I confess I am not by nature an early adopter. I still like manual typewriters, stick-shift cars, and simple appliances with on and off buttons instead of confusing symbols. I still do not know how to text. I am, however, very proud that I was in the vanguard when it came to hating the circus. I remember how out of sync I was when, at age nine, my parents took me to the circus at Madison Square Garden. I screamed in horror at the clowns, I was a whining bummer when the ringmaster with a whip made the frightened horses jump through fiery hoops, and I only perked up when the lion tamer stuck his head into the lion’s mouth. I was hoping he would be decapitated.
Now everyone has jumped on the “I hate the circus” bandwagon. It is under attack by animal-rights activists and fire departments and performers unions. The glory days of Barnum and Bailey are long gone. People with compassion no longer want to see elephants paraded down Main Street holding tail in trunk; the dirty-water hot dogs and rancid clouds of ancient cotton candy no longer hold sway with kids of all ages.
There is one tangential remnant of the circus that thrills me to the bone, and that is the low-grade confectionary candy called Circus Peanuts. Read More