How much do I not give a damn about the Super Bowl? So much that after pausing to watch the Rolling Stones cash their paycheck and fluff their catalogue for the umpteenth time — “Start Me Up” still sounds as good as it did the day Bill Gates rented it for Windows 95 — I went back to the kitchen and finished loading the dishwasher.
I know there were two teams playing against each other, and one of those teams was from Detroit, but otherwise I know about as much about the Super Bowl as I do the complete recorded works of Liberace.
You want to know my fondest Super Bowl memory? Watching Kenneth Branagh’s Henry V at the Montgomery Twin Cinemas just outside of Princeton, N.J., with a packed shoulder-to-shoulder audience of fellow artsy snobs. Joyce Carol Oates even took time off from the day’s schedule of writing — one novel, three short stories and eleven poems — to join the crowd. We were all delivering an unstated, decorous Fuck You to corporate sports. (It helped that Henry V is also a damn good movie, though the lack of budget definitely hurt the battle of Agincourt. It didn’t have to be that way: Orson Welles didn’t have two nickels to rub together when he made Chimes at Midnight, but the battle of Shrewsbury looked a lot better. Ah well . . .)
Far more interesting, to me, has been visiting the excellent Detroitblog and watching it chronicle the bizarre situation of living in a city that has suddenly been made the center of the known universe after decades of obscurity and decay, and which will promptly be consigned to the outer dark once again as soon as the last sportswriter snaps shut his laptop. This is the blog that introduced me to the rather macabre subculture of urban infiltration, and he brings exactly the right perspective to a situation in which a long abandoned bank is briefly converted into a nightclub with a $500 cover charge, and a city that’s home to dozens of Motown Records alumni opts to airlift in a bunch of bored British gazillionaires to play the halftime show.
Originally published at The Opinion Mill.