catapult magazine

catapult magazine


Janet, Justin superbowl "stunt", US culture & marriage


Feb 04 2004
05:22 am

We all heard about (or maybe saw) the Janet Jackson…Justin Timberlake Superbowl choreographed “stunt”, or one of its many partly covered repeat plays.

Those of us who saw the half time show also observed bits of talent ,interspersed with persons grabbing their (own) genitalia, and S& M costuming on some of the participants. According to one source, an estimated 14 million kids saw the “stunt” etc.

Lots of people worldwide got a “view” of American culture here…more “ammo” for some Mideast anti US activists on the depravity of US culture.

so what does the exhibition above have to do with my children hopefully learning how to choose a good partner & enter into a sound, good, (mutually respectful) marriage?

Nothing. Which is the biggest damage done here. A simulated “attack” instead of affection & respect for the woman. How many will simulate this on their date???

The Janet/Justin Superbowl “stunt” played more like a choreographed “assault” on a woman. The assaults carried into many joke punch lines…based on female anatomy. Swell.

I heard two male commentators, on news/commentary channels I normally respect, coming out with a string of crude jokes about the "stunt…all based on word play concerning female genitalia…

My junior high daughter reports that the boys in her class (in a Christian school, incidentally) thought the stunt “hilarious”.

But there is one good effect of that stunt…My daughter spoke up and scolded those male classmates who laughed at “the stunt”. She spoke up at how embarassing it was to her.

She is finding her activist Christian female voice in this crude culture. Look out!


Feb 05 2004
07:21 pm

Frankly, this stunt concerns me about as much as a hangnail. Here’s why:

First of all, I don’t really consider the Great Revelation of The Breast to be all that different from what was already going on in the rest of the show. It was pretty much all pornography, if you ask me. If your kids were watching it, they absorbed such nuggets of culture as Kid Rock wearing an American flag as a shirt—and if you don’t know what his appeal is, well, do an internet search—so we can equate his trashy schlock (love that word) with America itself; plus, what Justin and Janet were doing before the GRoTB—that is, grinding and making overt sexual gestures—was just about as promiscuous as the stunt itself.

Second, and tied in to the first, the backlash against all this has called more attention to this example of promiscuity than I thought possible. They’ve gone so far as to ban a former bandmate of Justin’s from performing at an awards show. CBS says MTV will never host another halftime show. Janet doesn’t get to go to the Grammy’s. The stunt has become the number one all-time most requested search item on the internet. Without this little incident, we would have swallowed all of that halftime crap whole, and so would our kids. But as it is, the outcry has been immense. There’s exposure. To me it smacks of hypocricy to raise such a stink about this in light of the crap that’s been filling the airwaves for decades—commercials, music videos, sitcoms, you name it.

PS—MTV and CBS claim they knew nothing of it beforehand, and Janet says it was added after the last rehearsal.

By the way, don’t they have tape delay to protect against this sort of thing?


Feb 27 2004
05:33 am

hey vanlee:

today’s “get fuzzy” comic made some interesting observations about this event that you were pointing to earlier:


Feb 27 2004
07:29 am

People are more concerned about the nudity than the violence of the half-time show because the nudity was “real” and the violence was theatrically presented. People are pretty sophisticated these days when it comes to distinguishing depictions of violence (meant for entertainment and fantasy scenarios) from real violence. Timberlake was PRETENDING to be violent in his relationship with Jackson on stage. Jackson’s breast was not pretending to be anything. It was really a breast.


Feb 27 2004
12:23 pm

Thanks. laurencer for the “get fuzzy” link re the Superbowl incident.

Effects of this incident have apparently radiated to getting Howard Stern & some other grotesque commentatorsin trouble (Awww! What a shame….NOT!).

Do most adults, teens, know that the violence was simulated? Yes.

Does my five year old boy know that the violence was similated?
I think not. He was off playing when this incident happened. But I have seen how he has reacted to other TV images…and he does not yet know what is real & what is simulated…especially if it is not in cartoon style.

Also…if Jason “simulated” a racial attack on Janet (say, he put on a KKK hood…before he grabbed at her…wonder what would happen?


Feb 28 2004
07:59 am

So this is just about children? People are only upset because there were kids watching?

If there were no children watching the Superbowl Halftime Show, there would have been nothing wrong with what Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake did? If this is what you’re arguing, then this whole debacle is truly just a matter for the FCC. We must make sure the government regulates programming better to make parental censoring easier for parents. And if someone like Janet and Justin go against FCC regulations for when certain acts can be aired on tv (because of the children and their bedtimes etc.), they ought to be punished appropriately, for the sake of the children.