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  • Sunday, January 15, 2017

    We're Saddened

    Gone But Not Forgotten
    a change in values
    .. Our childhood was blessed with many things. One was living on the outskirts of a major city. Development was not rampant back then. Huge vacant lots dotted the low rent district.
    .. Those vacant lots were playgrounds, ball fields, war zones, and fields for dirt clod fights. We thought it was grand.
    .. Not too far from the Union Pacific and Santa Fe rail yards and real close to the stock yards was a very interesting place to dwell.
    .. Significantly, when the circus came to town we could walk to the rail yards and watch the unloading.
    .. We could then go to the giant, dusty, debris laden vacant city blocks and watch the set up.
    .. Some of the neighbors got jobs helping with the skut labor. Small money but free tickets. A deal that, in those times, was like gold.
    .. Then it was time for the parade. From the rail yards, past the stockyards, into downtown and back to the big top. We'd bicycle along and spend half a day getting exercise and free entertainment.
    .. It was best to attend the second show. That way we could stroll the midway and take it all in. Anticipation was greatly enhanced as we listened to the entertainment in the big top.
    .. Cotton candy by the bushel - we were wired!
    .. The strongman, strong women, bearded ladies, and the 'freaks' were the big draw in the small sideshows. Shame on us!
    .. Our culture has moved on from those days. Wars have come and gone. Big bands have given way to rock and roll and then to rap and then to whatnot.
    .. Country music has become country and western. Maybe it is even roots rock and, now has moved from Nashville, to Austin, to Bakersfield to New York City,  --  my my.
    .. The greatest show on earth just couldn't keep up. The cultural catharsis provided by the circus is passé. Other forms of mass cathartic release have become ingrained through the years.
    .. We now have gladiatorial football, collision basketball, woodstockian concerts, and of course politics.
    .. Politics has become the circus entertainment of today. The schismatic and harmonic mass thrust of local and national politics cannot be denied. People are the performers.
    .. So then for politics: no animals, no trapeze acts, no trained horses, none of the anticipation or excitement. The entertainment value is still high and available on T.V.
    .. Political catharsis is both overt and subliminal. No circus can match that.
    .. Our hysterical devotion to the super bowl allows our society to explode and then spend a year in anticipation of the next catharsis. No circus can match that.
    .. Our population is now large enough that subcultural cathartic events grow to sizes beyond belief.
    .. Fly fishing trade shows, one fly events, national ice fishing tournaments, Indy Car racing, Formula One racing, Stock Car racing, each and every one is replacing the catharsis of circus.
    .. Whole towns are now devoted to cathartic experience. Go to Las Vegas and enjoy gambling, circus, sports, music, magic, spectacle, rewards, punishments, etc. The simple times are gone.
    ..Yes indeed, we are saddened. We are not sad to see Barnum & Bailey disappear. We are however, morose that it lets us know that we have experienced something that is no longer a popular cultural topic of conversation.
    .. So much of our past, (indeed every culture's past,) is gone. Without the chronicle of history the wheel must be reinvented with each generation.
    .. Gone and forgotten are the comparisons, myths, similes, metaphors, etc. We must now figure out how to express the awe of seeing a sword sallower for the first time. Just what is a 'high wire act?'
    .. At least for us goin' fishin' has remained pretty much the same for a long time. Our staid modes of fishing and catching allow for personal cathartic moments. We like it that way. We also enjoy watching schools of fishers reinventing the wheel of fishing.
    .. New terms for very old concepts: bless their untutored historicity. Without the poor memories of fishers the tackle giants would have a much harder time selling the latest and greatest.
    .. Without the memory of spectacular 'old-timey' flies contemporary fly tiers would be deprived of the simple joy that comes from feeling creative. That indeed is entertaining.
    .. Time for a midnight nap. Then a few three hour snoozes. It's a symptom of our stage in this life. A circus can't compare to that.