Hitching up my politically incorrect pants, I just have to find out…am I the only one?
Years ago the circus had side-shows. Outside the ring was an area housing some very unusual acts. You paid separately to see “JoJo the Monkey Boy,” “The Bearded Lady,” “The Fat Lady,” and the “Skinny Man.” There were tiny people, giant people, strong men, snake charmers, jugglers, and sword swallowers. All these “acts” had separate booths. You could pay to see their act, or get a picture, or just gawk in awe or horror.
The only side-show I ever saw was 1970 or ‘71. It was pretty demeaning to most of the acts and kind of weird to be a gawking participant, but much like the proverbial train wreck, you just had to look. Sometime after my voyeuristic participation the traditional side show was discontinued at Ringling Brothers, and eventually all circuses, state and county fairs around the country.
The side show became politically incorrect. Staring at “Freaks” was just wrong and disturbing. How could anyone pay to see such things? “Shame on you!”
Of course I’m guessing the Fat Lady and the World’s smallest, tallest, strongest, and anythingest people probably missed having a way to support themselves…but apparently it was sick to look at them so better they just go away.
Well lookie here! The world has brought back the Freak Show. In the privacy of our own home, so no one needs to know, we can watch today’s Freak Shows on reality TV.
There is a show following around a two headed lady, an itty bitty brother and sister, and a show all about fat people trying to lose weight.
And there is more:
“Ladies and Gentlemen, step right up to your TV and see the crazy, ignorant, author of three ghost written cookbooks be bewildered, lie, and go into complete denial about her cheating husband and her spoiled brat children.”
“Ladies and Gentlemen for one thin slice of your advertising watching time come and see the incredible dirty, crazy, ignorant Hillbilly family. Watch them roll in slop, scratch their bellies and exploit their four year old Boo Boo daughter.”
“Ladies and Gentlemen you know you want to see the scary, outrageous creatures that only an expensive wedding can produce, hold on to your seats, don’t look away, be afraid be very afraid of the “BRIDEZILLAS!”
And there is more, much more, from a toothless snapping turtle catching dude to hand catching catfish catchers, from judge show idiots who claim their bail money was a “gift” to handsome bachelors competing to marry a woman they’ve never met. In what universe are all of these not FREAKS? Why was the old circus side show politically incorrect and shut down by public opinion and outrage and the current TV reality freak show acceptable?
I believe this current trend is sick, disgusting and just WRONG! Furthermore, in my opinion…what…Honey Boo Boo is on in 5 minutes…the FINAL episode of the year?
You nailed it Cranky. The things that are on TV today are freakier than ANYTHING I ever paid a dollar to see at a circus freak show. Er...I mean...WOULD have paid to see if I weren't so politically correct. They're all so exploitative and demeaning, except Duck Dynasty. ;)ReplyDelete
The Freak Show killed the soap opera. Why watch fictional desperate housewives when they can watch real desperate housewives?ReplyDelete
I have been able to avoid Honey Boo Boo, but now you have driven me to seek it out, even though I am no fan of reality shows.ReplyDelete
JEANIE--Do NOT watch Honey Boo Boo. It will make you SICK!!!!ReplyDelete
Brilliant observation. I had not made that connection till you pointed it out.ReplyDelete
Good one, Joe. The connection is so obvious, but we're too innundated every day to make a ready connection to the freak shows that came round once a summer.ReplyDelete
Hilarious! Although I swear my doctor is an old snake charmer I def agree with the TV freak shows called reality TV the kid Honey boo boo gets on my last nerve! Loved the post!ReplyDelete
Thank you for the thrilling post on my blog.....the truth is that I think I love you too......have done so since I read your first post. We definitely belong together........only the wonders of cyberspace can make that possible so, what the hell, let's go for it. Luv you. Lo.
Let us not forget, "Hoarders, Buried Alive" and "my Strange Obsession." The lust could possibly be endless.ReplyDelete
You're right on here. At least paying to see a freak show was more honest, less politically correct but also less self deceiving. Those who watch these freaks on TV reward misfortune or bad behavior.ReplyDelete
Great great post Cranky this post is awesome because I watch the freak shows everyday....ReplyDelete
I don't watch much tv, but all of this sounds suspiciously like my local shopping centre, which I like to call 'Two head city: pants and teeth optional'ReplyDelete
I completely agree. I can't watch these shows. Rachel xReplyDelete
It bugs me that families like Honey Boo Boo are making so much $$$ with their stupid show. Makes me want to take my brood of nine, move into a double-wide, and REALLY give you all something to watch!ReplyDelete
I agree completely with this post! The stuff on tv today IS today's version of the Freak Show! No doubt about it.
I had never thought of it from this persepective. I don't mind some reality shows, but as a general rule, can't be bothered. I'm too busy reading blogs!ReplyDelete