Monday, May 16, 2005

History 101 - Bread and Circuses

Today's Lesson: Bread and Circuses.

In order to keep the people of London from becoming too too unhappy with their lives, the government provided them with enough food (bread) so they wouldn't starve and enough entertainment (circuses) so they would be amused.

The most famous of all the circuses in London was 'Rib Fest', held at Victoria Square each year. Before nearly 25,000 cheering fans, the slaves of the region would fight for the uneaten portions of the elite. Typically, the scraps would be tossed into a roped off ring, positioned in the middle of the square. Women and children were likely to be killed. It was a dangerous but exciting sport.

Londoners also gathered at the JLC, a large state of the art arena that seated over 9000 people. Here Londoners watched gladiators, panhandlers or animals captured by the cities animal control unit fight to the death. Gladiators were slaves, criminals, or terrorists who were trained to fight for the amusement of the spectators. London was often the proud sponsor of the national championships. [1]


Every five years Londoners would be treated to the election of city council. Prospective candidates would gather at the JLC and who ever was left standing would gain control of the city for the term. Due to his size, Gord Hume was successful for many terms. Tom Gosnell and Anne-Marie DeCicco also held power for many consecutive terms because they cheated; [2] in exchange for political contributions to the Liberal party, developers received vast sums of money to strike down the competitors from the stands with heavy objects. The appointment of a human rights specialist did nothing to prevent such abuse. [3]


Many Londoners had a lot of free time to go to Victoria Square and the JLC. This was because most of their work was done by slaves. Slaves were the labourers of the municipal world. Most of the slaves lived in housing projects run by Susan Eagle. [4] They worked as retailers, farmers, builders, craftspeople, house servants, and even teachers. Just like other commodities, they were sold in the marketplace, where prospective buyers could inspect them.

Although a few slaves rose to positions of privilege and some were able to purchase their freedom, most slaves led miserable lives paying for the entertainment of the rest. The conditions under which they lived and worked were totally dependent on their owners.

Not surprisingly, there were many slave revolts throughout the city. The most famous of these was led by a man named John Clarke in 2012 AD [5]. A group of seventy-eight slaves escaped from a school run with money from the federal universal daycare fund and chose him as their leader. News of their escape spread throughout London and soon many other slaves rushed to join them. Eventually, Clarke commanded an army of 120,000 slaves who looted many of the local grocery stores [6], clubbing descenters with picket signs.


John Clarke. A man repeatedly seen with foam coming from the corners of his mouth

Even an army this great in size could not withstand the power of London city council. In the end, Clarke's army was defeated and many of those not killed in battle were executed, including six thousand who were nailed to crosses along the main road to the JLC. Those not killed were confined to Fanshawe Pioneer Concentration camp.

Although slavery was vital to the economy of London, the inhumane practice also played its part in the downfall of the empire, as the slaves had no love for London and had no desire to protect its power. The eventual fall of London took place shortly after the implementation of the Creative Cities program. [7]

2 comments:

The Atavist said...

Great stuff. What an imagination! You're a hoot, Lisa. I think that you should be designated a National Treasure and guaranteed funding for your efforts via the Canada Council or some such. Unlike the usual bozos who sponge off the taxpayer, you actually serve a useful purpose. You make me laugh.

In keeping with political tradition in Canada, if it's worth doing, it's worth overdoing, which means that I would feel perfectly justified in having every taxpayer foot the bill for your services rather than having me simply become your patron and supporting your efforts myself.

Isn't this a great country?

Keep it up!

MapMaster said...

Actually, we're going to put in an application for Lisa to be London's artist-in-residence when the Creative Cities proposal is passed. If accepted, the city would be promoting community service at last.