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8.2.11

Super Huh?

I know many Americans think the entire world stops and waits breathlessly for the outcome of Super Bowl, but in fact, most of the world doesn't care. Even among the ex-pats I know here, the subject has received exactly NO attention whatsoever.

In fact, Americans tend to think the world waits for instructions to know when to get up and when to go to bed. Watching MSNBC, or CNN, or FIX outside the rather invisible borders of the US is quite humorous.

All the reporters and anchors tell us in anxious and self-important words that Obama wants this, or Hillary is urging that, or some congress-critter is jumping up and down demanding the other. Frankly, most folks out here couldn't care less.

More to the point, quite a few folks just wish the US would shut up and go the hell home and tend to its own.

Thirty years ago, when I first ventured out into the great unknown, it was different. People cared what was happening in the World Series. They really wanted dollars. You could hawk a pair of Levi's for a small fortune in backpacker stash. These days, no one talks about the World Series, since it doesn't involve the world in any way. The dollar is a joke and folks are preferring euro or yuan, those I can't for the life of me understand why they want euro, other than it ain't dollars. And Levi's? Hell, there's a factory outlet the next town over from here. They make the damn jeans in Indonesia!

I barely consume the American media anymore, except when I need a good laugh. I know enough Arabic to see that Al-Jazeera tells a much different story about what's going on in Africa and the Middle East. Hell, many Americans don't even know that Tunisia and Egypt are in Africa.

I practice my Mandarin by watching the China news channels, because, well...they own the damn planet and what they say carries a lot more weight these days than Hillary or Obama. It's also instructive to see what they don't say. Knowing what your adversary is afraid of is quite helpful, also.

Most of the world speaks at least two languages. The average Indonesian speaks at least two local dialects, plus a little Arabic to read al-Quran, and is learning or wants to learn English.

I know...I can hear Americans now saying, "Hey, I speak English." Well, no. Most American of an age wear their pants around their knees, signaling they are prison whores and speak some linguistic abortion called 'ghetto talk.' I know quite a few Americans who can't write a single, grammatically correct, properly spelled English sentence to save their lives.

Americans have isolated themselves, and in their ignorance, have inflated their importance in the world. Sure, at one point, America held sway. Everyone wanted to be American. Everyone wanted American stuff. But now, everything American is made somewhere else. Americans economic woes have scared folks away from the dollar. And American food is know for being just slightly above garage-grade, in terms of health value. About the only thing left of American hegimony is Pizza Hut or Domino's.

The one thing America had going for it was respect in the realm of dipolomacy. Well, GW's wars and torture, and WikiLeak's revelations have pretty much killed the last avenue of respectability. Obama's just a no-starter when it comes to state-craft.

So, it comes down to more games. Keep the rubes busy with eye-candy and botched national anthems. Give them a spectacle that draws eye-balls to the most talked-about commercials of the year. Package it all up with stylized warfare, and what do you get? The all time most-watched TV event ever, which I presume means above the Apollo 11 moon landing, which pulled over a billion, but I guess we've forgotten about that little bit of trivia, any more.

I remember when my cousin took me to Super Bowl VIII. I was played at Rice Stadium in Houston. At that time, the Super Bowl was little more than a glorified high school game in east BF Texas outback. Now, it's a multi-million dollar wast of time. Nero's bread and circuses comes to mind. Not much has changed in 2,000 years, when you think about it.

I didn't watch the World Cup, either, which I guarantee drew more eyeballs than Super Bowl every dreamed of. So where they get the most-viewed thing is a complete mystery to me.

Bottom line is out here in the real world, no one even knows what a Packer or a Steeler is, unless in reference to homosexual males. I'll stick to Jesse Ventura's Conspiracy Theory, if they allow him to do another season. He's stepped on a lot of big toes already.

As far as American cultural hegimony goes, it's been cashed in. Outside of American's borders, there are far more important matters to attend to than foolball games, eating being one of them.

Besides, no Super Ad has risen to the level of Apple's 1980-something Big Brother commercial. Thirty years of stagnation in that departmenta, too.

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