It seems like we are losing something special with the advancement of technologies and entertainments. Please don't mistake me for a Luddite. I don't believe librarians can be good at their job and be a Luddite at the same time. It is our job to teach others how to use current technologies, so we must first be well versed in them ourselves.
What I mean is that most entertainment takes place in the home now days. Almost anything can be watched on a computer, TV, or played on a video game. Why go anywhere when you can simply watch a form of the event on YouTube? Really, the only thing I can think of that routinely has people preferring live over technology is sporting events. Perhaps concerts, but I know many who just don't like the atmosphere even though the idea is neat.
What brought this to mind recently was the circus. I am not sure I know of anyone personally who has been to the circus and seen it preformed. Back in the day, it was something that was talked about non-stop. Waited for impatiently. Longed for and talked about for weeks afterward. The only time anyone could see such out-of-the-ordinary spectacles was when the circus came to town.
If I want to see extraordinary things now I just get on a website that shows pictures of weird medical conditions and get pretty grossed out. There is a TV station devoted to surgeries and births and other things that were not commonly seen some decades ago. Not to mention the spectacles that the show Jackass and Wife Swap creates.
However, I think something special is getting lost with the easy, pointless shows we have readily available to us 24/7. The circus is not just drunken fools jumping off the neighbor's house in a shopping cart, skill is involved. The things circus performers do is still pretty amazing because their is so much skill involved, exotic animals being dared, and people continuing an archaic way of life rarely seen these days. I think there is something special about that.
If given a chance, I think the circus would continue to awe and inspire us. They have special things that we can't get many other places. Apparently, in a few decades elephants will be extinct in the United States. They are no longer legally imported in the US and they do not breed well in captivity. Since elephants can live to be about 70, the ones we have will last a while longer, but once they are gone, they are gone for good. Instead of seeing pictures on the internet of them, we could go to the circus and see them stand on balls and take hats right off of people's heads!
I think It and the idea of clowns has done a disservice to circuses. People fly through the air, swallow fire, stick their heads in the mouths of tigers, and other amazing things! Clowns are a small portion of the show, and they really aren't that bad.
There just aren't many things that we can get excited about or places where we can witness firsthand unique acts. I don't really think concerts and football games compare, much less anything else. Some people still go to the State Fair, but it is mostly just people selling things these days.
There should be a circus revival. Fun should be had by all.
Oh, and there is the Medieval Fair every Spring, which I do get very excited about unabashedly.