And run-of-the-mill, MTV-style decadence of the halftime show didn't bother me. Decadence, after all, is passe. It's so, I dunno, 2nd Century. In 20 years, we'll have a celebrity orgy and singalong at the halftime show, and in 50 years, the orgy will be combined with executions, and finally in 100 years, the festival of Bacchus will be held for two weeks in late January in a southern city, and, oh yes, a football game will be played. Whatever.
Also not bothering me were the ads for erectile dysfunction medications, which I assumed were for those members of the audience who would consume too much to drink during the Super Bowl, and find themselves amorous but not capable afterward. Perhaps a public service.
Similarly, the fart jokes, the chimps hitting on women, the dogs-biting-balls (an obvious steal from Where the Buffalo Roam), the Scotsman getting his kilt blown up by the subway a la Marilyn Monroe, Janet Jackson's right breast — juvenile humor was in. What are you gonna do? It's advertising. It's spectacle. It has to get progressively dumber and more "spectacular" each year.
No, what bothered me was a trailer to a movie. And no, not the silly goth (boo!) werewolf and vampire movie. That's not it, either.
No, it was the trailer to the movie, Troy. That is, this is The Iliad, one of the founding works of our civilization. It is one thing to put obscene post-it notes on the sacred tapestries. It's quite another to trivialize them.
Now, I don't mind a Hollywood blockbuster about The Iliad. Why not? The problem is the casting.
For those who've forgotten, Achilles is the great Greek hero, and was the Greek's top warrior at Troy. The Iliad starts at the end of 10 years of inconclusive warfare. The Great Achilles is pouting in his tent, believing his honor has been offended over some pillaged treasure. The Greeks struggle to fight without him. Many find themselves increasingly becoming victims of the great Trojan warrior, Hector, who is compared to a lion ripped apart his prey.
Things come to a head when Hector kills Achilles' friend Patroclus, who had been wearing Achilles' armor. When the Trojans strip Achilles' armor, and Hector places the armor upon his shoulder and head. Achilles is thus provoked from his tent, and pursues Hector. The great Trojan warrior, compared to a lion, flees. Achilles chases him around the gates of Troy, until Hector finally turns and fights. Achilles kills him "like a lion with a fawn in its jaws," and drags Hector's body around the city's walls, and the grave of his friend, Patroclus. The Trojan hero has fallen, and Hector's widow sees Troy as doomed.
And who has Hollywood selected for the role of the mighty warrior Achilles? Brad Pitt. Little Brad Pitt, who would've lasted, oh ... five minutes on the battlefields of Troy.