Whaddya know. A century ago, there really were dog and pony shows.
Stuff like this reminds us that in the days before TV, movies, and even radio, people found entertainment in ways that to us today seem very quaint. Imagine asking a girl on a date to see a dog and pony show. Awwwww!
I'll bet that small niches in the economic ecology come and go fairly rapidly. Dog and pony shows clearly fit into one of these niches. They required less capital than a real circus, and doubtless charged less. Cheap entertainment for an evening. Now they're gone. But there are other niches that have sprung up.
Hm. I'm trying to think of a comparable contemporary economic niche, an entertainment event or medium with low barriers to entry, that is inexpensive to the consumer. Everquest? Nah, too high barrier to entry. Small press magazines? But they existed a hundred years ago. FPS servers? But they're free, it's not a business. Same thing goes for most webzines. How about raves held in cheap venues, like warehouses? That's sort of the same thing.
Two more thoughts, then I'll shut up
I've been thinking about world-building, how to make the world you drop your cast into seem real. Micro-entertainment, folksy, corny, like the dog and pony shows, is something I might not have thought of, but is real and gritty as anything.
It seems to me that the term 'circus' is actually not a monolithic idea, but a continuum, a spectrum of 'circus-like' activity, from the solitary juggler on the street corner to the full-blown three-ring extravaganza with exotic beasts, to the self-consciously avant garde Cirque Du Soleil. With lots of stuff in between, like traveling animal acts of all size and complexity. Hm. Now thinking about a story of an other-worldy circus with giant lizards or something.
BTW, in looking up 'Cirque Du Soleil' on the net (to get the spelling, because I suck at spelling), I ran across a Cirque Du Soleil Teacher's Guide. Aaaarrggghhh! Get the circus back in the gutter where it belongs!
証人 == shounin == witness
|Left radical is 'words/speak' (言), right is 'correct' (正). Henshall suggests as a mnemonic: 'Correct words are proof.'|