I have never been a football fan. In addition to my adolescent frustration at having The Simpsons and X-Files pre-empted by a group of grown men lunging at each other in formations I had no frame of reference for or interest in

The most surprising commercial show during last night’s Superbowl had to be that for the “Church” of Scientology. Classified as a cult in various countries (and as a criminal organization in Belgium), one wonders why the CBS television network decided to sell one of it’s precious advertising spots to such a controversial entity when demand exceeded supply and all spots were sold well in advance of the game. Here’s the rather dull ad for those of you who didn’t watch the game or were not in a market where it aired:

If you want to understand our culture, watch our commercials. Via Salon, Michael Shaw writes:

With the West in an endless struggle in the Middle East not just for resources but mindshare, we see the Coke bottle — the symbol of globalization and American commercialism — sitting there in the hot sand, the object of desire for, first of all, a hapless Gulf prince/camel jockey. Resonating with [the looming] immigration debate, we then have a Hispanic desperado evoking the desert as if the province of thirsty Mexicans looking north.

It’s funny but not-so-funny when you consider that what America has to offer is, in fact, a mirage. What the ad people realize I’m sure is that, after more than a decade in Iraq and Afghanistan, the idea of “quenching” — no matter how much you “put down” the Arabs and Islamists — couldn’t be more ironic.

WeAreChange explains:

Luke Rudkowski is an extreme lightweight when it comes to drinking, so we decided to test his drinking ability against the knowledge of American citizens. After 6 tequila shots (a personal record), Luke had to throw in the towel as he couldn’t stand the ignorance and his own weight.

Thank you to all participants for having a good time and not punching Luke in the face. Our main objective was to raise awareness about the existence of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which as we documented, many Americans do not know about.

The most entertaining part of watching the annual American Football Superbowl was, as usual, the expensively produced commercials, showing off the most creative minds of Madison Avenue. For my money the funniest was not Jerry Seinfeld and Jay Leno pitching Acura (Honda), but Clint Eastwood in toughest Dirty Harry / Gran Torino mode proclaiming that America is going to mount a comeback in the “second half.”

An honorable mention however to Chevrolet, who capitalized on the Mayan Calendar Apocalypse meme in this spot…