Yeah, TaMara posted this last night — but it’s a long Monday, and if this doesn’t pump you up a bit, you might be clinically dead…
I think Jennifer Lopez just won the Iowa caucus
— Grace Segers (@Grace_Segers) February 3, 2020
— Twitter Moments (@TwitterMoments) February 3, 2020
So, for the NFL’s Miami celebration of Latinx culture, superstar Shakira (who is Colombian) brought out Puerto Rican reggaeton singer Bad Bunny, and superstar Jennifer Lopez (whose parents are Puerto Rican) played with Colombian singer J Balvin. (Yes, I had to google.) Bonus points, callbacks to Shakira’s Lebanese heritage, and her anthem for the South African World Cup. Not to mention a subtle reference to kids in cages, also King Kong, plus Bruce Springsteen, and pole dancing!
… According to data crunched by Twitter, Jennifer Lopez and Shakira’s smoking-hot rendition of “Waka Waka” was the most-tweeted moment during the halftime slot.
And for the one-two knockout punch, JLo’s pole-dance routine during her performance of “Waiting for Tonight” was the second-most tweeted spectacle…
We also don’t give af pic.twitter.com/eyY8AEdm01
— Heather Havrilesky (@hhavrilesky) February 3, 2020
Ecleen Luzmila Caraballo, at Remezcla:
… They are the first two Latinas to headline the halftime show together. As we noted earlier last year, Gloria Estefan was the first to ever do it (sola, por supuesto) in 1992. Shakira’s mentor paved the way for her and her counterpart and now, in celebration of the beginning of a new year and decade (we’ve all collectively decided January didn’t count), J.Lo and Shaki did the same for generations to come.
— RAICES (@RAICESTEXAS) February 3, 2020
J.Lo used the spotlight to show off her excellent pole dancing skills (once again putting the Oscars to shame) and pass the performing baton to her daughter, Emme. The 11-year-old shared her talent on stage alongside mom with a unique spin on “Let’s Get Loud,” in which the Nuyorican mother of two whipped out the Puerto Rican flag in all its glory by way of (faux?) fur and came as close to a political message as the night would get with children in lit-up cages.
“Born in the U.S.A,” Emme bounced off her mother’s vocals throughout the bridge…
Singing “Born in the USA” while draped in a Puerto Rican flag is an excellent flex
— Matt Browner Hamlin (@mattkbh) February 3, 2020
A good time to remember that the Trump administration has viciously withheld needed recovery funds from Puerto Rico and this is an inexcusable neglect of American citizens
— Matt Browner Hamlin (@mattkbh) February 3, 2020
And speaking of ‘suspiciously brown people’…
Chiming in because I know everyone will be making jokes about this for days — this is a popular Arab tradition, called zaghrouta, used to express joy at celebrations. In the melting pot that is Miami, you could not have picked a better Super Bowl act and this was a lovely touch. https://t.co/q1H9l8UpQ5
— Lulu Ramadan (@luluramadan) February 3, 2020
You really have to understand how huge Shakira’s performance was for the Middle Eastern community. She had belly dancing, a mijwiz and a derbeke, performed “Ojos Asi” which was one of the few Shakira songs to have Arabic in it, did a Zaghrouta, all love on the biggest stage
— Danny Hajjar ???? ???? ???? (@DanielGHajjar) February 3, 2020
What is going to produce the most protests over this halftime show?
— Alyssa Rosenberg (@AlyssaRosenberg) February 3, 2020
Moral panic from one of the lead organs in support of a President noted for banging porn stars. https://t.co/BjVzhULtn3
— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) February 3, 2020
I love that the actual final score is a tiny little sidebar below all of the hyperventilating. pic.twitter.com/zQfP4xS6a2
— Schooley (@Rschooley) February 3, 2020
Look, when the alternative ‘entertainment’ is the kind of sad, defensive jingoism Dave Roth mocks…
Please join me in celebrating football and America. https://t.co/LKVFh4T2e4
— David Roth (@david_j_roth) February 2, 2020
… When Fox has the broadcast rights to the Super Bowl, as it does this year, you had better believe those horns are going to be in play. This year, as in past Fox years, you’ll hear some patriotic tootling and snare drum rum-dum-dumming playing under footage of various NFL personalities reciting the Declaration of Independence as they walk through historic buildings, or while surrounded by troops and first responders and military hardware, or while towering over youth football teams. In 2008, Michael Strahan and a bunch of New York firefighters in their dress uniforms did their part while standing over the still-raw pit at Ground Zero. Usually it takes a long time for a tradition to become a tradition, and even more time after that for it to become opaque and abstract and rote in the way that traditions do. Fox’s determination to make Super Bowl Sunday a celebration of America skipped a bunch of those steps. It started out confusing and overdetermined and then pretty much stayed that way…
After two decades of leveraging and re-leveraging the actual thing that has value here—a game, in this stupid and beautiful and preposterous sport, that people really do want to watch together—this is the celebration we’re left with. More than that, there’s the sense that it can only get bigger, broader, bloatier, that the people invested in staging it can only ever do more. Not because the show isn’t big enough, and certainly not because anyone is demanding more of this politics-of-no-politics pomp, or more fife-and-drum goonery, or more and more desperate reiterations of those first panicked gestures towards purpose and togetherness. The audience is less important than the gestures, and the gestures long ago supplanted and replaced the message they sought to convey. It can only get bigger, and only ever becomes more uncanny as it grows. The same could be said of the NFL in many ways, but all of this delusion and desperation together produces something wildly abstract and stilted; there’s an uneasy but undeniable comedy to the way it all expands without ever quite growing. All this trouble, for all these years, all because some powerful people were frightened that doing less would look like admitting defeat.