In 2012 we still have giant arena’s, spectacular violence, corrupt politicians, and all the decadence of the Roman Empire.
Our idols are ultra violent cage fighters without weapons but none the less lethal.
They are football, hockey and baseball champions, but they are also our Rock Stars and Movie Giants.
Our entertainers are also Gladiators who also take blows and bear scars after each performance.
Not all Roman Gladiators died in the arena and some were well rewarded riches and even freedom if they pleased the crowd.
In his last years, Elvis looked like an tired old worn out warrior doing battle under hot vegas lights, and like a Gladiator he was doing it not for the love of the performance, but for the money.
Johnny Cash Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard all wrote and sang about their own wars won and lost, with the battle scars of war chiseled deeply on their faces.
Jim Morrison once called the Doors “Erotic Politicians” and he knew full well that he was entertaining the crowds in a modern Roman game of death.
“The cleavage of men into actor and spectators is the central fact of our time. We are obsessed with heroes who live for us and whom we punish. If all the radios and televisions were deprived of their sources of power, all books and …. One is spectacle. Like the Phantasmagoria, its goal is the creation of a total …” (Jim Morrison).