“And this again is typifying the end of an empire. Where things were so great, we have this last oomph of momentum that we used to be great, and we felt great, and we don’t feel it anymore. So everyone is out searching for it. Well, maybe it’s in the best food, or the best clothes, or the best music, or the best movies, or a reality TV show, or another magazine. But you can never get enough of what you don’t need. What you need is a strong moral conviction that is pervasive throughout the society and integrity reigns.”
Have you ever contemplated why the West has witnessed an increasing obsession with food, cooking, and celebrity chefs?
Or why we are obsessed with sports, and why sportsmen who once held regular jobs through the week, are now celebrities earning millions?
A multi award-winning new documentary explores the end of empires, the signs of those times, and how it has come to be that the modern day Four Horsemen again ride roughshod over the people who can least afford it.
Your humble blogger questions the balance of emphasis given to causal factors (eg, neo-classical economics), and proposed solutions (eg, gold-backed currency).
Those reservations aside, this is verily a “must watch” documentary:
8:00 – Common features of every Age of Decadence
“An undisciplined, over-extended military. The conspicuous display of wealth. A massive disparity between rich and poor. A desire to live off a bloated State. And an obsession with sex. But perhaps the most notorious trait of all is the debasement of the currency.”
10:00 – Sports stars paid like Roman charioteers
“Just as our sports stars today earn vast sums, so too did Roman charioteers. In the 2nd century, one by the name of Gaius Apucleius Diocles amassed a fortune of 35 million sesterces in prize money, equivalent to several billion dollars today.”
11:00 – Chefs disproportionately hallowed as empires decline
“Strangely perhaps, there’s another profession that is disproportionately hallowed as an empire declines. The Romans, the Ottomans, and the Spanish all made celebrities of their chefs.”
And the hunger to rediscover that feeling of greatness goes on; a special feature from BBC News magazine –