Friday, February 05, 2016
Super Bowl City as a Corporate Police State Fantasia
Super Bowl 50 is being played in Santa Clara this year while San Francisco pretends it is being played here.
With no public input of any sort, the Ed Lee administration and various Bay Area leaders managed to win the bid to host America's Annual Big Game and San Francisco proceeded to give away the public treasury while they were at it.
The San Francisco expenditures mostly centered on Super Bowl City, a huge, outdoor pedestrian mall at the end of Market Street which wraps around the Embarcadero Center.
To create this free fan fantasia, streets downtown have been blocked for the last 10 days and will continue to be blocked until sometime later next week.
I had heard the San Francisco Police Department and Homeland Security were a heavy-handed presence around the event, but still wasn't quite prepared for the overwhelming militaristic bromance between the two groups.
Besides big trucks with big men bringing out big dogs to sniff for bombs...
...there was one scary tableaux after another which would not have looked out of place in a Central American country owned by the United Fruit Company 50 years ago.
The silliest part of all this police overtime was that the crowd was mellow, and the intrusive, airport-style security entrances ensured there were no weapons on any bad actors.
What is most strange about the event is that there is essentially nothing to do...
...except take selfies.
On Friday afternoon, there was nobody performing on the City Stage, so people wandered around aimlessly among the corporate booths...
...drinking $8 cups of Bud Light, the official brew of Super Bowl 50, which was responsible for one of the ugliest sculptures ever created.
Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst better look to their laurels.