(Close Window)
Topic: Sideshow Magic...
Message: Posted by: Rick West (Apr 6, 2012 12:47PM)
The Ten-in-One has become not just a part of American popular
culture, but a stock symbol for the interdependence of illusion
and reality, pleasure and pain, revulsion and awe...

Even now if the spell works, if we are lucky or stoned or drunk or
blessed simple, we see what we are supposed to see: not some poor
unfortunate approximately embodying the myth after which his
affliction is named, but the myth itself...the animal hybrid skulking
at the edge of the jungle, the Giant taller than the Ogre whom Jack
cheated of his harp and hen, the Midget smaller than a mustard
seed. If, however, the spell does not work or is broken, we awake
to the moldy stench of old canvas and the squish of filthy sawdust
under our feet. And looking up, we see the hostility and boredom
in the eyes of those we thought were there to be looked at, not to
look back. It is at this point that we hear behind the camouflage of
words and music the silence of the freaks. And then we cry out
“hoax” or ”fake” though we mean it is all only too real; or we laugh,
as we do at all failed magic, and at ourselves for having dared
believe in it.

L. Fiedler