Kind of like Ken Ham and his Creationist minions. (You see, there’s this book.)
Last Sunday, more than 112 million citizens of the United States of America—more than one-third of the total population—huddled around television sets to watch men in orange and royal blue uniforms and men in ocean blue and “Action Green” uniforms toss a leather spheroid around a 120-yard rectangle whilst concussing the ever-loving bajeezus out of one another. Just because.
A legendary participant in this absolutely arbitrary and meaningless event was Peyton Manning, a member of one of the strongest unions in the world as well as the beneficiary of one of the best health care plans on Planet Earth, who yet oddly is a capitalistic bosom buddy of Papa John’s pepperoni puba, John H. Schnatter, who himself makes no bones about being one of the most outspoken corporate critics of Obamacare to date. (Did I mention that the union-benefitting Denver quarterback is also a major franchisee of Papa John’s? Gee, I wonder if the health care plans of Manning’s dough boys stack up to his own?)
At any rate, at one point during this completely arbitrary and meaningless event—during which, statistically, at least 20 youths in the U.S. were hospitalized for gun-related injuries and more than 7,000 children died from starvation globally (while millions of Americans sat around stuffing their faces with nachos, hormone-injected chicken wings, piss beer, etc.)—a company named Coca-Cola Global, which has a market cap of $173.05 billion and which somehow has managed to rule the world by hawking a sugary, health-ambiguous “carbonated soda water” product, paid several million dollars several times over to air an advertisement during said event.
This is that advertisement.
The multimillion-dollar ad features a song, “America the Beautiful”—which millions of drunk, redneck troglodytes have confused for the U.S. national anthem—that was sung in English, Spanish, Tagalog, Mandarin, Hindi, Hebrew, Keres, Senegalese-French and Arabic. (All beautiful languages.) The song, written originally by Katharine Lee Bates, who may or may not have been a lesbian, but who most certainly broke from the Republican Party because of its opposition to President Woodrow Wilson’s League of Nations, sparked a national conservative furor and was about the only thing anyone could think to talk about Monday morning after the Denver Broncos competed with themselves for the worst blowout in Super Bowl history.
To recap so far: Last Sunday, more than 100 million people watched an event that didn’t matter save for gratuitous violence and city-state bragging, whilst the country and world continued going to hell in a hand basket. The star of the event was a man who has amazing health care coverage yet who is a hands-tucked-in-your-center’s-loins business partner with a man who doesn’t give a rat’s ass about health care coverage. And the entirety of said event was upstaged by radical rightwing opposition to a song sung in several world languages, written by a multicultural advocate, and paid for by a multi-international corporation with its own litany of questionable health, environmental and business practices.
Not 72 hours later, 3 million people (less than 1% of the U.S. population) tuned in for the most important cosmological debate since Spencer Tracy battled Matthew Harrison Brady in Inherit the Wind.
This time, the spheroid up for grabs was Planet Earth itself. The battlefield: the Creation Museum auditorium in Petersburg, Kentucky (coincidentally a mere 310 miles from the location of the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial). The two combatants: Bill Nye the Science Guy and Australian Creationist Ken Ham.
Bill Nye presented arguments left and right that observation and sensus communis should serve as the basis for human knowing—that functional predictive models should guide our cosmological way. Ice cores. Fossil records. You name it. Nye beseeched the Creation Museum audience: “It means that Mr. Ham’s word is to be more respected than what you can observe in nature, what you can find in your backyard in Kentucky.”
Meanwhile, Ken Ham presented over and again an hermeneutic model based on “You see, there’s this book,” and an epistemic model which more or less resembles Borat riding a triceratops.
And, yet, despite the fact that the entire learned world knows that Bill Nye emerged victorious, the United States of America woke up Wednesday morning with tax dollars continuing to fund creationism in classrooms all across the Fruited Plain. (Give ’em hell, Zack Kopplin!)
Also, that same Wednesday was National Signing Day. When thousands of strapping young men all across the U.S.A. announced that they were going to go spend the next four years at Ivory Tower institutions X, Y and Z to try to concuss other strapping young men at other Ivory Tower institutions, all in an effort to move a leather spheroid across a rectangular playing field for absolutely arbitrary and meaningless purposes. Not only that, but they’ll be doing all this concussing and ligament-snapping for free—despite the fact that their sport generates BILLIONS OF REVENUE DOLLARS for institutions of higher education. (Gee, I wonder which of tomorrow’s wunderkind union-member pigskin superstars will soon be starring in the NFL and cutting business deals with other capitalistic cutthroats.)
That’s quite a week, my fellow Americans. Quite. A. Week.
Meanwhile, just today, more than 7,000 more children will die from global hunger. Nearly 1,000 cases of rapes will be reported. The U.S. Military Industrial Complex will spend another $2 billion. Just because. And somewhere in El Paso, Texas, a homeschooled child will continue to be deceived about the origins of life on Planet Earth.
Tell you what. I think I’ll go break the seal on a bottle of Johnny Walker Black and mix it a bit with some good ole slutty corporate carbonated soda water.
You know what, let’s make that a Johnny Walker Black neat, Bartender Manny.
The world is crazy.
And if that’s the case, then The Gods Must Be Crazy too.
Wait a second. Who’s the “antichrist” in the article title? You decide.
By the way, Mr. Ham, as Kate Capshaw once proclaimed in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom—the greatest anti-human trafficking adventure film in history: I’m right here!
Here’s some further food for thought this weekend. You never know when you’ll need a midnight anti-fundamentalist snack:
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