Wednesday, October 17, 2007

TV is the Modern-Day Colosseum

While it is true that we now don’t do some of the horrible things the Romans used to do, we still, as a human race, haven’t improved very much.

Anyone who wants a glimpse of the barbaric things the Romans did, just hop down to BlockBuster and pick up Gladiator, starring Russell Crowe and directed by Ron Howard. Some historian buffs I personally know cringe at the Hollywood liberties taken on an almost historical movie, but it still depicts ancient Roman life fairly well. Plus, it’s an awesome movie.

But anyway, the point is that we really haven’t evolved very much since then.

The movie Gladiator depicts a world where Roman citizens pay the government for tickets to games held at the awesome, carved of stone, Colosseum. This is an enormous (in ancient standards) stadium where gladiators fight and kill one another for the enjoyment of the watching populace.

This usually comes across as a pretty sick practice, in the eyes of an average modern-day homosapien.

But we still go to stadiums to watch feats of physical prowess. People still beat each other bloody for the enjoyment of the masses. Hockey, boxing, football, and wrestling are all really good examples of this.

I’m usually told at this point that nobody is supposed to actually die at these events, and when it does happen, it shocks and saddens us. This is what makes us civilized.

That is true to a point, but when was the last time you saw a Hollywood action movie that showed less than ten deaths? How many without showing a single death in vivid detail?

This clever application of fake blood and CGI effects is what makes us civilized, and the Romans barbaric.

We may be perhaps less murderous than our Latin ancestors, but we have in no way lost our taste for a good, bloody show.

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