Profoundly poignant axioms can often be found in episodes of The Twilight Zone.
One such example: In the episode entitled The Mirror, the main character, Ramos Clemente, played by a young Peter Falk (and acted exceptionally well, I might add), is a South American revolutionary (essentially a Fidel Castro doppelgänger).
As Clemente is speaking of the easily manipulated people he now finds himself dictator over (and how to control them) he utters this maxim:
“The entertainment must be varied. Must be constant change. You fill their stomachs and you empty their brains. They have cheap tastes and short memories.”
This axiom is as true today as it was over 50 years ago when this episode first aired.
“Bread and Circuses” was how Rome kept its subjects distracted and obedient and it’s how modern day Americans are kept distracted and obedient.
Here’s an excerpt from my time travel story, The Visitor. It’s a conversation between two characters that takes place on the day JFK is assissinated in 1963:
“Bread and circuses,” Theodore answered. “As long as the people are fed and entertained, they will care about little else.”
“America is not Rome.”
“Not yet. But within the next couple generations Americans will become so distracted by various gratifications that they won’t realize their government revoked most of their liberties. And by the time they recognize what’s happened, it will be too late. They’ll awaken to discover that they’ve amused themselves to death.”
Rome, Ramos Clemente, and modern day America prove that we never learn from history.