Mixed Reactions To A Literal Three-Ring Circus

Trying to move past my fear knowledge of clowns and their assassination attempts on my life, we went to the circus on Saturday — El Zagal’s 58th Annual Shrine Circus, at the Fargodome. You’ll never guess who the opening act was…

Sanjaya Malakar.


Yup, that kid with the weird hair from American Idol season 6. The one who makes young girls cry (and that, I guess, is due to puppy love — not the whine of his voice or the sight of his knotted-up hair).


My daughter, Destiny (age 12), upon hearing the news that we were going to the circus, warned alerted me to the Sanjaya performance with a, “Everyone from school is going to see Sanjaya!” I guess he still makes pre-teens swoon. I don’t get it. It’s not like he’s Andy Gibb or Parker Stevenson… But hey, I guess I’m just old.

But how far down the talent totem pole do you have to sit to perform at a circus? A circus in Fargo, North Dakota, yet.

Pretty far down.

Even if folks are talking about his being here for some flood relief benefit. (Bryan Shinn, public relations spokesman for the El Zagal Shrine Circus, supposedly said that “Malakar’s appearance is a byproduct of the region’s flooding, which postponed the first scheduled dates of the circus earlier this month and threatened cancellation when replacement acts were hard to find… Malakar will congratulate us on what a great job we did fighting the flood.” I didn’t hear the kid say that…

Oh, but see, he was in town for a local bar’s American-Idol style singing competition called Fargo Star. And while that’s not a hell of a lot better than performing at the circus, I guess the boy’s got a book, a five-song EP — and, yes, a reality television show to promote.


Anyway, my hysterical laughter at Sanjaya’s performance wasn’t a thing to be contained. I cackled like an old lady from my nose-bleed seats. Especially when he shook is tiny butt.

But several acts later, I found myself crying.

It was over a bear act — Rosaire’s Bears. Call me crazy, call me a chick; but bears are not supposed to walk on their hind legs (for such lengths of time), suck from bottles and fake-smooch men.


I don’t care if young men and women in gilttering Lycra outifts swing from trapeze or are juggled by their parent’s feet; they (sort of) have a choice. In fact, that stuff pretty darn thrilling. At least for me. Not many of the kids seemed as impressed as the adults. But maybe that’s because today’s kids are overweight and only “do” stairs when the escalators are broken — or when they have to walk steps to get into the house to sit and play a video game.

Yeah, I’m saying that too many kids are so out of shape & mesmerized by digital action & special effects that they don’t even realize what a feat it is to do the stuff that was right in front of their cotton-candy-eating faces.

But I loved the human circus performances. Then my entertainment isn’t spoiled by wild carnage (other than my motherly sense of worry) or neglect/abuse.

Maybe I should just be expecting my period.

But the other acts cheered me up a bit — until the elephants came out. They were also a ticketed ride attraction too. Riding an elephant… Mmmm, OK… But why did one of the women have an elephant lay down on it’s side & do the splits on top of it? Demeaning. And probably a sticky mess too, based on the skimpiness of her costume.

All I could think of was what has happened to trained performing elephants, and I was ready for another cry over them and the bears…

Bears aren’t supposed to pose for photographs with kids either. For the sake of the bears & the kids. (I don’t care that they had pretty painted canvas dividers — I know what bears can do. And these are tamed wild animals, not domesticated animals. Even domesticated dogs bite, maim, kill…)

Sanjaya was posing for photographs at the circus intermission (autographing stuff too, I guess); but he has a choice. And if thinks the promotion helps his career, his choice to be a dancing bear, fine. But spare the bears. Please!

And then it hit me; the best photo-op of the day would have been to get a photo of Sanjaya with the bear. Because that one photo would have summed up so many things that are wrong in this world.


  1. You’re right…you’re old and you don’t get it. Probably toothless too. Whatever.

  2. He consented to perform at the circus because the area has been hit with flooding, and he wanted to do something nbice. He also performed for Katrina victims back after that disaster.

  3. I think you need to get a life and try enjoying things instead of criticizing everything and everyone…..your probably just a fat old man who is jealous of Sanjaya and who knows he would never stand a chance with the girl on the elephant!!!!

  4. Nina and kayson, you crack me up. I’ll likely be referring to myself as a “toothless, fat old man” just because of you. Your comments sure show your immaturity and irrational dedication to a man you don’t think can take any justified heat — you should probably rescue him from his pursuit of the limelight; he might wither under it.

    And anyone who defends Sanjaya’s self-promotion but doesn’t care about how animals are treated/used has some serious out-of-whack priorities.

    Taya, I know the area has been hit by flooding — I live here. But it sure seems like Sanjaya is more into rescuing/resuscitating his career than anything else. He’s entitled to do so; I’m entitled to talk about my opinions about it because he’s putting himself in the public arena — literally. But because you didn’t insult me, I won’t call you toothless or old :p

  5. I just stumbled upon this little piece of bile and agree with the other comments. What foul pathetic little person it is who wrote this? I hope they were not paid. I’m an animal rights activist and pet rescuer by the way, and I stopped reading by the time this person got to the bears. Sanjaya is a nice kid. A teenager. He did that Shriners Circus a favor and then went on to play for the Shriners Children’s Hospital to raise charitable funds on that reality show on NBC.

    I hope the creepy middle aged hag who wrote this piece of crap sees my comment. I feel sorry for any child of yours having you as a mother. I assume you are a female. Only a homely overweight housefrau would come up with such a nasty excuse for a review. Take a good long look in the mirror and hope it doesn’t crack.

  6. Hi Alex, I’m the “creepy hag” who wrote this.

    Funny how you want to defend Sanjaya and protect my kids from me when you feel so entitled to be so mean & rude. I teach my children tolerance & to express their opinions based on facts & observations & never to resort to name calling, which is a bullying tactic, pure & simple.

    If you took the time to read the post you’d see that:

    A) I did not call Sanjaya subjective names. He was at the circus to promote himself and his “business” as a “celebrity” (B-list or lower to be on the reality show, which, by the way I linked to myself, so I am very aware of it). And he was in Fargo ND, pretty low-rung even for a B-lister. Those are facts — of which both Sanjaya & his agent are very aware, thankyouverymuch.

    and B) animal rights folks & animal rescue folks (of which I myself am one), are used to wading through far more crap than a few paragraphs of blog posts to see the truth about animal use. The fact that you couldn’t see the truth about bears for the forest of Sanjaya fantasies — especially when the latter can defend himself; animals cannot — I find your claims to be an animal rights activist & pet rescuer rather suspicious.

    Likely your service to animals only consists of lip service; and of the bullying sort, I guess. When you’ve been wading knee-deep in feces to rescue them, physically lifting poo-covered, tortured & bleeding animals , giving them IVs, injections and rehabilitating them at risk of physical harm to yourself, etc., like I have for decades, then I guess you’re less concerned with sparing the feelings of one temporary teen idol who has placed himself in the spotlight.

    If you don’t like facts & opinions based upon actual observations, then why are you reading here? Please remain in your fantasy world of pink unicorns and lavender Sanjayas — but beware: there are bullies there.

  7. Pot, meet kettle. I was no ruder than you, which was a tactic. In fact, I had cause where you merely acted the bully and hid your insecurities behind your keyboard to bash a teenager. Were you the fat nerd in Jr. High who never got a date? Now you are so big and showing such a good example to your children.

    I don’t give injections as I am not a vet or a licenced vet tech and do not feel comfortable doing so unless it’s an emergency, but I can give sub q fluids. I’ve found some in animal rescue to be bitter old hateful hags, so it appears you fall into that odd group where you project a sort of compassion for the “inferior” in a twisted form of ego boost, no different than the collectors on that slippery slope. Just like it makes you feel powerful to trash someone higher on the social ladder than yourself, afterall – he’s famous and you live in Fargo and write a blog… it apparently feeds your ego to bestow your so called compassion on “sub” human creatures who do not have the ability to speak and call you a hypocritical twat.

    “If you don’t like facts & opinions” – there you are wrong. It’s your opinion, not a fact. A fact would be that Stevie Wonder is of the opinion that he likes Sanjaya enough to have had him sing on stage with him – which he did. A fact would be that mentors such as Diana Ross, Tony Bennett, and Jennifer Lopez all praised Sanjaya on American Idol. You are merely spewing your opinion. I am stating my opinion. That is a fact.

  8. Thanks for bringing up the horror of the circus. I hate it when singers/celebrities book engagements with circuses/rodeos and the like. And you’re right. Bears should not be on their hinds. Elephants should not be “attractions” and performers. Shame on Sanjaya for partaking in this public display of animal cruelty.

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