Friday, December 12, 2008

Fri. Nite L’Amyxed: Here's Cheers to No-Tears Spears Over PETA Jeers! ... No T-Shirts for Herriott ... Gorilla Mom Turns on Newborn at S.F. Zoo ...

You’ve heard I suppose of Britney Spears, in and out of jail, pop star, now in and out of the Big Cage for a circus video drawing PETA sneers ... Complains No-Circus-Animals Cemtral, “How quickly America’s sweetheart fell from grace. And it wasn’t pretty. Now, at the bottom of the barrel, she’s sporting elephants dressed in circus attire for her new video titled – what else – Circus.” ... Yes, what else, PETA’s Christine Dore. And while you are lecturing, might you aim your pious jeers at Mother Monifa, gorilla who rejected her very own upon its birhtly arrival at the San Francisco Zoo (that would be “zoo” rather than the city). Weirdly sad tale. I wonder if this is an animal kingdom thing, or maybe just a monster Mom under the spell of Bagdad-by-the-Bay narcissism. Zoo Interventionists put her under sedatives, placed her newborn onto her chest, woke her back up hoping she’d bond with and embrace her own. No luck. She’s “ready to move on without her infant.” Now, there’s a tale fit for an answer from the experts (Mr. Cage Man — are you there?). Here in captivity, I’m waiting.

Hey You and your outrageously HIGH PRICED concessions, and you all know who you are — Give us a bloody break, circus world! Even Chicago Tribune critic Chris Jones, high on Ringling’s audience pleaser Over the Top, not high on steep popcorn and lemonade tariffs. At the food counters, snarls he, “evil, up-selling tricks abound.” He mentions cotton candy suited up under "cardboard hats," fluffed up to a shocking $12 charge. Yes, I said TWELVE DOLLARS. And it’s not just the Felds, although nobody works concession rips off better than they ... I hereby propose Dollar Days, like how about once a week, when we the people can either, 1. Obtain a human sized bag of something for a buck or 2. bring our own pre-popped supply. Somebody out on the lot with an air popper could rake in a fortune.

...A Binder of Blank Pages: About all of my Paul Binder hyperventilating (over his imminent departure from power), a few souls offer some insight. Most intriguing was this from Johnny Ekk, “Like the great Wizard of Oz, if that curtain was pulled back you might not like what you find. If you're going to judge him on his own merits the answer may vary greatly if your response comes from a circus fan, circus employee or industry insider. I’d bet you’d be very surprised at what you’d hear, good and bad.” Okay, circus industry insiders, I'm all ears ... Curtain pull, please!

Let's bring back a little glamour, okay? And here comes pro John Herriott, offering his own page on the issue of blue jeans versus spangles. Barbara Byrd gets a Herriott thumbs up (I agree) for her wardrobe upgrades. They dazzled this season. Country and Western stars are keeping alive glitz and glitter, notes Herriott, tossing kudos to Dolly Parton, et all who “still maintain the rich showbiz traditions.” So, guess I’ll have to veer over to twang ... “We are seeing some circus acts in T shirts and it’s awful. It’s like liberty horses without nice harness and plumes because the bottom line is that they [the circus owners] are too cheap.” Most refreshing is Herriott’s concurrence with my own oft-stated misgivings about pre- and after-show audience-artist interactions: “I always felt as a performer and director that that meeting and greeting crap was demeaning and did not show off the performers as someone special” Yes, yes, and yes! Now there’s an honest page for the book from a circus industry insider ...

And that’s a light Friday wrap. Monifa, get back to the Zoo and act like a real mother before PETA adds your name to its circus criminals website.


Dick Dykes said...

David I have to agree with you.
In this day and age with the economy in such poor shape the public can only take so much.
But #12.00 for floss and thos other far out prices do mor to turn folks off to the circus than help! I know operating expenses are high but this is getting rediculous! But you know the Motion Picture Theatres are doing almost the same thing.
Show owners better take another look at what their doing! However I think 1.00 prices are a thing of the past. My Brother and I always tried to have 1.00 items on our garabe joints but that was years ago! There are still lots of items that could sell for 2.00 with plenty of mark-up involved.

Anonymous said...

How honest do you want the answer to Mr. Paul's legacy? From the paying public, press handlers working the NY markets or employess of the great one ring circus?


L. Frank Baum

Wade G. Burck said...

Isn't it funny how folks(including my dear friend,Henry Edgar)have started to get the idea of what "self serving paper" is.
Wade Burck

Show Biz,
In regards to the Gorilla, they are animals, and the rejection of offspring can be caused by any number of events/stimuli. "Civilized, intelligent," some would wrongly suggest "superior" humans do it on a daily basis all over the world. There is an emotion called compassion, that animals lack, that a normal human should have, but some humans lack it also. Many females lack the "need to nurture" emotion, yet may males have the "need to nurture" emotion in abundance. Don't give the Gorilla human emotions, and it is not so bothersome. Most animals have more Nobility in their smallest bone, than man has in his whole body. And just be glad she doesn't fill up her bathtub some day and drowned it. Or throw it in a swamp after first breaking it's neck and wrapping it in plastic and duct tape.
Wade Burck

Showbiz David said...

Mr. Baum,

Such an unexpected and flattering pleasure to hear from you so close to your magic curtain. Perhaps you will favor us from the employees point of view; Spin I don't need. The "paying public" (and please correct me if I am in error) seems to be generally happy with BAC.

Mr. Burck,

Thanks much for your helpful, more scientific-experience based knowledge of the ways of wild animals.

Anonymous said...

Try out the fact that Mr. Binder is nothing more than an elitist snob for one. The BAC has under his direction a blatant caste system reminiscent of cultures from other corners of the world. In Lincoln Center there are two "rest" tents. Since many of the cast and crew are forced to spend the entire day there, one must have somewhere to go. One tent for the performers and managers outfitted to the nines with plentiful food and drink and a second tent for the "working people" decked out with junked furniture and throw away accoutremonts. You hungry? There's a sandwich shoppe across the street, get yourself some potato chips. One former BAC'er who was of the privileged class told me she was sickened by this blatant discrimination and preferred to rub elbows in the second tent, much to the dismay of Mr. Binder. I thought "separate but equal (Ha-Ha)" went out with a Supreme Court Decision back in the 1950's. Apparently not. This former BAC'er returned to mud-show life, before her children became too uppity based upon what they saw, felt and lived on a daily basis. I suppose the Paying Public and Press are not privy to the second tent. And to think that Mr. Binder started out busking on the streets. Ah, how one forgets one's humble beginnings. I would rather see a mud-show where all cast and crew are treated as equal contributors than to see BAC's glorious performance knowing wnat is going on behind the scenes.
Neil Cockerline
Minneapolis, MN

Anonymous said...

My guess is that the question regarding Mr. Binder will never get an answer that will satisfy all parties. If your a fan of the show, then you judge it by what you see before you. If you work for the show you will have a different opinion on the daily vexations that occur in making sure that show happens. Part of that would be the Paul Binder factor. To some who have toiled there, it was/is a fantastic place to labor, to others it might offer less ideal conditions. To reference Mr. Cockerlines' view, the show, like almost all others on the road, including the mighty RBBB, do have a caste system, and again unless you are in the know about such things, it really does not take away from the enjoyment of the artists and performance. Small mud shows might be the only exception, since they operate on a much greater "We will all do what we need to do to get the show up and running" attitude.
The real question becomes do you review the Big apple Circus's operation on what you see, or what you don't want to see? Next we can move onto Big Bertha herself and find out what the great and powerful Kenneth Feld wants you to see.

Mark Felt-Deeper than Deep