The carnival is all about thrilling the senses. Tastes, sounds, and sights wash over you as you walk down the lanes. Right now you’re probably remembering what that soggy fried Snickers tasted like, what that carny called to make you drop $10 on a stuffed animal, and how gaudy but intriguing and exciting everything looked.
All those thrills are a facade, albeit one we happily accept. Hey, it’s fun! We can rationalize spending big on “cheap” thrills and eating garbage. It’s the fair. It’s the carnival. It only comes once a year. It’s all fluff, but we know it, so we’re willing to go along for the ride.
But behind the veneer of fun? Well, we’ve all seen the backs of fun houses and Elephant Ear stands. It’s all business. Our escapism is someone else’s livelihood, one they work hard for. That surly carny is a reality check in our fantasy, the glitch in our Matrix dream. We see the carny as an antagonist or villain of sorts because of this. We view them as beings who exist only to take our money, make us wait in line, run rigged games, and foul up the air with their cigarette smoke. They’re not the smiling employees of Disney. They don’t fake happiness.
(We forget that they’re surly because they have to deal with drunk customers and brat kids.)
I appreciate the carnies and their attitude. Why?
They teach a lesson: So many things in life are attractive in a superficial sense, making you lose touch with reality and its consequences at times. The carny represents an anchor that grounds is in the real world.
The governments, companies, and societies of the world try to tell us everything is rosy, try to convince us to go on living our lives without questioning anything. Behind that gloss, though, are the gears, rust, and garbage of a world that’s serious business. The Powers That Be benefit from a populace that’s compliant.
It’s fine to have fun in life, but never curse the breaches in the fantasy. What we see as antagonists play a vital role in keeping us focused on what matters. Villains wake us up. They break the trance of consumerism and narcissism that we fall into so easily and that serves our “masters.”
V may be for Vendetta, but it’s also for Villain.
So after you get done with that corn dog, take a stroll in the back lot of the carnival. Consider it a privilege to see behind the scenes. Realize what’s real, what matters, and value it. Face reality without fear, because there is nothing to fear, only to understand. Face the truth even when it’s inconvenient, because the Truth shall set you free.
Sometimes there’s only a vague sense that there’s something amiss.
Other times the sensation is more insistent.
Sometimes the dark side looks fun.
Anything different is intriguing.
But if we look closer, all too often reality is stranger and far more dangerous than fiction.
Don’t let the facade make you disconnect with the real world.
Keep an open mind, but not too open.
Remember, you’re not alone, and not in a good sense.
Check the foundation of your world.
Choose your carousel mount wisely, or you might end up on a whole different ride.
Your adversaries aren’t tireless, even if they seem like it.
Even so, never let your guard down, because you never know when Something Wicked This Way Comes.
Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments.
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