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This morning, FB commentators have passionate debates about Superbowl LI's commercials and halftime show. Many folks are offended. Many are inspired. Often, it is good to see democracy in action these days.
However, I would point-out one thing, and any communications scholar might. Texts (e.g. ads) have both an author and a receiver. The author's intention matters. But, the receiver's interpretation does greatly as well. Therefore, any audience should remember that s/he places a lens over a text. S/he _chooses_ to see the text as political reference, Christian discussion, sexual innuendo, etc.
In turn, an individual decides if s/he is offended. In recent times, certain commentators note, jocularly or otherwise, an unhealthy proclivity for everyone to be offended, whether liberal or conservative. Internet memes mock this easy offense and thin skin. I hope that people, especially those commenting on the game, remember that they control their own reactions.
Of course, I should acknowledge one other thing. Sometimes, texts lend themselves to certain interpretations. Therefore, a text might be an obvious political allegory or other statement. Similarly, it might be clearly religious or sexual in nature.
Finally, I should note one other thing about fan reaction to last night. Sometimes, there is a lack of it. Curiously, I have seen no conservatives upset over the rendition of "America the Beautiful" before the national anthem. The female singers redacted "brotherhood" with "sisterhood". Curiously, I have seen no progressives upset over the Melissa McCarthy commercial for Kia. The slapstick could easily be called misogynistic if one wished to call it that. But, McCarthy is a comedian and hefty; therefore, viewers might place the ad into certain contexts, whether they should or not.
People are interesting. They are especially interesting as readers of the world around them. I like studying them and learning.