Thursday, February 8, 2007

Coliseum Worthy Battle?

I’ve never been a HUGE fan of the Super bowl. As you all know my pigskin predilections tend toward Collegiate rather than the professional athletes of the sport but nonetheless with Da Bears making their first championship appearance in several decades and an all Midwestern bowl game – I had to watch. So I settled myself down, engulfed in The Russian’s oversized college sweatshirt, some boxer shorts and my fuzzy zebra print slippers (yes – I looked hot), opened up a Yuengling and prepared for a good match up. 

And with an opening 92 yard return to score a touchdown in thd first 20 seconds of the game – I thought – we’re in for one hellava game…or one hellava blood blath. Either way – should be fun.

Well, I was wrong. 

Well before Prince – or the artist formerly known as – took the stage for a less than memorable purple-clad freak show – I was yawning in my beer. So thank goodness for my entertainment salvation of the evening – ROME. 

ROME – that ancient republic, oratorical Mecca, hedonistic breeding ground, and now top-rated HBO series – you saved me from two more quarters of over-hyped, disinterested Sunday evening mediocrity. 

But, Scarlett, how could an HBO series could possibly surpass the Super bowl on the A/V meter 'o entertainment? You may ask? 

Please indulge me as I enumerate the reasons why HBO's ROME surpassed Superbowl XLI

FCC squashed all nudity and sexually inappropriate humor or content making the entertainment surrounding the athletic displays child friendly and adult sedating Nudity that would make even Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction look a mere trifle at a Sunday school gathering
Taking dozens of uniformed, padded down men, putting them in an arena, and setting them loose over a footballTaking dozens of scantily clad men, putting them in an arena, and …well anything goes!
Bears vs. ColtsRedheaded Power Struggle
Peyton Manning avoiding being sackedAtia of the Julii avoiding being poisoned
Half-time show involves Prince singing his rendition Proud MaryHalf-time show involves sniveling spy getting beaten to a bloody pulp because "if the confession isn't obtained through torture, it's not legal"
Five turnovers due to slippery hands and in climate weather4 turnovers as Octavian defeats Mark Antony and begins his march into ROME; Atia thwarts Servilia's attempt at murder; Servilia is saved by the corrupt Jewish servant who seeks redemption; Verenus is found and saves his children

This striking comparison begs the question – have we advanced as a society and as a species or deteriorated over time? Clearly we have evolved if we are entertained by merely the tossing and running of a ball vs. mutilation by wild animals, and literal mortal combat for our amusement. We now reserve those activities as pastimes of the statesmen rather than of the citizens – a spectacle best viewed in private and away from the huddled masses.
Additionally – who’s to say we have actually evolved when we no longer require actual human sacrifices to get our daily fill of violence? When we are now capable of satiating our hunger for those deeds to which gladiators owe their fame through special effects, high definition TV and the imagination of screenwriters, directors and Steven Spielberg.

Frankly, I would be curious to explore just why this is – that we seek to see such horrors in order to be entertained – ROME, 24, The Sopranos. Is it because these scenes depict actions and violence we ourselves are incapable or unwilling to inflict on others? Or perhaps it makes us feel fortunate about our every day lives that no matter how bad they get….we’re not being fed to the lions…not literally anyway.

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