The greatest show on earth

With a winter full of arctic blasts, it’s nice to know that things are heating up somewhere.  The New York Times tells us How 2016 Became Earth’s Hottest Year on Record.  In case you’re wondering, the trend looks a bit like this (from the article):


Hopefully, the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency won’t spoil the fun.  Although, maybe someone else will.  Then, there’s always that fringe group of 97% of all climate scientists who probably won’t go away quietly.

Also, the circus is leaving town and this time they’re not coming back.  Or, are they just changing venues?  Ok, so I’m not the only one to figure out that P.T. Barnum has come back to life and taken over the world.  Still, the timing is wonderful.  It somehow feels like some balance is kept in the universe–as if some clever magician has removed an object in front of us and replaced it with a duplicate.  We know it’s happened, but it was all so quick, we just can’t accept that we’ve been duped.

P.T. Barnum was an incredibly influential American.  In many ways, all disinformation industries, from intelligence to public relations to advertising to lobbying to campaigning to religion to the nightly news, borrow from the work of this marvelous humbug.  He is a testament to the power of persuasion and the deep-seated desire of the masses to be fooled, especially by someone who will sell simplicity, hope, and diversion for a few nickels.  The best part is, the huckster doesn’t even lose when he gets caught “exaggerating” a bit.  As Barnum biographer Irving Wallace noted, “The bogusness of (his hoaxes) did not matter. Barnum gradually came to be more admired than resented, for the people desperately needed what he had to offer.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create your website with
Get started
%d bloggers like this: