Posted by: ritagone | February 10, 2016

Just Shut UP!!

I read a review of the Super Bowl half time show the other day (must have been Monday) where the writer said – using extreme hyperbole – (and I joke here, because I think my saying he used “extreme hyperbole” is an impossible statement because hyperbole in itself is extreme), that Beyoncé’s performance literally stopped the planet.


I didn’t feel that.

In fact, to be honest, and I know that many of you are going to find this shocking, I didn’t watch the Super Bowl, the half time show, the much-touted ads, or anything associated with it. When I read reviews the next day of the commercials, the most shocking thing to me was that “The Good Wife” notified the world that it was in its final season, with only nine episodes to go! Now that news stopped my planet!

         I was busy watching the last three episodes of the final season of “Downton Abbey,” having received the DVDs in the mail a few days earlier. I won’t say a word to spoil anything for you, because what happens on Downton as it winds down forever (and boy, was I sad) is hardly my point.

But here is my point: the next day, when the reviews started coming in online (and I know they came in much earlier than that, on the same evening, but I paid no attention on Sunday night, as I was occupied elsewhere), they were all over the place: some people loved the game, thought it was the best Super Bowl game they’d ever seen, some thought it was a bust. Fair enough. Some people thought Lady Gaga stole the show when she sang the “Star Spangled Banner.” I did watch that performance on Facebook early Monday morning and was impressed, as I have been recently, by her transformation into a vocalist of tremendous range and skill. But even that opening piece of the Super Bowl was not without controversy. Here’s a headline about her singing: “Super Bowl Controversy! Did Lady Gaga hit the over or under on the national anthem?” Another posting on Facebook, which I actually found quite humorous: “Immediately following the national anthem Lady Gaga was flown directly to Panem so she could host the Hunger Games!” All you have to do is recall the outfits and makeup of Elizabeth Banks in the Hunger Games movies to understand the reference, and it is actually quite funny.

Some people loved different ads, some hated the same ones. Some griped about one thing, some another. People are never going to eat Doritos again. Okay. Whatever.

We live in a culture with the means and the methods for all of us to be reviewers, for better or for worse. Usually for worse. Everyone has an opinion, and that’s not a bad thing. But the availability of space on Facebook and comments everywhere on the Internet allow us to state what we think and feel and believe over and over again to anyone who happens to read what we write, whether they want to or not. We’re all amateur film critics, people critics, singer critics, life critics.

And sometimes I want to say – to myself included – Oh, just shut up!!

It’s fine to express yourself and it’s truly wonderful that we live in a country where you can do that without fear of someone knocking on your door an hour later and hauling you away to a place where you’re forever forgotten.

But do you really have to? And do we all really care what you think or feel? Is it really uplifting or necessary other than to give you a boost or a jolt to your ego? And I say myself included because I’ve fallen victim to doing exactly what I’m criticizing here: I sometimes think the whole world is waiting to hear what I have to say about anything and everything, my own musings on the universe.

It isn’t.

I just think it is.

17th century British author and philosopher Jonathan Swift said: “It is a sketch of human vanity for every individual to imagine the whole universe is interested in his meanest concern.” Oh, Jonathan, whatever would you think of Facebook and the Internet and what we are all posting each and every day?

Maybe, if we all just shut up after Lady Gaga sings or a handful of Super Bowl commercials show up or a game is played, the air would be clearer and life would be more liveable. And that would stop the planet much more even than Beyoncé’s singing.



  1. OK, this is what I think. Loved Lady Gaga ‘s version of the Star Spangled banner, her voice was wonderful. Thought the game was so so, since I have watched so many games this season, I have seen better and finally, hated all of the commercials. There were a couple commercials that were ok, but nothing great.

    Sent from my iPhone


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