“Near nakedness,” you say? “Indecent!” “Not family entertainment!” …I read in the indignant tweets. Shocking! At a Super Bowl! No wardrobe malfunction, just the wardrobe or lack thereof?
I’m a bit flummoxed by all the furrowed brows and pious sniffs over this. I will state that your humble hacker and plodder blogger did not watch one moment, not one nanosecond, of the Super Bowl halftime show. I wouldn’t know Shakira from sriracha. I’m told they are both, uh, hot.
I watched exactly two plays of the game itself. Big deal. Congrats Chiefs. I’m happy as long as the Pats aren’t winning.
But last Sunday afternoon, yours truly was at another entertainment event that featured two suicides, a couple of murders (one a gruesome beheading), and a lascivious dance. There were dancers whose lithe, athletic bodies were (ahem!) nearly nekkid. (Side note: Herschel Walker took some ballet lessons once. I believe he said it was the hardest thing he ever did.)
The Atlanta Opera production of Salome with it’s famous “dance of the seven veils” was probably the most sedate version of the thing ever performed. Salome was a great singer, not so much a great dancer so six ballerinas helped in the dance before the drunken, slovenly Tetrarch. There were no poles in the opera but there was a platter. In fact, hardly anything came off anything in the opera except for Johanaan’s (that’s John the Baptist) head. It was completely removed, as in Scripture.
And did I fail to mention that this was semi-biblical? The underlying story is altogether biblical if not the expanded tale. You want life that is rich, real, and relevant? Go to God’s Holy Word.
The week before the opera I took my grandaughter to see the University of Georgia Gym Dawgs. No matter what sport, no one can spell “dog” in this state. The Gym Dawgs are our ladies gymnastic team. Quite the spectacle. And the tiny athletes were in tight, sequined suits doing all kinds of flips, splits, spins, jumps, swings, and stuff. It was quite entertaining. The team attire was what you would expect. No one complained.
But a big media and celebrity event wrapped around a football game where dancers dance with little in the way of garments is a source of cultural decadence. I’ll grant those of you who watched the thing the point that there were some moves that were, er, designed to engage the male hypothalamus. Not so the opera.
Oh, and I ran across a picture of Michaelangelo’s statue of David the other day. The muscular biblical King is, well, as Kramer would say, out there for all to see.
Sure, I can point out some differences in the Super Bowl halftime entertainment and Michaelangelo, Strauss, Puccini, Verdi, et al, but at times there’s not a lot of difference. I don’t think even Richard Wagner had his characters twerk, although sex infused some of his works (legitimate opera critics may correct me, but I don’t think there are any who are Southern Baptists)…but have you watched some of the gymnasts moves lately? Uh huh.
The Bible, God’s Word, is a book of reality. All of the tragedies and drama of life are within its pages. No one can understand our language (“head on a platter”), metaphors (“crucified”), our art and literature if they are ignorant of the Bible.
Yes, of course, the redemptive theme of the Bible is the key and The almighty can survive the Superbowl halftime show.
Dude, if you don’t like it rouse your decadent self to turn off your 84 inch smart TV.
Just trying to help here by introducing SBC Voices to high art and sophistication. Several milestones in this article.
Couldn’t work it in but it was interesting to me that the Salome audience found humor in anything in the production. A chuckle moved through the crowd when Salome was singing to Johanaan about his body and hair (he was still with head in this part) and I think I heard the lyrics, “I want to kiss your mouth, Johanaan.” Now, that’s close to Ernest T. Bass’, “Kiss my mouth Jelce.” Salome did get in an extended kiss at the end.
Best part of the opera was the nice lady on the left who has put up with a lot from me for fourscore years.