Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Historical Documents

While recovering from Christmas, I decided to watch the classic Trek episode 'Bread and Circuses', in which the Enterprise visits an Earthlike world where the Roman Empire survived into the 20th Century - complete with television (including executions televised live), internal combustion engines (and the resultant smog), gladiatorial games, sub-machine guns, and slavery.

What astonished me about the episode, this time around, was a throw-away line delivered by runaway slave Flavius Maximus. He explains to Kirk that slave revolts had been quelled by giving slaves more rights, including government-paid old-age benefits and medicine. It would seem that when this was first aired in 1968 (appropriately enough, on the Ides of March), Americans considered medical care a right.

How times have changed. Happy New Year to all our readers.

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