Sunday, January 21, 2007

Panem Et Circenses

Rain - Hi 44 Lo 39 for Baghdad, Iraq
Snow - Hi 37 Lo 33 for Northern KY, USA--- woke up to about 3 inches of the white stuff and it is still falling. abosolutely beautiful.

Song of the week: Respectable Street,
XTC - The video clip is from a movie called Urgh! A Music War. I have it on Beta.... would love to get it on DVD, but I don't think you can get it on DVD... The song is off XTC's 1980 ablbum Black Sea... I still have it... would love to get it on CD so I can download it to my iPod...


Earlier this week like everyone else, I read/heard about this:

"A morning radio show has been pulled off the air and 10 employees have been fired after a woman died last week after trying to win a Nintendo Wii video game console in a water-drinking contest at the show’s studios. The woman, Jennifer Lea Strange, 28, was one of about 18 participants who tried to win the video-game system on Friday by seeing how much water they could drink without going to the bathroom. Ms. Strange drank nearly two gallons over two hours, according to a contestant. She was found dead several hours later. Preliminary autopsy findings indicated the cause was water intoxication."


Published: January 17, 2007

Local News Coverage and video

OK... so this woman, mother of a couple of kids, loving wife, blah blah blah decides that the only way she can get a Wii for her family is to enter this contest. OK.... fine. The woman like the other contestants signs a release form... relieving the station and it's employees of any liability... OK...fine. She dies from water intoxication.... sad and stupid waste, but OK... fine... The family intends to sue... OK... fine. My question is not "Why was this woman so stupid?" (I am assuming she was informed of the risks involved with drinking so much water without any potty breaks) My question is not "Who made the executive decision at the radio station that this was a good idea?" My question is, "When and why did this become entertainment??" Have we become so fat and lazy as a society that shows such as Jackass became part of our pop culture? I have even caught a couple episodes of recent America's Funniest Home Videos and folks falling down or seemingly getting hurt in one way or another seems to be a main staple. How did we get from Andre the Giant and Hulk Hogan to bloody wrestling matches using chairs and ladders and simulated sex acts in a ring????What about the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championships)? You are in a caged ring and fight until you give up or the rare occasion when the referee calls it because you have been beaten to a bloody pulp. Why is it that we give a rat's behind over the likes of Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohen, and Britney God Help Us Spears -- Celebrity for the sake of celebrity. The list of what is construed as entertainment today is endless and mindless.... I do not exempt myself as a holier than thou on this topic either... the only part of American Idol that I watch are the opening weeks of the season with the auditions... why am I compelled to watch folks embarass themselves and then watch judges be mean, nasty, and rude? Why do I find that entertaining?

Or what about this? "A prostitute presents a creation from the Daspu Fall/Winter 2007-2008 collection in Rio de Janeiro January 19, 2007. Daspu is a fashion house founded and run by prostitutes whose designs have become the talk of Brazil's fashion industry nine months after its start. Its success has surprised its founders, who see its sudden prominence as a revolutionary moment for a country long ambivalent about its world-famous sex industry."

"The Roman satirist Juvenal, writing in the first century AD, lamented that "the people that once bestowed commands, consulships, legions, and all else, now meddles no more and longs eagerly for just two things, 'bread and circuses'. Juvenal had the misfortune of living in a time when the civic virtues of the early Roman republic were a distant memory, when the moral dry rot, which eventually destroyed Rome from within, was already far advanced. Juvenal saw that the Roman citizenry had become so addicted to entertainment and pleasure that they had lost the capability of governing
themselves. Juvenal's scornful term 'panem et circenses or bread and circuses'has become synonymous with mindless self-gratification."

Steve Bonta

I would love to say I'm optimistic for our country and our collective soul, but I'd be lying... Someone please reassure me...please!!!

"Ben Franklin warned that 'only a virtuous people are capable of freedom'. Great republics die like aging trees, from the inside out. By the time of Juvenal, Rome was at the height of her imperial splendor, seen from the outside. But within, the Rome that had produced men like Cicero and Scipio was already gone. The hollow shell of empire persisted for centuries thereafter, but its demise had already been largely determined, because the Roman citizenry had come to prefer diversion over virtue."

Steve Bonta

Blogs and Links to Check Out This Week:

*A post I did back in September, 2005... I like this post.... Celebrities and Mocha Soy Lattes
*Read Steve Bonta's complete essay, Breads and Circuses -- excellent!!

RennyBA's Terella - long overdue, a lovely Norwegian that visits me

Oh No They Didn't!" -like a trainwreck I can't look away either...another celebrity gossip blog

Kentucky Republican Voice - a source for Kentucky grassroots information

Have a great week everyone!

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