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Aesthetics and Ugliness and the Super Bowl LVI Commercials

Aesthetics and Ugliness and Super Bowl LVI The Garrett Ashley Mullet Show

For as long as I can remember Super Bowl commercials have been a primary rather than secondary reason to watch at least one game of football per year. The whole event is a mainstay of Americana wherein we expect the best and the brightest to be on full display, and to the victor go the spoils. That’s what makes it worth watching even for people who have no innate interest in the NFL or football otherwise.

This year the Super Bowl commercials featured two distinct patterns worth commenting on. One was the conspicuous absence of white people – not a huge deal, but a little weird all the same. But the other trend was the conspicuous absence of beautiful people, and this one does bother me for some reason, so naturally I want to talk about it and puzzle it out.

And not only were there few to no typically beautiful people; there were also just a lot of decidedly weird-looking folks.

Like no one wearing masks in a stadium located in one of the most mandate-happy counties in one of the most locked down states in America, the two-pronged exclusion of white people and the prevalence of ugly people in this year’s Super Bowl commercials should tell us something about the sort of country we live in now.

Make America Ugly Again?

Is this the United States of America anymore?

One could fairly ask what sort of country but a divided one has more than one anthem in the name of racial justice. Yet there the viewers sat before the game began, listening to “the black national anthem” because some folks concluded we needed a new one to cure systemic racism.

I surmise the whole affair at least goes to show how the NFL and corporate America and NBC see us – and more to the point want us to see ourselves.

And maybe just like cementing racial divides with segregated patriotism on the basis of melanin, corporate America wants you and I to see ourselves and our country like they do – as ugly and misshapen and odd and divided. We are eccentric, off-beat, and maybe a little deranged in their eyes, and they want us to feel that.

Admittedly, I don’t watch the NFL more than once a year, nor even every year. But the suddenness of this shift in the look and feel of the 2022 spectacle is a little jarring. 

I wouldn’t put it past the whole lot to suppose this is how you head off a resurgence of Make America Great Again sentiment – and more to the point, voting. 

The joke’s on them, though. With any luck and by God’s grace, the negative association and optics backfire and only cement our negative opinion of the ruling elites and their taste rather than our view of ourselves or our national heritage and destiny.

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