The NFL, treat Scandal and Pop Culture
It’s officially fall when the NFL takes over the airways! Students return to their respective classrooms in colleges, health universities, recipe secondary and elementary schools, nationwide. Temperatures begin to come down and the leaves begin, ever so slightly, to change their colors. Even more telling is that we are four months away from the year’s end and another holiday season. There are those who plan their lives around the NFL game schedule and others the premiere of the fall television season. Along with the introduction of new television series, there are transitions from the old to the new hosts on iconic shows, while Olivia Pope and Associates are high on the list of “must-see” TV.
With the circus surrounding the “games” of the political season shifting into high gear, we have the battle of the sexes on the right and left, a reality TV star at the center of controversy, the never-ending saga of the “haves” vs. the “have not(s)”, the bold and blustery, the misinformed and misogynistic, the boring and the surgical, and the scandal of the super secret email controversy. Oh My! Popular culture dictates that we continue to stir the pot and create tension, drama and conflict even when it prolongs the narrative far beyond the point where the storyline comes to a natural conclusion. We seem to live in a culture where dysfunction and disruption is the state of normalcy within which we are content to live. Non-stop cable television and the 24-hour news cycle hold us in a constant condition of irritability, cynicism and apprehension. We become so comfortable with our condition that the outrageous no longer outrages us. The human tragedies we witness on TV come and go, not without recognition or pause, but rather with a sense of momentary grief and an unconscious reticence that the next tragedy is but a few days or weeks away, and we can do nothing but sit by and watch it on TV.
The passion with which people engage in rooting for their favorite football team is embarrassing, when that team’s name is as offensive as the Halloween-style mascot they use to represent it. A mascot, they claim is “honoring” a Nation of the People who first inhabited this land before the Europeans. The disconnection and cynicism continues to demonstrate how the outrageous has become normal and acceptable, as a way to distance us from our humanity and continue in our denial. Counting down the days before the season opener of the hit TV show SCANDAL seems so inappropriate and trite as we count the hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees fleeing across borders and oceans because their very lives, and those of their children, depend upon it.
Political candidates, who boldly proclaim ideology that is all at once racist, sexist and xenophobic only cause their standing in the polls to go up and their media coverage to increase exponentially, attests to our social and cultural dysfunction. There are those seeking the highest office in the land who claim to be Christians while encouraging people to defy the laws of the land and the ruling of its highest court, when they themselves are holding or seeking elected public office. The SCOTUS has been given the task to uphold the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, upon which the USA makes its claim as the greatest country in the world.
And yet, the NFL, Scandal, and Pop Culture continue to allow us to live in a state of altered and unconscious reality, content to watch reality TV instead of engage in the REAL WORLD that desperately needs our attention.
Up Next Week: The Uncomfortable Truth