I’ve been reading all the comments, editorials and memes regarding two events that happened last week. First: the halftime show by Jenifer Lopez and Shakira, two Latina megastars. We know what they do, even if we haven’t followed their music careers. JLo has a film career as well. Second: The State of the Union speech by the president and Nancy Pelosi’s final, visual comment on the speech.
As for the first event, Shakira and JLo, I saw a post on Facebook by a woman who wrote, “Any bets there are some angry white dudes yelling at the halftime show ‘Sing in ENGLISH!!’ ”
It was funny and then I thought about it and realized, “Oh yeah, this is a Trump-infested nation where racism and xenophobia is celebrated in certain circles.” Sure as shit, in the comments of that post, which appeared during the second half of the Super Bowl (Congratulations Kansas City Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes), there was at least one person who expressed dismay that some of the songs the two Latinas sang were in Spanish. OMG, the horror! For the record, JLo is from The Bronx and is of Puerto Rican descent. Shakira was born and raised in Colombia. From there the xenophobia got even worse.
Women on Twitter and other social media were calling the two “slutty” and accused them of wagging their vaginas at the cameras.
I didn’t see any vaginas, but there were crotch shots, booty shaking and Jennifer Lopez on a stripper pole.
If you remember the 1980s band Twisted Sister, you’ll remember their front man Dee Snyder and their videos promoting rebellion to the teenagers of the land. It was entertaining stuff. In a tweet Snyder commented on the half time show this way: “Beginning to pole humping, ass slapping, ass shaking end. If that’s the requirements for a half-time show, none of the rock bands I know can or will do that. #justsayin ”
Hey Dee: Of course the rock bands you know can’t do that. They are not women who keep themselves in shape enough to do things like that. And they would look ridiculous trying to perform in those costumes.
Since her arrival on In Living Color as a Fly Girl, Jennifer Lopez has been entertaining people around the world in much the same way as she did during the Super Bowl Halftime Show. She has also been a sex symbol for men, a trait she has cultivated with great care and focus. Remember how her green dress at the 2000 Grammy Awards shook the world? Everything a sexed up teenage boy could imagine — and most men are sexed up teenage boys given the right stimulus. I know because … well, I know.
Shakira has been the same for over 20 years, from her native Colombia to the U.S. and beyond. One of her signature songs is “Hips Don’t Lie” and when she performs that song she lets us know her hips are great and they ain’t no lie.
So when the committee that chooses Super Bowl Halftime Show performers decided JLo and Shakira would be a great choice for this so-called family entertainment, they knew exactly what kind of show they were booking: A hip-shaking, twerking, bump and grind — and yes even stripper pole — performance by two Latinas who would perform some songs in Spanish. The Super Bowl is a worldwide event so why not have some appeal to the millions in Spanish-speaking countries that were tuned in.
Our sports reporter, Claudia Gestro, was working for another outlet that is Spanish language. Fox Deportes carried the Spanish rights for the game and had millions of viewers around the Americas, not to mention the thousands in Puerto Rico that were tuned in — that is if they had electricity. Because we have a racist president that U.S. territory has been all but ignored after the recent earthquake.
This was a big deal for all the fans whose first language is Spanish. The NFL recognizes that not only is the Latin demographic growing in America, they have a growing fan base south of our border. Every year the league has a regular season game in Mexico City. The fans there love it. We can expect more Spanish language music at halftime shows.
This is America, we speak many languages, none more so than English and Spanish. And since it is professional football, a league in which most teams have scantily-clad women cheerleaders, sex appeal is high on their list for halftime shows. At least since Janet Jackson, or maybe Michael Jackson 11 years before her. How did viewers react when he thrust his crotch?
Star power with sex appeal: Madonna, Adam Levine (Maroon 5), Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Shania Twain, Gwen Stefani (No Doubt), Sting (without The Police), Jessica Simpson — and the cheerleaders.
Shakira and JLo are Latina and sing some of their songs in Spanish. They are disturbing the alleged morality of the White Christian crowd watching the game. And they’re doing it in Spanish!
There’s one Christian minister who wants to sue the NFL, the network (FOX) and Pepsi because the halftime show gave him and his teenage son boners. Potentially the halftime show could have had this man’s soul flung into eternal hellfire. As I recall from my Christian upbringing (in the Catholic church) if you confess and repent the sin of getting a boner looking at women (or men, as the case may be) then your path to the gates of Heaven is free and clear — until the next time I got a boner looking at women.
I’m condemned to eternal hellfire because I like getting boners. Sadly, I didn’t get a boner watching the halftime show — or any Super Bowl halftime show, that I recall. What did I miss? I didn’t see any porn, soft or otherwise. I liked it, even though I’ve never been a fan of either Shakira or JLo. They were entertaining and the homage to Puerto Rico was inspired.
Also inspiring last week: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi at the end of Trump’s State of the Union blather. After Trump finished bloviating the speaker tore up her copy of the speech — not the one that was submitted for the official House record — so the cameras could see it. As Trump took in the acclamation from his sycophants, enablers and co-conspirators, his back was to Pelosi as she made it clear what she thought of his speech. The New York Times put together a list of things in Trump’s speech that were true, mostly, true, needs context, lacks evidence, is misleading and false.
Pelosi told reporters the speech was a disgrace, adding, “Because it was the courteous thing to do. It was the courteous thing to do considering the alternative. It was such a dirty speech. A manifesto of mistruths.”
The day after the speech all but one of the Republicans in the Senate voted to allow Trump to cheat in the 2020 elections. They said that all of Trump’s lies, criminals acts and obscenity-laced language was just okay by them. In other words, they are complicit in the crimes of Donald Trump. Except for Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, who voted to convict Trump on the first article of impeachment, abuse of power. We can disagree with Romney on a lot of issues, most issues in fact, but like Democrats and progressives everywhere, Romney believes Trump is unfit to be president.
Let’s not forget Michigan congressman Justin Amash who was drummed out of the GOP when he said Trump needed to be impeached and removed from office.
After the Senate gave Trump the greenlight to continue abusing the powers of his office and obstructing Congress he set about proving just how much he has his party cowered at his feet.
Who can forget Senator Susan Collins of Maine telling Nora O’Donnell of CBS, “He has learned his lesson.” Of course he did senator! He learned he can keep breaking the law. The question that Nora — or any journalist — should ask Sen. Collins: Considering how ignorant Trump is about government and how it works and what the Constitution is and means, do you think he gives a shit about being impeached? His sycophants in the Senate just gave him a pass on all his bad and criminal behavior. Impeachment? Who cares! The Senate just said he’s innocent so there are no consequences.
Just to prove he learned the lesson that there are no consequences for his actions, Trump fired the Army officer who testified in the impeachment hearings, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and his brother (also an Army officer) along with Gordon Sondland, the million-dollar donor picked to be the ambassador to the EU. A Purple Heart recipient escorted out of the White House. Think of that: A Purple Heart recipient fired from the National Security Council and escorted out of the White House like a criminal — just for doing his job and obeying a lawful congressional subpoena — and then in the State of the Union speech Trump gives the highest civilian honor to a racist, xenophobic misogynist.
What the fuck is wrong with the GOP in the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the millions of people that think Donald Trump is just fine? These are the people who are spreading memes on Facebook ridiculing Vindman. At some point we have to come to grips with the truth about Trump’s base: They are racist, xenophobic misogynists as well. They believe brown people are mostly bad, non-Christians are bad, with the possible exception of some Jews, and women are second-class citizens at best who should not have freedom over their own bodies and health.
Some Democrats, including all or most of the presidential candidates, say we should strive for national unity. Really? Maybe some of the swing voters that voted for Obama twice and then Trump, but do we really want to unite with the racist, xenophobes of Trump’s base? Not me. I want to grind the Republican Party into the dirt, shoved under the slimy rocks with the racists they cultivated for the past 53 years, ever since they decided to make an appeal to the Southern Democrats that left the party in the 1960s after the passage of civil rights legislation.
Trump is a criminal and needs to be put out of office, but he’s just a symptom of the big problem. When you show GOP voters how they are supporting candidates that are hurting them financially, they don’t care. They like the faux tough guy attitudes and adherence to certain social issues. Those people need to be marginalized once again, or until they change their antiquated racist, xenophobic and misogynist views
These are the same people that were offended by JLo and Shakira and Speaker Pelosi ripping up Trump’s speech.
By-the-by: did you see Trumps’ new proposed budget? It has major cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. The people that support Donald Trump are, in Rex Tillerson’s words, fucking morons. Their “hero” is gutting the very social safety net programs they depend on, but what the hey, he gave Rush Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom — Yay ’Merica!
Top photo by Claudia Gestro
Shakira and Jennifer Lopez during the Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show
Tim Forkes started as a writer on a small alternative newspaper in Milwaukee called the Crazy Shepherd. Writing about entertainment, he had the opportunity to speak with many people in show business, from the very famous to the people struggling to find an audience. In 1992 Tim moved to San Diego, CA and pursued other interests, but remained a freelance writer. Upon arrival in Southern California he was struck by how the elected government officials and business were so intertwined, far more so than he had witnessed in Wisconsin. His interest in entertainment began to wane and the business of politics took its place. He had always been interested in politics, his mother had been a Democratic Party official in Milwaukee, WI, so he sat down to dinner with many of Wisconsin’s greatest political names of the 20th Century: William Proxmire and Clem Zablocki chief among them. As a Marine Corps veteran, Tim has a great interest in veteran affairs, primarily as they relate to the men and women serving and their families. As far as Tim is concerned, the military-industrial complex has enough support. How the men and women who serve are treated is reprehensible, while in the military and especially once they become veterans. Tim would like to help change that.