The Super Bowl? More like Commercial Bowl.

To the Editor:
    I think it important to note that the word “football” does not appear in the title “The Super Bowl” and, judging from the amount of post-game commentary over “winners and losers”, this media extravaganza could more realistically be called the Commercial Bowl.  Further, with either CBS advertising itself or the NFL targetting parents and young athletes to counter recent negative revelations of brain injury from the sport, the official 60 minutes of playing time actually amounts to less than 40 that are commercial-free, and real-time action, from the snap of the ball to the end of the play, is less than 20.  I timed the 2nd half at 9 minutes and I suspect that the Go Daddy commercial prompted as much visceral and glandular response as Jacoby Jones’ kickoff return (and lasted longer).  So is it really “football” that we are watching?
– RP

The Power of the Gun

To the Editor:

    Again following a mass shooting, gun sales are on the rise.  As a warning it should be noted that the death of Vincent Van Gogh, long thought to be a suicide, could be considered an accidental shooting, that he carried along a gun hoping to frighten away a group of children who were harassing him as he tried to paint in the fields around Arles, and that in a scuffle he was shot in the stomach, certainly not a likely target in suicide.  In either case, the simple presence of a gun had a fatal consequence.  This negative potential should never be underestimated.  The tragedy of Van Gogh is that at the peak of his artistic powers, creating paintings that are still so vibrant and alive today, his life was ended by the power of a gun.  The tragedy of America is that the power of the gun is so accepted as positive.

– RP