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October 27, 2005

I think it says something very sad about this country when this kind of show is a "huge hit."

Unless anyone here is na´ve enough to pretend people are watching it as "history"? No? Didn't think so. It's about blood and sex, presented as violently as possible.

It's about a country so out of touch with itself that it turns to the mindless stimulation of violence to reassure itself that it's still alive.

After 9/11, people wanted to help and Bush said, "go shopping."

After Katrina, people wanted to help and everyone said, "just send money."

Doesn't anyone want the people of this country to be involved any more? Have we really come to this point, already, where we're nothing more than robotic mechanisms for moving currency from one place to another?

There's a sort of malaise thing going on. A spiritual (not religious) problem. (Religion is part of the problem, but not all of it, and it's on the wrong side of the equation from where you'd theoretically expect to find it.)

I don't have a spiffy conclusion. I just know that the rising popularity of ever-stupider and more violent "entertainment" programming and the disinclination of Washington to have anything to do with us outside of fundraising are in some way connected.

Posted by AnneZook at 09:48 AM


Rome has always been a subject of our darker fantasies... look at Gibson's Passion, not to mention Caligula etc.

It was one of the most visibly decadent societies in human history -- gladiators, slaves, bear-baiting between acts of Greek comedies, barracks emperors, etc., ad nauseum -- before our own.

On "malaise", by the way, you're not the only one using the term, though you might be the only one who's actually on the right track....

Posted by: Jonathan Dresner at October 27, 2005 06:22 PM

Well, the thing about that kind of fantasy is that mostly people keep it under wraps, understanding that it's not necessarily reflective of the best of human nature.

That's a far cry from glorifying it, which is essentially what happens when you turn it into casual entertainment.

(I went and read Shenkman"s Malaise (Take Two). I think I'd have to re-read Take One before I was able to figure out precisely where he's seeing malaise but we're clearly discussing two entirely different issues.)

Posted by: Anne at October 28, 2005 10:16 AM