26 Mar 2014 · 12:37
The acrobats and the trapeze people eye each other up.
It never abates, their competitiveness.
The acrobats wonder how complex it is to do gymastics on a swing.
The trapeze people wonder why there’s a fuss over some jumping around on the ground.
With training they could do each other’s jobs. Neither are inclined.
The acrobats build pyramids, temples with their bodies.
They fly around the big ring, battling gravity.
They do a graceful job of it.
Acrobats are supple, lithe. They can fold themselves in half.
They don’t have margin for error. Too much rides on each grip.
They don’t suffer from pressure for a perfect performance.
Usually, theirs’ is.
If there is a miscalculation, a moment of uncertainty, it shows.
That showing does not earn the acrobats a wage-cut.
Why does it earn the wild animals a slap?
It is time the ringmaster laid down his whip, think the tigers.
Their great minds think alike.
Why he holds so desperately to his voice of reason is not hard to see.
He is not in charge of anything without it.
The big cats are tired of it all. The cages, the show, the people.
They hold a referendum. Kill the ringmaster.
Their views are extremist, built up of fresh resentment.
The tigers have every right to be resentful.
They haven’t bred in centuries.
Something about circus policy.
Not that a tiger would want a cub under circus conditions.
The tiger does not want a circus under circus conditions.
The elephants voted last time to kill a person from the audience.
They were certain that method of communication would work.
They heard of their cousins trying that in India. It worked.
They got the bullet.
The acrobats believe there is a way to teach a flying clown to land
– something about a somersault, a roll –
for when the net set to catch his fall is removed.
There is talk about an acrobat doing the act dressed as a clown.
The talk is ignored.
What about the Two-Headed Polio Twins, the hairy Ape Lady?
The fun really begins when the Dwarves come out, all cartwheels.
Their dimensions are an optical illusion for normal eyes.
I suppose some might say that the likes of Dwarves and Ape Ladies
are not fair game for a show-and-tell?
That the Two-Headed Polio Twins have feelings, too?
The Twins can articulate their feelings.
That is the only difference between them and the tigers.
I suspect there are many sane freaks on this planet
who would gladly take money to be stared at by curious people.
Just pay them well.
Capitalism is an industry, after all.
And that trap, celebrity, appears to be everything.
But the capitalists these days do not quibble.
They want what they want.
Money is no object.
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Tagged as acrobats, ape, bullet, capitalism, celebrity, centuries, circus policy, clown, competitive, curious, Dwarves, elephants, flying, graceful, gravity, gymnastics, Indian elephants, lady, lithe, money, perfect performance, polio, pyramids, referendum, resentment, ringmaster, roll, show-and-tell, somersault, supple, temples, The Circus, the ring, tigers, twins, two-headed, voice of reason, wage-cut, wild animals
25 Mar 2014 · 14:22
It would appear that the circus is getting its act together.
That does entail freeing the ‘wild’ animals from bondage.
Some circuses are learning and we can all be grateful for that.
The animals have learned about gratitude. They are better at it than humans.
The humans are learning about humility. They are slow learners.
The ringmaster has finally made an appearance. His left hand sports a dramatic bandage.
He warms up with the dogs, an easy out. The dogs always respond.
In any case, he is making a noise, showing his face, cooing encouragement and barking orders.
The dogs read his intonation and perform well for their master. They understand instructions.
It is as well the tigers did not step up to his plate for starters. They wait, each one.
The ringmaster dreads the face-off with the tigers.
He knows he will lose his first.
The elephants are not impressed at having been neglected.
They will not wear hats and dance on three legs when the ringmaster asks.
They will refuse.
This will bring punishment, but the elephants do not care.
Their grief has them well-prepared.
Twenty five years, slaves, they are well-learned.
Physical torture for a moment of truth does not shock them anymore.
There are of course those people in the circus who do empathise with the animals.
To an animal, empathy is more valuable than sympathy.
For a circus elephant, to wander up city streets now and again is a wild freedom.
Do not forget that the concrete jungle is as much a jungle as any?
Should you see an elephant in the street, salute it. Say hooray. Yay for freedom.
Should you see a man behind that elephant with a gun that kills, tell the elephant to run in zigzags.
What else can a hunted elephant do?
The clowns are simmering. They do not keep quiet about their marginalisation.
They are feeling left out and they want back in on the act.
What else is a clown to do, but clown around?
They are prepared to let go of the union, as demonstration of goodwill,
They have been working behind the scenes on a new show.
They admit their current work is shoddy, stale.
They have employed a young clown to teach the old ones new tricks.
For a circus clown it is not enough anymore to be merely human.
The ringmaster has softened slightly towards the clowns.
He knows his own days depend on their modified contribution.
Now that the wild animals were protesting,
his return was not as sweet as he had imagined it was going to be.
SHIT. The elephants and the tigers with gripes. That was enough to crack anyone.
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Tagged as act, behind the scenes, clowns, dogs, elephants, goodwill, gun, humans, kills, marginalisation, marginalization, new, quarter of a century, ringmaster, slaves, The Circus, tigers, torture, union, wild animals
17 Oct 2013 · 09:11
Night time at The Circus is the most exciting.
It is when the vampires come to watch. They lust for blood.
They know the wild comes out at night.
There is fire.
The Circus is in a fortunate position. Its blood-trade is spectacle.
Its lineage, too. That is why it is fortunate.
It can pull crowds with its people.
The circus people are like fairground people.
There are none like them.
Luckily for the wild animals The Circus can soon excuse them from service.
Most human beings understand their plight.
Their ‘wildness’ has worn off, anyway. They are tarnished. Has-beens.
Where is the magic in a has-been? If you are honest you will admit there is none.
If you are not convinced then take time to walk around after the show.
Peruse the cages. The stakes.
Notice the eyes of the wild animals. They are dead.
Know that is because they no longer dream.
The subject of the ringmaster is bound to come up. He is a hot topic.
He has begged off again, citing a scratch from one of the big cats.
An infection. Perhaps he will die of tiger?
More likely he will die of scorn. Or rumours.
Whichever, one more no-show and he is out.
There is a three-strike rule for ringmasters.
Of course there is his understudy. There is always an understudy.
Luckily a voice-over is a voice-over no matter who presents.
The ringmaster’s absence does not mean The Circus does not run.
It just manages itself differently.
The wild animals get a night of zoo-treatment. They do not get a night off.
Flashing cameras. Squeals. Pussy-pussy-pussy.
Watch the elephants rocking. Back and forth, back and forth.
They are not dancing, no. They are screaming.
For their captors these screams are not good news.
For the ringmaster, a depression with the elephants is especially bad news.
He is the clown when they refuse later to work for his voice.
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Tagged as big cats, blood, dead, dream, elephants, exciting, fire, lineage, lust, magic, night, people, ringmaster, rumours, scorn, screaming, The Circus, The ringmaster, The wild animals, understudy, vampires, wild, zoo