Thursday, October 7, 2010

Circus Elephants Transmit Tuberculosis

Driving home from work I noticed the circus wagons outside the local civic center. Barnum and Bailey's in town. There were a handful of protesters out there too. One young woman carried a sign informing me that Circus Elephants Transmit Tuberculosis. I can't explain why, but it struck me as sweet, sad, futile, foolish, bizarre, noble, tragic and stupid all at once. All of these causes, flags, banners, placards, chants, slogans, campaigns, struggles, jihads, riots, wars. All this passion, rage, love, hate, righteousness, hypocrisy, faith, belief. All these tiny truths, or half truths or outright falsehoods, existing in direct opposition to one another with their proponents invested to the hilt, ready to kill and to die. All this noise.

Shut Up!

All are worthy and all-important to someone, I suppose. I am nominally a proponent of taking a stand, I suppose, when in practice I do more shaking my head than anything. But it slapped me across the face tonight, it's belief  here in this circus that limits and divides us - our fantasies about the world. At least that's my belief tonight, here with a sour stomach and a plan to go to New York City for the weekend.

Meanwhile, any elephant that doesn't cover it's trunk around me when it coughs is going down. I'm fed up to here with it all.


  1. I've done a lot of thinking about "belief". I decided years ago to believe only what I KNOW to be true. Which, so far, eliminates every possible belief, except one: "Something Exists". We can't even be sure WE exist, not completely. But something has to. I'm not sure why I've done this, but it makes my life better. I can just smile and watch all the pretty "realities" go by, and look at them, detached, free. Shedding and then relearning, from the context of an adult. A synaptic reboot. I look at this in writing, it reeks of "cop-out", but it certainly doesn't feel that way.

    Not to make this about me, of course. But it's seldom that I see anyone exhalt the virtues of "shedding beliefs", so I had to chime in with my claptrap. Good God i love the word claptrap.

    And no, I *don't* always sound like a 15-year-old getting stoned for the first time. Just today.


  2. "Claptrap"! I love it too, and I'm with you on the narrowing. Thanks for your thoughts. Whoa, look at the trails my fingers are making in the air!


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