A couple weeks ago, a package of Barnum’s Animal Crackers caught my eye. What was so special about it?
Basically, all the animals on the box are well on their way to becoming extinct. So pretty much, there might as well have been pictures of dinosaurs on the box
Part of the blame was placed at the feet of animal rights activists, who lobbied against using elephants in the act—the creatures were then phased out of the circus in May of 2016.
Since then, Ringling opened up an elephant conservation center, not realizing that the circus itself was soon to be on the endangered list.
Was it just the lack of elephants that did Ringling in? Was it also because another staple of the circus, clowns, have been co-opted as a global symbol of breakdown and chaos? Was Ringling just not Cirque du Soleil enough to compete in today’s circus marketplace?
But most importantly: will we eventually have a cloned dinosaur circus, a “Barnum II,” if you will? I think that’s a way to bring the brand back. Clone the dinosaurs and extinct giant mammals, and hire a feral clown biker gang to entertain and mock-terrorize the audience. The concession and souvenir stands will all be staffed with robots. One apparent human sacrifice per show; the fake “victim” will stand for some hated celebrity or politician of the moment. Victim goes into the lion cage, a la The Happening. The clowns mock-Purge through the audience, wearing plastic masks over their makeup. Meanwhile, pro-dinosaur activists protest outside.
“Free the dinosaurs! Stop making them dance!”