Going Nuclear at Garden Bros. Circus Can Be Crazy Fun, Or So It Seems ...

Going Nuclear at Garden Bros. Circus Can Be Crazy Fun,  Or So It Seems ...
Kijome Hara with the World’s Smallest Man and Wini McCay

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Fearlessly a Princess, Faithfully a Fan: Princess Stephanie Slams French for Banning Circus Animals



She grabbed Daily Mail Headlines.  And she did not hold back this time.

How refreshing!  The woman has guts. The woman pokes holes in nonsense.  The woman spots hypocritical bias against select animal events a mile away.

And she appears to have had it with those fussy French.  And, for that matter, with the whole lot of the whole earth loonies bent on running every last performing non-human out of the ring. Blasting the antagonists "'a minority who wish to impose their will upon others."

She nailed it in The Daily Mail, and they ran with her rage, the story reported by By Claire Toureille

Circus animals are "loved and spoiled" 'declared she, just warming up into a royal snit. "We've come a long way since the stool and the whip,"

'They're members of the family. They are not trained or mistreated, but simply loved, fed, spoilt"' 

Once more, French logic is prejudicially applied:  "Other trades where animals are exploited should be banned under the logic of the new French ruling"


 You're on a roll, Princess.  More, please!   'I will add that in France, everyone is free to work, or else you'd have to forbid farmers from making money from cattle breeding."

Boffo!   "They'd have to ban horses races, because it's also animal exploitation,"

And .., and ...?  'If I want to eat a good steak, I'm not keeping someone else from enjoying soybeans.'

Lima beans, too, Princess?

Notes The Daily Mail, " It's not the first time she has lashed out at those who criticize circuses for using performing animals, claiming they're just trying to be 'fashionable'."

Summing up, says the circus worlds greatest defender and preservationist,   'This is part of our cultural heritage. It's a whole, with clowns and acrobats"

Encore, please!

"They should ban everything rather than hammering on the circus families. Circus has changed, it lives with its times." 

We need more voices like these on our side of the pond, who can command media attention and expose blatant bias. Who have we here? Of course, the biggest name is Kenneth Feld, but he is out of the circus business at the moment, and bears a ragged history of his own.  Paul Binder is a natural, but I fear he is on the fence, and certainly not easy about  lobbying for the elephants.

The saddest truth of all is how the world is closing down on wild animal acts -- a turning away I fear it may take a long time to reverse.  In the meantime, please do roll on, fearless Princess of the ring.  You may start a new movement "Performing animals matter, too!"

Sunday, October 04, 2020

Calling All Big Tops! Sleuthing Through Sawdust for Signs of Something That Looks Like a Circus

See any stirrings out there?  A lose club stuck in a tree branch?   Suspicious red arrow tacked to a light pole?    If one day in the park counts, then yes.  Here you see the Chicago Boyz performing in the Midnight Circus, at Foster Park, on September 22.   Chicago Tribune critic Chris Jones was high on the performance, calling it  "A good deal more than your typical local circus in the park."  And drawn to the troupe's  "global vibe."

I’ll take any kind of a vibe.  Okay, a one day stand marks some kind of a start.  I have always said that the closer to the outdoors a circus can get, the better off its chances are of gaining sanction from city hall and drawing a crowd.  How fringe might they be?   One of their early stars was Lola, a real dog.  Any animal of any kind spells counter revolutionary in my mind. Give me more.

Flickering right on, here comes a glorious sign of future dates for a real circus in the U.S. And how did I come about this good news?  I had to laugh, for ironically it was brought to my breathless attention by my cross-pond connection, Douglas McPherson, who covers the UK circus  scene for The Stage and various other newspapers.  He feels a bit of our pain.  He must also feel a bit plum about how well the big tops are doing on his side.  California based Circo Osorio?  I remember that name from ten years ago, a thread-bare show under a small tent lasting about 40 minutes, including intermission.  But ten years, later, hey, bring it on, guys!  Your VIP seat plank prices?  Not a problem!  

I am learning in the Circus Corona waiting room to re-set my expectations down to humble.  Might Plato’s Theory of Forms argue that any circus act need only recreate the essential elements of a form to merit our respect?   I think that my visits to the great and little John Strong Circus taught me how to apply this.  

 I AM!!!

 Wanting to stay current, I walked the midway of websites and took the pulse of each. My readings:

 Big Apple Circus. Deleted: the headline promising October dates at Lincoln Center.
Carson & Barnes:  Website unchanged.  I called their phone number, it rang and rang. Great news!      The operator did not come on the line with. "you have reached a number that  has been disconnected."                            

UniverSoul: Same.
Circus Vargas: Same.
Culpepper & Merriweather. Same.  This is the most attractive of them all. The colors glow.
Feld Entertainment: No mention of the projected Ringling return next year.

And then I bumped into this outrageously insensitive image of American know-how thriving under tents on that other, infuriatingly prospering side of the pond.

Can you believe?  What nerve they have, flaunting our imagery and hoopla,  "The Greatest Circus on Planet Earth" Talk about shining our once intimidating dominance back in our faces. Let me out of here!  I want my Barnum animal crackers back!

What do they have that we don't have?