Wednesday, August 4, 2010


By way of my good friend Luis, I was directed to this piece by the LA Times' Tim Rutten. In the article Rutten explains what's happened to the American psyche, and describes how many citizens in post-9/11 America have effectively replaced common sense and studied analysis with empty patriotism, blind denunciations, and false science.

Whether we're talking about the anti-Muslim/anti-immigrant crowd, the Tea Baggers, the birthers, or the emerging secessionist lunatics, little thought is given to what actually ails this country. Like our medieval predecessors, many in these groups let their phobias and prejudices get in the way of better judgment. In practical terms blind rage and witch hunts are preferable to the hard work of gathering evidence and facts.

While I encourage you to read the piece, you'll understand where the American mind-set is at, according to Rutten, when you watch this clip ...

If you watched this clip and thought "Tea Baggers and Birthers" you're not alone.

There's a reason why Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh are the leaders of the right (and why Fox News is their news source). Their world is a Roman Colosseum. They only seek to appease a mob, and they do their level best to provide us with the modern-day equivalent of Rome's Bread and Circus. Making matters worse, while they take themselves seriously, they're both as clueless as Nero, and as self-absorbed as Caligula. 

But, as is the case with all things that please our modern mob, the Palin-Limbaugh Colosseum goes beyond drunken revelry and being a showcase for exotic, wild animals taken from all corners of the Roman Empire (which conveyed the extent of Rome's conquests). Their Colosseum showcases a culture that gets it's jollies from watching personal train wrecks, regularly available on Jerry Springer and the assorted Bachelor shows of our day ... Jackass: The Movie was no accident. It may well be the prequel to Sarah Palin, President of the United States.

At the end of the day, our modern-day Colosseum has transformed our current Neros and Caligulas into acceptable bacchanalia.

Read the piece. It will make you think. And don't be surprised if you finish by asking yourself, So, when do we start feeding the Christians to the lions?

- Mark

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