...straight. The NFL wants to provide a half-time show that will attract the coveted 18-25 demographic-- free-spending young adults who like geriatric rock stars, apparently. Would these people like to watch the Olsen Twins? No. Jessica Simpson? Well, all right-- the meaning of "wholesome" has changed a bit. I know-- we'll get The Rolling Stones. Hey, aren't they a bunch of perverts? Of course they are.
While simultaneously announcing that they have booked a filthy, disgusting, perverted band for the half-time show (by their standards, not mine), the promoters, the NFL, assures viewers that the entertainment will be quite wholesome. Suitable for the entire family. You won't be embarrassed if your kids are watching. But your kids will want to watch.
Is this belated recognition of the fact that any interesting culture in our society seems to come from rebels and outsiders? Why on earth didn't they book Garth Brooks or Tammy Wynette, if they wanted something wholesome?
How will the promoters ensure that the audience is spared anything shocking or inappropriate? They will have a five-second delay on the broadcast.
And it worked. During "Start Me Up" (the real obscenity here is that "Start Me Up" was sold to Microsoft as the theme for Windows 98 for millions of dollars), Mick Jagger alluded to the fact that this woman of whom he was singing was so sexy that she could cause a dead man to become aroused. But not in so many words. So the microphone went dead and Mick's lips moved alone and silent.
All right. Everybody's happy. The kids get to be entertained by the world's greatest rock'n'roll band, and the adults get to sleep easy knowing that their children are still infused with good, wholesome, Calvinist virtues.
But the Rolling Stones, worried about their credibility with the in crowd, announce that they are disgusted with the censorship. But the NFL announces that if they were so disgusted with the censorship, why did they agree to play in the first place. The Rolling Stones respond, just because we knew about it in advance and agreed to it doesn't mean we don't think it's stupid. Pay us first, then we'll tell you how stupid it is.
The answer is: all of the above.