Sunday, February 3, 2008

Meaningless and Worth It

As much as I like tradition rooted in something really meaningful, there are some things unique to American culture that I really love, despite their relative insignificance and lack of real contribution to the world. One of them is The Super Bowl.

As a national event, you can't get any more insignificant and meaningless than a giant football game, ripe with more fluff and media hype than one can stand in the span of 4 hours. It's truly a capitalist's dream - the ultimate marketing event and excuse to sell things - ANYTHING - with a Super Bowl insignia attached to it. And it's everybody's excuse to throw a party -- in February -- when there otherwise doesn't seem be a reason to celebrate. We wear crazy hats, eat horrible junk food and gather at the home of the friend with the largest TV set.

And why is this a good thing? Because it's uniquely American, it's totally a guilty pleasure, and it provides a Sunday afternoon of harmless escape for millions of us. Plus it's a uniter -- it's watched and enjoyed similarly by rich, poor, black, white, men, women and children. Even people who never watch a football game all year set aside Super Bowl Sunday to get into the hype of it all.

In the end, the best thing is that it's something we can all get excited about (in a silly sort of way), and regardless of the outcome, it will ultimately have no real impact on our lives. In fact, no matter what happens, in about six months, most of us will forget who even won, because ultimately, it didn't really matter. And that's the fun of a guilty pleasure, I suppose. Perhaps we should have more of that in our lives - things that bring joy for the sheer joy of it all, and for no other reason whatsoever.

No comments: