And now enter again -- and again and again and again and again -- Bob Dylan, the cultural hustler, specter, and master of disguise that will not leave us well enough alone.
Even when Republicans weren't shooting at their own feet this week, it appears they were conducting a circular firing squad instead. The 2014 campaign, in other words, is off to a raucous start... and it's only February.
Football, granted, is just a game, but it's a big game on a national stage, and sometimes, what happens on the field can become a life lesson for the rest of us.
Many of us have grown weary of the partisan hyperbole and tone of television news reporting. At the risk of dating myself, I can remember a time when CBS Evening News anchor Walter Cronkite was declared the most trusted person in America.
Is it time to crawl under my desk yet? Like the ice and snow in Sochi, can't we have a thawing of our relationship with Russia? The continued undermining of the Sochi Games and trying to miscast Putin's Olympics as a $50 billion ego trip really needs to stop.
So Coke's commercial truly reflects our nation's past, present and future. What's wrong with that?
She heard the words "no," "impossible," and "never" more times than most, but she believed that with the help of others, she could make a difference, and she was right.
In the past, advertisers' hard work was over before kickoff. But the recent through-the-roof levels of social media engagement proved that those days are over.
Bilingualism is the proud voice of the U.S. with a growing percentage of children growing up bilingual and multilingual. For these kids, bilingualism is just as American as French fries, apple pies and pizza. And then add in some curry, tagine and tamales too.
That is what's so sad about the Dylan commercial. The man is pitching a product that is the antithesis of today's cool. In an age where high mpg's are the ultimate status symbol for cars for those who understand cool, Dylan's peddling a car for "the zoom and the roar and the thrust."
The kind of individualist framing inherent in shaming endeavors, though it certainly highlights the existence of deeply racist people, simultaneously hides the ways that racism is a key structural component of American culture, infiltrating its institutions, organizations, and citizens. This is detrimental to the larger antiracist project.
Janet Jackson exposes one breast for half a second and her brand is vilified beyond repair, while a decade later lead singer Anthony Kiedis and bassist Flea expose their breasts for minutes, not seconds, and the American pubic deems it business as usual. Something does not add up here.
Last Sunday delivered a swinging pendulum of emotions. On one extreme was Seattle's stirring Super Bowl trouncing of Denver. In addition to what I'm told was good defense, it turns out that one of the Seahawks' not-so-secret weapons was yoga and meditation. Coach Pete Carroll had wondered what effect building an organization that "really cared about each and every individual" would have on his team's chances. Question answered. On the darker side of the ledger was Philip Seymour Hoffman's tragic death. He captured the public imagination both in life, where he found the full humanity of every character he played, and in his death, which crystallized the growing sense that something is very wrong in a culture rife with addiction. Indeed, from 1999 to 2012, drug overdoses skyrocketed 102 percent, and became the leading cause of injury or death. There's no easy fix, but connecting with the empathy to be found in Hoffman's on-screen legacy is a start.
You sit there, looking around the opera house, maybe, or maybe even getting a little sleepy, or thinking of something else, and then it hits you -- beauty --and you're slammed into something that I can't quite explain.
So how in the world is it possible that JohnnyOptimist was able to predict this? Did he have or get inside info? Is he truly a psychic? The answer is none of the above.
And while Super Bowl commercials have certainly changed a great deal over the past 30 years -- higher-definition footage, greater costs, more puppies, less clothing -- there's still a lot of things that haven't changed.