I May Never Get to Use My Clown College Degree but at least Elephants will be spared humiliation

IMHO, this is not why elephants were put on this planet

Ringling Brothers Circus has announced an end to its 146 year run.

Depending  on what article you read, some say the closure is strictly financial while other articles say the pressure from animal rights groups was too much.

We took our kids to the city when Ringling Brothers came to town – it was usually around Easter, and I don’t ever remember them leaving feeling they had fun. The girls were afraid of the clowns, the boys wanted the tiger to eat the trainer and everyone gasped when any acrobat act was on a high wire. We stopped going after the adults felt guilty about seeing the elephants dance. I don’t know, but elephants seem so dignified otherwise, such a powerful and almost human animal, loving to be socialized, but not sitting down and not wearing a pink tutu.

Of course, the downside of Ringling Brothers closing is that so many people will be out of work – people whose performing talents won’t easily transferred to say, working at Home Depot or IBM.

I do hope the circus animals find a good new home, but please, not at a zoo. I can’t stand being at a zoo – I sense the animals feel so constrained, so pent up. I know I know, zoos are a good place for research and for breeding rare animals in captivity, but I find zoos too depressing to enjoy.

I’ll save my clown college skills for the next family gathering when the Clinton contingent needs some serious lightening up!

Gorgeous Sunday. Bright sunshine. Snow, but hardly enough to be a nuisance or even be shoveled. The Patriots won. Life is good.


17 thoughts on “I May Never Get to Use My Clown College Degree but at least Elephants will be spared humiliation

  1. Agree wholeheartedly. My son was terrified at the circus so we only went for a couple of years whe he was around 5 or 6. It was at the Garden in the city.

    To play devil’s advocate, I am sure the circus trainers took good care of their prized animals – after all, it was the animals that stole the hearts of the kids attending. But taking good care does not mean they got to roam their natural habitat. Big difference.

    1. The circus was different when we were kids – it was in a small tent on fairgrounds, not in MSG. The ambiance then made the circus fun for me as a kid – I liked the sounds and smells of the animals, so up close and personal. Hearing the whip of the circus master. Looking straight up at the high wire acts. Seeing the circus at such a huge venue like MSG is like watching it on TV and maybe that’s why our kids and yours were afraid.

  2. Some circus elephants are here in Florida and the ones retiring now will come here as well. 200 acres. Ringling has long had a elephant conservation program, a good thing.

    There was a documentary a few years back about a woman in Kentucky (?) who opened up a ranch for old circus elephants. She became the darling of the charity set after a 60 Minutes show but in Googling now, I don’t find her anymore.

  3. Your voice is in the minority with regard to the circus closing. The WSJ article comments section is full of people complaining that the closure is a direct result of the animal activists. I’ve cut and paste the top three comments.

    1. Liberals ruin everything for everyone.

    2. Let the animals out of their cages. Replace them with animal rights advocates. Advertise it as the new and improved freak show. The crowds will return.

    3. “when the elephants left, there was a dramatic drop in ticket sales”

    This American icon survived 146 years including the arrival of competing entertainment options like radio, silent movies, game arcades, talkies, television, VCRs, video games and PCs. Clearly, there was a market for the traditional circus w/ elephants as the stars. The new PC owners caved to the No Fun Allowed activists thinking they could satisfy their diametrically opposed interests. The clear lesson is to ‘Fight (PC liberals)…fight very hard’.

  4. Desperate for something to watch the other night I stumbled upon a series Penn & Teller did for Showtime a few years back. It’s called Penn & Teller’s Bullshit & can be found on Amazon Prime for free. They call out PETA, psychics & mediums, people who claim contact with aliens, the funeral business, survivalists & so many others. There are 3 seasons of episodes but my favorite (so far) is the environmental activists. When you have nothing to do (assuming you haven’t already seen Bullshit) & you have access to it, watch a couple of episodes. It will, at the very least, leave you chuckling. This is apropos of nothing except that P & T are magicians & the circus has magicians.

    1. Thanks for the heads up. I know P&T had a tv show for a while but I’ve never watched it so I’ve noted to myself to watch the BS series. Maybe today. I’m all caught up on life chores so today is a good one to binge watch magicians. Thanks.

  5. Thank you for posting this. I’m far from PC, but not a fan of zoos or the circus. I think wild animals should be wild. You’ve alleviated my mommy guilt for not taking the family. I’m still trying to get out of Disney, but I’m not sure how long I can hold out…

    1. We took our kids to Disney World once, so that it couldn’t be said we never took them. Gosh, must have been almost 20 years ago. Staying on the concierge floor of one of the on grounds hotels made it more bearable. Probably now you would have to pay for the special passes which enable you to skip the lines in order to make it tolerable.

      1. The most fun we ever had at Disney was for Mr. EOS’s 50th birthday, twenty years ago. All adults. Now that you’re soon to be Floridians, try a non-kid Disney outing.

        Our success rate at Disney is 100% because we always went off peak times. There was a great guide book called the UNOFFICIAL Guide to Disney with tons of secrets, best times to go for no lines. The first time we took the kids was the weekend right AFTER Thanksgiving. Almost empty.

    1. Oh my. I’ve always seen the elephant as having more human emotions than any other animal. They need socialization like we do. They get frustrated and angry. They get sad. It’s so wonder they go postal from time to time. I adore elephants.

    1. So funny you recommended a book because tomorrow’s post I’m going to ask for vacation read ideas. I’ll put you in as ‘completed task”. Thanks.

      Love the story from the LA Times too. I imagine more people are devastated at the loss than who ate celebrating it.

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