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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Beyonce bounce

Jaime R. Vergara

It was after Beyoncé’s A-game half-time performance at the Super Bowl that the lights went out. Not quite immediately as the Ravens got the Niners’ face redder than their uniform when all-pro returner Jacoby Jones dashed on the 2nd half opening kick-off from one end of the field to the other. Talented Niner QB Colin Kaepernick boldly struggled to get his team moving when suddenly the lights went out of the New Orleans’ Mercedes Benz superdome.

We’re ahead of our story.

Beyonce got a lot of ink in Obama’s second inaugural when she lip-synced the national anthem. This time, during the halftime entertainment, she bootiliciously performed with erstwhile Destiny Child singing mates Kelly Rowlands and Michelle Williams. The grace and energy of their performance bested all previous halftime shows, surpassing wide commentaries Madonna elicited last year when she flashed the middle finger to the multimillion TV audience.

The more than 30-minute dome blackout got the players in a relaxed mode with the Niners emerging revitalized and the Ravens seemingly in quasi-retreat. In four minutes of play after the lights returned, the Niners racked 17 points. Memories of the comeback against Atlanta during the playoffs danced in every one’s commentary, making this event more memorable than forgettable. The Niners maintained a spirited drive, jacking the score to 23 vs. the Ravens’ 28 at the end of the third quarter.

Baltimore bounced in the fourth quarter but it was more defensive than threatening to run away with the game. In fact, with the Niners’ QB CK scrambling, it was the Bay Area’s bounce that held the audience’s attention. CK fell short, so did time. The Raven’s bounce sufficiently earned the football season’s coveted prize as the Niners’ honorably lost for the first time in their sixth appearance at the Super Bowl.

The Ravens got the Lombardi trophy; Jell-O jested that it will get the SF Niners a cup of fluffy punching pudding!

Jell-O’s joke seemed well received in a culture where extreme effort is expected in achieving excellence in competition. The Hegelian dialectic of the determined clash between opposing forces that creates a synthesis underlies most of American sports’ impetus. Winner-takes-all is the driving cultural, economic, and political ethos, suddenly becoming unpopular among Republicans who are still grieving their thumping in the last presidential election where all-or-nothing value guided many state’s electoral contests.

We viewed the Super Bowl contest from the rhetoric of Beijing where cool competence is attained in balanced cooperation. That was touted in the Beijing 2008 Olympics where the spirit for athletes to compete against their last record was promoted. Of course, this was observed more widely in the breach than in the performance, but the nobility of the intent was in place.

However, the principle was demonstrated well in the Sichuan earthquake relief effort, the volunteer services in the Shanghai Expo and Asian Games, and hopefully, in the upcoming Summer 2013 China Games in Shenyang.

Conversely, the Beijing current policy of scientific outlook on development with the double foci of people-centered and earth-friendly thrust has the Lei Fang (the young selfless personality who prematurely died and raised as a symbol of Chinese altruism, allegedly an alter ego for Mao Zedong) types on solid, less ideological, and practical grounds.

Whether the current Beijing leadership can imbue the governing Gong Chang Dang (CPC membership is 5 percent of the population) to combat corruption among its rank remains to be seen (high profile fall-from-grace cases like that of Chongqing former mayor and Politburo member Bo Xilai and his homicidal wife Gu Kailai hold promise). The effort, at least, at the rhetoric level, is not wanting of proponents. More critical is the system for achieving economic justice. The top 70 of China’s rich now own the equivalent of what the top 660 of the U.S. wealthy own! The 1 vs. 99 in U.S. wealth dichotomy, painfully revealed by many Occupy movements, has become embarrassingly mirrored in Socialist China.

The Super Bowl demonstrated individual efforts like the Beyonce bounce also showed disciplined corporateness. As it was in the field where solo expertise and finesse was shown by individual athletes (as it is among politicos in the CNMI and beyond), the symphonic orchestration of plays on the dome’s halftime stage had the imprint of many hands and minds. It is the awakened citizens’ responsibility to now hold their politicos accountable to communal standards.

The United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals targeted access for every child to a primary education by 2015. More than the numerical objective, education has to expand from the notion that we only train people to become productive units on the workforce but rather, we educate them to cooperate, collaborate, and celebrate the corporateness of a human glocal society.

Might what was shown as individual excellence and cooperative verve in the Super Bowl, and the intentional policies being attempted by our USA and CPC’s China, find echo on the shores of Saipan.

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