National Scorpions in a European Bottle
'Silence' by Gottfried Benn

People! Animals! Sensations!

Circuses disappeared from America sometime around 1975, to be replaced by God knows what.

But Europe, God bless it, still plays host to circuses. Actual traveling circuses, with genuine circus-folk and clowns with eerie, pupil-less eyes:

Welktklasse Europa Circus

Come one, come all, to see 'Snake-woman Mercedes' (who looks about 12), 'Clown Banana' (not further specified), 'Fire-fakir Santokan and Belly Dancer Destiny', 'Schecki -- Europe's smallest Pony', 'Clown Peppo', and 'Arelina and Cartier', her trained horse.

I know we're supposed to find these things slightly louche and express concern over proper animal storage and all, but I for one welcome the prospect of humans leaving behind their flickering screens, foregathering in meatspace, and watching other humans do amusing things with each other and certain animals. Who says the new ways are always better? 


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Junger Gott

"Circuses disappeared from America sometime around 1975, to be replaced by God knows what."

Wasn't that about the time professional wrestling became popular und televised?


My impression is that there are considerably fewer travelling circuses than in my childhood in the '80s. Back then, if I remember correctly, we had a rather big one in the next town (80,0000 pop) once or twice a year - I am quite sure, I have seen one or two of the Althoffs and maybe also Zirkus Krone - and occasionally small ones even in a village of about 3000 people.

Milan No

Thanks to the lobbying of animal rights groups, there are fewer and fewer wild animals in European circuses. There are almost no bears anymore, and only few big cats. The most common exotic animals are elephants and camels, and, as domesticated animals, at least the latter are far more suitable for circus life than wide animals. The Circus Europa apparently has no exotic animals whatsoever, because if they had some, they would in all likelihood feature prominently on their posters. The animals they mention in their slogan probably are Schecki, Cartier and a couple more horses.

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