Don’t get me wrong, I’ve enjoyed participating and watching sports and entertainment since I was a kid.
That said, about a year or so after 9/11, I started to notice something in our (American) culture that began to disturb me. What enraged a nation to war just a short sixty years before (not just the politicians in government, but the people on the farms and in the cities throughout the nation) now gets forgotten, or becomes nothing more than a meme to give lip service to before promptly going on to the next “circus” in a relative blink of an eye.
These are very close parallels…scary ones…with the late Roman Empire. The games became the important thing. The important things began to get pushed to the side, or delegated to a bloated, wasteful regulatory nightmare of a “government” who would take care of the people. People became MORE disinterested in the world around them and completely engrossed in what, in reality were nothing more than distractions that meant…nothing.
I completely understand that people by and large don’t care about the big things all that much. What is happening close to home is, of course, common sense, and sometimes the big things are just too big to easily digest mentally.
But to completely forget the bigger things…or better yet, IGNORE the the bigger issues in place of vacuous idiots on television, sporting idols who couldn’t survive a week on a construction job due to the lack of braincells and the latest scandals that are blown so far out of proportion to make one wonder just WHY the stuff is news in the first place…well at that point one has to wonder how much longer before the “tipping point” is reached.
As time has progressed, what is important has evolved more and more into Entertainment FIRST, and important things only if we have time or inclination…or if an ice water bucket is available.
As I observed these things, the result was that I began to lose interest in a lot of the circuses that fill people’s thoughts and time.
Call it a change in mindset, but I care far less about ‘games’, celebrity, and entertainment. I still enjoy these distractions, but they occupy a much smaller portion of my life.
As a writer of fiction, I AM in the entertainment business. BUT, understanding the difference between “fun/leisure” and “things that truly matter” is far more important.
I’ll leave this entry with something I came across recently while searching for pictures for another post. Pretty much sums it up for me: