Blood on the sand, cheap wine, cheering crowds - it could be Rome 206 CE or Rome Iowa 2055. The armored guards with bayonets on their Gauss rifles looked too much like legionaries to be an accident. Below us two men are knocking the sense from each other in a bare-knuckle boxing match.
Yet it always seems that someone is going to call me too highbrow or unrealistic for finding this disgusting. We've still got computers - they could be fighting via avatars. The whole crowd could take part, with spells and Kalashnikovs if they wanted too. Or they could be researching distribution networks and how to get the nation's rail transport running again. Sure, the EMP took our most electronic storage, but there were still enough music players in basements or metal boxes to ensure we could have a dance party every night an never hear the same song twice.
But its always the same argument. People need entertainment, a way to blow off steam.
Somehow the alien war machines, the man eating abominations, the predator population explosion, and the persistent chemical and radioactive leaks from hundred of no longer monitored industrial centers doesn't make the world brutal enough for them. They insist on kick boxing and sword fights to first blood - and it stops there because they'd have too much turn over otherwise.
Why do I bother? Even when the government resumes control, nothing will come of this. In all but the most heinous cases, it will probably be "all sins forgiven" because the lack of resources and proof to prosecute everything that happened. I just hope people don't become too acclimated to this anarchy, and demand congress let this kind of thing continue. I've got nightmares about them allowing it.
As a dully appointed civil servant, I will continue to travel the country and take stock of the little towns and big cities. See where the people are, the resources available, and how we might concentrate to bring the machine up to capacity again.
America's strength came from our ability to expand West while all the other nations had already found and been confined by their borders. We'll do it again if we have too, because our place is at the top, not just a bunch of barbarians reveling in the old glory of Rome.