Things Are Looking Up

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Like every other normal person in American, I watched the big game on Sunday. This year I was busy with some projects so I did not attend a party. Instead, I planned to get some work done and then settle in at game time. Some people boycott the Super Bowl, believing it makes them virtuous, but those people are idiots. The game is often fun and the ridiculous hype around it is a nice weird American tradition. Plus, having a pseudo holiday the next day means people can have a party on Sunday in the dead of winter.

The thing about the Super Bowl is it is the one event that everyone watches. Even if you don’t follow sports, you watch the game because it is what you do. There are similar events like the Daytona 500 or the Kentucky Derby, but most Americans don’t plan a weekend around those. You watch them if you are home or down at the pub, even though you don’t follow these things closely. The Super Bowl is the one event that everyone talks about the next day, because you know everyone watched it, except for the weirdos.

That’s what makes it a good bellwether for the state of pop culture. For the second year in a row, TV ratings were down for the game, not by a lot, but still down. Now, when an event tends to get close to 100% viewership each year, there is nowhere to go but down, but decline is still decline. When looked at in context of the general decline in TV sports, it suggests we are in the midst of a great change in how people consume their entertainments. That’s the general consensus among the people in charge of television.

Cord cutting and streaming services are finally starting to cut into the tradition television programming. It’s not just TV feeling the pinch. Live events are also seeing a drop in attendance. It’s a little hard to get good data as there is an incentive to lie about the ticket sales by the organizers. College football attendance has been in decline, which is a good benchmark, as these events are not driven by hype or the momentary success of the teams involved. Attending college football games in a generational tradition that serves as a reunion for old college buddies and extended families.

How much of this is the availability of on-demand gaming and video services is hard to know. There’s no way to measure it. Part of it may also be changes in youth culture. Despite all the blather about sharing from Millennials, they are a self-absorbed and selfish generation, preferring not to share anything with anyone. A generation of sociopaths, who see human relations as transactional are not going to be inclined to big public gatherings or public spirited activities. It’s why colleges are in a panic. Their young alumni do not donate back to the school at rates anywhere near previous generations.

Now, people don’t change that much from one generation to the next, so it is not a good idea to blame parenting or biology for the culture change. It could also just be the pendulum swinging back toward normal. Attending big public events is a late-20th century thing. Well into the 70’s, attendance for sporting events was well below capacity and the tickets were cheap. In the 1980’s I went to Red Sox games because it was cheap. I paid five dollars for a ticket and sat among empty seats in the bleachers.

The same is true for television. Well into the 80’s, families looked at TV time as an evening activity after dinner. The obsession with television, movie rentals and gaming is a new phenomenon. The steady decline in viewership may not be be driven by cord cutting. Instead, people may simply be losing interest in these services and that is what is driving cord cutting. Put another way, we hit peak TV sometime ago and now the pendulum is swinging back. People are reassessing their expenditures on these items.

There’s also the fact that micro-publishing, for lack of a better word, is now financially viable. Anthony Cumia got fired off the sat-radio platform. Instead of groveling to get back on, he started his own show from his basement. He has teamed up with Gavin McInness and they are building out a network of shows. Mark Levin is doing the same with on-demand political chat shows. There are thousands of niche podcasters making a living as content providers. We are spoiled for choice outside the traditional platforms.

It has always been assumed that the mass media culture was a permanent feature of the post-industrial technocracy. Not only would human labor be replaced by automation, but individual thinking would be replaced by the collective mind of the media orthodoxy. It could be that what makes a mass media culture possible is always what ensures its demise. Anything that shows the potential to control the culture gets corrupted by the preachy and proselytizing. That, in turn, drives away the public into alternatives.

Regardless, the ground is shifting under the feet of our cultural masters. Cable monopolies are being forced to unbundle. DirecTV is now offering a cheaper service over the internet, hoping to appeal to cord cutters. The great unraveling will bring with it an unraveling of the business model. CNN will actually have to attract an audience to stay in business. TV shows will have to sell ads based on real viewership. Live performers will have to follow the lead of Lady Gaga and not go out of their way to piss on their audience.

Things are looking up.

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110 thoughts on “Things Are Looking Up

  1. Agree with you 100%, Z-man. I do think that the polarization we’re seeing on the Internet is going to spill over into the physical world at some point. Neal Stephenson had some good thoughts on what that might look like in The Diamond Age.

  2. “Attending big public events is a late-20th century thing”

    Yeah, well I remember Hitler had hundreds of thousands at his rallies…
    and yet Hillary only had a few thousand at her rallies.
    What’s going on?? aren’t people interested in the most important sport, politics, anymore??

    Maybe it’s just the quality of the players that has everyone turned off.

    • I think that’s a good starting point. Hitler’s rallies started as organic happenings and then the professionals got involved. They quickly became compulsory. This was true in communist countries until the people in charge lost their will to hold the rallies. In the same way, the mass media culture works until it doesn’t and then what’s left is coercion. That’s not really possible in America.

      • I’m NOT virtue signalling.. I’m merely informing you..
        that I’ve never watched the Superbowl, nor any TV sports ..football, baseball, basketball, hockey, jai-lai, synchronized swimming, curling, badminton, archery, Wrestling, darts, geez did I forget any??…

        Yet I will re-state that politics is The most important (blood) sport …
        The outcomes of the other events don’t affect me in any way; my life is neither better nor poorer whether I watch or not, whether one team or the other wins.
        However, with politics, the outcome affects me greatly.. and it does so whether I watch the debates and campaigns, or don’t watch.
        We currently live in a society that has extremely concentrated authoritarian power, micromanaging every aspect of our humble lives. My toilet, my lightbulbs, my grocery bags, every damn little thing has been politicized, to the detriment of MY freedom. TV Sports broadcasts do not impact me in any way at all; I care not what the outcome of those “games” is.
        POLITICS IS THE ONLY SPORT THAT MATTERS.

  3. The post starts of telling people that they are idiots for not watching the superball and then goes on to say that declining interest in mass sports attendance and viewing is a good thing, or at least that’s how I read it. I attended one game this year because I was invited. Haven’t watched any sportsball on TV. I guess I’m an idiot who is serving in the cause of good, or something.

    • The people who virtue signal about not watching the Super Bowl are just as full of crap as people who virtue signal about multi-culti pieties. Running around telling people you did not watch the Super Bowl is right up there with people saying they don’t celebrate Christmas because it is too commercial.

      Edit: That’s not to say you’re a monster for skipping the big game. The issue is the need to announce it. That’s what I find obnoxious.

      • The only way I see that being done is anonymously on the internet. I don’t run into people socially who come out and say they quit watching sports like I see libs casting aspersions at Trump. I think those are two different things. When I went to that one football game I pretended to cheer for my hosts team, despite hoping that they’d lose. No one knew I didn’t want to be there except my wife. This is the kind of deference missing on the left. I go to the football game. They find out how I voted and stop talking to me.

        • The innertunnel has brought me back to sports. I can watch my college team on ESPN 3 in a window in the corner of the screen while I work or read blogs.

        • That’s fair. I think the preening and posing from Lefty is passive bullying, but that is due to Lefty holding the high ground. That’s what I find so repugnant about Righty doing this stuff. It is an unnecessary and counter-productive affectation. Most people attending Super Bowl parties don’t like football or TV sports. They like being civilized human beings enjoying a good time with friends and family. It’s what civilized people do. Being polite about the trivial differences in taste is the hallmark of the cultured person.

          It’s why the Left is counter-cultural. They lack this capacity.

          • It is kinda funny that the Kill Your Television! meme has gone from a Left-Wing thing to a Right-Wing thing in a generation.

          • Most respectable people don’t watch TV and are on “the left”. Only the dumb and the loserish are on “the right”.

            The rest of us trust in our God-Emperor and await the day He will declare Himself King.

          • This post at MOTUS is exactly in-line with what you’re saying, Zman.

            http://www.michellesmirror.com/2017/02/a-football-game-is-just-football-game.html

            Personally I don’t watch (or care about) any of the sportsball games (though I used to play tennis, and watched Wimbledon and the various Open matches; but that was years ago when I lived in Australia.) On my return to the USA after 30 years abroad, my cousin and his wife kindly took me to an Angels BB game, which I very much enjoyed though the fine points of the game escaped me. Watching a game in person at a sports arena with thousands of enthusiastic fans is a totally different experience than watching at home on TV.

            Now I live alone, and don’t watch TV at all. I enjoy old movies, reading books- and politics, via the WWW. I do still miss the extended family gettogethers we had when I was young, but that was long ago and seemingly in a different world; back when everyone talked about the same TV shows because everyone watched the same TV shows. Now it’s every person for themselves, all alone together. This brave new world is one of separation.

            I envy those who enjoy, as you said, a good time with friends and family- regardless of whether they enjoy the reason for the gathering. That is civilized and cultured behavior; and no, the left cannot do that.

      • I followed the following of the game, and I did so aggressively. Watching all the leftists turn the Falcons into Resistance–and then lose–was the best entertainment any wrongthinking badwhite could want.

        I didn’t actually watch the game, though, but I’ve been talking as if I did. This is the first time I’ve admitted the truth.

      • Well, I would never have brought it up if you hadn’t made it a big deal.

        Dude, just admit that you fucked up, and get it over with.

      • The only time I tell anyone I don’t watch televised sports is when they ask me about the game. I do not make a “virtue” out of it any more than I do when I tell people I don’t drink yeast piss when they try to get me to drink some.

      • Even give or ten years ago we used to have a party with friends and family. Now no one is really interested. The wife still makes her special sub sandwiches and great snacks but nobody actually watches the game. A couple years ago some people watched the commercials but now not even that.

        I don’t know why it just seemed less and less interesting. We used to love it and the party.

      • For every loudmouth, there are ten guys who just didn’t care enough to watch it or tell people they didn’t care to watch it. Like me, who wouldn’t even bother to say so if I weren’t making a related point.

      • I think a lot of people of the Conservative bent have boycotted the NFL because of their leftie stances. Speaking for myself, I am sick of Roger Goodell and the creeps that “take a knee” to the Flag. This outfit has fame, fortune and lotsa money in their drawers and this is how they piss on my Country? Not to mention the thug players that can’t stay out of trouble due to their lousy social conduct. I will admit to being full of crap, however, and maybe this site isn’t for an old bunny like me.

    • Oh yes, my wife and I very much appreciate being informed that we are abnormal, weird idiots. Joining our “betters” by insulting his consumers.

      Just fyi, I haven’t watched a minute of the moron box since sometime in the mid-80s, although we both had season tickets to our local AAA ball club until this year.

      Seems like the zman got out of bed on the wrong side.

      • We got rid of the television when it started dumping sewage directly into our family’s living room. Then 9-11 happened. For hours we had no idea what was going on. The internet had shut down and friends and family were all reporting different and impossible to believe events.

        I didn’t see the towers go down until I was at work some hours later. We all gathered in the conference room and the tech guy hooked up the cable that never had been used (we worked we didn’t watch tv) and as a group we saw the towers fall. For some like me it was the first time. My coworker standing next to me said his friend worked in one of those towers. He acted calm but I could see he was getting hard and angry.

        I called my wife immediately and told her what happened. She was just as stunned as I was. We didn’t know if this was the first in a new war or not but we reconnected the cable (we live where there is no reception) and have kept it ever since.

        We were always careful about what the kids watched and had no tvs in bedrooms. You watched what the family was watching. But we had to have the news. We limited it and knew our kids would go to other folks houses to watch shows we didn’t allow.

        Now most of our kids with children follow our lead, no network tvs. Just stuff they can choose like dvds and netflix. I didn’t have a tv most nights until I was eleven or so. Some of the happiest moments of my life were sitting in the kitchen with my grandfather listening to the Sonics (we could get long distance radio after dark).

        TV has gone from a uniter to a divider. To say nothing of the foul filth that can jump out at any moment. I bumped a button while watching “The Wrath of Khan” and saw a woman getting violated by a couple of guys. What if that had happened while I was watching ‘Forged in Fire’ with my seven year old grandson? So while I don’t think virtue signaling is the way to go with tv habits, I can see why someone would choose not to have one.

  4. Yeah, I guess I’m one of the freaks who didn’t even know the Bread &Circuses bowl was happening a couple of days ago until it was almost over. To each his own. I hold no ill will to fans of a a game chocked full of latent homosexual BDSM. Yeah, I know, I just shit in the punch bowl. But it was hard to to notice with all of the big guys in tight pants slapping each other on the asses and all the talk about domination. I’m secure enough in my manhood to live and let live.

    • No, you are not a freak. Nor are you an idiot or a weirdo for choosing not to watch the Super Bowl.

      In my view, one of the reasons animating the decline in attendance of big-time team sporting events is the interminable statolatry – the fly-overs, the constant salutes to the troops, the addition of god bless America to Take Me Out To The Ball Game in the 7th inning of MLB games, draping the entire playing field with flags, the security kabuki theatre, and the constant messaging of glorification of, and submission to, the state.

      Some people do not like their hard earned money being used to subsidize billionaire owners and millionaire ball players. Put another way, they may love competitive sports, but they hate crony capitalists.

      Take Bob Kraft, the owner of the victorious New England Patriots. When he purchased the Pats back in 1994, he soon began angling for a waterfront stadium in downtown Boston. One plan was to have two venues located juxtapose to each other – one for the Patriots and one for the Red Sox.

      Naturally, like almost all such projects, the cost was to be borne in large measure by the taxpayers. Then Massachusetts House Speaker, Tommy Finneran, a conservative Democrat, voiced his opposition to the plan. Soon, there were rumors floated by Kraft’s media pals that Finneran’s opposition was rooted in anti-Semitism.

      Nevertheless, Finneran won and Kraft was not able to have his way. Later, Kraft threatened to leave Foxboro and move the team to Hartford. He even signed a deal with the state of Connecticut which had agreed to finance the cost of building a stadium at the intersection of Routes 91 and 84 in Hartford.

      Alas, the deal fell through, in part, because a lot of heavy hitters in Massachusetts politics, and NFL heavyweights, including Dan Rooney and Roger Goodell, managed to convince Finneran to go along with the state ponying up about 75 million bucks in “infrastructure” aid.

      Subsidizing professional sports is a loser for the taxpayers and for those who love sports. It is a huge taint. It is a huge scar. Thus, for that reason alone, rugged individuals who cherish free enterprise and who abhor crony-capitalism, are justified in yawning about the super bowl. They are neither weirdos nor idiots.

    • Color me weirdo too. Maybe we can displace the alt-right with a new movement called weirdo deplorables, or deplorable weirdos, or something.

  5. I’m not sure it’s going to be easier to get content going forward unless there are liberty minded people/companies providing that content. For example, I have/had Netflix and apparently they’re one of the silicon valley companies attempting to stop Trump’s recent immigration policy. What is my alternative at this point for entertainment? I have Amazon Prime, but they have a problem selling anything gun related (unless it’s airsoft) but will sell you lots of sex toys and other smut if so desired. And they also are against Trump and any H1-B visa type restraints. I don’t want to fund my demise anymore. I cut the cord years ago and never looked back, but now I have to rethink where I get that content again. So, it’ll be interesting to see where streaming goes as the giants, as always is the case, attempt to retain control/power over your choices.

    • there are torrents, and there is the usenet. everything you can buy, you can get free there. two hours after CBSNBCABCFOXETC broadcast something, it’s on usenet. without commercials. in HD. every movie ever made, every song ever sung. in full cd quality. and youtube has a ton of stuff too; full movies.

      if you are curious, checkout “bitsnoop.com”. type in the search box “searchers 1956 1080p” for an example. don’t bother clicking on any links though, as you have to have a client program installed to do the actual downloading.

      • re: “it’s on usenet… every movie ever made” Solomon Honeypickle IV

        Really. Couldn’t find The Golden Mistress (Not Porn) with John Agar and Rosemary Bow circa 1954.

        Dan Kurt

          • I thought torrents were bad and tracked by most ISP’s ? I’m hesitant to use the fire stick my bro sent me. I don’t know much about it.

          • Another good torrent search (actually magnet link) is http://www.magnetdl.com/

            You can use I2P to download anonymously through it’s built in torrent downloader called I2Psnark. It has less magnet files though than the normal torrent system. Some online torrents can be downloaded from Vuse(torrent program) users as Vuse has I2P built in. Especially if it’s a new file. Magnet files are what is being used now. They can have trackers but don’t need them. It’s a small file with a HASH of the file. These hashes are passed around between clients. Every client is also a server and they share files when the hash matches up.

      • I’m not ready to extend my personal boycott of target to the point of driving to Target and then shoplifting their merchandise… different strokes I guess.

    • I bought a bunch of holsters and even a OEM glock laser/flashlight on amazon – is this a new policy?

      That said I feel somewhat dirty about using it given that I’m subsidizing Bezos and therefore his civlizationally subversive propaganda arm at the WaPo.

      If there’s an alternative that’s easy Im all for it.

      Generally given up trying to avoid certain companies except in the most egregious and potentially effective cases (ex: target and kellogs).

      However while boycotting kellogs I go to buy wheaties by general mills… aaaaaand Greg Louganis is on the box.

      We’re just too far down the toilet at this point to steer clear of all the shit around.

      • Competition. That is my question. I have looked and not found anything comparable to an Amazon competitor. They have grown so huge and I use them because I can’t find anything easier to use where I can find just about anything I want with delivery options. However, I cannot understand why they offer the same product from multiple suppliers at differing prices when I thought the original idea was for them to buy in quantity for lower cost and then pass those prices on to their customers. Instead, it has become a real chore to make sure you are getting a “new” (not out-dated) product with the best price. And then complicate it with different bundling schemes and prices and it gets to be a big time sink figuring it all out.

        One recent example was for a razor blade in a 100 pack. Available from multiple sources for around $6.80. Another source has a “special” 120 qty. pack for $9.20 but upon close inspection, the box says right on the front “20% free” meaning the additional 20 blades should be free making the actual price as mentioned previously … $6.80. Deceptive marketing. And Amazon does nothing to police this crap.

        Anyway, my original question is “Why hasn’t anyone dared to challenge Amazon in this online space? Sounds like it is ripe for some good old fashioned competition.

        • “…I cannot understand why they offer the same product from multiple suppliers at differing prices…”

          Think about it. They are preempting the competition before they even get started. By letting their competition sell on their service they get a little cut, check their prices against the competition and forestall others competing. They make it easy to compete at a small level but cut you off at a higher level.

  6. Commercials, I can no longer tolerate them. Television, radio or the web, all are cannibalizing themselves. Marginal content interrupted with Latin snake oil sales blinking and beeping steadily against a background of obnoxious noise.

    No thanks.

  7. The medium is not the message. But the medium shapes the message; certain messages resonate in certain kinds of media.

    The era of mass media was the era of the Cathedral. One to many. Preaching.

    The era of the Internet allows talk-back. As such, it cannot be dominated by groupthink in the same way as the era of mass media. Hence the “alt right” and “neoreaction”.

  8. the price of tickets is very high, they gouge you on parking and drinks, lots of bad behavior by the public, etc etc etc.

    unless you have super good seats, the view from the couch is much better too. there is even a service that streams live broadway shows (not sure if they livestream or what).

    and finally, the quality of the product is shit, whether it is movies, sporting, or musical. politics turns everything it touches into shit.

  9. Prediction – no I’m not taking bets on this –

    Broadcast and cable-as-we-know-it will be gone within 10 years. Why watch programs on their schedule? Many, if not most, sidestep it with DVR currently. Who needs the hassle of fiddling with setting up the DVR when the Netflix model is so much more convenient?

    What happens with the commercials? Probably go away for the most part. Pay per view or subscription, a la Netflix, for the revenue.

    • I’m leaning this way. Once you start streaming or binge watching, you never want to return to the old model. That said, cable was originally sold as commercial free TV. The subscription took the place of the ads. Now we have sky high subscriptions costs and more ads than ever. My hunch is the temptation to put ads on top of the NetFlix sub will be overwhelming.

      Still, I think we end up with a handful of aggregators/curators and a range of niche providers, all on a pay per view model. That includes sports. That’s where the world changes. When games are PPV and no ads, the games themselves will change.

      • “cable was originally sold as commercial free TV”
        Cable was also sold as the way to get porn in the privacy of your home.
        Back in the late 60’s early 70’s, Cablevision on Long Island (new york) was an early adopter of this.

      • No telling where it’s going. Ain’t that great?

        I think the next big thing will be interactive content. Gaming is BIG. For example one title, Skyrim, has so far had sales of $1.4 billion at a production cost of $100 million. World of Warcraft has 10 million subscribers at $15 a month – that’s $1.8 billion a year – and has been around for 12 years.

        There’s so much $$$ floating around that producers are going to come up with all kinds of approaches to tap into audience involvement.

      • Weird observation from Sling TV: they gave me a “free preview” of the Epix movie channel. We don’t buy movie channels, but if I get some movies for free for awhile, I’ll watch them. 6 weeks so far of my “free preview”. But here’s the weird thing: there are 3-4 different “Epix” channels on Sling. Epix 1/2/3 and something called Drive-In which is just a bunch of pulp B- movies.

        Why do they need four “channels” on the internet? That’s like breaking up Netflix into genres and calling them Netflix 1, 2, 3, etc…

        Strange how the media landscape is really struggling to keep up with the technology.

        • How is Sling TV? I have been using Amazon Fire and I love it, but I could use an additional video option. Prime has a lot of stuff, but a lot of it is of no interest to me.

    • The most likely thing is that the people who want to sell you stuff will become content-producers. Apple is heading this way. The digital streaming services (Netflix, Hulu, etc.) are already there. Netflix’s “Stranger Things” is probably the best show on the tube right now. For a lot of these big corporations, it’s not particularly hard to do. Nothing’s stopping Kraft from starting their own food channel. Or Anheuser-Busch creating Beer TV…where their beers are mainly showcased. HGTV is practically one long commercial for Lowes, Home Depot and Wayfair…nothing stopping any of them from producing original content. It’s just not currently done that way…but the current way is dying before our eyes. If it weren’t for traditional broadcast TV, the NFL would have stopped giving out contracts to ABC/NBC/CBS years ago and just turned the NFL into a PPV channel ala NFL Sunday Ticket.

  10. What a Great game! Those Pats fought back against all the odds against them and won in glorious fashion! Kraft said it right, “The Sweetest!”
    Us dirt people have been paying for a kind of betrayal for a long time and are beginning to realize it as such. Resistance and rejection of the statist quo is subtle but everywhere. If for no other reason than when every commercial and government entity is after the last buck you have, and they have it figured out and priced in truly what your last buck is down to the penny is, you begin to understand being a sucker really sucks.
    And common sense tells you, there is vengeance at hand, because if these entities are so desperate to do anything to get that last buck, they got to be running on the margins, and if you “cut” the cord, enough others do the same, it truly is effective.

  11. I’m not sure about overall cultural trends, but I know a lot of people who just threw in the towel with regard to the NFL over the whole Colin Kaepernick thing. The league has been gradually and increasingly shitting on its primary fan base of middle aged white men for over a decade now, but this year, it simply became too obvious to ignore. You could try to tune out the pink ribbons, the ignorant thuggish players, the stupid rule changes, the increasing number of downright insulting commercials, but to have Black Lies Matter rammed down your throat, when all you wanted to do was watch a little football, was too much. I’m very glad that the Patriots won, but I’m not going back to watching the NFL until they start to roll back some of the bullsh*t that has accumulated over the last fifteen years. Lack of viewership is the only thing that will get attention of the spineless wonders who run the NFL, and maybe encourage them to give America back it’s favorite sport.

    • “Politicize All The Things!” Nothing is sacred to diversity. Anything Mom and Apple pie is racist or whatever. Look how NASCAR has for instance has been transformed into a SJW example of a heathen venue of nothing but white redneck racists according to the neo-bolsheviks. The Patriots winning was racist, White privilege or something. Or this latest from Twitter, where a young girl who started a comic strip on Jan 20th with some really cute lampooning and already has been banned because her humor dared to expose unspeakable truths. It’s “Destroy All The Things!” SJW mentality.
      http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-07/orwellian-happenings-twitter-censors-trump-suspends-new-comic-strip-lampooning-liber

    • This. I read a number of comments on the internet about people that were tired of being preached at.

      My late husband stopped watching football after one of the big strikes. To me, it’s not the same since Kenny Stabler died 😉 I did watch the last half.

    • I agree. Something has been lost along the way – football has been turned into some giant commercial for all. Much more real when it wasn’t attracting so many to the sport. Even getting the players to wear pink during cancer month was some sort of queer idea foisted upon the sport. But ‘it’s for the good of breast cancer’ they say. ugh…
      Kaepernick is good for you also I suppose – he’ll make you check your privilege. haha…

  12. Years ago I was totally into watching football. Don’t know if it’s just that I’m older now and have different interests/priorities, or if the SJW infection of the game is what has turned me off. I noticed the infection years ago and it seems to have seriously raised it’s ugly head in just the past 2 – 3 years. At any rate, this was the first season I decided to completely tune it out – that crazy dude from SF making a ‘statement’ reinforced the wisdom of my choice.
    I had decided the Superbowl could go on without me, but at the last minute changed my mind and crashed a buddy’s party. We had a blast.
    Yes, the SJW commercials were over-the-top, as expected. Yes, I am totally NOT Lady GaGa’s demographic.
    But I too figured boycotting the SB was for idiots, and I like to think I’m not an idiot. I’m one who decries the politicization of everything these days, and thought that by boycotting the show I was politicizing it.

      • I hear ya, Toddy. I wasn’t suggesting you did boycott – just reflecting on ZMan’s point. Like you, I really can’t take it anymore. I went for the gathering of friends more than anything else, but did wind up enjoying the game. THAT game.

  13. The Super Bowl was the first game I watched all season. The broadcast team did a good job of just doing the game, rather than turning it into something else. The ads, well…the Tide ad riffing off of Terry Bradshaw was hilarious. The halftime show owes a huge debt to Michael Jackson. He really threw down the gauntlet for synchronized dancing and outrageous outfits many years ago. Watching the background dancing was fun, the preening and posing was embarrassing. Having a bunch of lightly paid people to cheer the thing on from the field was a neat little trick, to make sure the whole thing didn’t fall flat. Some perky young woman from the network, in a short skirt, was on in the third quarter telling us how many people were tweeting about the halftime show…uh, WTF?

    Losing the Chargers here in San Diego sort of laid bare all of the rip-offs and financial arm-twisting of the public that goes on in the NFL owners club. Good riddance, don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

  14. “Anything that shows the potential to control the culture gets corrupted by the preachy and proselytizing. That, in turn, drives away the public into alternatives.”

    See also: the fact that nearly every SB ad was an engagement in progressive sanctimony. Revisionist, anti-immigrant, history from foreign-owned Anheuser-Busch; drippingly sanctimonious Audi ads; at least 5-6 “ads” that propagandized multiculturalism, etc, etc.

    I rarely watch broadcast TV. Most of it is terrible. The commercials are soft core porn (see also: those sadist Hulu miniseries ads with the red robed women). We cord cut and got the cheapest Sling (run by Dish Network) option. I watch maybe 4 channels of 20, for $20, which greatly improved our ratio of channels watched to channels paid.

    Watching the SB was very instructive to anyone curious about the prog’s violent meltdown over Trump: if you subject yourself to that level of prog agitprop, you start to actually believe that stuff is sane.

    If you DVR’d the game, go back and play “Who Beers” every time you see a gay pride flag virtue signaling.

    People have options now, and they’re tuning that crap out.

  15. OT, but could someone please please please tell President Trump to dial back his twitter truculence, teach Sean Spicer and K Conway not to fire off own goals, and stop saying obviously stupid stuff about the press not reporting terror attacks?

    I don’t mind trolling the media, but c’mon. All that last did was get leftie international media opining about all the terror attacks they report, which is pretty much all the big ones and most that take place in Europe or America.

    I hope the White House aims to draw the line on stupid soon.

    • They do well considering the MSM will jump down their throats every time they forget a dot on an i. It’s not like they are talking today about President Bush or Putin invading Korea, or about how politics “is not a job for an amateur”–Al Franken yesterday. Sit back and enjoy the show–not much you can do about it anyway. It will also really rub salt in the DC wounds if these “own-goal amateurs” pull off a success.

      • Thanks. Just the reminder that the opposition includes Al Franken made me feel better. I forget about him for years at a stretch but when reminded of his existence I think of him as Sideshow Bob thinks of Bart Simpson.

    • The MSM is 24/7 trying to delegitimize the President and the media is a mighty force. I imagine we’ll be seeing many tactics being used by the Administration as they try to tame the beast and encourage real journalism about the President’s real endeavors. They criticize every little & big thing he does and make up stuff, too. The ruling class wants to run him out of office and won’t stop. Really hoping for MSM to soon be replaced by rising alternative media.

  16. I cut the cord when I got fed up with the endless, incessant advertisements for drugs and medical devices filling every single station break. I was/am particularly disgusted in how they prey upon an aging, generally trusting generation of Americans who are led to believe the the companies actually care about them.

    • Only the U.S. and New Zealand subject their people to the disgusting drug ads. It’s maddening. They encourage health care tourism by convincing people they have a disease that humans have probably lived with forever, things that just come and go, or just come naturally with age. Anything for a buck. I think taxpayers in effect fund the ads, too. Another example of us participating, paying, for our own demise.

  17. “The thing about the Super Bowl is it is the one event that everyone watches. Even if you don’t follow sports, you watch the game because it is what you do.”

    No. I don’t. And I know a lot of other people who don’t, either. The NFL is just another anti-American organization. And besides, I don’t like football.

    • really? i thought zman was being literal! imagine my shock. thank you so much from helping me not make a fool of myself.

  18. I listened to the game on radio while working. Turned it off when Hillary went up 21-0, and tuned back in for the forth quarter. Sorta like the election, or an NBA game. Watched the twenty minute rerun later on computer. BTW, my first season in Boston, 1967, seats in the bleacher were a buck, and up close to the field too. A fan took a three run fly away from Conigliaro in the ninth to cost the Boston’s the game and I was twenty feet from Tony running a Revere blue streak on this guy. He was about to do a Cobb on him but didn’t go into the stands after all.

  19. Speaking as a self-absorbed sociopath, my alma mater can eat corn the long way in lieu of my donation to their hedge fund. I have student loans to pay.

    I wonder which bought the greater part of that faculty club one might mistake for the field house at Augusta National? I’m sure it was the class of ’77 kicking in a few extra bits – it couldn’t have been the annual eight-figure debt rake.

    • In full agreement. Not a Millennial, but a transactional relation is exactly what I had with my alma mater. They offered a degree program, I ponied up what cash I could, and borrowed the rest. Took me 14 years to get it paid back. I enjoyed my time on campus, but I feel zero obligation to pay them any more money. Hell, their job intern program for juniors & seniors was as useless as tits on a boar-hog, as was their post-grad job finding service…

  20. Interesting sidebar to the importance of the game to the SJW crowd;
    http://fox4kc.com/2017/02/06/belton-high-school-student-mad-at-patriots-for-winning-super-bowl-threatens-to-shoot-up-school/

    Jashon’s Facebook page (which no one has the brains to take down yet) is just what you would expect.
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=728155483988248&set=a.123902304413572.21694.100003814080024&type=3

    Apparently, Pat QB Tom Brady’s friendship with Donald Trump caused the entire SJW community to root for the other team. Interesting that the team (Patriots) also has been above the ‘take a knee’ BS that has infested some other teams this year. I’ve been told by friends who are into the game, that there are only a few teams with players that have kneed the National Anthem but those that did received disproportional amounts of news coverage. Under the belief, no doubt, that there is no such thing as ‘Bad Publicity’.

    I have my doubts.

  21. I recall Mark Levin, a few weeks before the election, telling us in his nasal, lugubrious voice that the Republicans had blown it by nominating the one candidate that couldn’t beat Hillary. I haven’t listened to him since. Has he talked about why he was so wrong?

    • Yah — I can’t bear listening to Levin any more, either. Nasal and lugubrious AND rude! What did it for me was his slimy endorsement of Cruz up until the minute Teddy boy dropped out. BTW, just a reminder that there WAS a picture of Raphael Cruz (Ted’s father) with Lee Harvey Oswald in NOLA, Summer of ’63. The May 2, 2016, National Enquirer printed it and it was more readily identifiable online. The magazine circled in red some guy as Raphael, but it was not him. R. is elsewhere in the photo in PROFILE and his wavy hair evident. That is why Ted dropped out. If he had said anything about how the picture did not show his father, someone would have piped up, “Isn’t that him, over there?” That’s why Ted kept protesting that the NE had made the association of LHO and Raphael Cruz w/ the JFK assassination in Dallas, which the tabloid had not done, and others followed this disingenuous line as well.

      My husband refused to watch the SB and was reading in bed. I would check the score periodically and it seemed like only a couple of minutes had gone by with the score at 28-3 to the tie at 28-28. I almost fell out of my chair watching the last couple of minutes. Unbelievable! God is having fun with us these days, isn’t He?

  22. Grew up watching TV almost every night with my parents and siblings after mom did the work of cleaning up our dinner and of course we were ridiculously spoiled by her even giving her a hard time for taking so long to finish and come sit down and watch. My dad was a horse racing fan and eventually owner of a few himself. He fell into season tickets for the “California” Angels and those front row seats behind home plate (Reggie Jackson came over and flirted with my mother) which had a face value of $7.50 each are now god knows how much but long story short the Super Bowl was always a big deal for the reasons you stated. He was no football fan, ever, but it was an American sporting event that cut across class and demographics and everybody took at least some interest in it. You felt ‘connected” to your fellow American which doesn’t happen anymore except maybe 9-11. I had no interest in spending all afternoon the last few years watching something that had morphed into a boring, trying to be everything to everybody event so I just caught up on reading your past columns and got the update on score from my wife. Well it didn’t surprise me when she told me the halftime score and I made mention either New England falls flat or Tom Brady and Co engineer the greatest comeback of all time. I got lucky, I checked to see if the game was over and what the final score was but there was actually 4 minutes left and it 28-20. So I turned on the TV (streaming Vue now) and tried to wake my wife up (by then pissed that Brady/Bunchin super couple was going to lose) but settled on grabbing my 12 year old daughter to watch with me. I told her to watch the Patriots win the Super Bowl as I’ve watched enough sporting events (derby’s, baseball, football over 40 years) to know this was going to be the end result. It doesn’t turn out this way every single time but enough times to know that being human is still the greatest show on earth.

  23. A big part in the decline in popularity of mass sports spectacles has to do with the rise in the cost of attending or viewing these events. It used to be that an average person could drop a few dollars and attend a professional baseball, football, hockey, basketball game and walk away with cash still in their pocket. Blue-collar guys on blue-collar incomes in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and first half of the 1980s could even afford season tickets without forcing their families to sacrifice much, if anything. I know this because my grandfather and his buddies from the Kaiser Shipyards in SF were all welders, etc. making very middle-class salaries. Yet they made going to the games a big part of their lives outside of work and (maybe) church. Since there were fewer networks and cable TV was only getting it financial legs in the mid-1980s, access to televised games was also cheap and pretty much free once you paid for the television itself. Then the price for tickets to attend a live game began to rise slowly, until it rose to the point that the average middle-class person looked at spending literally $200 for four tickets in the nosebleed section of the stadium, never mind the insane cost of usually crappy food served at the stadium, parking costs, etc. Concurrently, all the big sports’ owners realized the real money to be made was in respect of television coverage. So they contrived ways to make watching the games on television attractive enough that going to the stadium lost much of its appeal. Paradoxically, that forced ticket prices for live attendance up. By 1999-2000, you could not help but see the difference in the demographics at a live sports event. Much better-heeled crowd as it’s not just an afternoon’s entertainment at moderate cost anymore.

    But the viewership numbers kept going up, at least until recently. It speaks volumes that this year’s Super Bowl had a viewership of about 111 million and that was down from the year before, which in turn was a decline from the year before that. These declines in viewership stem from the core fact the owners have become so greedy they are making the sporting events too expensive in terms of money and time to watch. Every football fan above the age of 25 can remember the game as it was played before teams could challenge a referee’s call. Months ago on this blog someone noted a study done by someone at WSJ that noted that of the 3.5 hours slotted for a NFL game only about 12 minutes of actual play occurred. The rest of the allotted time was commercials, time outs (with commercials), time to review challenged calls (more commercials)., and occasional replay (multiple times) etc. Baseball, too, has felt the pressure to do the same but has not yet committed to the same level of inane rules, in part because baseball already suffers from a reputation as a “slow sport” for viewers. Basketball and hockey as well though hockey does the best at giving entertainment for the time value invested, IMHO.

    With a generation coming of age that grew up with the internet and noted for their short attention spans, is it any wonder they don’t flock to watch the same sporting events as their parents with all the investment of time and money that can be spent elsewhere?

    • Back in 1986 the outfield bleacher seats at Yankee Stadium were $2 a pop. Young entrepreneurs would buy a bunch and try to scalp them to the tourists (me) at $5 a piece, as we got off the elevated subway.

      Something strange I saw at the NFL games I actually attended over the years, was that the fan behavior worsened as the tickets got more expensive. Maybe not the average fan, but the rowdy end of the spectrum got much more violent. And that’s not counting the Raiders games, which one would avoid like the plague, what with all the L.A. gang members rolling in for the day.

    • The millennials were raised on advertisements and normalized violence; no wonder they’re sociopathic. As they grew up, everything came to be monetized so living is expensive, while at the same time wages stagnated for most Americans. There aren’t many well-paying jobs for them and they have a lot of college loan debt (from their indoctrination on useless non-thinking that’s made them dysfunctional ignorant snowflakes). They don’t have money for anything; they’re not cutting cords out of principle, they’re broke. That’s why they were so receptive to Bernie Sanders. Thank God Hillary stole the primaries from him cuz he was Trump’s only real competition. Can you imagine a Sanders regime? Nightmare.

        • I feel for you. That’s coming from L.A., behind the blue curtain. Working on an exit strategy. If possible to a staunchly red state.

          • Me too. The problem is that I can’t seem to talk my husband to leaving the coast. May wind up in Oregon. If it were up to me, it would be back in the heartland for sure. I left CA in the 70s so I’ve been through this before.

          • if you go to the Oregon coast stay south of Newport. I recommend Brookings- best climate on the Oregon coast.

          • Has it always been this bad in the Pacific Northwest? Or has it been dormant and Trump’s election upset has removed all the masks?

            Any recommendations on solid red states in the heartland?

          • West Virginia. It’s seriously rural if you like that. It’s so red it is the only sate where every county voted Trump, Land and house prices super reasonable. Fertile land, super hunting, the woods are a supermarket of wild edibles. Mild winters, growing season is late March to Sept. I was raised in NH, WV is like NH when I was a kid.
            We bought 6 acres with a 1500 sqft house, 2 car garage, creek, $46,500, taxes are $276 a year, closing cost was $378. We logged off 4 acres of timber and recouped 10 grand. You make friends for life in these mountains. There is an economy of living that is down to earth. If things dropped in the pot tomorrow most folks here would hardly notice.

          • Thanks, Doug. Yes, I love rural and am dying in dirty, concrete, expensive, militantly Left Los Angeles. I was actually considering West Virginia, prompted by your posts about the beauty of the land and the people. Sounds like my kind of place. I’m originally from the east coast and remember the lush natural glory of WV when I visited for marching band competition in high school. Also, I’m glad to have this opportunity to tell you how much I enjoy your posts. Thank you.

          • The two major metropolitan areas have always been fairly populist (see Murray Morgan’s “Skid Road” for a history of some of Seattle’s early characters) , however it was basically low-intensity and due to the mostly white/Asian population base the cities basically worked. It has worsened substantially since 2000, whether due to generational shift, immigration (in DiL’s first kindergarten class a few years ago, 3 of 22 students didn’t speak ANY English and about 1/2 the rest were English-as-2nd-language) or renewed CA migration due to the growth of the SW industry. 95% of Hillary’s statewide margin came out of King County (Seattle/Bellevue/Redmond with slightly less than 1/3 the statewide vote) and 55% came out of the city of Seattle proper (with about 1/10 the statewide votes). As Seattle goes, so goes the state .

    • My late husband used to go to Candlestick Park as a kid. (His dad worked at Mare Island). He could take the bus, watch a game or two if a doubleheader, then take the bus back to Vallejo.

      I think the players then were grateful for their careers. Now, it seems like they feel entitled. I know that it can’t be all players, but those are the ones we hear about.

      • I understand a number of Patriot team members have refused to go to the White House for a celebratory meeting with President Trump. Really rude, disrespectful behavior to our President by people who should act in a way worthy of being role models. Pouting millionaires.

  24. For me it’s important, and I feel strongly about using my voice, my dollars AND my television to reflect who I am and what I believe in. The lines of where a person or corporation stand politically are becoming clearly defined now. Simply put, you’re either with us or against us in our fight to change America’s trajectory. To be honest, that collective energy is powerful in my opinion. It contributed to the phenomenon that is President Trump.

  25. Another factor in the decline in NFL interest are the changing demographics. 3rd World immigration from places where soccer is the national pastime means young people who don’t relate to the new cultures unique sport – American football. Also, being mostly Latinos, they don’t identify as readily with a sport they may find hard to imagine themselves, or their fellow ethnicists, being highly successful in. There are not many big NFL Tony Gonzalez’s walking around in Mexico, so the average shorty Pepe will only impress a Maria with sports where size doesn’t matter.
    Electronic soul sucking devices in general, and video games in particular, have also, to a degree, co-opted the male competitive athletic sporting instinct with its virtual fantasy replacement. When I was a young grasshopper, the most debilitating punishment my mother could scare me with was not being allowed outdoors – which meant no sports. Today’s punishment is the reverse. You tell today’s jelly fish that they cannot have access to their orgasmatrons, and are banished to the Great outdoors and you’ll have a serious hissy fit. As a byproduct, ADD is one of the prime identifiers of this generation, so how can reality compete with hyper kinetic interactive fantasy where junior is no mere mortal, but a super hero? This doesn’t even touch the issue of the feminization of today’s metro male beta boys.

    • got news for you; very few anglo kids watch or care a fart for, american football. it’s not a sport that is fit for families.

  26. Z, don’t forget the next issue.

    All of the good things are happening because of what InstaPundit calls disintermediation. The internet cuts out the middle man, so Cumia and McInnes can do their own thing. McInnes, by the way, is a good Brit-Canadian lad of Scotch ancestry so he’ll do well anywhere, annoying all and sundry as he goes.

    Anyway, the next issue. The bastards will try to close up the internet, to restrict it and indeed are this instant plotting to do so. All this freedom must, must, be stopped, so they think.

    OK, that’s it, I’m out of steam, I’ve identified the issue, what do we do now? Because if they pricks succeed, we’re in trouble, again.

  27. Well then Zman, I guess I am not “normal” or I am am in your parlance, a “weirdo.”

    I did not watch the Big Game this year either as I have been boycotting the NFL since players started wearing pink for the month of October “Breast Cancer Awareness” fight.

    But then, I also am not contributing to the RNC just because Trump won the election. I won’t support them until sleeze bags like McCain, McConnell, Ryan, and many other RINOs get out and Term Limits are instituted.

    To just be part of the “crowd” for entertainment’s sake is the real BS. There is still a real fight going on and the only way for Deplorables to fight back hard is to hurt TPTB in the pocket book. Vote with your wallet.

    Until the NFL puts the clamps on the senseless violence and allowing of the criminal element to infest the game, as well as being so politically correct to change the face of the game for every “sensitive” metrosexual concern, I will not watch the game again. I’m sorry but the NFL is the one that lost the badge of honor around the league carrying the banner of patriotism for the country. It is nothing more than another bad example of crony capitalism in spite of the money the players might earn.

  28. I’m not normal… didn’t watch. Checked the score a couple times just so I’d be informed for the work crowd. Heck, a few days before I had to ask who’s playing. Ignorance is truly bliss.

  29. Many years ago I read book by Daniel J Boorstin called, I think, The Image. It’s subtitled ‘a guide to pseudo-events in America.’ I cannot recall if he talked about sports much (it was written I think in the early sixties before sports got big — no Super Bowl, Olympics pretty much a localised event — but what I do recall was a passage effectively saying that people who attended big parades for example would not get the best view, which could be better seen sat at home on TV as cameras along the length of the parade route would give a continuous and more expansive view of the event, rather than having to be perched on a corner trying to see little bits of it pass by.

    The irony is the commentators, according to Boorstin, would say things like: “You folk at home really should be here to appreciate the spectacle.” The people watching on TV would then probably regret their choice in that case, even though they had a far better and more comfortable view of the event, and better still, could easily do something else should the need arise.

    Given how TV presentation has improved since the ‘sixties I would imagine many events are way better ‘up close’ on the box than seen as small objects in the hazy distance. In a sense, entertainment has become more entertaining with the TV, however I do think that all sorts of other interactive things from blogs to games to video-on-demand (as well as binge watching) is winning over linear televised delivery.

  30. Our regular Super Bowl party, a great party with great food and lots of adult beverages, hosted by a member friend at his very nice local country club (we pay him back), was preempted this year by a cruise he and his wife booked. Fine. We all survived. (Though we missed winning the pool money!) We had our own party of two, and had a swell time watching a very good football game.

    It is possible to watch and enjoy an individual sports event, without having any particular interest in who wins (or by concocting that interest if one doesn’t like a nasty coach or one likes underdogs to win). And it is possible to skip it. Choice. But when the virtue signalers insist on volunteering all over internet forums that they absolutely do not watch (list follows) or they haven’t had TV since (insert date), without any direct question having been asked of them, it IS virtue signaling. Or maybe they are just bragging about (what?). Bragadoccio of various kinds permeates the internet. The virtue signalers are just one variety.

    If they don’t like “virtue signaler”, how about “terminal bore”?

  31. Pingback: Things Are Looking Up | We Seek the Truth!

  32. I am proud to have been abnormal since 1987 when my last television was stolen and I didn’t miss it.
    Having a desire to consume bread and circuses doesn’t make one normal, just ignorant.

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