Tuesday, February 04, 2014
Tuesday Twitters: Kenneth Feld, a Forbes Billionaire ... Ringling-Barnum declared the "Gold Standard” of Circus. May I Suggest, in Lieu of -- The Lawrence Welk Standard?
Circuses, Wake Up! You’ve got mud in the east, a vast new dry desert to play out west ... If you’re coming to California, bring your own water. I now feel guilty flushing my toilet, and how will I ever brush my teeth without a running faucet to keep me from performing a root canal on myself?
Behind every successful circus named Ringling lies a performing monster truck. One with a heart. One that can dance and sing and even, I suppose, go out on strike. And maybe, soon to come, a woman named Nicole Feld. Once, I conjectured that the ice shows (lush ticket sales, few expenses, all on trucks) turned the biggest profits for Feld Entertainment and may even have funded the show's epic circus trains during the slack seasons.. Now, I’m thinking dump truck division. The Feld of Felds, profiled in Forbes, quoted from another source having claimed that 2012 was "the best year" in the company's history for attendance, revenue and, and rofits, etc. Not hard to swallow considering the company's reach into other venues, the monster trucks leading the way.
Forbes magazine, to whom he would not talk, naming Kenneth Feld “the world’s newest billionaire.” Seems he and another big top tycoon, our man up in Montreal, are both valued to hold in some form or another a cool $1.8 billion. Forbes defaulted to other sources, and laced its report with some predicable fabrications out of the old spin-or-die Irvin Feld press kit. Bob Johnson, pres of Outdoor Amusement Business Association,declared Ringling-Barnum to be “the gold standard of the circus industry.” If we're talking revenue, who can argue. But, for myself, I’d call Ringling The Lawrence Welk Standard. Feld's cunning smorgasbord approach to doling out circus shows can send your spirit soaring one moment, leave you snoring the next. Brilliant circus art shares the spotlights with incredible banality. Or did. Things may be looking up now that Ms. Nicole is in charge.
Yes, THEY saved the circus! Clever how the Feld of Felds would not talk to the Forbes of Forbes, thus pushing them to spin from other sources. Thus did they spin, on their very own: "The elder Feld revolutionized the circus by taking it into indoor indoor arenas and stadiums."
The gold standard in my book, goes to Big Apple Circus. But they don’t have a monster truck division to fund PR flash, to pay off operatives and lobbyists, et all. And yet, if you are measuring by money alone, this Feld may easily top what the 5 Ringling brothers achieved, some seasons each walking away with millions — and they did it without mice on ice shows or monster truck follies.
Onto small is beautiful, and I’m trying to be nice here. To Kelly-Miller’s Backyard, where the lights went out with the departure of happy-go-lucky blogger Steve Copeland, now directing your attention to his and Ryan’s season with Circo Hermanos Vazquez. That and more, or less (as you would) to come,
PLUS. Is feminism and the “emasculated” new non-male male to blame for our big tops going soft and cerebral on us? Have you head of X-Sports. Can you connect the dots from Barnum to there? I can ... See you here next time, Kids!