The latest are performed by Donald Trump, Caitlin/AKA/Bruce Jenner, Sarah Palin, Ann Coulter, Kim Jong-un, the Kardashians and all the other contemporary freaks. There’s nothing new about their antics, all designed to grab our attention and/or money.
I’m old enough to remember seeing circus wagons roll into town and offer freakish sideshow attractions. They included JoJo the Monkey Boy, General Tom Thumb, Elephant Man, Siamese Twins and Schlitzie The Pinhead. As with those who make today’s headlines, they were there to get as much money out of the local yokels as possible.
Some oldtime freaks were physically-deformed, while others offered funny costumes, magic tricks or music to entice you. Among today’s most active freaks are the mentally-deformed pinhead dictator of North Korea and orange-wigged-out leader of the free world.
In addition to reducing your bank account, they want to increase their power. For example, TRUMPeter Ann Coulter blares out her message to gatherings of super-left and super-right college freaks. She incites them to riot, make headlines, sell tickets and peddle her books.
A very familiar example of today’s version of the circus freak is Bruce/AKA/Caitlin Jenner. Prime time interviews, theater appearances, speeches and book sales are making him/her a bi-billionaire.
And, of course, there are the political celebrity promo deals. A year ago, Barack Obama teased Hillary Clinton for getting $200,000 per speech. Along with other lucrative deals, he’s grabbing $400,000 for a one-hour freak show in front of a bunch of overstuffed Wall Street billionaires, scheduled for September.
With their glory days faded, Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin and other failed political freaks may still be able to make a few bucks with speeches. Or if that fails, stand on street corners with a tin cup. Shakespeare said it best in Macbeth: “A poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”