In my fantasy, I’m climbing the barricades.  I’m not sure why I’m climbing the barricades. It’s been a long time since I’ve believed in anything strongly enough to do that sort of thing.

Maybe I’m climbing the barricades because I got tired of playing with my phone.

I’m waving a flag, but what flag could I possibly be waving?  The flag of doing my best to pay my bills?  The flag of 9 to 5 employment?

I’m surrounded on all sides by real fighters–warriors truly engaged in the battle.  Unlike me, they’re not here to march down the alley in slow motion, trying hard to be Beyonce in her Lemonade video.  They actually want to change things.  They’re not here looking for a shiver of excitement, for a reminder that life doesn’t have to be safe and boring.

Me?  I think the truth is I want to belong somewhere.

But speaking of the excitement, where is it?  Where is the smoke?  Where are the tear gas cannisters?  I don’t see any bombs or bricks getting thrown.

For that matter, I don’t see anyone to fight.  The street I’m wandering down is suddenly very empty.  No creepy authorities dressed in black.  I look around, feeling lost.  Nobody to get angry at, to shout at.  And why should there be?

It turns out, the person I’m protesting is myself.

After a long, exhausting day, I curl up in my bed and turn on the large screen sitting on my bedroom cabinet. And when I’ve stared into it for a while…suddenly…it’s all okay.

It’s okay that my spend my days at my overwhelming, soul-draining job because, hey, there’s always a chance that I might get on a reality show someday and win a million bucks. Maybe I’ll be the one who isn’t voted off the island. On Survivor, the Blue Collar team can beat the White Collar team, even though in real life they wouldn’t have a melting snowball’s chance of it.

It’s okay that a soldier gets his limbs blown off in one of our pointless wars, because he can still go on Dancing with the Stars.

It’s okay that there are parents out there who can’t afford medical care for their child, because the local news will tell me a heartwarming story about how their neighbors held a bake sale to try to raise the money.

It’s okay that Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush are both part of the same oligarchy running the nation, because the debate between those two is going to be so exciting!

It’s okay if I make less than a man, because Beyonce will sing me a song about how girls run the world.

It’s okay if tigers go extinct, as long as we have enough dogs left to do stupid pet tricks.

Bright colors flash into my eyes and happy tunes jingle into my brain, until I finally pass out, the tension leaving my shoulders and back, the white noise of our entertainment culture droning on…It’s gonna be okay…It’s gonna be okay….

Okay, I have to admit it, I was underwhelmed by Madonna’s halftime show performance (I ignored the whole football game part of the event).  Yes, I’m going to critique the Goddess of Pop, and I’m sure I’ll get struck down by lightning for it.  I’m all for living your life to the fullest at any age, but Madonna seemed slightly pathetic trying to pretend that she is still twenty.  She was having trouble with her dance moves and high kicks, looked very stiff, and a little ludicrous when trying to be provocative.

To me this underscores the problem with today’s music world.  In the old days of music, a singer Madonna’s age would probably not have come out hopping around in a short skirt and trying to do synchronized dance routines.  She would have made an entrance in an elegant dress and then knocked everyone in the audience out with…amazing singing.  I know, what a concept.  But Madonna’s voice has never been that great.  To her credit, even fewer of the singers of today’s generation seem to be able to sing at all.  (And yes, I realize I sound like a grumpy old woman writing this.  Oh well.)  I know Beyonce and Adele have genuine talent and will still be performing years from now, but what will Britney Spears and Nicki Minaj do when they’re older?  That’s the problem with relying on a superficial shell of sexiness to market yourself—once that is gone, there might be nothing left.

Then again, maybe it doesn’t matter.  The Super Bowl apparently hit one of the highest activity levels ever for tweeting about a live event, including during Madonna’s performance.  So the audience doesn’t really pay attention.  They’re too busy multitasking and commenting about what they’re watching. 

Also, I have to give Madonna kudos for her “World Peace” message at the end of the performance.  Since that’s something we all want and stuff.  If it stops the war with Iran from happening, I’ll reverse my entire negative review.

I still wish Cee-Lo would have done the halftime show, though.