It is easy to be critical of mass democracy, but the Super Bowl shows how powerful it is at controlling the masses. More people care about why Travis Kelce wore a suit made from garbage bags than the fact Joe Biden is non compos mentis. More important, it encourages the masses to empty their wallets in order to see the next show that the ruling elite will stage for them……..The masses think their voice matters, but in reality, no one cares, just as long as they pay full price for their ticket.
“One of the novel things about this age is the role played by carnival acts in reinforcing public morality and shaping public opinion. With the exception of ancient Athens, human societies assigned entertainers a low status. After all, we still have the expression, “run away to the circus”, even though we no longer have the circus. The idea behind that expression is you reach such a degraded state that you literally leave decent society and join the low status world of the circus.
In modern America and the West in general, the circus not only plays a central role in society, but the circus performers also have enormous influence. So much so, in fact, the most powerful people want to be friends with the popular carnies. Every president has a stream of carnies coming through the White House, often attending state dinners with important foreign leaders. Carnies have even turned up in Ukraine, getting a special welcome by the Ukrainian dictator.
Of course, we have just had the biggest circus event on the American calendar, which is the Super Bowl, the title game of the NFL. According to the people in charge, almost all Americans stop what they are doing to watch the spectacle. The Super Bowl party has become something of an industry. Americans spend over $15 billion on parties that host three quarters of all adults. Naturally, all the important carnies seek a way to be part of what is the biggest carnie act of the year.
It is popular to compare the Super Bowl to the Roman games, maybe even dusting off Juvenal’s line about bread and circuses. There is some truth to that, but the Roman games were nothing compared to American entertainment. The games were a distraction for the masses and important people, but the performers were never treated like the modern celebrity or athlete. The performers in the arena were low status and important people made sure they remained so.
This is the great innovation of America. Entertainment has become a church at which the morality of the day is preached to the audience. It is easy to see at the Super Bowl, where moral messaging is everywhere. In the end zones there was a message about ending racism, a hobgoblin of the modern elites. There were ads about other hobgoblins like antisemitism, bullying and Gaia. They have your attention, so they make sure to let you know what you ought and ought not be doing.
Then you have the appeals to unity, by which they mean conformity. At the start of the game, you get patriotic songs. They even have something called the “The Black National Anthem” which is supposed to shame whites and remind them they can never be forgiven for the sin of whiteness. In a prior age, parishioners were told they were at the mercy of an angry God. Today they are told they are at the mercy of angry minorities, which is far more terrifying than an angry god.
When these songs are played at the start of the game, the players, who should only care about winning, make themselves cry and look moved by the program. This is where you see the supremacy of carny life. The star players know this game is really an audition for them to join the media circus or possibly get a brand going so they can be a celebrity past their playing career. Everyone wants to run away to the circus, even people already in the circus.
You see the warping power of the circus with the public romance of Chiefs player Kelce Travis and middle-aged warbler Taylor Swift. She is a super famous pop star, but she can always be more famous, so dating a famous sports star, especially one who gets to perform in the big circus, is good business. The NFL loves it and makes sure to feature this totally authentic romance in their shows. Any bets on whether these two love birds manage to build a life together?
All of this is the product of democracy. In theory, democracy is about convincing fifty percent plus one. In order to do that, you need to get the attention of the public, which is why celebrity becomes the coin of the democratic realm. The only way you can have a chance to influence anyone is by getting on the stage and you do that by getting everyone’s attention. Carnies live to get attention, so it does not take long before they take center stage in the democratic process.
It is why our politicians are mostly actors playing a role. The producers of the political shows are no different from the people who make movies, television shows or produce extravaganzas like the Super Bowl. They select people who can play the role, which often means picking people who will not question the script. Oklahoma senator James Lankford was picked because he is not smart enough to question things. He looks the part, and he reads his lines. That is why he is in the Senate.
It is easy to be critical of mass democracy, but the Super Bowl shows how powerful it is at controlling the masses. More people care about why Travis Kelce wore a suit made from garbage bags than the fact Joe Biden is non compos mentis. More important, it encourages the masses to empty their wallets in order to see the next show that the ruling elite will stage for them. Mass democracy is where the ruling elite charge the masses to be the masses.
For most of human history, carnies were relegated to the fringes of society because the running of society was too important to do otherwise. Today the running of society is over on the fringes, in the shadows where no one looks, because the carnies are now at the center of society. Maybe this is how the great experiment with participatory government is supposed to end. The masses think their voice matters, but in reality, no one cares, just as long as they pay full price for their ticket.”
The fact that 75% of all American adults attend Super Bowl parties is devastating, it’s an utter condemnation of the mental state of the USA population