Aug 15

Bread & Circus

by Michael Grover

Bread and Circuses” (or bread and games) (from Latin: panem et circenses) is a metaphor for a superficial means of appeasement. It was the basic Roman formula for the well-being of the population, and hence a political strategy unto itself. In the case of politics, the phrase is used to describe the creation of public approval, not through exemplary or excellent public service or public policy, but through diversion, distraction, and/or the mere satisfaction of the immediate, shallow requirements of a populace. The phrase also implies the erosion or ignorance of civic duty amongst the concerns of the common man (l’homme moyen sensuel). -Wikipedia

I am growing tired
Of the daily ration
Of bread & circus
All decked out in patriotism
Constantly transmitted
Where the loud & obnoxious
Rule over the kingdom
The constantly dramatic
It’s all just a show
Still I find myself constantly
Looking over
I watch gladiators in the ring
                                        on the gridiron
It’s all just a show

I am sick of this plastic
They keep feeding us
& saying it’s food
Keep pumping us full of
Chemicals ready to pop
I have regurgitated humanity
I have given up on people
Wanting a better World
& you can call this bitter
But the truth is
Elusive at best
It all leaves a bad aftertaste
I have to get fucked up
To write this Poem
How fucked up is that

I am sick of the fact
That all this could cause cancer
Anything could cause cancer
This might cause aggressive behavior
This might just bore the shit out of you
Stupid ego of the Poem
Contents under pressure
Ready to blow
Shake well before opening

Today I took a walk on the beach
Just a couple of miles
I got lost in the World
In the ocean
In the birds
In my father
In the beautiful women
In the sunshine
Just to remember how empty I feel
We walked around without shoes
Everyone else passing us by
Walking at our own pace
We were quite comfortable in it
I forgot there was a World
Outside of there
So full of strife
& at that moment
The World was beautiful again
I had to get fucked up just to write this
How fucked up is that

I am sick of maintaining
After this steady diet of shock & awe
                                        oppression & hopelessness
A steady diet of nothing
It just makes you feel full
It just makes you feel good
It just makes you
The pharmaceuticals
I’m not telling anyone how to feel
I’m just saying you are not alone
Are you happy
Is it just the drugs
This illusion
This pressure that’s been building
This self medication
These jobs that we cling to for life
Do they define us
Do we define ourselves

Are you tired of this bread & circus
This war on the mind
This marketing barrage
This violence done upon us
Change the channel
Turn off