I’m not going to cloud this post with facts, quotation marks or statistics. This post is about me and how I feel about the closing after 146 years of “The Greatest Show on Earth.”(except for those quotation marks) What will those of us who are disillusioned with reality have left to aspire to? I know that I personally have been honing my skills and dreaming about life as a contortionist since the mid-1800s…I just wasn’t quite ready yet.
Much like the deinstitutionalisation of psychiatric hospitals in 1972 when the mentally ill were discharged and sent out on the streets to fend for themselves, 500 circus workers are about to be unleashed on the world with skills that may not transfer into non-circus life.
I suppose death-defying acrobats might find employment stocking the high shelves of warehouse stores like Costco, jugglers might make good single working moms, but we only need look back four months to be reminded how Clowns wandering the streets incited a pandemic fear among a society of xenophobes… needless to say the exception being the clown who will be inaugurated in Washington on January 20th…what’s his name…something Putin?
What about the animals? Will cars stop for the exquisite ladies on the backs of camels and elephants? Will my little dog be safe outside with lions and tigers on the loose?
I suppose I lied- here are quotes from two very selfish animal rights groups both of whom are likely celebrating their victory:
“After 36 years of PETA protests, which have awoken the world to the plight of animals in captivity, PETA heralds the end of what has been the saddest show on earth for wild animals, and asks all other animal circuses to follow suit, as this is a sign of changing times,” ~Ingrid Newkirk, president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
“I applaud their decision to move away from an institution grounded on inherently inhumane wild animal acts.” ~Wayne Pacelle, The Humane Society
Blah blah blah, whatever. It’s done, and one can only feel sadness for people like me who will never be able pursue a lifetime ambition. Perhaps now PETA and The Humane Society can focus on helping the whales at Sea World.
**Disclaimer— I feel the need to explain my position. This was an attempt at humor via irony. I am well aware of and am horrified by the abuses inflicted on circus animals, and I do not aspire to be a contortionist. I do hope Sea World (watch the documentary film “Blackfish”) is next on the agenda of PETA and The Humane Society (both worthy and unselfish organisations). I will go even further and say no one should patronise Zoos, because regardless of the “habitats” they create, animals should be not caged for the pleasure of bored children.
January 15, 2016