I have to wonder, as the character Maximus says in “Gladiator”: “Are you not yet entertained? Is this not what you came here for?”
Westerners, especially Americans, have shifted from a society which valued truth, honesty, and hard work, to a culture which waits daily for “the next big thing”. We wait with baited breath for the next tragedy to be broadcast on our sixty inch screen televisions, so we can sit back and enjoy it….revel in it like a lion rolling in it’s own crap and then getting up and strutting around because he loves the smell so much. We love the smell.
We drive past the horrific accidents on the highway and turn our heads, craning our necks to catch a glimpse of some blood and gore. Just like the Romans at the coliseum.
Our grandparents worked in the fields, and the factories from dusk til dawn. Most of them then came home, ate their supper, read their Bible, or some other book…and then went to bed. They did this so their children and grandchildren could have a better life. And how do we repay them?
We became a society more obsessed with ourselves, and our carnal needs….the things that make us feel good, than with any other thing. We take more pleasure in anything closely resembling the old gladiatorial contests than we do anything else. Think about it, is that not correct?
We would rather have someone, or a group of someones tell us what to believe is truth, as long as we have our bread and circuses. Why did the emperors rule Rome for so long?
“Are you not yet entertained?”
If not yet, then what will it take?
We have 4 or 5 televisions per households, computers, mobile phones with apps for everything. People cannot cook a meal without their tablets sitting on their counters tuned to YouTube, telling them how to do it.
Our weekends are taken up with our modern day gladiatorial contests for which our children are trained almost from the moment of their birth to participate in, while we wildly scream, get mad, shoot off fireworks, get in fights over, bet on…all in order to be entertained. But it’s not enough.
We can no longer tell the truth from fiction. We cannot tell scripted from spontaneous. We cannot tell sincerity from sarcasm, bullying from bravery.
Our ancestors would be surprised at where we now stand. We stand right in the center of the coliseum with a bloody sword in our hands and yell out: “are you not yet entertained?”
We are not.