Clown for a New Day

Clown for a New Day
Dagwood might make it in today's emasculated circus

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Sunday Morning, Looking Way Back: Blandest Big Top on Earth -- I Offer You Cirque du Vegan

Introducing a circus to offend none, where performers wear hard hats, animals stay home, and all concessions are trans fat free ... At a local cafe here in Oakland on Piedmont Avenue where I like to hang out, a good old fashioned chocolate chip cookie has been replaced by a Vegan version — heavy and thick, I’d rather have the real thing and suffer the guilt. .... The upscale set with their iPods and laptops are pretending to adore this tasteless substitute. ... Give them Cirque du Vegan (Jim Judkins, are you listening?), and maybe they will come ... Be sure your big top offers Wireless.

PC stalks the lot: So depressing -- are we all not in this together? -- to contemplate the fallout from a trial evidently to be, in which Ringling will once again be accused of mistreating its elephants. And how sadly ironic: I ask you, World, has there ever been a circus man that has done more than Kenneth Feld to assure the most humane living and work conditions for its animals? Or have I been duped? .... Compare the tragic plight of those vicious fighting dogs and the disgraced football star who enabled such disgusting spectacles ... Mr. Feld can also be on occasion be his own worst enemy. The full page ad he took out in the New York Times following the acquittal of Mark Oliver Gebel on similar charges back in 2001 struck some as being tactlessly brazen. To me, Feld’s remarks made sense ...

Brazenly speaking, all circuses stand to suffer even if Ringling wins. PETA no doubt is banking on the long-term effects of its relentless protesting outside arenas and tents where circus crowds convene. How many more seasons of harassment before too many adults and their kids feel too squeamish and guilty to return? It’s a campaign of coercion.

Michael Moore plays the Al Ringling — his movie Sicko that is, and Bob Dewel, our retired dentist in residence, plans to attend. And what might the good doc’s verdict be, we wonder? Bob, whose nimble keyboard virtuosity powers the "Mighty Barton" theatre organ, has co-authored a classy, just-published book about the house’s history. So few people know that the Al Ringling Theatre only happens to be the first movie palace to go up in the U.S. And that’s not Baraboo boasting; that’s the Theatre Historical Society of America speaking .... Let’s see, in the same small town, you have probably the world’s largest and greatest circus museum; you have America’s first movie palace; you have a genuine carnival relic in the Thimble Theatre — an absolutely charming fun house from the 1920s in storage at Circus World that should be in operation on town square. And nobody in the town has a clue how to ballyhoo Baraboo? For starters, may I suggest an SOS call to the Wisconsin Dells PR center.

Fly, Wallenda, Fly! That’s what Nikolas is kind of doing these days, partnering out with Bello Nock on the new double wheel of steel act at Ringling’s 137th. It just had to happen; for too many years, the public has equated hazardous wire walking, Wallenda style, with flying. I never understood why until reading, recently, why: Seems that, as the public sees it, when the Wallendas fall off the wire, that’s when they fly. And that’s not something I made up, nor is it something you’ll ever witness at Cirque du Vegan ...

And that’s a sicko wrap, trans-fat free, of course.


Raw and real big top birthday bash in San Jose for Ringling-Barnum's Tonka, who turned 24 on August 22.

Originally posed 8/26/07

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

PETA and the Humane Society. sheesh. I have to admit the Humane Society involvment in this abortion pains me. That was an organization is I used to contribute. As for Peta, I view them as the public relations arm of the the ALF.

I very happily disrupted a PETA interview on Channel 7 a couple of years ago. Kept them off primetime.

Lets hope Feld has good lawyer. I don't suppose the thing will be tried in Gibsonton...

You, by chance, have not heard anything from Circus Chimera since its truncation? I was really fond of that circus.

Showbiz David said...

No recent word from Jim Judkins about Chimera's future. He stated in a press release his intention to bring the show back in 2008 following a "hiatus." I too have a certain fondness for the Chimera spirit and aim. I do think that a few animal acts might help. John Pugh brought his back -- I suspect his audience base was the reason. It's tricky out there!