Friday, February 4, 2011

On The Super Bowl and the Return of the Great American Bacchanalia

Part II of my Super Bowl week "series." You can find several pieces I've written about football here.

Of the hundreds of empirical measurements used to determine the health of the national economy, none speak in such a quintessentially American way as a stripper shortage. That's what Dallas is experiencing this week, according to the exotica experts at TMZ, who breathlessly reported that the city is in search of ten thousand nublile females—STAT!—to satisfy the whims of that slim faction of citizens who can actually afford to attend a Super Bowl.

But it's not just perfumed sex kittens who are at a premium amid the expanse of glass and silicone known as the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Parking spaces are reportedly going for up to $1,000, the average online ticket price is north of $4,000 (up considerably from last year), and sold-out passes for something called the Party Plaza, which affords one the opportunity to stand in the general vicinity of Cowboys Stadium and watch the game on a supersized television, are being offered at as much as four times their $200 face value.

Unless you happen to own a parking garage in which exotic dancers scalp second-hand tickets, this may all seem inherently disquieting. In fact, to everyone outside of Jerry Jones and Grover Norquist, I have to imagine that the sheer capitalistic scope of the Super Bowl must be a little disturbing, especially when the country is slowly emerging from a crippling recession. That it is taking place in a city that lives up to every sordid cliche about itself, and in a stadium built by a narcissistic billionaire who installed an HD Jumbotron the size of Skylab, only heightens the instinct for revulsion. But maybe this is all a good sign.

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