BROOKLINE, MA - Noam Chomsky, linguistics professor at MIT and well-known critic of the US government, threw the most depressing Superbowl party ever yesterday at his home in Brookline, MA. The radical left wing intellectual reportedly spent the entire evening ridiculing the game as an “expensive public spectacle designed to divert the bewildered herd from the increasingly brutal policies of its own corrupt government.” Partygoers regretted the decision to attend the event.
“Worst Superbowl party ever, hands down,” said Glenn Hamrick of Cambridge, MA. “It was just a bad idea to show up in the first place, I guess. The sad thing is, it was such a great game. I just wish I could’ve enjoyed it, but Chomsky kept reminding us of the US’s atrocities in East Timor and Central America. And he kept saying the Superbowl was just another distraction or something. And he kept referring to us as the ‘bewildered herd.’ I don’t know, maybe he’s right, but I did have 100 bucks on the over.”
Hamrick attended the party at the insistence of his new girlfriend, Justine Densmore. Densmore is a student of Chomsky’s and was thrilled to be invited to the gathering. She asked Hamrick to come along, assuring him that the party would be “enlightening and informative.”
“When I heard those words, I was a little skeptical,” said Hamrick. “But Justine is pretty hot. I figured if I went with her to this little party, it would show her how smart and intellectual I am. But I wasn’t expecting it to be as bad as it was. He had the game on in the corner on a little TV, but nobody was really paying attention to it, except to critique it.”
According to Hamrick, Chomsky made some great points about the role of media in society and the way sports help lull the populace into complacency.
“He made some great points about sports and stuff,” continued Hamrick. “And it was starting to get to me. In fact, during that fourth quarter, when both teams were scoring like crazy, and I was getting all pumped up, he said ‘Sports plays a societal role in engendering jingoistic and chauvinist attitudes. They’re designed to organize a community to be committed to their gladiators.’ Ouch. Talk about taking the wind out of my sails. It’s tough to get into the game after hearing something like that.”
But the most uncomfortable moment came at the end of regulation when Adam Vinatieri kicked the game winning field goal. Hamrick, a lifelong Patriots fan, bit his nails while the Pats drove down the field to set up the kick. When the ball went through the uprights, he briefly lost his composure, much to the chagrin of his date.
“Wow, when that thing went through the uprights, I just lost it,’ said Hamrick. “I jumped out of my seat and yelled ‘Yes! Fuckin A, baby! Fuckin A!’ By the time I realized what I was doing, it was too late. Everyone was staring at me, and Justine was cowering in the corner looking like she wanted to jump in a hole and hide. Then Chomsky, cool as can be, looked at me from under his little spectacles and said ‘Next time you want to stand up and cheer for your football team, think about the 1 million Iraqi children who died as a result of punishing US sanctions.’ That was like a punch in the stomach. A million kids is a lot. Then again, it was a really clutch kick.”
Phil Davidoff, another student of Chomsky’s, says that even though the gathering wasn’t a typical Superbowl bash, he still got plenty out of it.
“I didn’t know what to expect,” the 25-year-old graduate student began. “I showed up with my football squares and a six pack, but it was pretty obvious it wasn’t that kind of party. Chomsky was in rare form all night.”
According to Davidoff, Chomsky mercilessly ridiculed the garish, expensive pre-game festivities, pointing out that the money spent on the silly display could’ve supplied food and medicine to dozens of impoverished nations. Then during Halftime he shut the television off to engage in a roundtable discussion of the U.S’s imperialistic policies and how the media supports them.
“That was pretty heavy stuff,” said Davidoff. “He talked a lot about his book Manufacturing Consent, and we all kind of sat around discussing its themes and how they could relate to the Superbowl telecast. Then he took out this sheet of paper and started reading off a list of terrorist acts, atrocities, and human rights violations committed by our own government. So right at the time when everyone in America was watching Janet Jackson’s tit fall out, we were hearing about the US-backed slaughtering of Salvadoran nuns in the 1980s.”
Indeed, the Chomsky admirers who attended the party reported that he wished to “take the concept of Superbowl party and turn it on its ear”, using the time to ridicule the barbaric violence and blatant corporate-sponsored jingoism that litters the American sports landscape.
“He told me he wanted to gather and watch the game to raise some awareness about our mental enslavement to the corporate oligarchy that dominates our lives,” said Gail McTavish, 23, a student of Chomsky’s. “It was also a great chance to examine first hand the marriage of big time media events and macho, patriotic posturing. Plus, he wanted us to try his guacamole and bean dip.”
Chomsky insists that the party was not depressing in the least. He regarded the gathering as an opportunity for a group of citizens to organize in the great democratic tradition, speaking freely about the powers that control them.
“My party was depressing? Maybe it was depressing to manipulators and controllers in the media, who would love nothing more than for us to stare in mindless wonder at the eye and ear candy they’re placing in front of our faces. After all, if any significant segment of the populace had the slightest idea what the government was doing in their name they would no doubt be appalled. You want to know what’s really depressing? That we live not in a democracy, but a corporate oligarchy designed to marginalize us, distract us, and remove us from the political process by bombarding us with bright colors, explosions and violence. Remember, the smartest way to avoid democracy is to keep people distracted.”
“Take the pre-game festivities,” Chomsky continued. “What do you see? You see corporate sponsorship joined with so-called patriotic slogans. Believe me, it's in corporate America’s best interest that we support our government’s policies and maintain the status quo, and continue behaving like a bewildered herd, mindlessly obeying our corrupt government and corporate whoremasters.”
Although Hamrick described the party as depressing, the student also believes it was an eye-opening experience.
“Chomsky is a real impressive guy. The things he says really ring true to me. I mean, yeah, Tom Brady is a great quarterback, but he was also at President Bush’s State of the Union lie-fest, so I really don’t know how to think of him. As for football, well, I don’t know. I think old Noam ruined it for me forever. Now if I watch a sporting event I feel like I’m being subjugated by the mass media or something. And whenever I think of football, I think of thousands of Iraqi children dying as a result of US sanctions that deprived them of medicine and food. Oh well, I guess the bright side is that the over came in, so I won 100 bucks. That softens the blow a little.”
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