Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bread and Circuses, Reprised

Happy Thanksgiving! In spite of my spate of rants lately, and what is to follow, we DO have much to be grateful for! As always, my purpose is to encourage you not to take our blessings for granted and to understand our degenerating situation as well as how many of our fellow citizens are in distress this year, and to use our blessings as a place to start extending blessings to everyone and everything. Now, bread and circuses.

Two months ago, I did a post on bread and circuses, which I will reprise briefly to relate it to the current Big News Story on privacy, scanning and airport security. Bread and Circuses. When the Roman Republic was crumbling and in the hands of wealthy oligarchy, to distract people from what they’d lost and what the oligarchy was stealing and destroying, the oligarchs and government officials gave the people bread, so they didn’t have to struggle to make ends meet, and circuses in the arena, to distract them. Bread and circuses, bloody circuses, to distract the masses from the important issues of the day.

See any parallels in our day?

We have our own version of Bread and Circuses right now distracting us from the important things like global climate change, energy reform, and political corruption. The distractions, which dominate the so-called news, are trivial by comparison: Privacy vs Airport Security; Sara Palin; Gay Marriage; Big Gov’t vs No Gov’t, the Kardashians, Lindsey Lohan and Paris Hilton. This is what is in our faces and taking our time, distracting us from talking about the more important things.

Who benefits from this condition? Who wants to keep healthy, decent, caring people distracted, disgusted and dropping out – disengaging from serious discourse and the honest exchange of ideas between compassionate citizens, not voting, and not running for office so people like Michelle Bachman and Christine O’Donnel can run instead? Who likes things as they are and the trajectory things are on? Follow the money. Who’s getting rich? Who’s not? Who’s winning and who’s losing? Bread and Circuses are paying off big time for somebody, is it you?

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