Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl show was only as political as you wanted it to be
Quoting the Pledge of Allegiance as she stood atop Houston’s NRG Stadium — and let’s pause here to salute her for willing that vision into being — the pop star was asking us to arrange our sorry, sectarian selves into “one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.”
Beautiful words, and an even more beautiful sentiment. But they didn’t work, at least to judge by the deeply polarized response to my review of Lady Gaga’s performance, in which I expressed my disappointment that she didn’t explicitly address the recent actions of President Trump.
To be clear, readers agree I got it wrong.
But half of the many emails and tweets I’ve received since Sunday insist that it was precisely the lack of my longed-for political message that made the show such a success. And the other half tell me I’m too dumb to have recognized the very clear stand Lady Gaga was taking.
So which was it? Was the halftime show a welcome diversion from all that’s roiled us — “entertainment for entertainment’s sake,” as one person described it approvingly? Or was it, as someone else said, an “iconic” exercise in protest theater?
My feeling is that the prevalence of the first reaction diminishes the credibility of the second.