« Panem et circenses | Main | Airbrushing out history »

July 10, 2006

Circus Maximus anyone?

Can I really be the only person who can see the link to the Roman Circus and the present day obsession with football (soccer to my American, Australian and South African readers) and pop stars and concerts? The terminal decline of the Roman Empire and civilisation in the West can be marked, in large part, by the rise of the 'stars' and 'star' attractions in the gladiatorial arenas dotted all around the empire. The more spectacular the circus went the reasoning, the more likely the populace is to not notice the fact that the country is falling apart, the politicians are robbing us blind and the civil service is corrupt and self serving. Distract everyone with a big spectacular and keep them happy while we make off with the silver.

The only beneficiaries in the longterm are the overpaid football stars - who judging by the few seconds worth I have had the misfortune to see - are all either members of Equity or just plain foulmouthed thugs and the Pop Stars are no better, popularising cocaine snorting, drug taking and excessive lifestyles that provide very little of virtue as a guide to future generations. It is my considered view that the obscene salaries paid to footballers and the wealth pouring into the pockets of pop stars are merely a symptom of a society that has completely lost its way and will rapidly be be reduced to irrelevance when it is seriously challenged by an ambitious new empire. I don't know who the threat will come from, I suspect it will be internal, and may even be already gathering strength, but I do know that our present society is about as secure as Rome was in its last few years of hedonistic pursuit of self aggrandisement among its political classes.

Western society had better start to look at how its pursuit of "freedom" and "rights" are masking the underlying weakness of our entire system of political government and the burgeoning bureaucracy which, again in parallel with the Roman model, is slowly but surely strangling it.

Posted by The Gray Monk at July 10, 2006 09:25 AM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:


I thought it looked similar to the fall of the Roman Empire when a woman was able to sue McDonald's for hot coffee she spilled in her own lap. Too many laws and lawyers. Things spiralling in the wrong direction. I had not thought about the 'stars'. But it does seem right on target as well.

Posted by: vw bug at July 10, 2006 11:47 AM