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Monday, May 18, 2015

Death of the Romerican Empire: A New Series

Michael Moore showed it best in the opening to his movie, Capitalism:  A Love Story.   Roman swords on end were followed by American missiles aimed skyward.  Dictators in togas were followed by Dick Cheney with a sneer.  Chariot races were seen first, then drag races.

The spectacle of sport and show which lubricates the social fabric of America today, increasingly rings hollow.  We know we are supposed to be excited by the Final Four, and Memorial Day car races, and often we genuinely are.  But later there can be a falling off of enthusiasm, even a collapse of the dynamism of a few hours ago.

What's going on?  Without going into a psychological analysis, we certainly do have a discontinuity between the merriment of the media and the drudgery of work.  (I must say I am ever so fortunate to be doing work I enjoy.  However, it is still work with a large responsibility.)

An example is the long farewell to Dave.  Yes, that Dave -- you know Dave L.  Now, I have nothing against Dave and his Late Night enterprise.  However, as I have no television service, I am ignorant of so much about the show.  A major newspaper yesterday, though, filled in all the gaps for me.  This newspaper managed to fill a two-page spread with all the greatest, or at least most famous, moments brought to us by Dave.  So many of these moments were simply shocking rather than newsworthy or moving.

From what I know of Dave, he is not shallow as such.  He appears to be intelligent, and often caring.  Well, yes, he has his faults, too.

But my point is not to review David Letterman.  My intention is to question this Amusement Syndicate which seems to run our media.

Is today's media the tip of the iceberg of the American Empire, or what I am calling the Romerican Empire as in "The Fall of..."?  The Roman Empire in its daily functioning sought to entertain and feed the masses as a way to pacify them and distract them from whatever sorrows or worries which might be troubling the citizens' minds and souls.

So today we start a new series by looking at the surface.  Later, I will attempt to show something of the depths.  And, I can hope there will be wholesome things to show along with the troubling things.
The comparison of the U.S. to the Roman Empire is not new.  It's just that now, the comparison seems clearer and more emergent than ever.  

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