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"The Greatest Show on Earth" no more
Old 01-15-2017, 07:01 AM   #1
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"The Greatest Show on Earth" no more

Ringling Brothers announcement Ringling Bros. circus to close after 146 years | Miami Herald
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After 146 years, the curtain is coming down on "The Greatest Show on Earth." The owner of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus told The Associated Press that the show will close forever in May.
We took the grandkids to see this show a year ago, which turned out to be the final tour with elephants. We went again this past summer, after the show I told DD we would not return. Even though the announcement by CEO Kenneth Feld (here) highlights the absence of elephants as a primary reason, it does not figure at all in our decision. Much more significant was the 1) $27 surcharge on top of each $40 ticket, 2) the show was not nearly as good as the previous year, and 3) the circus clowns, which constituted around 1/4 of the total performance, were not at all entertaining.
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Old 01-15-2017, 07:21 AM   #2
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Not unlike Sea World. First world folks aren't as accepting of animal cruelty, perceived or real anymore. Kids today can see elephants and orcas on their smartphones anytime they want. Times change.
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Old 01-15-2017, 08:41 AM   #3
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I'm saddened by this news as I am a big fan of circus arts and am now part-time working within a circus environment. Many of my coaches came from a Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey background and have gone on to teach others these arts or establish their own aerial arts studios. There is a rich tradition of circus among the humans involved. I'm sorry the organization has not been able to evolve beyond the focus on animal acts to incorporating more aspects of human acts either aerial, balance or gymnastic based. I think that the availability of circus training to the general population (instead of inherited access through a family) has certainly spread and brought in lots of very skilled and imaginative performers. There certainly are new traveling circuses and home based performances but the grand history of Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey circus will be lost.
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Old 01-15-2017, 08:48 AM   #4
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Does this mean the bearded lady can finally get rid of that facial hair?

Clowns are now "scary" to a lot of people. The Cirque people have cornered the market for acrobatic shows. Take away the animals (and besides the questions about abuse, the costs of hauling them around from city to city, maintenance, liability and insurance, etc. must be pretty high) and nothing left to make the old time circus a draw.
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Old 01-15-2017, 08:57 AM   #5
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I'm saddened by this news as I am a big fan of circus arts and am now part-time working within a circus environment. Many of my coaches came from a Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey background and have gone on to teach others these arts or establish their own aerial arts studios. There is a rich tradition of circus among the humans involved. I'm sorry the organization has not been able to evolve beyond the focus on animal acts to incorporating more aspects of human acts either aerial, balance or gymnastic based. I think that the availability of circus training to the general population (instead of inherited access through a family) has certainly spread and brought in lots of very skilled and imaginative performers. There certainly are new traveling circuses and home based performances but the grand history of Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey circus will be lost.
Hasn't most of the aerial, balance, strength, gymnastic stuff simply been taken to a new and higher level by the likes of cirque de soleil? So, like most things, circus is just getting more specialized and generalists like RB/B&B get squeezed out
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Old 01-15-2017, 09:18 AM   #6
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And this coming just three days after this announcement. How disappointed she must be.

In a first, woman gets top spot under Ringling Brothers big top - CBS News
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Old 01-15-2017, 09:26 AM   #7
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Hasn't most of the aerial, balance, strength, gymnastic stuff simply been taken to a new and higher level by the likes of cirque de soleil? So, like most things, circus is just getting more specialized and generalists like RB/B&B get squeezed out
And they have done so with a good bit on controversy as well. We have a family friend whose daughter was a performer with them for about 2 years. She was severely injured and she has been battling them in the courts since. It's really a very sad story and hers are one of many similar stories.

Back to the Ringling Bros, I was surprised to read that they still travel by train. That is kind of cool. I was also surprised that the company also owns "Monster Jam" and "Disney on Ice" among a couple other lesser known shows.
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Old 01-15-2017, 09:43 AM   #8
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Very sad. I went to the circus a few times taking the kids and they thoroughly enjoyed it.
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Old 01-15-2017, 09:49 AM   #9
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Not unlike Sea World. First world folks aren't as accepting of animal cruelty, perceived or real anymore. Kids today can see elephants and orcas on their smartphones anytime they want. Times change.
The smart phone is not the same as seeing live... take a trip to the Grand Canyon and no picture can match it...
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Old 01-15-2017, 09:50 AM   #10
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Wow. What will kids run away to join now?
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Old 01-15-2017, 10:10 AM   #11
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Wow. What will kids run away to join now?
Kids, hell, what about us seniors?
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Old 01-15-2017, 11:28 AM   #12
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From a sentimental perspective this is sad.

OTOH, there's something that always grated me about going to the B&B Circus where the founder's most famous line was "there's a sucker born every minute".

Maybe nowadays there's only a sucker born ever few hours.
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Old 01-15-2017, 12:03 PM   #13
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Wow. What will kids run away to join now?
I ran away and joined the Air Force in 1975.

Daredevil stunts.

Death defying feats

Elephant turds galore

A regular freak show

Yes, I'd say it was just like the circus
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Old 01-15-2017, 12:04 PM   #14
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Times change. In some ways hard to believe that they survived this long.
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Old 01-15-2017, 12:32 PM   #15
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1) $27 surcharge on top of each $40 ticket,
OK, that's enough to keep me from ever wanting to go to the circus again, so now I won't miss it. I'll always remember the thrill of going to the circus in my childhood, but wow - - $67? That is just lunacy and a complete turn-off.
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Old 01-15-2017, 01:15 PM   #16
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The smart phone is not the same as seeing live... take a trip to the Grand Canyon and no picture can match it...
Obviously. But getting to instantly see the world for free from your couch is more than good enough for many people versus the considerable time, money and effort to go to the Grand Canyon.

Just as buying something online unseen is not the same as going to a store and seeing and touching the item first hand - but people are choosing the former more and more each day.
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Old 01-15-2017, 01:42 PM   #17
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My late husband loved the circus so we went at least once a year and sometimes we were invited to parties to meet the various performers . He was also a circus model builder and built a complete circus .with side show and rides .After He died I donated it to a circus museum except for a few pieces that the fat lady wanted (true story ).
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Old 01-15-2017, 02:03 PM   #18
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Wow. What will kids run away to join now?
They don't run away anymore...it's much easier to live rent free in their parent's basement.
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Old 01-15-2017, 02:29 PM   #19
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Wow. What will kids run away to join now?
I don't know. My buddies ex-wife did the circus thing. He was lucky.
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Old 01-15-2017, 04:17 PM   #20
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And this coming just three days after this announcement. How disappointed she must be.

In a first, woman gets top spot under Ringling Brothers big top - CBS News

Ya know - sometimes I think women get a raw deal. First female ringmaster, aaaannd we're closed. Kinda like Mary Barra being named GM CEO just in time for the big ignition switch scandal and the opportunity to let the senators take pot shots at her.
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