Friday, February 16, 2007

The Circus Goons

While I try like the dickens to get a mini-album published of our circus outing the other night (bad, bad Mercury!), I'll tease you with these pics. [Circus Album published!]

This goonie hat came with the obligatory cotton candy and Nicholas was game for the part. HA! Better him than me.

First of all, this RB and B&B circus was NOT like the past two years. It was totally different. If I may say so, it was much more Cirque du Soleil-ish, even if nothing will ever touch that! There was only one "stage" (no 3 rings) and there actually was a bit of a story that involved a little boy (age 9-10-ish) who was there throughout the entire show (yellow shirt on the far right below).

Ask Nichloas and he'll tell you one of his favorite acts was the food fight, which started here in this diner...

The blue clowns and the red clowns were all doing just fine. Even Elephant was doing his job, ringing the bell whenever someone new came in. Then suddenly, all bedlam broke loose. Food flying everywhere with lots of slipping and sliding. Nicholas especially liked "the desserts"--the pies thrown in everyone's face. And then, of course, Elephant had to hose them all down.

Fewer animal acts this time; more human acts. Which raises an interesting point. Did RB and B&B have to prove something against those who are dead-set against cruelty to animals? I don't know. But the pic I put up on Shutterchance yesterday drew quite a pro/con debate about having circuses at all. If you want to read it, feel free. Donica and I have a year now to decide if we will take Nicholas to the circus NEXT year. Please weigh in with your vote, if you have one, because it's still up in the air for us.

At least no one will take away our cotton candy, right, Nicholas??!!


  1. yummy! and I love the hat!

    By the way, the only circus that I have been to since like 25 plus years is one traveling one they had in St. Louis, France/Basel... You get the idea of the location, I loved it, rather cool..

  2. What I like a lot about you and by reading your blog, is that you have such great time with children. Keep up the good work as I love visiting.
    Wishing you a lovely end to your week too:-)

  3. Bring him to circus next year as well. As long as the animals are treated decent, compared to destroy their natural habitad, it's ok.
    At least it looks like you had fun. Nice hat and all that cotton candy. I think his dentist will love that.LoL.

    And I do agree, Cirque du Soleille, is unique - the combination of cirque/theatre from Molieres time to modern theatre is extrodinary, so is the history of the original group.

    I haven't been to a traditional circus for a least 25 years - seen it before syndrome. Instead, we make our own. he-he.

    Have a joyful weekend.


  4. Ginnie, I have found the people on Shutterchance friendly but on the conservative side. Posting on various sites has led me to find that each has it's own audience and flavor.

    It's hard to face criticism of what an image portrays- I know this first hand from my documentation of the peace activists from my town. Many people get upset when they see these simple images of people gathering to express their personal beliefs. As the photographer I bear the brunt of what they're expressing.

    I include no personal thoughts with these images, I'm simply showing what I've observed.

    In the case of your circus pics you were showing us an image that expressed beauty. All the rest was brought to the table by the viewers.

    You may very well have documented something that is disappearing and may have historical importance.

    Whether or not to go to the circus again is a personal decision.

    I'm going to keep on documenting the peace activists!

    I'm very glad everything turned out okay on the homefront.

    oxo jo

  5. Hey now - you've ALL missed it with this post! Ginnie - since you are in the picture can we assume that this is Donica's FIRST contribution? GREAT SHOT of you and Nicholas! GOOD JOB Donica! I think the important thing is the great time you all have together and I love that your photos and writings document this!

  6. Ginnie - guess who "anonymous" is after all - Judy. Sorry about that. Now there's another reason I could never consider having a blog site!

  7. I had read the discussion at shutterchance after your circus post, and I have mixed feelings about the circus. I can see the point of those who don't like it that animals are trained to do silly things. After all, what does the training involve? Is it painful? Does it make sense to make an animal do something it is very unnatural to do? (such as stand on hind legs).

    But that said, I don't have a strong opinion about it.

    Since you asked, this is what I would do. If you and Donica both want to go to the circus next year, after a year of contemplating all this (maybe more research?), then bring Nicholas into the discussion. I know you are very communicative with him. He is quite a sophisticated soul. I'll bet if he began to know about the issues involved, he might develop his own opinions on the matter. That way all three of you would make your own personal decision.

  8. ET: I found out that one of the main trainers from last year, Sacha Houcke, worked in the circus with his dad in Switzerland before he came to America. So maybe you saw it in Basel?

    Renny: Yes and thanks! I DO love children more and more, now that I have such an incredible g'son! :)

    Tor: I'm learning more and more about what this circus is doing to create and preserve natural habitats for the elephants in particular. Saving orphans, etc. My sense is that as attention is brought to these cruelty issues, there is more being done to educate the public about what they ARE or aren't doing.

    Jozee: I'm sure you are right about SC, though I hadn't thought about it that way before. I was very happy with myself, as I read all their comments, to not take any of it personally. I had a couple other pics to post that I may not post now, because of how offensive they may be to some of those same people. I don't know. It's a hard decision to make--the posting, that is. As far as what I'm feeling about the circus 3 days later? I will probably still want to go next year! Thanks for your very thoughtful response!

    Judy (twice): HA! I knew it was you by what you said. Isn't THAT fun! :) And yes, Donica took the pic, so that IS her contribution! But not her first, I'm quite sure. Thanks, Judy, for your comment, as always!

    Ruth: Even after all the discussion, I don't have a strong enough opinion to NOT go next year. Not yet. I will definitely do more research to make sure I understand more. I've also been reading the RB and B&B circus book we purchased last year, telling about the behind-the-scenes work they do to preserve and care for these animals and their habitats. I've actually been quite impressed. I also think you've raised a lovely option about drawing Nicholas into the discussion, if it comes to that! Thank you so much for your thoughts.

  9. Great pictures of a young boy who is obviously enjoying every minute of his trip to the Circus. My dad took me to a circus when I was quite little, and there was a boxing kangaroo who frightened me and I had to be taken home in tears, and I haven't really liked Circuses ever since. But Cirque du Soleil, that's absolutely WONDERFUL!

  10. So glad you had such a good time with Nicholas.

    I'm not sure about what I should think regarding the opinions shared on your photoblog. I also used to see right on a horse farm from my office window and I can tell you that when young horses are playing with each other, they do quite interesting cabrioles. And what about sheep dogs? Many animals - just like us - like to work. But then again, these animals are probably closer to their "natural" habitats than the more exotic animals.

    Anyway, I'll leave it at that.

  11. Ex-S: It has surprised me how many people have mentioned that something from the circus frightened them when they were young. One guy on my other blog said the clowns scared him. So far Nicholas hasn't been scared by anything. He just sits there and eats it all up. One of these days we'll start taking him to Cirque du Soleil. Can hardly wait for him to experience that!

    CS: I think you're gonna enjoy the series I'm starting on Shutterchance but which I'm also gonna show in my next post here, just published. Maybe it'll bring back happy memories from when you worked. :)

  12. FOOD FIGHT!!!!!!!!!!
    I agree with Nicholas, food fight is the best!

    I have never been much interrested by that kind of circus though... But if there is any cruelty done to the animals, it should be stopped! Anyway, I think that because of the popularity of the Cirque du Soleil, more and more circus will change gradualy their style.

    And Ginnie, do you how we say cotton candy in french? It's "barbe à papa"! That means daddy's beard. Tell that to Nicholas, he will love it! :O)

  13. Dear, dear Clo! He loved the food fight! But maybe we WILL start him out with Cirque du Soleil when they come back again. Since they were just here, it'll probably be another 2 years, when he'll certainly be old enough to appreciate it.

    I love the French for cotton candy. How fun to tell him. Thanks for letting me know. :)

  14. Great photos and stories! As for how circuses treat their animals, I don't know enough to say anything.