Bread and circus

With tonight, my sons have been to the symphony twice in their lives. This year, it was the symphony playing along with a rock band doing David Bowie’s hits. Last year, the same symphony played the soundtracks of Looney Tunes shown on a giant screen above them.

Each time, I could see the thought bubbles over the string section players’ heads: “I went to conservatory for this?” 

Amid the temples, statuary and other high art of imperial Rome, what was it the people compelled the emperors to give them? Ah, yes. Circus Maximus. Wine. The Colosseum. And the people were right. Tonight was fun.


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