We’ve all heard the line about how the Roman emperors kept the mob pacified with “bread and circuses.” It was a shrewd strategy and it worked … until it didn’t. But there really wasn’t much choice since the empire was too corrupt and too far gone to be fixed. It was just a matter of time before the barbarians arrived at the gates. In the meantime, bring on the gladiators.
All that is simplified history, bordering on cliché, and not to be taken seriously by serious people. Still, history is more than just “one damned thing after another.” It does provide lessons and examples. And when one looks at the U.S. today, through the lens of what we call “the media,” he wonders just how closely we are following the old, epic road of decay on the way to disaster.