Future circus

Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus went out of business a little over two years ago. Not only were fewer people going to the circus, but our society also evolved.

Many people stopped looking at tiger and elephant acts and the like as innocent entertainment. Rather, the ways these animals were treated started to become a much discussed issue, as more people became attuned to questions of animal suffering.

The people who used to run the circus are now focused on creating shows involving life sized mechanical dinosaurs. You can now see a triceratops walking around, or a tyrannosaurus rex opening its mighty jaws.

Clearly there is no animal suffering, because there are no animals. Instead, people are being treated to the spectacle of highly detailed life sized puppets.

These events tend to take place in large venues such as sports stadiums. Stadium owners welcome such uses of their facilities, because they are sources of revenue between games.

I find this kind of large scale location based entertainment exciting, because it is one tick away from the vision Luc Besson showed us in Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. Someday soon, we will all be able to enter a giant sports arena together with thousands of other people, put on our XR glasses, and enter the future circus.

In that circus, we will be able to see and hear, all around us, spectacular entertainments and mind boggling visions far beyond the capabilities of even the most advanced puppetry. And no animals will need to suffer for our pleasure.

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