What's everybody's take on the new Pope?<quoted text>
Yes, it is. I can't help thinking of a mid-level drug dealer, who a...uh...friend to the people in the 'hood, paying their electric bills, buying them fancy clothes, etc. He'd be a much better friend to them BY NOT SELLING DRUGS, but as long as he keeps them happy with expensive pacifiers, they're not likely to care or even notice.
And then there's this, found it on the 'Net just now:
In Juvenal's time (55-127 A.D.)...the power of the emperors grew stronger and stronger. The once proud Senate...atrophied into a figurehead of an institution. However, Juvenal felt that the populace took the duties of citizenship far more seriously during the days of the Republic than in the virtual dictatorships of the Caesars.
He lamented that "the people that once bestowed commands, consulships, legions, and all else, now meddle no more and longs eagerly for just two things bread and circuses."
Those scornful words "bread and circuses,"...become more meaningful when you understand that Roman citizens became increasingly addicted to free distributions of food and the violent gladiatorial...contests held in the Coliseum ...He felt that Romans had lost the capacity to govern themselves so distracted by mindless self-gratification had they become.
Thus, bread and circuses, is a phrase now used to deplore a population so distracted with entertainment and personal pleasures (sometimes by design of those in power) that they no longer value the civic virtues and bow to civil authority with unquestioned obedience. Bread and Circuses has also become a general term for government policies that seek short-term solutions to public unrest.
Unfortunately, Juvenal's words apply quite strikingly to the United States...