Modern Day Bread and Circuses

We have devolved back to the latter days of the Roman Empire here in America, figuratively speaking. People have become so self-absorbed in their daily lives, gadgets, friends, clothes, etc. that the state of the country seems to no longer matter to them.

None other than the Super Bowl and FIFA World Cup epitomize the state of mind for many Americans. The ‘circuses’ of soccer, football, baseball, hockey, etc. have become more important and pertinent than the innumerable scandals that are plaguing the government. These scandals are something that should concern every citizen of this country, but rather we turn on ESPN and yell and scream when Brazil, Germany, Italy, or the United States scores a goal.


The 2014 Super Bowl set a record for the most watched television broadcast in history, with 108.41 million viewers. The World Cup, though not as popular as the Super Bowl, has put quite a dent into previous records for the famous ‘futbol’ tournament.

ABC15 Arizona– This year, an average of 18.2 million Americans tuned in to ESPN to watch the World Cup game between the U.S. and Portugal, according to Nielsen numbers released by the network. That game also broke a record for the most-viewed U.S. match on Univision Deportes, with 6.5 million viewers.

And as for our obsession with material things, sports are dwarfed. In 2013, the United Nations published a statistic that found out of 7 billion people on earth, 6 billion had access to mobile phones. On the flip side, only 4.5 billion have access to working toilets.

Just let that sink in for a moment…

Forbes also found that more than half of American adults have smart phones, much to the delight of Apple and Google. And who could look around for a minute without seeing half the people around you with their heads buried in a phone or tablet?

We love our stuff. We are, in fact, addicted to it. I admit myself, I can’t help but check for emails and notifications every now and then throughout the day on my phone. I do, however, do my best to avoid mindlessly staring at anything that I can manage to bring up on my browser.

Are you mad? Do you think I hate sports and technology? Well you would be very wrong on both ends there.

I love sports. I played baseball for nearly 13 years. I love technology. It has enabled me to write up this very article and to research statistics for my projects and debates.

However, all of these things have a time and a place for usage. The important things in life must come first. Respecting other people when you talk to them; look them in the eye, but the phone away.

When your government has admitted to targeting people based on their viewpoints, perhaps it’s time to put your freaking phone down and just let that sink in.

“Do I believe something the government doesn’t like? Maybe I’ll be targeted. Perhaps I should do some research on this, and talk with people to raise awareness.”

“Geez, down on the border there are deadly diseases and murderous drug cartels that are invading my country. Why are we simply letting this go on? What have I done to allow this to happen? Is there some sort of accountability on my end (and believe me, there is for all of us)?”

This is what the mentality should be with what is going on. However, we have just the opposite.

“Germany beat the USA! What the hell man!”

“I can’t wait for Brazil vs. Chile today!” (Implicit ignorance of due diligence included).

This is not about sports though. It is not about technology. These things are all amazing parts of our lives that break up the monotony of work and everyday life. But, as I previously stated, there is a time and a place for all of these things.

In the age of information, ignorance is not just inexcusable, it is a willful choice. With the swipe of your thumb, you can search anything your mind can think of. Why not take a look at things that have a real effect on the world besides sports?

Keeping an informed perspective is extremely important to have if the American populace wishes to remain a free society. Or maybe it has come to the point where we just want our stuff and sports. I don’t know, sometimes it certainly seems that way.

Views expressed are not put forth or endorsed by Red Millennial.


3 thoughts on “Modern Day Bread and Circuses

  1. We Americans don’t follow the politics enough. It’s okay to be cynical. Yes, it is true that there is a lot of corruption and shenanigans. However, it is still very important to follow what is going on in the world around us. A lot of Americans forget that sports has a lot of corruption too. Maybe not as much as government, but it is more important to follow government and politics because whether you like it or not, it has a significant impact on your life.

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