Welcome to the nation of Circenses...

tak197tak197 Member
edited December 2013 in Kiri Callaghan
Kiri's video this week is about Panem and the Hunger Games. She brings up a bunch of great points, but I thought of something we could discuss here.

If Bread and Circuses are really used to garner public approval and distract from the status of life, and we are not all that different from Panem...

What are our circuses?

What are the common "circuses" that we watch and what thoughts do they reinforce? For example:

The Hunger Games were used as entertainment to distract Panem from their problems, but also to reinforce the idea that the Capital is in control and the Districts are weak agaisnt them.

It doesn't have to be a negative thought that is reinforced, but I'm curious if we can come up with some.

Comments

  • @tak197 I would say that to a degree most forms of entertainment would apply, from video games to movies or even sporting events. There are true hardships in this world that are often glossed over because of their difficulty to correct.

    I would submit the question: is the distractionary method utilized by a grand design or rather just the natural tendency to ignore the difficult questions?
  • This is not Rome.
    Rome fell to its own decadence and lack of coherence.
    The Hunger Games is so implausible that it can't even remotely account for the real "as is" state of today's world.


  • @PhantomPhorce True, we are not living in Rome, but many people have made a correlation between the United States and the Roman Empire. Even if the similarities do not line up 100%, and granted that correlation dose not imply causation, there is one simple fact: the US was designed after the Roman structure of governance.

    I would agree that the plausibility of the plot in The Hunger Games is a stretch, but isn't that why we have fiction? to explore the possibilities that are not entirely ethical. For me if the story didn't exist I probably would have overlooked many of the correlations, but by its existence it makes us mindful to NOT repeat the mistakes of the past.
  • OakspoorOakspoor Member, Moderator
    edited December 2013 PM
    Wouldn't cage fighting or almost any professional sport like american football be almost exactly like Rome coliseum events? Without the dying parts, anyway. NASCAR isn't that much different from Ben Hur.

    I could find it plausible for our society to move to a Running man scenario then, from there, onwards towards something like Hunger Games.
    "but, masters, remember that I am an ass; though it be not written down, yet forget not that I am an ass" W.S.
    Wheaton's Law; "Don't be a dick." It's not THAT hard.
    Crawl. Walk. Run. Fly!
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  • @Francis_W: Science(!) fiction has to meet certain criteria, which The Hunger Games does not fulfill.
    @Oakspoor: Uhm, you do know that gladiators in Rome didn't nearly die as often as modern media makes it up to be?

    1 out of 10 gladiators died in the arena, and this also takes into account that they used real, sharp-edged weapons.
    Furthermore, the gladiatorial stables had no interest in their gladiators dying by the numbers, because gladiatorial training was expensive, time-consuming and IIRC their gear was custom-fit (at least the gear of the more prestigious gladiators was) and because a dead gladiator doesn't bring in any more fan merch revenue after his death.
    BTW: It was the audience or the Cesar who decided whether the losing gladiator died or not. It was not the winning gladiator's place to decide this.
  • OakspoorOakspoor Member, Moderator
    @PhantomPhorce I was referring to the slaves/criminals as prey for bears or lions.  I read that eagles were once used as well.
    "but, masters, remember that I am an ass; though it be not written down, yet forget not that I am an ass" W.S.
    Wheaton's Law; "Don't be a dick." It's not THAT hard.
    Crawl. Walk. Run. Fly!
    New to the Forum? Check out our Forum Guidelines
  • Truly our circuses are probably the elections.  They give us a sense of control when the reality is that all parties have significant problems as well as the system.  Both the system and the parties rely on the system and the parties to correct any errors which just perpetuates the problem.    I also agree that most media is our circus.

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