Bread and Circuses

My brother is a conspiracy theorist. One of the things they like to talk about, conspiracy theorists I have known, is how the ubermen are trying to distract us from their strategies and plots and such by giving us what they like to call “bread and circuses.” This is from a Juvenal quote talking about Rome:

…Already long ago, from when we sold our vote to no man, the People have abdicated our duties; for the People who once upon a time handed out military command, high civil office, legions — everything, now restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things: bread and circuses…

The quote is so widely known among true believers that “bread and circuses” is just thrown around without any reference to the first part of the quote. It just obviously means trivial things that shouldn’t be as important as civic duty and getting to the real bottom of our situation, the situation of humanity slowly being subjugated. Well it is taking a long time for these fuckers to subjugate us to any real purpose. What have these bastards gained as of yet? Power over an unruly bunch of weirdos who don’t pay tribute or even properly fear them? And how long have they been at it? Doesn’t seem like much fun.

Bread and circuses on the other hand, that seems like the real fun. They’re putting on these shows to distract us and we’re lapping it up, because who wouldn’t? I’m sure these Illuminati motherfuckers are pissed that no one is putting on circuses for them. I would be.

Shit what else is there to do but be entertained? I’m talking about a rich society, like the United States or Western Europe or China, places where you don’t have to worry about eating. Once humans got the whole eating thing figured out, well what else is there for a life to do? That’s the problem with life, if we think about it from an evolutionary standpoint. All life seems to want to perpetuate life. The way to do that is to live long enough to reproduce. The way to live a long time is to be good at getting something to eat.

Well once we figured out how to do that well of course we’re bored as shit and depressed. I’ve got food all over this house and I’m bored with all of it. I could go outside and eat a five course meal out of the nearest trash can. Mother fuckers ain’t got to strain the brain around here to eat. So you get entertainment. Something’s got to distract you from the fact that there’s nothing to do but wait for death.

At least I don’t believe in eternal life any more. That would be true hell. Can you imagine, billions of billions of years go by and you’re sitting around thinking god damn, well I guess I’ve done just about everything I can think of. Good thing I have as much time to do nothing as I started with. A trillion years later you’re like fuck it dude I wish I could just go to sleep and not wake up.

Life is just tiresome. That was the biggest thing that scared me when I was a Christian. I just would think about the fact that I would always be alive and it would scare the shit out of me. It’s not the idea of having to live every day, because you can just do that day to day and not think about it, it’s just the concept of eternity that scared me. Humans just lack the capacity to comprehend eternity at this point. My parents thought I was crazy for fearing eternal life. My sister told me that she just couldn’t comprehend dying, nothingness, so eternal life just made sense to her. But that’s only the opposite side of the same coin. Nothing and eternity are two concepts of which our brains have no experience.

But I guess if I had the perfect day, and I could just do that for eternity, it just wouldn’t occur to me that I was living forever. The perfect day would be something like…

My body is nineteen years old, but I know everything that an eighty year old knows. I don’t want to know what a 90 year old knows because that’s what made Odin hang himself. I wake up because the sun is so bright in the window I can’t sleep in any more. I go outside and it’s slightly chilly, with the promise of getting warmer soon, but not hot. You know that palpable sense of electricity, excitement that you sometimes get in the morning, of if you’re like me, you remember it from that one time when you were a kid.

I get in a convertible muscle car that’s just parked in the driveway and maybe my best friend is there, in the house somewhere. We both slept in our clothes because we had a perfect day yesterday and were too drunk to change. But that perfect day is just a memory, it never really happened, because tonight we’re not going to do that, we just talk about what happened and it was so funny and awesome.

And we drive to a basketball court and we play basketball all day and we win. And then we drive with a bunch of people to some restaurant or a diner and we eat. And then we go back and play ultimate frisbee somewhere and we really really win this time. And then we just sit down when it gets dark. And we start drinking right there and it’s so nice out that we just want to laugh and laugh and that’s what we do. And we drink and laugh and think about what we’re going to do tomorrow. And we talk about what we did last night, but we didn’t really do anything last night but this, but we have different memories about what we did so it doesn’t seem like we’re living the same perfect day every day, and we talk about those memories and what we plan to do, even though we’ll never have to do it. And then we fall asleep there on the grass and no bugs crawl on our face. And in the morning we wake up at home in exactly the same way and we do the same thing, but we don’t remember it that way.

I could live like that forever I guess, but obviously that’s cheating, since we would have no real notion of the passing of time, since time is a construct of memory (if not in most ways, definitely in some ways). Memory is the key to everything. To life and our experience of it and what we believe. It’s the foundation of life. Without memory there is no life. Without someone to talk about your shared memories with, or preferably a lot of people with diverse shared memories, life is dismal.

But anyway, back to the conspiracy theorists. I wish to hell the god damn Illuminati would get on their shit and really take fully over the whole world and just churn out seven hour long Mad Men episodes and give us food for free. They can have all the military command and legions and high civic offices or whatever the hell else they want, my soul, fuck it, just give me something to watch and something to eat.

4 thoughts on “Bread and Circuses

  1. … but, you already have something to eat, as you already said your house is full of food. And while there aren’t seven hour long Mad Men episodes you can get 7 consecutive hours (or longer) online *snaps* just like that. We are already living the life you want… why do you need the illuminati to take over? Or, did I miss something, which is likely because I was busy sweeping my phone for bugs… wait, did you hear that click?

    • Nice. Definitely heard it. Life’s great here except I have to spend most of my waking hours at work, but I just wish the Illuminati would take over the whole world so the less fortunate folks had nothing but bread and circuses, too, but they’re still starving in some places.

      • See, I did miss it. You want bread and circusses for everyone because right now there are still people who don’t even have that. Got it. Good plan, bring on the fucking illuminati.

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