"The expression “bread and circuses“ captures a certain cynical political view that the masses can be kept happy with fast food (think Cartman’s “Cheesy Poofs” on South Park) and faster entertainment (NASCAR races, NFL games, and the like)." -William Astore, Huffington Post
the more things change the more they stay the same.....
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From Jody's blog, circa 1995, and still apt today:
So here we are, standing on the courthouse steps, just the two of us. I've been meaning to talk to you for some time now--how is Justin? That's your hubby's name isn't it--Justin? Well I'm sure glad to hear that his obnostic diaphluvis is better after the operation, and you are lookin' wonderful yourself! You'd never know you had that, uh, whaddayacallit, removed--but I better hurry; it looks like rain. Look, over there on the roof of the Capitol Building it seems to be raining already and I see you have no umbrella so I'll make this as fast as possible.
I don't know about you, but this "edifice" we're standing in front of gives me the creeps and the Supreme Court is even worse. I hate the sight of that sucker. And I'll tell you why. All that type of phony Greco-Roman architecture, well, it just downright chills my blood. I think it's because I can't help thinking of humanity as a tribe of savages, you know? Oh I know we're supposed to keep saying "Aren't we wonderful!" over and over and patting ourselves on the back until we break an arm, but--
Gee. It seems to me that instead of being "wonderful" what we really are is a downtrodden race still ruled by the same old hierarchy, the same henchmen who've always passed the power down from father to son while they pretend to be Hotties all new and different, and so on. Know what I mean? We are war-crazed barbarians with our hands in each other's pockets, in love with Government-sponsored carnage--and now don't get me wrong, I think that humans are basically good and anyone who tries to teach you otherwise is nothing but a damn criminal. And speaking of teaching--
In my view, what's been done to ordinary folks is a high crime and they're not even aware of it. Ask yourself, "Am I being manipulated"--No, on second thought don't ask yourself that; it might drive you nuts. But are you aware that the people who use the word "Education" most often are those very people who have no idea of what the human mind is, or how to educate it? They've failed steadily for the last 2000 years and more because they are like Tommy Pickles, the hero of "Rugrats" who always says to the other babies, "Hey! I got a idea!"--and this is exactly what all your politicians are doing all the time. "Hey! I got a idea!" That's how we run all of our affairs. We are too infantile to have any genuine management skills or technologies (except the usual electronic tweakies, our sole specialty. Aren't we wonderful? Ohhhh, yeah).
All these rule-makers with their endless little Eureka schemes--but I was talking about the Supreme Court Building. You think piles like that are not constructed to intimidate us? "Look at me! I'm so Greco-Roman I'm about to DAH! Why, I'm just gorgeous! I AM Rome! I am Rome, hear me roar, you poor little jerks who can't even mark your ballots correctly. But just look at my big white columns! I'm so SERIOUS and IMPORTANT I can hardly stand it." Etc., etc., ad nauseum.
Personally I'm sick and tired of buildings that try to intimidate me. Take that guy Clarence Thomas for instance. He tours a group of high school kids and tells them "We Supremes always put our personal prejudices aside and do what is right." Is this lying hypocrisy or what would you call it? I wasn't consulted when they hired this guy (for LIFE! Can you imagine such an outrage to the so-called human spirit?) but in any case, I'm firing Clarence Thomas and hiring Gary Coleman in his place. Gary has assured me that he is an honest man and no hypocrite and will be happy to change his first name to Tom because a black gentleman called Tom is desperately needed on the Supremes--and, he can learn as much Law as the rest of them in six months of night school. So congratulations, Tom Coleman our new S.C. Justice, and long may you wave.
But anyway I was telling you, every time I see the S.C. Building I suffer a panic attack. "Oh my God, it's the Romans! Coming over the hill to wipe out our poor, sad, little, dirty, common-folk village! Run for cover you suckers, our Masters are about to give us what-for."
The truth is that Rome would be jealous of our cruel jailing of millions of non-violent people. They had nothing as spectacular as that. Nothing. All they had was a fair amount of roadside crucifixions--but it's a numbers game and the average Roman Emperor would seethe with jealousy over how many no-threat, non-violent folks we keep behind bars because it's truly phenomenal by any yardstick including the most brutal you can imagine.
Me, I've maintained that human society hasn't changed an iota since the days of the Caesars because people are in a deep, profound trance. You do all the Approved things but never feel truly satisfied, and I am here to change all that. But not right now--because big drops are beginning to patter down on us and the Courthouse steps are getting slipperier by the minute (if such a thing is possible) and --hear that deep-throated growl of thunder on the western horizon? Wow, it's really comin' down now so goodbye, we must hurry and rush off each to her separate destination (or "Fate" if you want to call it that)--and, hey: I look forward to our next conversation, because I really like you.