It’s been on all the major news shows, so I’m sure most folks have heard this already.
Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus is ending.
After 146 Years, Ringling Bros. And Barnum & Bailey Circus To Shut Down
January 15, 20171:04 AM ET
Now you might think that a business model that worked fine for nearly a Century & 1/2 would be something you can rely on. You would be right. So why did it break? IMHO they were challenged by other venues (from Cirque du Soleil doing great ‘center ring’ shows nation wide to zoos getting their acts together more), but what really was the final straw was a mix of rising costs (look at the ‘production qualities’ of their current center ring shows…) and the demise of the Elephants.
The Elephants on parade was iconic of their brand. On all their images everywhere. They were right up there with Tigers as The Big Draw. Remove the animals from the circus and it isn’t a circus anymore. It’s a traveling vaudeville show with nauseating carnival rides.
Feld announced the news on the company website Saturday night, citing declining ticket sales — which dipped even lower as the company retired its touring elephants.
“This, coupled with high operating costs, made the circus an unsustainable business for the company,” Feld says.
Ringling has been phasing out elephants as a result of shifting public tastes and criticism from animal rights groups over the well-being of the animals.
Now how hard is it to make a connection between ‘phasing out FOO’ and “dropping ticket sales”? Really? I’m doing FOO and it hurts when I do FOO. Golly, maybe I’ll do more FOO! /sarc;
That’s the depth of their reasoning skill.
A TV interview had a Circus Representative saying ~”When we got rid of the elephants, ticket sales dropped a lot more than we expected”. Well Duh! You were seen as gutting your show to please the PC Police. I’d not let my kid see that kind of shameful knuckle under either. You can make a good product that people want to buy, or you can be Politically Correct and go out of business. You choose “piss off my customers to please the idiots who don’t attend”.
Elephants had been a circus mainstay almost as long as the circus itself has been a staple of American entertainment, since Phineas Taylor Barnum introduced Jumbo, an Asian elephant in 1882.
But before the traveling exhibition evolved into a regular destination for wholesome family fun, Barnum “made a traveling spectacle of animals and human oddities popular, while the five Ringling brothers performed juggling acts and skits from their home base in Wisconsin,” reports the AP. “Eventually, they merged and the modern circus was born. The sprawling troupes traveled around America by train, wowing audiences with the sheer scale of entertainment and exotic animals.”
So let’s see… We had animal acts, and we had floor show, and we mixed them and had spectacular success. THEN we start eliminating one of them and sales drop. Gee… wonder why…
So what have they got to sell now? Oh, a vaudeville / juggling act and bad food.
IMHO, the Feld family most likely had too many other businesses to really care about this one, and just wanted the PC Police to go away.
The Feld family bought Ringling in 1967 and employs about 500 people for both touring shows “Circus Extreme” and “Out of This World.”
IMHO, this is really a lesson in what happens when you give in to PC Police. You die.
The animals will now all die and they will not have progeny. This is good for them how?
As working animals, they had a pretty nice niche. Caregivers who tended them. Doctors when sick. Food brought as needed. Predators kept away. Rehearsal and a few shows a few days a week, then a road tour. Heck, I’d sign up for that! (As, it would seem, did a few hundred other people).
Now THE key thing the PITA folks and related forget is simple: No work for them, the animals are extirpated. Dead. Gone. No joy. Nobody is going to sink the money into keeping those animals alive for generations with zero money to do it. They may keep some of them alive on a retirement farm until they expire (just to keep the flack down) but the herd will be extinguished. Do you really think that’s what the herd wants? To all die?
Yes, they had to work for a living. So do the cows in a dairy. So does the dog herding sheep. So does my kid… So?
With any luck, the Feld Family can be coaxed into selling the rights to someone who actually cares about the Circus and the tradition of it. In my dinky farm town, we had a much smaller traveling circus come to town (RB B&B was in the Big City an hour away… got to see it once as a treat). WHY do I have great fondness for Elephants and Tigers? Because I saw them performing and working with people when I was about 5 years old and loved it (and by extension, them). I realized these animals had brains, knew their routine, could hit their spot on the stage, and frankly seemed to enjoy showing off some times. THAT was the moment a bear turned from a predator in the forest (to be killed) into a performer with personality. Kill off that experience, in 50 years nobody will give a damn about Elephants, Tigers, Bears, or much of any other animal. They become vague concepts from a screen, not something experienced with awe.
Does a zoo ‘cut it’ as an alternative? Nope. All you see there is, if you are lucky, a bored to tears animal trying to sleep despite that noise from the other side of the fence. You don’t see the personality nor the intelligence nor the sheer ability of the animals. They become ‘a thing apart’ instead of a ‘kindred spirit in actions’. Zoos are nice, and we visit them every year if possible, but they are not able to showcase the skill and intelligence of the animals. Specimens at a distance are NOT the same as an emotional bond to a performer.
The lesson all companies need to take away from this is simple:
Give in to the Loony Left PC Police and go out of business.