Showing posts with label p.t. barnum. Show all posts
Showing posts with label p.t. barnum. Show all posts

Friday, October 13, 2023


Actually, I did no such thing. 

Image by James Oladujoye from Pixabay

This is a weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny  the Stickies — to advise 'em now, haunt them after I'm deleted.

Trigger Warning: This column is rated SSC-65: Sexy Seasoned Citizens   


Featuring {Dana}Persistent auditory hallucination and charming literary device 

“The only remedy to racist discrimination is antiracist discrimination.”                                                                                           -Ibram X. Kendi

Dear Stickies (and gentlereaders),

If you've decided to read this column because you wanted to know what happened when an alleged adult, a sexy senior citizen no less, ate nothing but pizza for 30 days please accept my apology. 

Big BUT, given that you're probably smarter than I look, you probably weren't deceived by my clickbait headline for a single second. You probably decided to check it out just to see what the humbug is. Or maybe, like me, you love pizza.


A humbug, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is, among other things, "something designed to deceive and mislead." This brings us to P.T. Barnum and Ibram X. Kendi (aka, Henry Rogers)

{It does?}

Let us proceed in a logical manner, my dear gentlereaders. Pizza to humbug to P.T. Barnum to Mr. Rogers/Kendi. (I apologize if Mr. Rogers/Kendi prefers the non-gendered honorific Mx.).  

{What's Mx. short for, mixed up?}

I've always liked pizza, but nowadays I love pizza, particularly pepperoni pizza, particularly Ianazone's (my local pizzeria of choice) pepperoni pizza. I confess that Cranky is to Ianazone's pepperoni pizza as Garfield is to lasagna. 

The older one gets the more jaded/sated one becomes and the list of Earthly pleasures (L.E.P.) that stir one's, um... assorted appetites, shortens. However, until our devolution into a race of cyborgs is complete, ya gotta eat, regardless of whether you're the type of H. sapien who lives to eat or eats to live. 

I'm more the former, I'm baffled by the latter. Anyway, that's why so many people of a certain age are enthusiastic eaters; eating remains on their LEP list till the game is up and their toes are pointed heavenward. 

P.T. Barnum was famous in his day for perpetrating humbugs on the public. Everyone knew, that like clickbait, what was promised might not be what was delivered, but you never knew for sure unless you showed up -- and bought a ticket.

Unlike our present era, which provides all entertainment all the time, people had fewer options to choose from and they knew that odds were they would still enjoy themselves.

From an article posted on the Smithsonian Magazine's website written by Jackie Mansky: 

"Barnum's career trafficked in curiosities, which he served up to a public hungry for such entertainment, regardless of how factual or ethical such displays were. His legacy in show business stretched from the American Museum to "P. T. Barnum's Grand Traveling Museum, Menagerie, Caravan & Hippodrome" (the predecessor of “Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey” circus) near the end of his life. Each were full of bigger-than-life ideas marketed to an audience interested in mass, and often crass, entertainment." 

The article is primarily about what an awful person P.T.B. was and what awful people his customers were, not having had the advantage of our woke sensibilities. This not being an article about Wokies, I shan't mention the absurdity of applying, en masse, present standards to the sleepers of the past. 

Nor for that matter, will I bring up judging people of the present based on the hoped-for standards of a future Utopia. 

I won't even mention certain "reality" shows or "wrestling." 

{Shan't? Shouldn't that be shalln't?}

I will, however, point out that "freak shows," though rare, still exist, and are nowadays put on by the "freaks". Also, I've discovered that you can find a lot of graphic videos about this sort of thing on the web if you're interested. 

I'm not, but I wouldn't post such a video even if I were. This is a column written by a gentleperson, for gentlepersons. Gentlepersons are discrete about their personal predilections and feel no need to advertise them or demand acceptance for them by the general public. 

I have, however, stumbled on a family-friendly, and quite enjoyable YouTube video titled Two Innocent Girls Turn Into FREAKS!

Now, Mx. Kendi's humbug is closer to a Bernie Madoff-style humbug than a P.T. Barnum-style humbug. For the record, please note I've used the gender-neutral honorific Mx., and haven't used the former Mr. Roger's "deadname."


In case you have a life, that doesn't include an obsession with following current events, according to Wikipedia:

Ibram Xolani Kendi (born Henry Rogers, August 13, 1982) is an American author, professor, anti-racist activist, and historian of race and discriminatory policy in America.   


A Zulu/Xhosa word for peace. 

Mx. Kendi, in spite of being the child of middle-class privilege (if he had been raised in Flyoverland instead of NYC it would've been upper-middle-class privilege) has devoted his life to battling anti-black racism. Dr. Kendi has a Ph.D. in African-American Studies. 

Recently, Dr. Kendi, a hero to both those battling anti-black racism and those who make a comfortable living from same, has come under attack by the racists who battle those who battle anti-black racism for allegedly perpetrating a BLM-style humbug at work. 

Dr. Kendi, who founded and runs Boston University's Center for Antiracist Research, and his colleagues, can't seem to account for most of the $50,000,000 or so the center has received since 2020. 

You may have encountered the famous for-a-minute quote allegedly spoken by one of Professor Kendi's fellow professors who worked at the center, "I don't know where the money is."

According to an article in The College Fix (one of my favorite sources of input), Dr. Kendi explained what's actually going on in an interview he granted to BU's student newspaper:

“'Not everyone wants to build an antiracist society; that is clear,' Professor Kendi told the Boston University student newspaper when asked if coverage of the downfall of his center has been fair."

Although Dr. Kendi and the gang at the Center for Antiracist Research haven't generated much in the way of tangible results and Dr. K. hasn't published a paper in four years he has published a couple of Children's books including my personal favorite, the Antiracist Baby Board Book.

{Is there a pop-up version?}

Also, he gave a lot of speeches, in person and virtually, for a modest remuneration. I don't know if his audiences were/are as satisfied as P.T. Barnums were. 
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