What Really Matters in the Rhythm Nation

Can you believe the reaction to the Janet Jackson/Justin Timberlake, um, performance at Sunday’s Super Bowl? I asked my second-grader if kids were talking about the matter at school — they were, and opinions ranged from “ewwww” to curiosity. Cincinnati-area eighth graders reacted similarly.

I found the whole halftime show inappropriate given the time-place-audience, but hey, you turn on the teevee to an MTV-produced show, you take your chances. What frosted my cookies were Nelly’s crotch-grabbing and Kid Rock’s singing about crack and hookers as scantily clad Playboylike babes waved US flags. Ewwww. Those incidences — along with violence — are more offensive than having my kid see a woman’s breast any day of the week. (David didn’t see Jackson’s mammary revealed; he had been hustled from the room the first time Nelly caressed his private parts.)

On the whole, though, I think the grown-up reactions are most hilarious. You can find some fascinating Janet Jackson and Super Bowl talk at Blogcritics. But, as Salon’s Charles Taylor notes (get the Day Pass to read it), other reactions are just pathetic: I mean, a federal investigation of the halftime show? National Football League Commissioner Paul Tagliabue — Mr. Greed Is Good — being morally outraged? Janet and Justin possibly being pulled from performing at the Grammy Awards? Come on.


And this is a real shame: While nearly a billion people fixated on Ms. Jackson’s — wait, I’m not nasty — Janet’s right breast, most missed some good advice she sang before launching into Timberlake’s “Rock Your Body”:

janet.jpgWe are a nation with no geographic boundaries, bound together through our beliefs. We are like-minded individuals, sharing a common vision, pushing toward a world rid of color-lines.

With music by our side
To break the color lines
Let’s work together
To improve our way of life
Join voices in protest
To social injustice
A generation full of courage
Come forth with me

People of the world today
Are we looking for a better way of life
We are a part of the rhythm nation
People of the world unite
Strength in numbers we can get it right
We are a part of the rhythm nation

This is the test
No struggle no progress
Lend a hand to help
Your brother do his best
Things are getting worse
We have to make them better
It’s time to give a damn
Let’s work together come on

Oh well… while the world focuses on this tempest in a D cup, let’s peek at some actually important happenings in the Rhythm Nation:

The White House Squatter — aka the Lying Liar — has a new budget plan before the US Congress, and strangely, it omits items to cover ongoing spiralling costs for their murderous military escapades in Iraq and Afghanistan. And now word is out that the Death Brigade has been in big trouble all during its immoral invasion. Can you say “karma”?

Capitol Hill is concerned over the discovery of the hazardous powder Ricin in the office of Senate Republican leader Bill Frist.

Viruses increasingly are endangering computers — and people’s lives.

After being spanked by Lord Hutton, the BBC turns censor. I guess the British 10 Commandments has been amended to include, “Thou shalt not dis Tony Blair.”

And in the colonies, former judge and current 10 Commandments-advocating fundamentalist Roy Moore may challenge the Shrub for the Republican presidential nomination. Meanwhile, presidential primary elections are under way in seven states.

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