Thursday, February 05, 2004

Super Bowl Booby-Prize (or "How I Jumped on the Band-Wagon and Wrote About Janet Too")

Let’s just cut to the quick, shall we? We can sit around all day debating whether or not seeing Janet’s right funbag during the Super Bowl Half-time Show was offensive or not… The fact of the matter is, it’s highly doubtful that she even cares! I imagine that the only thing going through her mind in the seconds before Justin copped the infamous feel was, “I sure hope this works!”

The whole thing is about exposure (don’t pardon the pun… appreciate it). Growing up with the Jackson 5 and having a string of hit songs in the ‘80s and ‘90s couldn’t help but set her up for stardom… But even being the sister of one of the biggest freaks of our time can’t keep her in the spotlight forever. And so, Operation Flashdance was born.

I don’t think that anyone can blame the girl for trying to get our attention. Hell, even my writing this is an attempt to get attention on some level. And you really can’t blame her when it appears to have done the trick. Apparently, the words “Janet Jackson’s Breast” have become the most searched for phrase in the history of the Internet. Gee whiz! That took all of three days! So, she’s getting exactly what she bargained for when she dreamed up this whole stunt… Or is she?

Sure, Janet Jackson is the name on everyone’s lips right now… Yes, you can watch the sordid incident in dramatic slo-mo (with the offending body part blurred out to protect its identity) at any given hour of the day or night… And even websites dedicated to higher schools of thought like www.clint.ca are filled with commentary and opinions on the subject. But is all this coverage over lack of coverage really going to do Ms. Jackson any good?

While it may be true that the only bad press is no press at all, I’m a little bothered by this stunt. Not necessarily by the fact that 89 million people (including a fair amount of youngsters) were subjected to 1 second of bare breast during a prime time sporting event, but more so by the way it was handled. “Wardrobe malfunction”, they said… “Completely unintentional”, they claimed… Well now… I consider myself to be fairly secure and comfortable with my body, but suddenly expose my tally-whacker for 89 million people to see and I’m sure I’d act very differently than she did! No, her mock astonishment was as scripted and choreographed as the rest of the performance. So, instead of following in her brother Michaels’s footsteps, she quickly dropped the lie (“Are you serious?!? Only one operation on your nose to help you breathe?”) and decided to come clean. Now she’s the contrite little schoolgirl who never meant to offend anybody…

Well, I’m sorry Janet, but you did offend me. I personally don’t care if you choose the get naked in public or not… anymore than I cared when Britney kissed Madonna… but when you insult my intelligence, everybody’s intelligence, by lying about the motivations behind such a career-boosting stunt, I have to call “bullshit”. You went for cutting-edge, tried to be the rebel, but came off looking like a poser.

And that, my friends, is the naked truth.

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