This great American circus doesn’t travel. It stays in one place on the east coast of America. Even so, it gets enormous coverage by the news media. Like many circuses of old, it operates seasonally and can be depended on to entertain when it does. You can visit it if you stand in long lines and be patient. Its star performers come home from time to time and visit with the ordinary folks.
We all pay for this circus, whether we attend its performances or not. It’s very expensive but it doesn’t matter how much you complain about its cost. The show goes on anyway. Strangely, some of its best performances are conducted late at night when no one is watching.
The really weird thing about this circus is that it is comprised entirely of clowns. Of course, there are ringmasters too but they stay out of sight, which makes it look like the clowns run the show. We should all like this circus because these clowns come from all over our great country. In fact, they are chosen by us – they say. They also say that their performances are offered with our best interests at heart. It’s probably the only circus that makes that claim.
Well, this circus has been losing fans for a long time now. It’s performances have been rather – well – obnoxious lately. One troupe offers an idea and the other troupe automatically says no. They change their positions every few years. Then the “no” troupe gets to offer ideas while the former get to say no. In the meantime, nothing gets done. Well I guess that makes sense. Circuses are not designed to accomplish anything. They’re just there for our entertainment. Sadly, most of us are not entertained by this one anymore.
By the way, this circus has been running a long time now – well over 200 years. Most of the original performers were not clowns. We’re told they were stars back then. But the standards have really dropped. We now have to suffer their antics quietly and commiserate amongst ourselves.
The current caste of clowns is bought and paid for by sponsors (the ringmasters I mentioned above). It doesn’t seem fair to me that what was once a great circus is so bad now by comparison. As opposed to most shows, this one has an impact on the lives of the members of the audience. You can go to most shows and be entertained, come home and be satisfied. Not this circus. This circus’ performances can cost our children and grandchildren their futures. We pay dearly for this show. Sometimes our young men and women pay with their lives. It would seem that the clowns would appreciate people who make the supreme sacrifice and conduct a much better show. Unfortunately, these clowns pay little attention to their audiences. They’re so caught up with their own egos and special friendships that we, the audience, have very little influence over their antics.
Oh well, the good news is that life goes on regardless of what happens in this circus. Sometimes their games make life a bit more difficult but the audience seems to be pretty resilient anyway. And every once in a while a really professional clown joins the circus. That fact seems to give us all a bit of hope.
So when it comes time to vote for which clown we want to represent us in the circus we have an option. We can send the best performer or we can send the one with the bulbous nose, red hair and clown shoes. Usually we send the latter. I’ve never really understood why we always send that one. Think it’s because we’re so gullible? I don’t know, maybe we just like circuses too much to screw this one up with a really good performer. Do you think we’re getting the show we deserve?
Robert De Filippis