Early on, Billy observes that the Texas Stadium symbolizes American society. The stadium is filled with thousands of people, boasts of endless food joints and stores, and hosts a football game on a holiday (Thanksgiving) that's unique to America. The stadium offers everything in the way of American culture, from the Jumbotron flashing advertisements to football. Billy also notices that up close, the stadium is also relatively shabby and ill kept, alluding to the income disparity of the American citizens. However, the stadium also looks shiny and wonderful on TV, signifying the media’s power to shaping public opinion—like the way footage from the Bravos’ firefight in Iraq makes Americans think war is exciting, whereas the Bravos know that war is horrific and terrifying. The association between the stadium and America as a whole is reinforced by the fact that the stadium is in Texas, the home state of then-president George W. Bush. In this way, the stadium doesn't just represent America as a culture; it is representative of the very person who leads the country.
The Texas Stadium Quotes in Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
Years and years of carefully posed TV shots have imbued the place with intimations of mystery and romance, dollops of state and national pride, hints of pharaonic afterlife such as always inhere in large-scale public architecture, all of which render the stadium of Billy's mind as the conduit or portal, a direct tap-in, to a ready made species of mass transcendence, and so the real-life shabbiness is a nasty comedown.
It dawns on him that the Texas Stadium is basically a shithole. It's cold, gritty, drafty, dirty, in general possessed of all the charm of an industrial warehouse where people pee in the corners.
He glows, which isn't to say he's a handsome man but rather shimmers with high-wattage celebrity, and therein lies the problem, the brain struggles to match the media version to the actual man who looks taller than the preformed mental image, or maybe broader, older, pinker, younger, the two versions miscongrue in some crucial sense which makes it all a little unreal [...]