Saturday, September 02, 2006

Classics Watch

In today's Philadelphia Inquirer there are at least two Classics references. The first is from a letter to the editor:

It's quite a commentary on the state of America today that a major network feels a race-baiting reality show is good for prime time and a newspaper's Editorial Board tells its readers they "shouldn't be reluctant to watch" it.

The real question is: Why is such a blatant prime-time racial provocation any worse than much of the garbage American TV viewers already support with their viewing and consumer habits? The Romans had gladiator matches as part of the "bread and circus" that kept the Roman citizenry from asking too many questions about what was really going on. Survivor and other TV reality competitions may not be as violent as Roman gladiator games, but they seem to serve the same purpose.

Maybe it's only a matter of time before the impresarios of wrestling link up with the impresarios of reality TV to meld into a modern gladiator show as in the days of old, featuring strapping representatives of all the races beating the hell out of each other.

As the nation heads for its destiny - avoiding engagement with its tremendous indebtedness, its addiction to oil and its militaristic hubris - let the games begin!

The second is in the crossword puzzle, where the answer for the clue 'Roman magistrates' is 'praetors', except they make you spell it 'pretors'.

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