Who Says Terrorist Don’t Have A Sense Of Humour

We usually think of terrorists as a pretty dour, intense lot of buggers, and that especially applies to those whose cause is defined by religious fanaticism. Thus nobody expects much irony, satire or parody from the ISIS fighters in the middle east. They do provide a kind of slapstick at times, but it is not intentional, so it is a surprise to find the movement does have a rather wonderful sense of Irony, as this story demonstrates.

ISIS Puts Captured Roman Amphitheatre Back Into Use as Venue for Execution as Entertainment

Source: The Independent

Good to see the Judean Peoples’ Front still talking the talk down there (Image source)

A Roman ampitheatre has been returned to its original use as a venue for public execution of prisoners before an audience. For the first time in many centuries, killing people has become a form of popular entertainment after ISIS forces captured the classical ruins at Palmyra.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports up to twenty prisoners, mostly captured Syrian soldiers who tried to defend the historic site from the Islamic State fighters were put to death before an audience of militants and locals. The human rights group states the people executed in the amphitheatre were among approximately 70 people executed in the area so far.

The 2,000 year-old amphitheatre is in the ruins of a city which is considered one of the most important architectural sites in the world.

The deliberate destruction caused to other ancient monuments captured by the Islamic State has caused widespread concern worldwide over the future of the UNESCO listed world heritage site at Palmyra.

Many relics of ancient middle eastern civilizations have been smashed with pneumatic drills and sledgehammers, blown up or bulldozed.

The execution of captive soldiers and criminals as a spectator sport was widespread in ampitheatres across the Roman world from the reign of emperor Augustus (31 BC – AD 14). Criminals were sometimes required to act in plays where characters were required to actually die on stage, while others were required to fight wild animals or trained gladiators.

yApprentice: The Roman Circus rides again

Nice to see the Roman Circus Apprentice back on our screens last night with the usual cast of cliche merchants, one trick ponies and headless chickens.

Pity the Bulgarian lass had to go, she was quite attractive but motormouthed her way out when another contestant was already halfway through the door. Still, she will always make a nice living from her people trafficking business.

It is more plainly visible than in previous years that the contestants are more iterested in fifteem miutes of fame and a future as a presenter of the shopping channel than in any job or business opportunity that might be on offer. For what other reason would these allegedly well educated and successful young people people refer to themselves as ‘the blonde assassin’, ‘a shark’, ‘a reflection of perfection’ sexually suggestive descriptors. One knob (the potential cliche merchant of the year) even said he believes success is ‘caught not taught’. What, like the clap?

Lord Sugar himself has fallen victim to grandiose delusions. I want to be Lennon to your McCartney he said. Well it’s better than Dec to your Ant, Scooby Doo to your Shaggy or Dappy to your Tulisa.

With the contestants divided by gender the teams had to sell crap to tourists. It was an ideal task for a shark or a bunch of hyenas and the blokes duly won despite thge usually infallible Nick Hewer having described the girls as a pack of braying hyenas.

Ayem there’s the rub you see. Feminists may moan about the business world being male dominated but the apprentice shows why it is so. Put in a competitive situalion, cast as the equivalent of stone age hunters, the men cooperate as stone age hunters had to against their bigger, stronger, faster, more deadly prey. Cooperation is the key to survival.

In such a situation however, instead of focusing on beating the opposing team, the women turn on each other, attacking like a flock of harpies when they spy weakness or vulnerability.

And like the audience at a Roman Circus we look on, fascinated.

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Bread And Circuses TV (more reality from the celebrity jungle)

Boggart Blog has said it before (we probably haven’t but who remembers every word we have ever published?) but the march of civilisation has definitely gone into reverse. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the field of low budget “reality” television or Bread and Circuses TV as it is known in the office here. B&CTV, so called in memory of the Roman blogger Juvenal who said bread and circuses were the only concerns of a decadent population in a decaying empire.

The phrase was credited to Emperor Antonius Blairus who allegedly said on being told the people ere revolting replied “Well give then bread and circuses.” Juvenal however was not as reliable a source as Boggart Blog and might have made it up. It is noteworthy though that Blairus did not say “Give them wine and circuses, at least he learned the lesson of the twenty – four hour drinking debacle and did nothing further to encourage binge drinking.

We cannot comment on the bread that was provided except to say it was probably not at all like a Sainsbury’s white sliced. Roman circuses however are documented in goreious detail and what a spectacle they must have been. Not of your pratting about with jugglers and acrobats, the major attractions were almost as frightening as modern clowns.

There were fights to the death featuring hamstringing, amputations, disembowelling and beheading, there were lions and tigers fighting Christians, bears and bulls fighting pagans, lions and tigers fighting bears and bulls, pagans fighting each other (top of the bill that one.) and for the grand finale, lions, tigers, bears, bulls and pagans all fighting each other in a cage filled with the squelchy bits of disembowelled Christians.

At any time during the fights anyone (including audience members) who did not like fighting (this meant Christians) could shout “I’m a Christian, disembowel me honourably,” and they would be rescued from the arena and taken away to be crucified and disembowelled for the amusement of people who could not afford the two sesterces entrance fee.

Another Roman entertainment that has inspired at modern ritual humiliation reality TV show was Gladiatr – X Factor in which novice Gladiators would fight for their lives, a gladius of their own and a contract to disembowel anyone who displeased the Emperor. Each week the surviving Gladiators would face a public vote and the one who had least support would be led to the dias and disembowelled in front of the Imperial box. The most popular part of Gladiatr – X Factor were the first auditions. At this stage the audience could laugh at the efforts of complete imbeciles with dodgy haircuts to handle swords, spears, tridents and nets or long poles with nails in the end. The best thing about these clownish performances was that some of the applicants “wanted it so much” they would continue fighting with almost severed arms, legs or heads flopping about and body organs spilling from ineptly inflicted disembowelling moves. The Romans really knew how to enjoy themselves.

Reality Television with its cruelty and ritual humiliation is just a high tech version of Roman circuses. The sight of Katy Price having liquid shit poured over her, drinking lizard smoothies, eating worms, beetles, eyeballs and a Kangaroo’s dick appeals to exactly the base instincts as a disembowelling or the entertainment spectacle where they tied a criminal’s right hand and foot to one chariot and left hand and foot to another, hitched up a team of stallions to each and then banged the horses bollocks between two bricks so that the crim was torn in half as the horses set off at full gallop. Hasn’t Richard Hammond already done something like that on Top Gear though?

How much lower can the lowest common denominator , you might well ask…

A lot lower, trust us.

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