are turning into HuffPost, with their biases seeping into their reporting, but few people agree with me. I used to look to the Times, for instance, as a beacon of objective reporting, with a Leftist editorial slant that I liked, but now the articles themselves often seem to be chosen more for political reasons than for newsworthiness. The NYT used to be America’s best newspaper. It still is, but it’s now the best of a bad lot.

Here’s some additional evidence of poor judgment by Times editors: a review in the paper’s music section of Maroon 5’s halftime show at the Super Bowl—a review that literally drips with venom and ideology-based dislike. It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that Jon Caramanica, the reviewer and pop music critic for the paper, went after the show largely because the band didn’t act like they were supposed to. They didn’t take a knee, and they didn’t praise Colin Kaepernick. Most of all, they didn’t turn down the NFL’s invitation to perform.

The backstory: When quarterback Colin Kaepernick “took a knee” in protest of American racism during the National Anthem in 2016—an action toward which I have no objections (it’s free speech)—it launched a series of accusations about racism not just in the US, but in the National Football League. I admired Kaepernick for his gesture, though his wearing of socks showing a pig in a police uniform made me lose some respect for him. (Despite some police racism, you can’t equate police with pigs.)

The League has tried to address these issues, but protestors have insisted that other people also criticize the NFL.

With respect to last Sunday’s Super Bowl game, the NFL tried hard to find halftime musical acts, for the halftime music is one of the game’s highlights. Several invitees, like Rihanna, wouldn’t sing, and publicly stated that they wouldn’t watch the game, explicitly because singing at the Super Bowl would be an implicit endorsement of racism. Finally, the NFL got Gladys Knight to sing the National Anthem at the start (she did a great job), and Maroon 5 did the set at halftime.  Maroon 5, however, was widely criticized for not declining the invitation and for not commenting about their participation, despite the existence of a petition (with 116,000+ signers) telling them to drop out of the halftime show.

I’ll add here that I’m not a big fan of Maroon 5, though their song “Sunday Morning” was quite good.

Here’s the splenetic NYT piece:

The piece is more about ideology and politics than music, and it shows. Some excerpts (I’ve bolded the political bits and the gratuitous snark):

Maroon 5 — a quasi-soul, quasi-rock, utterly funkless band — was the main attraction at the Super Bowl halftime show at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, likely the third or eighth or maybe 14th choice for a headliner.

In a year in which the Super Bowl halftime show has become a referendum on political mindfulness, in which the N.F.L. has become a staging ground for conversations about racial justice in America, Maroon 5 was a cynically apt choice. It is neutral, inoffensive, sleek without promising too much. For nearly two decades, it has been wildly popular without leaving much of a musical mark, as easy to forget as mild weather.

And the band did no better during its 13 and a half minutes onstage, in a performance that was dynamically flat, mushy at the edges, worthy of something much worse than derision: a shrug. It was an inessential performance from a band that might have lost some moral authority if it had any moral authority to lose.

Since when do pop groups have “moral authority”? And even if they do, the statement that they “lost it” can only refer to their decision to perform. Bad call, Mr. Critic!

More:

. . . And in a year in which the political valence of the halftime show mattered more than ever, the band’s stubborn resistance was glaring. The N.F.L. canceled the traditional news conference for performers this year, looking to avoid a fiasco. But the frontman Adam Levine did do an interview with “Entertainment Tonight” in which he suggested that the choice to perform at the halftime show triggers in some an “insatiable urge to hate a little bit.”

What does the NYT want? For the halftime band to take a collective knee, or make some kind of political statement? That’s the idea you get from this article. But wait! There’s more!

. . . Ultimately, Maroon 5 — a band that hasn’t had a Top 20 hit without a black or Latina guest performer in four years — was joined by Travis Scott, hip-hop’s most energetic performer, but not one much troubled by political concerns. (Last month, Scott announced he would, in partnership with the N.F.L., donate $500,000 to a nonprofit organization, Dream Corps.) Also added to the performance was Big Boi — one half of Outkast, and an Atlanta rap elder — which felt like an attempt at moral cover. Online petitions requested all of the performers take a knee in support of Kaepernick and his goals. No one did.

Caramanica’s disapproval is palpable here: “no one did.” Are you reprehensible if you don’t take a knee during your musical performance? I don’t think so, but Caramanica clearly does, a reviewer who wrote that “Big Boi’s arrival in a fur coat was the most exciting moment of the show.”

Note below the musical criticism, in which only those black performers who agreed with Kaepernick, or didn’t appear in the game but on commericals, are praised for their music:

For what it’s worth, the toxicity of being associated with the Super Bowl didn’t appear to extend beyond the halftime performance. Chance the Rapper performed in a Doritos commercial (with the Backstreet Boys); 2 Chainz was entertaining in an ad for Expensify; Cardi B and Lil Jon tag-teamed in a Pepsi ad. Both of the pregame performances were by black artists: a taut, controlled reading of “America the Beautiful” by Chloe x Halle and an impressive, if Disney-saccharine, national anthem from Gladys Knight, who before the game criticized Kaepernick for making the anthem a site of protest.

I’ve never seen such blatant editorializing in a music review (this is, after all, under “music”). What we see is the critic’s view that anyone who didn’t agree with Kaepernick, and show that disagreement, is not only part of the “toxic” Super Bowl, but also didn’t perform well. This isn’t a review, it’s an editorial, and where the critic stands isn’t in doubt.

You may disagree with me, and say this is a straight-up music review, and I suppose you could construe it that way—if you couldn’t read.  I have no issue with Kaepernick or his gesture, and if the NFL fired him for it, I have a big problem with that (Kaepernick has sued the NFL). But I am not into hounding others to not only agree with him, but to boycott the Super Bowl or take a knee during a performance. That’s moral policing—or moral fascism.

What is going on at the Times? Did they, in a time of waning subscriptions and ad revenues, decide to go with the Authoritarian Leftist Zeitgeist and become woke? Or did they simply hire a bunch of young woke journalists who are changing the face of the paper?

h/t: BJ

143 Comments

  1. littleboybrew
    Posted February 5, 2019 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    The beauty of getting older: I did not watch a minute of the Superb Owl and I am not sure I had ever heard of Maroon 5 before Sunday.

    • Posted February 5, 2019 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      When I said to a friend once that a band was a bit middle-of-the-road, he said they were more like kerb-crawling!

      But I do like a superb ‘owl –
      Tu-whit; Tu-who, a merry note, While greasy Joan doth keel the pot 🙂

    • Posted February 5, 2019 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

      I, like you, did not watch either. Nor have I heard Maroon 5. But most of the news media I read on the internet also badmouthed Maroon 5 for a variety of reasons. One was because he displayed a nipple. Can’t they accept this instead of bending a knee?!!

  2. Robert Ryder
    Posted February 5, 2019 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    I read this yesterday morning and had a very similar reaction. First, the writer had to display his superiority in musical taste by trashing Maroon 5. But the thing that really gets me is the idea that the Super Bowl halftime show is supposed to be some big left-leaning political statement, ever since Beyonce’s a few years ago. Never mind that at least half of the audience would disagree with that political statement. It’s a football game! I have always been a person of the left and I despise Trump, but the idea that we must shove our political views on others at every opportunity is driving me crazy!

    • BJ
      Posted February 5, 2019 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      I’m sure he would have been singing the praises of Maroon 5 if they all took a knee at the end, and there would have been a second article (and perhaps more!) about their brave stand.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted February 5, 2019 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

        ‘he’ in that sentence being the critic, and not Trump, I presume? 😉

        cr

        • BJ
          Posted February 5, 2019 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

          Yeah, and so there is an upside to this: if Maroon 5 and/or the NFL had done as this author wanted, we’d be stuck in a days long Presidential tweetstorm and attendant news cycle.

  3. David Fuqua
    Posted February 5, 2019 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    I share your view of the NYT, although I still read it as my primary news site. Same with the New Yorker, to which I no longer subscribe. The music review demonstrates the problem with contemporary music – it is the performance that matters, not the music. For me the music matters. Maroon 5, not a band I follow, delivered a professional performance, which is what they were paid to do.

    • AnnaBanana
      Posted February 5, 2019 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

      I had never heard of Maroon 5 until the halftime, and really know very little about music, but I enjoyed their performance. I thought they were kind of exciting. The critic, on the other hand, seems pretentious and mean.

    • Posted February 7, 2019 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      The NYT has dropped out as my primary news source. I still get it free electronically via my university, but have taken to the Washington Post/Denver Post as primary. Re Maroon 5 – being an old fart, I know virtually nothing of the band. The half-time show was the usual glitz, but not much musically IMO. My wife quipped, “I think that we would probably look as good with so much extravagant staging.”

  4. a-non
    Posted February 5, 2019 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    I wonder how much of this is NYT et. al. skating to where the money is.

    There was a time when music reviews were all you had to go on, before booking a show, or buying a record, apart from the one track which was on the radio. So there was value in providing useful information, to people of varying tastes. But this is gone, anyone who cares in the slightest watched the show live or on youtube.

    Likewise for most news, if you didn’t subscribe to the paper, you couldn’t know what was going on. But now all the same stories are available for free on dozens of websites. The unique value they provide is largely about viewpoint, they make sure you know the party line before embarrassing yourself by getting it wrong in front of your right-thinking friends.

  5. A C Harper
    Posted February 5, 2019 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    In my youth (roughly equivalent to PCCE’s) we had protest songs by protest singers/bands. They stood out. Some were countercultural. Some were shocking. Many of the songs were memorable and probably helped or reflected the changes in social attitudes.

    How can expectations of a ‘protest performance’ be anything other than a political imposition or directed conformity?

    • a-non
      Posted February 5, 2019 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      Did such protest bands get high-profile invitations? (I wasn’t around, am really asking.)

      Seems to me the superbowl wants an acknowledged star to play some music everyone will be OK with. They’re not interested in paying to provide a platform for the star’s ideas.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted February 5, 2019 at 10:56 am | Permalink

        Depends what you mean by “high-profile,” I suppose. Bob Dylan and Joan Baez and Mahalia Jackson and Odetta all performed at the Lincoln monument during the Freedom March where Martin gave his “Dream” speech. But there wasn’t any dough in it for ’em.

    • XCellKen
      Posted February 5, 2019 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      The more “political” and “preachy”, the worse it was musically. Think Christian Rock

  6. Ken Kukec
    Posted February 5, 2019 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    Far as I’m concerned, any Super Bowl halftime show without at least one of Janet Jackson’s breasteses is like a day without hookers and heroin.

    (That last part is from an old Anthony Bourdain line; I miss that cat.)

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted February 5, 2019 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      And the part before the last part must be from “In Living Color.”

    • W.T. Effingham
      Posted February 5, 2019 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      That would be worse than a day without sunshine, or dare I say, breakfast without orange juice.

    • Posted February 5, 2019 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

      It has been noted elsewhere how funny it is that Janet Jackson had a single nip-slip, and it raised a furor, while Adam Levine spent a significant amount of time displaying them both. We are such silly monkeys.

  7. Posted February 5, 2019 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    If I could swat flies with my iPhone I’d have no use for newspapers at all.

  8. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted February 5, 2019 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Maroon 5 also used most of the twelve tones and the circle of fifths, both being developments of the Western music system. Does that mean Maroon 5 is promoting colonial oppression by white Europeans? Sadly, only “Jon Caramanica, the pop music critic” is qualified to know. Perhaps he’ll elaborate on his blog.

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted February 5, 2019 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      I forgot to add :

      Imperialism.

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted February 5, 2019 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      If they used tonal systems that didn’t originate in the West, they’d be accused of cultural appropriation.

  9. Ken Phelps
    Posted February 5, 2019 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    So let me see if I’ve got this straight, musicians were supposed to boycott the Super Bowl out of solidarity with the black players who were….playing in the super bowl?

    Good to know that current pop music critics are as air-headed and irrelevant as the music they normally promote.

    • AD
      Posted February 5, 2019 at 10:16 am | Permalink

      An excellent observation

    • Posted February 5, 2019 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      The NFL is the antithesis of woke. Hell, Kaepernick, by ever accepting anything from the NFL is by definition “not woke”. It’s like being opposed to child abuse but tithing to the RCC.

    • Posted February 5, 2019 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, that part of it still isn’t clear to me. I don’t see playing the halftime show as opposing the protest. Is there something I’m missing?

  10. Ken Kukec
    Posted February 5, 2019 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    When quarterback Colin Kaepernick “took a knee” in protest of American racism during the National Anthem in 2016—an action toward which I have no objections (it’s free speech) …

    Kaepernick has been banished, like an apostate Mormon or Mennonite, for the sin of secular blasphemy, for protesting during the playing of an old English drinking tune — an affront to the worst kind of hollow, pious patriotism, the kind Dr. Johnson called the “last refuge of a scoundrel.”

    • rustybrown
      Posted February 5, 2019 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      Or maybe he’s been banished because he’s a lousy QB and he’s made himself into a liability for any team that might consider him!

      • BJ
        Posted February 5, 2019 at 11:33 am | Permalink

        According to the statistics I’ve read, he was merely a very average quarterback. Since he wasn’t the kind of QB a simply needs to have, it makes sense that no teams want to hire him. Allow me to explain:

        If a player is exceptional and a cornerstone for the foundation of their team, they have more leeway. As a former hockey player and avid watcher, I can tell you that there have been many superstars who made their team’s locker room very tense and uncomfortable, but they provided enough skill of importance on the ice to offset this. However, locker room cohesion and comfortability is extremely important to teams. You can see this in various situations, from when mediocre players are released from teams because they have a negative effect on team cohesion, to when grizzled veterans who don’t have much to offer on the ice are still signed by teams to bring the locker room together and provide veteran support to younger players.

        I think the other reason no teams want Kaepernick is that it would divide the fanbase and give media attention that the team doesn’t really want (nor do the players, and this media attention could affect what I discussed in the previous paragraph, as Kaepernick would always be the center of attention).

        Kaepernick wasn’t “banished,” as Ken suggested. Teams merely did a cost=benefit analysis and decided he wasn’t worth it. I feel kind of bad for the guy, but I also understand the reasoning behind him not being signed, and I don’t think the decision by teams to not sign him is any indication of racism. After all, plenty of other players took a knee before the new rule was instituted.

        • rustybrown
          Posted February 5, 2019 at 11:48 am | Permalink

          Good analysis. Only I think he might be a below average QB if you look only at his last couple seasons and discount his impressive flash-in-a-pan start, a fair metric for a team that’s considering a hire. His drop-off in production was precipitous after Defenses shut down his ability to scramble and forced him to throw. That revealed his weak arm and inaccuracy.

          • Posted February 5, 2019 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

            CK’s badness goes beyond his raw numbers. He actually has a strong arm, but no finesse whatsoever. He couldn’t read the field to pick up alternate wideouts or checkdowns, and bailed from the pocket at the slightest pressure. His refusal to adhere to playbooks drove his coaches & teammates mad.

            CK’s talent is backup level, but massive ego makes him unsuitable for that unique role. Consider Brian Hoyer, who last season started several games for the woeful Niners, but for the past several weeks was tasked with pretending in practice first to be Patrick Mahomes, then Jared Goff. Guess what Hoyer now has that CK never will?

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted February 5, 2019 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

          “I think the other reason no teams want Kaepernick is that it would divide the fanbase and give media attention that the team doesn’t really want …”

          That’s the same bully-boy jockstrap mentality the boxing commissions used to strip Muhammad Ali of his heavyweight crown, after he announced “I ain’t got no quarrel with them Vietcong,” even though they had no problem with the same title being held by the fighter Ali took it away from, Sonny Liston, a mobbed-up ex-con.

          • rustybrown
            Posted February 5, 2019 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

            A private enterprise has every right to look after it’s customer base, maximize profit, and minimize conflicts.

            • Adam M.
              Posted February 5, 2019 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

              Sure, but it’s kinda sleazy to strip someone of a title they rightfully earned.

              • rustybrown
                Posted February 5, 2019 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

                I agree. I should have made it clear that I was referring to CK, not Ali.

              • Filippo
                Posted February 6, 2019 at 10:40 am | Permalink

                What is your evaluation of his declining a $1M back-up quarterback offer?

              • rustybrown
                Posted February 6, 2019 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

                Are you asking me? I think he’s a fool. But Ken says that’s been debunked, is that right?

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted February 5, 2019 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

              Chrissake, nobody’s denying that. Doesn’t mean it isn’t an issue of free expression.

              But, hey, at least the NFL is doing it’s part to create protest-free “safe spaces” in ballparks and in front of the boob-tube for its snowflake fans, huh?

              • rustybrown
                Posted February 5, 2019 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

                Most certainly. I, like plenty of other fans, prefer my gladiator sports without a side of hare brained woke politics, thanks.

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted February 5, 2019 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

                @rustybrown

                So it all comes down to whose ox is getting gored?

                You’ve no complaints when a private university no-platforms, say, a Steve Bannon or a Milo Y?

              • rustybrown
                Posted February 5, 2019 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

                No, not who’s ox is being gored. The two situations (Ali, CK) are substantially different in many ways. They’re not comparable in my opinion.

                I have no problem with a private university picking whoever they want to speak. I think it’s cowardly when they succumb to leftist mobs and DIS-invite someone they’ve already booked, but that’s their problem. Keep my tax dollars out of it though.

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted February 5, 2019 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

                “I think it’s cowardly when they [private universities] succumb to leftist mobs …”

                But it’s not cowardly when the NFL succumbs to Donald Trump’s demagoguery? (“Get those sons-of-bitches off the field!”)

                We see you can troll with right-wing tropes, rustybrown. Show us you can reason through an issue to neutral principles of free expression.

              • rustybrown
                Posted February 5, 2019 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

                Jesus Christ. Again, two different things. You really have a problem comparing two completely different things as similar, don’t you?

                Here’s a difference: A University (at least most of them) strives to educate our youth and expose them to a wide variety of ideas and philosophies, not just ones they agree with. Disinviting a speaker because it gives snowflakes the sads is contrary to how a university should behave.

                An NFL football team owner strives to make money by pleasing his customers. Not hiring a mediocre QB at an overinflated price who brings chaos to the team, unwanted press attention, and insults the majority of the customers with idiotic antics is exactly how an NFL team owner should behave.

                Another difference: Disinviting is different from not hiring.

                Shall I point out more differences or can you take it from here? Try using your imagination and a bit of critical thinking.

              • BJ
                Posted February 5, 2019 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

                Ken, I’m surprised at you trying to apply the same logic and rules to two completely different situations.

                The NFL is a place for football. That is it. Nothing more.

                A university is (supposed to be) a place of knowledge, learning, and exchange of ideas. These arguments are not well-applied.

          • BJ
            Posted February 5, 2019 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

            False equivalency. Ali won his title fair and square and they wronged him. It was rightfully his. No backup QB job is rightfully Kaepernick’s, and he isn’t owed more money than he’s worth. He was offered a job and turned it down. Teams did a simple cost-benefit analysis.

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted February 5, 2019 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

              Fair enough. But Ali wasn’t just stripped of his title; he was denied a license to fight. Boxing licenses are issued state-by-state. The state licensing authorities were essentially in the same position with regard to Ali as the NFL owners are to Kaepernick. All fifty states refused to issue Ali a license during his prime fighting years. (Ali was also denied a passport, so he could not fight overseas.)

              And the boxing establishment’s reasoning regarding Ali in 1966 was the same as the NFL’s reasoning today — that fight fans did not want an unpatriotic draft-dodger as their heavyweight champ, and the fight-game couldn’t afford to have its image tainted by an association with such a man.

              I don’t think people who weren’t around at the time have any appreciation for how loathed Ali — a black Muslim who had refused induction in the military draft and stuck his thumb in the white man’s eye — was by the reactionary forces in America. They think of him instead as the nice, avuncular fellow with Parkinson’s syndrome of his latter years.

              • Michael Fisher
                Posted February 5, 2019 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

                I listened to most of the Ali fights on the radio live as a kiddo – I would be got up out of bed at whatever hour & listen. School night? 3am? Irrelevant. That was what huge numbers of Brits did in the 60s/70s if it was Ali, Henry Cooper or even that Joe Bugner.

                Ali was an idol for many & yet at the same time people thought he was “up himself” – my dad refused to call him anything but Clay, while at the same time remaining glued to the radio [TV in later years]. People had in their minds this line that Ali must not cross in his sayings & his behaviour & I think a lot of that was racism, though I can’t demonstrate that’s the reasoning.

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted February 5, 2019 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

                I listened to the first Clay-Liston fight as a 10-year-old, Michael, under the covers after I’d been sent to bed, on a transistor radio a got for Xmas 1963.

              • BJ
                Posted February 5, 2019 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

                I’m an avid boxing fan. I have no illusions about how Ali was treated, nor the corruption within boxing and state Athletic Associations.

              • rustybrown
                Posted February 5, 2019 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

                I’m a big fan of boxing as well.

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted February 6, 2019 at 7:12 am | Permalink

                In that case, I should think you guys would comprehend the underlying similarity: In both instances an athlete is being blackballed, and hence being denied the opportunity to make a living playing his chosen sport, for engaging in an act of conscience that runs afoul of the power-that-be’s cheap-jack notions of bogus “patriotism.”

              • rustybrown
                Posted February 6, 2019 at 9:21 am | Permalink

                I’ll play one more round of Spot The Differences. Being stripped of your license and forbidden from competing in your sport is different from turning down a lucrative contract and then failing to secure another one.

              • BJ
                Posted February 6, 2019 at 9:35 am | Permalink

                Ken, I agree with rusty. We can’t have a conversation if you keep refusing to recognize the enormous differences in these situations.

              • rustybrown
                Posted February 6, 2019 at 10:01 am | Permalink

                My first ally on this site! Be careful BJ, I’ll have you voting Tump in 2020!

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted February 6, 2019 at 11:14 am | Permalink

                The “turning down a contract” claim made by a commenter here yesterday has been debunked — as BJ conceded below.

                Being denied a license to fight by the several states is analogous to being denied an opportunity to play by a cartel like the NFL. It is my understanding that Kaepernick has not so much as been invited to an NFL team workout for a look-see since the protest brouhaha arose.

                It’s also my understanding that Kaepernick has a lawsuit pending against the NFL alleging that the owners have an agreement — express or implied — not to employ him because of his protest, and that the pending suit has withstood a motion for summary judgment (meaning that the presiding judge has determined that there is evidence from which a jury could find in his favor).

                In any event, I take it that neither of you is disputing that Kaepernick engaged in an act of personal conscience that triggered faux patriotic outrage — as happened with Muhammad Ali in the Sixties.

              • rustybrown
                Posted February 6, 2019 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

                I’ll dispute it. Comparing Kaepernick’s plight to Ali’s is ridiculous on so many levels. Again, differences. Are they similar in some ways? Sure, they’re both males who sweat at their jobs. There.

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted February 6, 2019 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

                Here’s another difference for ya: you detest Kaepernick, and his message, and so are happy to see him silenced. Muhammad Ali has passed into such iconic status that even the hard-right it reticent to criticize him.

                When he changed his name and his religion and refused induction into the US military service, the rightwing (and much of middle America) despised Ali with the heat of a thousand suns.

              • rustybrown
                Posted February 6, 2019 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

                Kapernick’s been silenced? That’s news to me. Better tell Nike. Last I heard he’s being made a multi-millionaire to be the outspoken poster boy for the oppressed, or something.

                For the record, personally, I’ve always loved Ali. He was a boyhood idol of mine.

          • BJ
            Posted February 5, 2019 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

            Michael Fisher has corrected me on the timeline of the contract offer, but everything else I said still stands.

    • BJ
      Posted February 5, 2019 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      In addition to my response to rustybrown, I looked up Matt’s claim that Kaepernick was offered a contract in 2016 by the Denver Broncos, but he turned it down. So, he wasn’t banished. He was offered a job and refused to take it.

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted February 5, 2019 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

        Your timeline is wrong BJ

        Before April 1st 2016 the Broncos were interested in trading for Kaepernick [CK], but not with his current contract at the time – Denver wanted CK to restructure his contract & take a pay cut to approximately $7M for 2016, which [when certain extras are taken into account] equals a huge pay cut of $7.3M! Naturally he chose to stay with the 49ers on 11.9M + extras.

        CK while with the 49ers started to protest at the 3rd pre-season game of the 2016 season which was 4 months LATER than when he turned down the Broncos.

        It wasn’t until after his departure from the 49ers in 2016 that CK noted that he went unsigned through the off-season and 2017 training camps.

        • BJ
          Posted February 5, 2019 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

          Ah, I see. I saw Matt’s comment and then looked it up and saw he turned down the contract. Didn’t know that wasn’t within the timeline. Thanks, Michael.

        • Posted February 5, 2019 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

          The Niners were fed up with CK’s horrendous play, and informed him he would be eventually cut. The Broncos steppe in & offered CK a job and $7mm!! but CK turned it down cuz he thought he was worth more and was worthy to start. Protest or no, CK could today be a rich man holding clipboards for Denver, had his overinflated opinion of himself not got into the way.

          Why would any team looking for a backup QB pay good money for a below-average athlete who isn’t content playing as a backup? Why would any team in need of a starter sign a prima donna who shreds playbooks and ignores coaching, when they could draft an eager rook out of college?

          In contrast, plenty of NFL teams were quite happy to continue to pay & play other athletes who also protested. The logic behind CK’s alleged martyrdom fails.

          CK’s unemployment* has nothing to do with his protests, and everything to do with him being a sub-par talent, a prima donna, and the antitheses of a team player.

          * … in the NFL. He’s now raking in the dough from Nike, and basking in the limelight that narcissists like him crave.

          • Michael Fisher
            Posted February 5, 2019 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

            Houston Texans owner Bob McNair said at a 2017 season owners meeting, “We can’t have the inmates running the prison.” You make some good points Matt, but let’s not leave out what the other side of the coin looks like – the NFL is known to blackball players & there exists the strong possibility that the whisper on CK was “don’t give him the chance to try out” [if that’s the correct American terminology]. I’m a Brit who doesn’t care about American Hand&Football nor the NH&FL, but I do care about accuracy if it can be obtained.

            I appreciate that CK was off the boil in the 2016 season & a new, shorter contract was drawn up by mutual agreement, but there are teams who likely** still wanted to take a look at CK when he himself finished his 49ers contract early. But all that was heard right then was crickets if CK is to be believed. If I was an owner or the like I think I wouldn’t look at CK because he’s ill disciplined & self regarding, BUT that’s not the question at hand. I’d be amazed if the word wasn’t out on CK.

            ** Why do I think that likely? Because Seattle asked him to try out two years after he was out, presumably looking for a bargain on damaged goods.

            • Posted February 6, 2019 at 10:04 am | Permalink

              Among the Left, ‘The racist NFL is blackballing Kaepernick’ meme has reached ‘it is known, Kaleesi’ level unquestioned certainty. By extention, anyone who performs at the Super Bowl is either racist-enabling or an Uncle Tom.

              Those who propagate this meme have racism/white guilt on the brain. Most are not informed football fans, much less Niners fans. They see racism everywhere — want to find racism everywhere — and ignore all data that conflict with their narrative.

              I’ve outlined why CK’s mix of undesirable traits as a player is sufficient to explain his lack of a roster spot. Other players who protested kept their jobs. The NFL is one of the least racist entities in the US; 70% of players are black, many coaches are black, a new black head coach was hired on Monday, a mixed-race QB was just named MVP.

              The CK meme is part crackpot conspiracy theory, part semi-religious dogma, and all wrong.

              • Michael Fisher
                Posted February 6, 2019 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

                In your opinion & I beg to differ! Blackballing is a known NFL gambit – there is so much money in NFL that no player can be allowed to get above himself. As Ken K says in this thread we shall see what the courts have to say.

              • Posted February 6, 2019 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

                I’ve seen no evidence of blackballing by the NFL. Sufficient reasons exist to explain why CK isn’t playing without positing a 32-owner conspiracy. Occam’s Razor, nuf ced, I’m done.

  11. BJ
    Posted February 5, 2019 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    “What we see is the critic’s view that anyone who didn’t agree with Kaepernick, and show that disagreement…”

    I believe you meant to say, “and show that agreement”

  12. Randall Schenck
    Posted February 5, 2019 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    I do not doubt the review in the paper was bad or slanted. However, just like editorials or op eds in the newspapers, it is not the news section of the paper. However one reviews the reviewer of books, art or music or even the op ed stories in the paper it is not the journalist (news) section of the paper. I do not judge one very much based on the other.

    • James
      Posted February 5, 2019 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      Aesthetics and politics are two different spheres, and it’s perfectly legitimate to complain that a paper disguised a political piece in their music review section. To say that this isn’t okay isn’t judging music reviews by the standards of journalistic articles; it’s judging music reviews based on the standards of music reviews.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted February 5, 2019 at 11:43 am | Permalink

        All I am say is that from my understanding of most any quality newspaper, these two parts are separate. I would not start burning the NYTs because of a review in the music section. I have no interest there but even if I did, I know it is not the news section.

        • James
          Posted February 5, 2019 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

          To what extent does lack of quality (or in this case, the complete abandonment of any pretense at quality) in one area suggest a lack of quality in others? From a Bayesian perspective at minimum we must adjust our a prior.

          It’s certainly not proof that quality in other areas is lacking, but it certainly is a nudge and a wink to that effect, and something we certainly must bear in mind when we evaluate other articles.

          To put this in another perspective: Let’s say someone writes articles on geology. You then find out that they publish a YouTube channel advocating Young Earth Creationism. Does this effect your evaluation of his articles on geology? I mean, those aren’t GEOLOGY articles on YouTube, they’re talking about other stuff entirely! If you say “But those are connected–YEC affects how he interprets geology!” I will respond with “And political bias affects how news is reported.” We’re not talking about two things in vacuums here; the mechanism in question has a strong influence on both systems.

          • Randall Schenck
            Posted February 5, 2019 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

            You apparently have no real appreciation for the term journalism. You think a true journalist would be writing music reviews or movie reviews. Learn something about the newspaper world.

            • James
              Posted February 5, 2019 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

              Please re-read my posts. I have never said that journalists will be writing music reviews (and I said nothing about movies). I said that dropping standards in one area (in this case, reviews) is an indication of an overall drop in standards at the institution, and that such a drop in one area is grounds for concern in other areas. When one section of an institution is so heavily biased that they abandon their own standards (and I specifically cited AESTHETIC standards), the odds of the bias not deeply affecting the rest of the institution are approximately nil.

              If you have anything to say about my actual arguments–not my education level, not what you imagine goes on in my head, and certainly not things I have never said–please present them.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted February 5, 2019 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

      I agree Randall. I would not expect a music review in a newspaper to represent the editorial position of the newspaper.

  13. Posted February 5, 2019 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    MLS Soccer starts in less than a month. Have given up on the other football. Bunch of hammerheads. Go FC Cincinnati!

  14. dd
    Posted February 5, 2019 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    The Times has, I’ve read, received a big subscriber bump in the Trump era, and the revenue that goes with it.

    The paper caters to that readership, but its editorial bent would have been “woke” anyway.

    Its prestige rests on its investigative journalism and certain columnists, like Tom Edsall.

    Other than that, it’s becoming a kind of left Breitbart with deodorant on. Its arts coverage has been like that for a while now. And on identity/Israel issue it is a left-wing Breitbart.

  15. David Hammer
    Posted February 5, 2019 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    The Times published an even dopier example of this sort of criticism last week, when it ran an Op-Ed that accused the Mary Poppins films — both the Julie Andrews version and the current film — of racism. The evidence was the dance of the chimney sweeps who, though covered in chimney-soot and grime, are to be understood as performing in “black face”.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted February 5, 2019 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

      I sometimes come out from under my car in that condition. I *must* remember it is now racist if I don’t wash my face before anyone sees me…

      cr

  16. Ken Kukec
    Posted February 5, 2019 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    Caramanica’s review sux. I’m a firm believer in the wall-of-separation between politics and aesthetic judgment. I pride myself (or at lest fool myself) that I can, for example, appreciate a good cinematic outing from Hollywood conservatives like Clint Eastwood or Jon Voight or James Woods (or even the otherwise-repugnant Mel Gibson) without regard to their political views.

    Never the twain shall meet, is my motto, for in that direction lies the liquor cabinet and psychiatrist’s couch.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted February 5, 2019 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

      Agreed. And that goes for authors as well.

      I have to admit it’s stretching it a bit for Mel Gibson but I could manage it.

      But I have no idea whatever of the politics of any of my favourite musical performers. I tend to assume they’re on the left, simply because they’re musos, but I don’t really want (or need) to know.

      cr

  17. rustybrown
    Posted February 5, 2019 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    I agree with your assessment of the NYT. What a joke that once-venerable paper has become. I think the hiring of racist clowns like Sarah Jeong is hastening their irrelevancy.

    I have Chinese relatives who’ve lived through and described Struggle Sessions in Mao’s Communist China, public humiliations for anyone seen as not toeing the line. The modern left reminds me of that. Same mentality. Very dangerous thing.

  18. Posted February 5, 2019 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Maroon 5 is the Bud Lite of pop bands. But Jon Caramanica’s wiki blurb states “he is especially known for writing about hip hop music.” So of course he would prefer the prancing about & annoying doggerel over actual music, even if it’s Adam Levine’s insipid, repetitive hooks.

    • BJ
      Posted February 5, 2019 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      I don’t like rap, but denying that it’s music doesn’t make sense.

      • Posted February 5, 2019 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

        It does in under my definition of music. It’s chanted doggerel.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted February 5, 2019 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

          Hate to agree with Matt about anything 😉 but on this one I do. ‘Music’ to me implies a tune of some sort, i.e. with notes of varying frequencies and timbres. Otherwise it’s just a chant at best, or a monologue of sorts.

          (My definition also excludes 4’33” from ‘music’, which is fine with me).

          cr

          • BJ
            Posted February 5, 2019 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

            So, techno, house, electronic…all those aren’t music either? Because it’s not as if rap doesn’t have a beat behind it.

        • BJ
          Posted February 5, 2019 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

          But it doesn’t make sense under the actual definition of music, unless there’s literally no beat behind it. In that case, it’s just slam poetry, but that’s not what rap is.

          • Posted February 5, 2019 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

            No, rap/hip hop is worse than poetry.

            • BJ
              Posted February 5, 2019 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

              That’s not what my comment was about. I think you know that…

              • Posted February 6, 2019 at 10:08 am | Permalink

                I’ll concede that hip hop is music in the same way pidgin is a language.

        • Mark R.
          Posted February 5, 2019 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

          That’s quite a wide brush you’re using. All rap is “chanted doggerel”? Ridiculous. How many “rap artists” have you bothered to listen to? Obviously not many.

          • Posted February 5, 2019 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

            How many? More than I cared to. Lighten up — it’s a matter of taste and I’m being scurrilous.

            • Filippo
              Posted February 6, 2019 at 11:20 am | Permalink

              Not that I’ve heard much hip-hop, but it strikes me as some kind of “performance art,” dramatic reading, poetry with rhythm and rhyme, with underlying percussion. (In non-hip-hop literary/poetry circles, I gather that rhyme has been pooh-poohed for a number of years. I’m all for rhyme. Seems Hip-Hopsters consider it at least somewhat essential. Strikes me that if one dispenses with rhyme, to that extent one doesn’t have to work as hard to produce poetry.) I’m always curious as to the melody line of any hip-hop music. If it has one it surely can be presented on the staff of printed sheet music.

              (I’m reminded of the fatuous bloviating contention that William Shatner “sings” on selections from his 1968 “The Transformed Man,” which includes readings from Shakespeare, in addition to “Tambourine” and “Lucy in the Sky.” Shatner gives dramatic readings with background instrumental support. He does not “sing” these presentations.)

              At the next Super Bowl I want to see a Rapster/Hip-Hopster sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” or “America the Beautiful.” with an actual melody line. Maybe, e.g., that genius Young Dolph, for starters. Maybe he could show Gladys Knight the error of her “Disney-saccharine” musical ways and give Jon Caramanica something to ululate about.

    • XCellKen
      Posted February 5, 2019 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      Who is the Coors Light of Pop Music ???

      BTW, Miller owns the copyright on the term LITE ™. Bud’s watery version is Bud LIGHT

  19. Filippo
    Posted February 5, 2019 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    “Both of the pregame performances were by black artists: a taut, controlled reading of “America the Beautiful” by Chloe x Halle and an impressive, if Disney-saccharine, national anthem from Gladys Knight, who before the game criticized Kaepernick for making the anthem a site of protest.”

    Why does His Worship Caramanica not also describe Chloe x Halle’s performance as “Disney-saccarine”?

    (Neither is saccharine and both acts sounded quite excellent. The sisters obviously have a highly-disciplined rehearsal work ethic. They strike me as an act who can carry a concert on their own without a bunch of dancers and smoke and whistles. There are solo acts unable to sing a song the same way at least two times in a row.)

    What made Knight’s performance “Disney-saccharine”? The armed forces color guard behind her? The orchestral accompaniment? (There was also orchestral accompaniment to “A the B.”) The fact that she did not indulge in fatuous, ululating, sonically-twerking melismas? It’s occasionally nice to hear a song sung reasonably straight without all the histrionic grimacing and posturing.

    The Chicago Tribune is also popping its bill:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/music/sc-ent-super-bowl-music-maroon-5-0203-story.html

  20. Posted February 5, 2019 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    That the Super Bowl was even held seems infuriating to the regressive leftists. That the NFL is colluding to keep Colin Kaepernick unemployed is taken by them as as a certainty. Actual football fans, however, know that CK was an inconsistent back-up quarterback who turned down a $1 million offer to play backup QB because in his big fat egotistical head he’s a $10 million starter.

    • BJ
      Posted February 5, 2019 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      I did not know he turned down a contract, but I just looked it up, and it’s true. The Denver Broncos offered him the contract.

  21. Posted February 5, 2019 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    I’m totally lost on this one.

    Was Maroon 5 supposed to *not* perform as a show of solidarity with the player who started the protests and the protesters? I can understand that line of thinking, but I don’t see how performing at the Super Bowl is an endorsement of bad law enforcement practices, etc. Of course, since I know about zero about football, pro football, etc. I could be totally out of the loop here.

    On the other hand, I myself refused to sign a petition asking the band not to perform. The petition said something to the effect that if Maroon 5 could support LGBT rights, then they should support this cause. To me, that idea logic is a bit suspect.

    Plus, if I remember correctly the guy who started the protests now appears with Linda Sarsour and wears a Fidel Castro T-shirt. I mean, bad policing is bad policing, but it seems like he’s stanning for a literal police state.

    • max blancke
      Posted February 5, 2019 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      You really need to ask those people some questions. I have been doing so, and it is enlightening.

      Here are some of my favorites-

      Where do you see yourself personally after the revolution?

      How, exactly, will collectivization take place?

      I find that the answer to the first one usually reveals a wildly inflated sense of self importance. Usually, they have not given the second one much thought at all.

      • Posted February 5, 2019 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

        I guess that gets at my doubts about the really vocal, strident side of the Left in the USA (and a lot of the rest of the West).

        For example, if the goal of the protest is to highlight police brutality, I’m all ears.

        But if they also want me to cosign on Sarsour’s agenda, take a benign view of communism, or pooh-pooh other issues, I’m going to have to pass.

        Of course, I’m still confused as to why it was “problematic” for M5 and the rest to perform in the first place, since as I understand it the protest is supposed to be against police brutality rather than the NFL.

        • max blancke
          Posted February 5, 2019 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

          Good point on the police brutality. I really though we were headed towards real police reform a few years ago, but it quickly morphed into generic Maoist agitation.

          BLM looks to me to be a slightly updated version of the Maoist insurgency in British Malaya.

          But another big question I did not list was:
          Define Socialism. My personal experience has been that 80% of those who label themselves as socialists cannot even come close to defining it, and almost none of them have actually read the source material.

          My kids, thank goodness, are immunized against Marxism. They learned all about Marxist theory from their Grandfather, who was forced to memorize and recite it while a political prisoner in China. And we have all the source literature right there in our library, in the original languages, and they have been encouraged to read it.

          • James
            Posted February 5, 2019 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

            When I was a teen, some of my friends started talking about how great Communism was. My parents had a copy of the Encyclopedia Britanica, back when those were a thing, which included works by Marx.

            Nothing has ever so thoroughly convinced me of the virtues of capitalism than reading those books.

            As you say, it’s fun to ask “socialists” to define their terms. Once you actually get down to brass tacks, I’d say 80% of them are completely at sea. (To be fair, 80% of Libertarians/Objectivists/Austrian Economics advocates are the same.)

            • Posted February 6, 2019 at 10:10 am | Permalink

              Libertarians and Marxists both proceed from the same deeply flawed misunderstanding of human nature.

        • BJ
          Posted February 5, 2019 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

          This is one of the big problems with the Left these days: every issue must get rolled into the entire social justice movement. If there was just a movement against police brutality — you know, the way it started — we might have got somewhere as a country on that issue. But every protest and every movement must now be about everything or be thrown in the dust bin.

          I hate this. It’s impractical. It’s inefficient. It’s self-destructive. There are many things I support that people on the Left would like to get done, but I can’t support the people because they can never stick to one or even a handful of issues, nor clean their own house of the nasty dustbunnies that are no longer on the bed, but have piled on top of it and are suffocating everyone else.

          • BJ
            Posted February 5, 2019 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

            * “no longer under the bed, but have piled on top of it…”

  22. Posted February 5, 2019 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Odd how the politics in the NFL has somehow united completely opposite portions of the country. There are the arch conservatives that are furious over the knee-taking, and the NFL organization’s willingness to tolerate it for a time. They have boycotted the NFL, and are still mad as hell over the (imagined) dissing of our military.

    Now there are those on the regressive left who are furious over anyone even peripherally associated with the organization who do not take the knee or give a shout-out of support for those who do.

    • Posted February 5, 2019 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

      Exactly. That’s where I’m lost as to what Maroon 5’s sin is here. As I understand it, the protests are not against the NFL, they’re against police brutality. So I don’t see how going ahead and playing the Super Bowl halftime show would be an issue.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted February 5, 2019 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

      What I find a bizarre reversal is that this seems to be the complete inverse of Tebowing, as I understand it.

      Tebow was kneeling *for* a prayer, (approved by conservatives, disliked by lefties), Kapernick’s kneeling was taken as disrespecting whatever-it-was (so hated by conservatives, applauded by lefties).
      (That presumes I’ve actually understood anything at all in all this).

      How could a space alien possibly tell who was for or against what?

      cr

      • BJ
        Posted February 5, 2019 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

        Tebow’s thing was very different. That was something he did randomly, like when players thank god for helping them win the Super Bowl or score a touchdown or whatever. It wasn’t really a statement about anything except his own belief in god.

        • Posted February 7, 2019 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

          I don’t think that the Tebowing was random – he did it after his god had blessed him with something grand like a TD pass, which of course means that his god was really pissed at the defense. The current version of Tebowing is the heavenward pointing after something good happens for one [and again bad for the other]

  23. max blancke
    Posted February 5, 2019 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    It seems like the leftists are pushing pretty hard these days. What I can’t decide is why. Maybe they think they have the momentum and power to actually start pushing their agendas, or maybe they perceive they are losing, and are acting out of desperation.

    We probably even need new political terms. I have always been center left, but I find that, even as my views have moved slightly more left, I have become “literally Hitler”. So I used the term “leftists” in my first paragraph, but these people are something different. They do not just have political opinions. They are sort of messianic.

    Also in Georgia a couple of days ago, armed communists, marching under lots of soviet flags through Stone Mountain. They are not even pretending to be the good guys any more. There is a great deal of potential for mayhem and destruction here.

    • Posted February 5, 2019 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

      Maybe they think they have the momentum and power to actually start pushing their agendas….

      They’re ‘on the right side of History.’ Ultimate victory is predestined.

      Other groups on the right side of History include: the Paris Commune of 1870, the Anabaptists of Frankfurt, the Children’s Crusade, and the Branch Davidians.

      • max blancke
        Posted February 5, 2019 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

        I used to be fascinated by the gibbets hanging in Munster. I was probably six when my Dad pointed them out and explained the history.

  24. Posted February 5, 2019 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    “traumatic brain injury in a large sample of National Football League veterans”

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/study-finds-evidence-of-brain-injury-in-living-nfl-veterans/

    I would say this is more of a concern than woke player, half time entertainment, journos.
    In saying that, the effects of being woke are not dissimilar to being hit in the head by something hard and heavy.

    • Posted February 5, 2019 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

      It is not surprising. The power of these huge men in this sport is fairly incredible. I enjoy watching pro football (I am not proud of that), and I am often amazed to see a player just spring up to their feet after getting slammed at high speed by someone whose arms are as thick as my legs. But sometimes they don’t just jump to their feet.

      Now there are numerous rules about blocking and tackling, all aimed at reducing injuries, and the rules are enforced pretty sternly. Any player who gets their bell run is immediately pulled and scanned on the side of the field.
      Maybe the rates of TBI will go down.

      • James
        Posted February 5, 2019 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

        It’s not power, per say, it’s knowing how to direct the power. I used to do Medieval swordfighting–full-contact, but with wooden weapons. Some people I’ve fought were former football players, and hit HARD. But it only really matters how much hits you. If you can see it coming you can move in certain ways and deflect blows that look, from the outside, like they’re going to rip you in half. For example, when you push up when you hit a shield wall (or the defensive line) makes a huge difference–the difference between bouncing off (which hurts), stopping cold (which is okay), making THEM bounce off (which is freaking awesome), or punching through (which can be awesome, or make bouncing off look like a gentle pat on the head).

        Basically, it boils down to two equations: f=ma, and stress=force/area. Dissipate the blow over time (and we’re talking 1/100th to 1/10th of a second) and you lower force; increase the area where the force hits you, and you decrease the amount it affects you. The devil’s in the details, of course, but fundamentally that’s all it is.

        When I was a kid I used this to great effect. Bullies used to hit me, so I learned to take the hit in such a way that it sounded like it should destroy me, but in reality it didn’t do anything. The looks on their faces were priceless! 😀

        • Posted February 6, 2019 at 10:14 am | Permalink

          Your toxic traditional masculinity has been reported. It’s off to the APA re-education camp for you, where you’ll be forced to watch Gillette ads 24/7!

  25. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted February 5, 2019 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    So this Superbowl is some sort of concert?

    Never mind, I did love the snark in “You may […] say this is a straight-up music review, and I suppose you could construe it that way—if you couldn’t read.”

    Oh nice one, PCC 😎

    Ah well, I just watched 5 minutes of Benny Hill on Youtube – I find that an excellent antidote to a surfeit of wokeness…

    cr

  26. Roger
    Posted February 5, 2019 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    One of Maroon 5’s vids has nearly 3 billion views. Another one has nearly 2 billion. It’s hard to argue with numbers like that. People used to be bored with Queen. Now they’re the greatest thing evar for some reason. Not sure what my point is other than snobs’ opinions are worth about a grain of salt I guess.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted February 5, 2019 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

      @Roger As of this moment Despacito has the most YT views [5.95 billion] – a pop-Latin tune built by two people from 47 tracks in “Pro Tools” software. The vocals have been dynamically enhanced by computer & fed through “autotune” software to shift the key when the voices fall off piste & start going cross country [like all normal voices do to some extent].

      The video played with the tune is a brilliant confection that distracts one from the harsh computerised artifice assaulting ones ears.

      I am a snob & Despacito is shit

      Maroon 5’s mission is to spot trends & jump from genre to genre accordingly. They take living music & bash it to death, extract the essence & produce a pop taxidermied version. They are good at this game they play & they are shit too.

      • Roger
        Posted February 5, 2019 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

        Well it’s Latin. There are other Latin vids with billions of views too. Folks I never heard of before. Not my cup of tea either but the genre is popular and has been around for decades.

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted February 5, 2019 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

          I didn’t rip the Latin genre apart – I like nearly all the genres. I’m giving them the thumbs down for being 80% a musical algorithm. I’m a snob like that.

          • Roger
            Posted February 5, 2019 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

            I don’t disagree but one could argue that Jimi Hendrix is a Muddy Waters musical algorithm! I’m not convinced that musical algorithms are so terrible.

            • Michael Fisher
              Posted February 5, 2019 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

              You could try arguing Hendrix is an algorithm, but then you’d miss my point which is about the production being artificial – the human touch 80% drained away.

              I like my PJ Harvey [for example] with no added E numbers or sugar coating if you will.

              I’m a snob you see 🙂

              • Roger
                Posted February 5, 2019 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

                But she uses electronical wizardry to make the guitar all fuzzy and loud. If it ain’t a washtub and clothesline it’s artificial hoo-haw! (j/k)

              • Michael Fisher
                Posted February 5, 2019 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

                To be honest Roger – I think you understand the distinction I’m making. I recommend her first album at volume 11 – it’s a marvel once you’ve got over the shock of a raunchy, rocking devil emanating from such apparent innocence.

      • BJ
        Posted February 5, 2019 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

        Hey, if I could do what Maroon 5 does, I would. Good for them. They apparently make music people like, and are good at it. And you know I’m not one to praise the common man for his tastes. But Maroon 5 has figured out a formula and has shown a talent in executing it (if your analysis is correct. I have no idea if it is because I know very little of Maroon 5).

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted February 5, 2019 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

          My analysis is correct. I don’t get the point of the rest of what you write other than you wish you could be a middle of the road, inoffensive, uninspiring watered down pop band. 🙂

          • BJ
            Posted February 6, 2019 at 9:38 am | Permalink

            Correction: I wish I could be a middle of the road, inoffensive, uninspiring watered down pop band that makes boatloads of cash and lives the rock star lifestyle 🙂

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted February 5, 2019 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

      I should add that many of these views are “bots” to put a song higher in the YT rankings where they are viewed more [snowball effect] – some day we will have a tune reach No. 1 without a human ear ever hearing it!

      • BJ
        Posted February 5, 2019 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

        The ones that have that many views don’t get them mostly from bots. The ones you see in those ranges get there from people, even if there might be bots thrown in. You never see someone get that high who’s not already extremely popular, unless it’s solely for the cringe factor (e.g. Rebecca Black’s Friday).

        • Roger
          Posted February 5, 2019 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

          Hey! I like Friday. I’ve never seen anyone agree with me so I’m probably insane, but still, haha.

          • BJ
            Posted February 6, 2019 at 9:39 am | Permalink

            I…um…yeah, I’m just going to…um…

            Have you ever been institutionalized? Has a judge ever ruled you a danger to yourself or the public? I feel like I probably shouldn’t talk to you…

            😉

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted February 5, 2019 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

          I wrote “many” – I didn’t write “most” nor “mostly”.

    • Posted February 5, 2019 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

      I’m not even a Maroon 5 fan. But it’s like any band that has that level of success attracts quite a few haters. There are people out there who dedicate way too much of their energy to hating Taylor Swift, Beyonce, Imagine Dragons, Greta Van Fleet, and any number of other successful artists who aren’t exactly…what? Noise rock pioneers? Underground electronic composers? All of which is cool, but I’m just like, pop music is not really the root of much evil, IMO.

  27. Posted February 6, 2019 at 5:02 am | Permalink

    The only complaints about the Superbowl that I’ve heard are about how they haven’t played Sweet Victory from Spongebob during the halftime show.

    -Ryan

  28. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted February 6, 2019 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    I don’t care for the political (or sport) expressions here, and I have to agree that the review is remarkable.

    But whether or not I can read I can also sympathize with the review as a performance that part of the public – the reviewer – did not sought. Music is but part of the performance art of a musician.

  29. Posted February 8, 2019 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    This I agree with:

    “For nearly two decades, it has been wildly popular without leaving much of a musical mark, as easy to forget as mild weather.”


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