On July 22, The Ohio State University fired Marching Band director Jon Waters because he was allegedly aware of (or should have known) about an "environment conducive to sexual harassment within the Marching Band". The University's 23-page report details a wide range of incidents, including sexualized nicknames and staff supervision of an annual "Midnight Ramp" performed in underwear, and includes as exhibits a "rookie test" and a copy of the band's unofficial songbook. Perhaps most distressingly, during Waters' brief tenure as director, two band members were sexually assaulted. The Title IX complaint that prompted Waters' firing was filed by the parent of one of the assaulted band members. (After reporting the assault, the victim declined to rejoin the band for her senior year out of fear that she would be ostracized by some of the other band members.) Waters was also initially unsympathetic to a victim of a different sexual assault which occurred during the Athletic Band's trip to the Big Ten basketball tournament in March 2013. Some legal analysts suggest that Title IX law gave the University no choice but to fire Waters, given his knowledge of the culture issues within the Band. But Waters claims he was doing his best to fix the Band's culture, and submitted his own lengthy document listing the steps he's taken. [more inside]
In the 2012 superbowl half-time show, rapper M.I.A. flipped off the camera while performing with Madonna. On September 19, the Hollywood Reporter revealed that the NFL has been waging a "secret legal war" over the incident, demanding $1.5 million and an apology from M.I.A. This week M.I.A. responded with a video statement (transcript at Pitchfork):
So, now, they’re scapegoating me into figuring out the goalposts on what is offensive in America. Like, is my finger offensive, or is the underage black girl with her legs wide open more offensive to the family audience? That’s basically what it comes down to. It's a massive waste of time, a massive waste of money, it’s a massive display of powerful corporation dick-shaking. They want me on my knees and say sorry so they can slap me on my wrist. Basically, so they can say it’s OK for me to promote being sexually exploited as a female than to display female empowerment through being punk rock. That is what it boils down to, and I’m being sued for it.[more inside]
There was no way to anticipate that the reliably malfunction-free Beyoncé arriving in New Orleans for her turn at immortality would be a vulnerable one. At the presidential inauguration ceremony last month, she sang the national anthem over a prerecorded vocal track, leading to a minor scandal, putting her on the defensive. Beyoncé, bionic, isn’t used to having her reputation impugned. Vulnerability is not her bag. She is, though, up to the challenge — in this case, the conundrum of how to make her Super Bowl XLVII halftime show, which she had been planning for months, not only a spectacle in its own right, but also a conclusion to the messy affair. [more inside]
The Super Bowl 2012 Half Time show, in which the lich queen Madonna declares supreme victory over all who fall before her. There were also some adverts and a sporting event of some kind.
The Kings Firecrackers performance at a Naval Academy basketball game. When we jumped roped in high school basketball practice I was happy to get through the 60 seconds without falling on my butt. 4th to 8th graders doing this with jump ropes is almost beyond comprehension. 8 minute video - and worth every second of it.
Quick change artists David and Dania, who got her start in the Moscow Circus, entertain crowds at NBA half-time shows by performing quick changes of clothing. They've performed on numerous other shows around the world. You can even buy one of David's quick change tophats... (!!!).
If you like breasts and freedom, you might want to check out a new movement to Boycott the Grammys. The site links to various essays in support of Janet and opposition to the FCC and corporate reactions to the event. I suppose they want to send a message to advertisers by skipping it but it'll probably be about as effective as the class-action suit at accomplishing anything.
This Super Bowl halftime, make it to the Lingere Bowl. American TV hits a new low by inventing another sport along the lines of Foxy Boxing and Hot Oil Wrestling. The gridiron action features Team Dream vs. Team Euphoria (featuring washed-up former NFL players as coaches) in full contact football while wearing skimpy clothing. Even weirder, but there will be cheerleaders to cheerlead the players that are already dolled up to look like cheerleaders in some sort of subtle hot lesbian action. It's all pay-per-view, but this "Girls Gone Football" seems more like a new low than a step forward for real women's sports.