Thursday 3 June 2010


I just finished watching season one of 'Spartacus Blood and Sand' on Starz. Holy naked soft porn blood fest!! And that is a mild interpretation of the show (if you are weak hearted or consider yourself chaste, trust me, the show is NOT for you). But if you love a fair amount of cheesy dialogue, men wearing loin cloths, and a high dosage of action, then you may want to check it out for a laugh. In short, it is a show about Gladiators who live in a ludus – a nice Roman way of saying slave camp - and are in training to fight to their deaths for the sport of entertaining the masses. It’s very uplifting. :-) In the meantime, there is sex galore – slaves with masters, gladiators with slaves, slaves with slaves, masters with masters – you name it. And before you start thinking my mind is utterly in the gutter and I only watch to see the lead actor's abs (well, that is a very compelling reason as the man is HOT), there is of course a nice dose of politics, revenge and an overall depiction of Roman life back then. Apparently they did their homework and have done their best to show how it truly was in those times. We think we’re hedonistic animals now, well hold onto your hats, the Romans make us look like a bunch of sissy nuns. 

After watching so many episodes chock full of blood and gore, it’s hard not to be somewhat appalled at our history of behavior, I mean how barbaric were we??? That is clearly rhetorical as I just have to look at our history of mass genocides, executions, and enslavements to get my answer. In the Roman's case, they literally turned men into animals and put them in a ring with all sorts of frightening killing tools and said have at it! (hmmm, wait, we do that, less the tools, Tyson v. Holyfield springs to mind) And the crowd loves every second of watching two men – sometimes they send in a team cause four on one is so sexy apparently – rip each other to shreds.

And the thing is, in today’s times, we can pretend we’ve evolved, and those barbaric times are far in our past, but let’s be honest, we’re not that far removed from such behavior, we’ve just tailored it to make it a bit less overt. On a smaller, tamer scale, we still have the outlets to unleash our animalistic aggression: WWF, Boxing, Football, Cage Fighting, bare knuckle fighting…you name it, we have some sort of sport that allows men to beat the crap out of each other. 

On a human level, one just has to peruse CNN on a daily basis to know that the setting may have changed i.e. we use our stadiums now for more milder forms of sport – but humans are still acting depraved and barbaric. And I’m not just talking about the nut job crazy ones that eat people or commit mass murders in the most heinous of ways; politicians & generals are still carrying out mass genocide in the name of something: peace, religion etc. and pretending like this massive loss of life is just a casualty of present day living. I mean, look at the the confines of war; men are sent in, dressed in outfits, armed with killing tools, and told to kill 'the enemy' (and that is often defined in some very loose terms). And this is all in the name of freedom of least the Romans were upfront about their desire to kill – ‘screw it, we don’t need a reason, it’s just fun. Pass the grapes!!’

I also can't help but think that if women were in more positions of power, the amount of aggression in the world would decline sharply. Fine, every man claims we're hormonal and occasionally crazy (okay, so we are) and so it would be a more emotional world - hey at least we can identify an emotion!! - but statistically we're far less violent and likely to commit violent crimes, we're more squeamish around blood, and the extent of our confrontations would be a bit of name calling and hair pulling instead of mass bloodshed....although, thinking of it, I bet Hillary Clinton could wield one hell of a sword. I'm sure old Bill has come to losing his head on several occasions. 


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