I recently saw the film The Big Short after my parents recommended it. After watching the movie, I asked myself why everyone else wasn’t as infuriated as I was. Everyone else left the theatre, fat and full of popcorn. It reminded me of pigs being fattened for the impending slaughter– docile, listless, and unaware of what had actually happened, even though they just watched a movie about how American tax payers took it up the ass without even the courtesy of vaseline.
The Big Short showed plainly how big banks and Wall Street worked together to cause an economic meltdown of epic proportions and how tax payers bailed out the banks and Wall Street all while being homeless. These types of events used to cause a revolution. This type of hubris led Marie Antoinette to lose her pretty, little head in more ways than one. But, no, Americans continue to sit around, taking no real action while the cost of food continues to increase and HD televisions can be purchased for pennies on the dollar.
So why no mass awakening?
Is there a chance the audience didn’t understand?
That couldn’t be because the movie even explained the financial fraud in plain English for those who are too lazy or too stoopid to learn about the most basic investing. Even though that was 7 years ago, we are reeling from blows that the economic crash dealt almost everyone (except for the top 1%). In fact, if you are watching any news at all, you will learn that some financial analysts are reporting that the current stock market melt down will be bigger than what happened in 2008.
But, there is not a peep from anyone– why is that?
Here is my theory:
Panem et circenses. It is a latin phrase that means bread and circuses.
The phrase originated in a satirical poem written in AD 100 named Juvenal. In context, the phrase points out that the only concerns of Roman citizens at the time was frivolity. Gone was the heroism of that once great empire. Roman politicians knew that they could keep the vote of poor citizens while averting any social uprising by introducing a grain dole. This grain dole ensured that there was always an abundance of cheap food and entertainment, thus “bread and circuses”, became the most effective way to rise to power.
Do you remember that Rome fell and never regained its former glory?
Well, the Roman masses were ‘asleep’ and they were continually being placated with more bread and more circuses. Today we have welfare programs for food, food banks, cheap HDTVs, the internet, movie and video streaming, cell phones, Facebook, and hundreds of satellite channels. Most people take the easy way out by allowing themselves to be anesthetized by the network media and social media– by caring about which celebrity is getting divorced, reading their friend’s status alerts, or caring about which sports team might win. The only important things they might think about have to do with self-preservation and involve getting more food, keeping housing, and possibly dating or getting married.
So when the stock market crashes and people walk around looking like a herd of cows with glazed eyes, think panem et circenses. Because history repeats itself.
Politicians are smart enough to read all of the history that shows them exactly how to dull the masses and gain power. When those politicians were children, their parents likely sent them to prep school where they learned Greek and Latin, read historical texts in Greek and Latin, and they were taught the art of discourse, critical thinking, and analysis. Meanwhile, the rest of us has a standard, dulled curriculum in public school. We could have read all of the ancient classes that the upper echelon of society read, but most of the time, these texts were never mentioned and no one questioned the status quo.
Therefore, I encourage you to wake up– to become literate and truly wise. I encourage you to be aware, read trends, and think for yourself. Don’t believe democrats or republicans and do your research, thus preparing yourself for an uncertain future. I also encourage you to educate friends and family members. Stop willingly being part of the monkey tribe because your wellbeing and your future will depend upon it. You have been warned.