Shane Michael Manieri reads his poem, The Bread and Circus is Not Dead.

– Song by M. Brookshire and L. Jaramillo

By Shane Michael Manieri

for W.H. Auden

I sit in my shotgun
Studio on 33rd street
Worried and concerned
About the state of America’s
Politics and leaders.
As the slow, unraveling
Demand of Intelligence
Dissipates: we have become
A nation of sports, trophies,
And beauty pageants.
Our selected few no longer
Beam beacons of light,
But darkness into the cabinet

Education has become scarce,
Breaching the gate
Of Nixon’s flood
That lowered the standards
To under a quarter or just above:
What kind of parasite is this?
I, and we all, know
That the Republic wants to
Keep the poor slap dashing
For independence;
Even Washington knows
That a Government is not about reason,
He said so himself.

And Hamilton, the Father of National Debt,
Thought, “The elite,
Intellectual, aristocracy should rule
The nation.” He was right,
We’re still feasting upon the crumbs
While top hat mentality rules,
The smell of mint still fresh in their minds:
Politicians know what I’m talking about.
Each country looking upon us with anticipation
In hopes that will fly
Up out of the ash like eagles
Craving Bread and Circus

Ruled by roller-coasters and
Tiny little morsels
The Romans knew how to
Keep their people happy,
Their desires fulfilled.
What grave matters dull the mind
Democracy’s under threat
Complacency keeps the time
I’ll speak for the dumb. I’ll rise up!
If all I have is the voice,
Let it be heard.
Let it spread like wild fire
Through the hills and valleys
My courtyard
For this is the land I love
Let the games begin.


7 Responses to “The Bread and Circus is Not Dead”

  1. Joel Miller Says:

    Bread & circuses may not be dead, but thanks to blogs like these, You Tube and the explosion of self-expression opportunities on the Internet, everybody can create their own bread & circuses and shoot as many holes in corporate entertainment as we wish. You can do your part by posting to 3 good blogs a week. Produce a little video and mount it on YouTube, like the person who interviewed all those McCain supporters last week in Bethlehem, PA. The sweetness is in the struggle; the honey is in the rock.

  2. Nick Broad Says:

    Sure, but it doesn’t change the worrying aspect of human nature that gives rise to programs like the Daily Show, the 1/2 Hour News Hour, complete with canned laughter, and Pappa Bear (Bill O’Reilly). Funniest wins? We can do what we want to make the internet a thriving place for politics, but we’ve still got to get the willfully uninformed to come here. So we make it all a bit of a circus.
    And I saw that video too, and that’s just scary. You think they’re into blogs like these?

  3. Nick Broad Says:

    Sorry, here’s that video link.

  4. Staci Says:

    be weary of who you believe in or like..
    it was written that the most appealing
    is the serpent himself.

    love your sis

  5. Shane Michael Manieri Says:

    Sounds like the bible has you smitten, Staci; remember the Tree of Knowledge was not to be eating of; therefore, the bible poses that “knowledge,” not the serpent, is the true evil. (Roman Empires loved this notion. It kept them in power for years). However, I ask you to ponder this, according to some (Eastern) philosophies, which predate the bible, Ignorance is the root of ALL suffering. But don’t believe me or the fact it is written. Think about it yourself. I’m just a writer.

    And since we are on the topic of “writer and what is written.” Is too blasphemous to question writer and his or her words? I have a different view, I think it’s healthy to question words and language, otherwise belief is just blind faith. Perhaps, “It is written” does not actually mean it is “truth.” it could be just an opinion. Like the one I type here. And that’s okay too.

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