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J Spot: Super Stupor

February 9, 2005, 12:00 am
Let's go out on a limb here and say that this year's Super Bowl halftime show was, uh, actually good. Now I know that traditionally it's easy and fun and fashionable to flagellate said show like a gap-toothed stepchild, but let's step out of our self-satisfied bubble for a ***image2***moment (and by "our," I mean "my") and think: As far as these things go, it wasn't so bad.

One reason why is that it was an understated affair, relatively speaking. No dancers, no crotch grabbing, no boobies. Generally I think no boobies is a bad thing, but given the darkness of the current days, I can see no better way of handling the need for glam and drama than with an actual, real-life legend like Paul McCartney. Yeah, he's one of the lame Beatles. Yeah, he looks like my middle-aged lesbian aunt. And yeah, "Hey Jude" is one of the worst songs ever written. But the Super Bowl halftime show is always such a bloated affair, barely tolerable when things are going well. When things like tsunamis and genocide and bloody insurrections and wars are occurring, I can't help but be disgusted by the garishness. I just don't think Nelly and Britney Spears are appropriate "artists" to represent the zeitgeist during such times, even performing at an event that traditionally celebrates the shallowest end of the gene pool.

Of course, you can't just throw Cat Stevens up there either. So Paul McCartney was the perfect choice-a rock statesman whose performance was somehow simultaneously riveting and boring. Boring because:

A) "Live and Let Die" and the aforementioned "Hey Jude" are mind-numbing creations.

B) It's a halftime show, for God's sake.

Riveting because:

A) His voice still sounds pretty good.
B) He's Paul McCartney.

C) Trying to figure out the racecar motif at the show's beginning gave my beer-soaked brain something to do.

Most important: the fact that it was just one man standing (or sitting) onstage, no wardrobe malfunctions, very little pyrotechnics and relatively few bells and whistles. It was, um, sort of classy. In the same way some strip bars are classier than others. Which is kind of scary, when you think about it.