Note, to-day, an instructive, curious spectacle and conflict. Science, (twin, in its fields, of Democracy in its)—Science, testing absolutely all thoughts, all works, has already burst well upon the world—a sun, mounting, most illuminating, most glorious—surely never again to set. But against it, deeply entrench'd, holding possession, yet remains, (not only through the churches and schools, but by imaginative literature, and unregenerate poetry,) the fossil theology of the mythic-materialistic, superstitious, untaught and credulous, fable-loving, primitive ages of humanity.
We'd rather have a grand spectacle of retribution of the 'wicked', than their silent walk towards redemption that our wishes questions the depth and nature of our love and hearts.
Believe in truth. To abandon facts is to abandon freedom. If nothing is true, then no one can criticize power, because there is no basis upon which to do so. If nothing is true, then all is spectacle. The biggest wallet pays for the most blinding lights.
Each spring for a period of weeks the imperial gardens were filled with prize tulips (Turkish, Dutch, Iranian), all of them shown to their best advantage. Tulips whose petals had flexed wide were held shut with fine threads hand-tied. Most of the bulbs had been grown in place, but these were supplemented by thousands of cut stems held in glass bottles; the scale of the display was further compounded by mirrors placed strategically around the garden. Each variety was marked with a label made from silver filigree. In place of every fourth flower a candle, its wick trimmed to tulip height, was set into the ground. Songbirds in gilded cages supplied the music, and hundreds of giant tortoises carrying candles on their backs lumbered through the gardens, further illuminating the display. All the guests were required to dress in colors that flattered those of the tulips. At the appointed moment a cannon sounded, the doors to the harem were flung open, and the sultan's mistresses stepped into the garden led by eunuchs bearing torches. The whole scene was repeated every night for as long as the tulips were in bloom, for as long as Sultan Ahmed managed to cling to his throne.
... and isn't the world a treasure in itself? A spectacle glittering every single day, without a concern if anyone's watching or not. It simply goes on, elegantly, letting nature have its way. We only need to open our eyes to witness the biggest masterpiece ever created, the ticket is already in your hand.
The spectacle of what is called religion, or at any rate organised religion, in India and elsewhere, has filled me with horror and I have frequently condemned it and wished to make a clean sweep of it. Almost always it seemed to stand for blind belief and reaction, dogma and bigotry, superstition, exploitation and the preservation of vested interests.
It is not for nothing that an ominous feeling often attaches itself to a procession. In films and stories we see spectacles forming in the street and parades coming from around the corner, and we know to greet then with distrust and apprehension: their intent is still to be revealed.
Suppose every photo of me ever taken was an infinitesimal piece? Every magazine ad, every negative, every frame of motion picture film - another tiny molecule of me, stolen away to feed an audience that is *never* satiated. And when someone is fully consumed - vampirized - they move on, still hungry, to pick their next victim by making him or her a star. That's why they're called consumers. (Red Light)
The smell of hot popcorn drifted upward from the concourse below, lingering in the warm Californian air like an atmospheric irony, and a Jumbotron directly in front of me displayed a blandly handsome announcer seated behind a curved desk emblazoned with DARPA’s logo: a sports broadcast mise-en-scène from some speculative future, vaguely fascist, in which the machinery of national defense had become a spectacle of mass entertainment.
The Marquis de V... - whose falsetto voice and little watery eyes I have always detested - was saying to me with a wicked smile: 'Then again, the master gymnast might break his neck at any moment. What he is doing now is very dangerous, my dear, and the pleasure you take in his performance is the little frisson that danger affords you. Wouldn't it be thrilling, if his sweaty hand failed to grip the bar? The velocity acquired by his rotation about the bar would break his spine quite cleanly, and perhaps a little of the cervical matter might spurt out as far as this! It would be most sensational, and you would have a rare emotion to add to the field of your experience - for you collect emotions, don't you? What a pretty stew of terrors that man in tights stirs up in us!'Admit that you almost wish that he will fall! Me too. Many others in the auditorium are in the same state of attention and anguish. That is the horrible instinct of a crowd confronted with a spectacle which awakens in it the ideas of lust and death. Those two agreeable companions always travel together! Take it from me that at the very same moment - see, the man is now holding on to the bar by his fingertips alone - at the very same moment, a good number of the women in these boxes are ardently lusting after that man, not so much for his beauty as for the danger he courts.'The voice subtly changed its tone, suddenly becoming more interested. 'You have singularly pale eyes this evening, my dear Freneuse. You ought to give up bromides and take valerian instead. You have a charming and curious soul, but you must take command of its changes. You are too ardently and too obviously covetous, this evening, of the death - or at least the fall - of that man.'I did not reply. The Marquis de V... was quite right. The madness of murder had taken hold of me again; the spectacle had me in its hallucinatory grip. Straitened by a penetrating and delirious anguish, I yearned for that man to fall.There are appalling depths of cruelty within me.
Once in a while a story is spectacular enough to break through and attract media attention, but the swell quickly subsides into the general glut of bad news over which we, as citizens, have so little control.
When one wants to be famous, one has to dive gracefully into rivers of the blood of cannon-blasted bodies.