Category Archives: Perspective

TNT Review: Ringling Bros New Show Is Truly Death-Defying, For Kids Of All Ages

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*Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey circus ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson recently called their new show, Out of this World, “the greatest show on earth.” If that sounds like a tag line, it is, and they’ve been using it for decades.

Sometimes, though, there’s actual truth in advertising. And the tag line is absolutely apt in this case. The circus’ new production completely blew my mind. Ringling Bros has put together an amazing show for kids of ALL ages.

Ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson and Paolo
Ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson and Paolo

“With this new show,” Iverson said by phone, “we still have the world’s greatest menagerie — lions and tigers, rescue dogs, horses, donkeys, kangaroos, llamas, pigs…”

Let’s talk about those pigs. Having grown up in Detroit, I didn’t know pigs were so big. They’re “huge dog” big. Hell, they’re “small car” big!

And let’s talk about the lions and tigers. That part of the show was one of the moments when I was really afraid. I was certain that the cats’ trainer, Alexander, was going to get mauled for all to see. One of the felines, Susie, wasn’t in the best of moods during the performance and challenged Alexander more than a few times.  She was absolutely not feeling Alex.  Every time she growled with that mouth full of deadly incisors or raised her immense paw to the trainer’s head, I was frozen in my seat.

Speaking of being frozen, only Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey could bring a snowstorm and snowball fight to a hot late summer night in Sacramento, California. During that segment of the show, the visuals are so realistic you’ll believe the venue has bumped the AC up. And ONLY Ringling Bros could set the ice on fire — literally!

And let’s talk about another petrifying part of the show: those horsemen and women, riding quickly around a tight circle as they rotated over and under the galloping horses! They could have easily been trampled.

The trapeze artists! Yes, there was a net, but they were WAY up there! Continue reading

Ringling Bros’ First African American Ringmaster — and His Son — Bring It!

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Iverson and Paolo

*You may have heard that Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey has removed their trademark elephants, the ones that generations of circus fans have enjoyed, from the show.  Having been thrilled by the elephants for the first time decades ago, I was curious about how they’d fill that void.  When I caught up with ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson, he assured me that we’re in for a treat.  He also educated me about a longstanding circus tradition: evolution.

“There was a time when the greatest attraction at the circus was the incandescent lightbulb,” the 40-year-old Iverson told me by phone. “And people came from miles and miles to see it — we filled whole tents full of folks. When the elephants left, it presented an opportunity to do what we’ve always done. We’re always reinventing ourselves — that’s the beauty of the circus.”

“With this new show, we still have the world’s greatest menagerie — lions and tigers, rescue dogs, horses, donkeys, pigs, kangaroos, llamas…and ice! We have ice and ice skaters,” Iverson continued, with an enthusiasm that’s absolutely contagious.”

I was born and raised in Michigan, and I can honestly say I’d never been more excited about ice than I was when Iverson talked about it!

“It’s an intergalactic space odyssey, and there are great projections that reflect off of the ice that literally transport your imagination to the planet we’re going to — it’s stunning,” Iverson continued.  “I’m riding around in this space ship the whole time. It’s hilarious to me, because I’ve always been skeptical about black people going into space! I’ve been with the show for 20 years, and I’ve done everything from being a part of a living carousel to presenting fictional dragons, to now going to outer space! That can only be done at the circus.”

In case you missed that ethnic reference (or the picture at the beginning of this feature!), that’s right! The ringmaster of Ringling Bros Barnum & Bailey circus is African American. He’s the first black ringmaster in the circus’ 200 year history. Continue reading

Pastor Tells HS Crowd to Stand for National Anthem or Get Shot

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*By now, we should all be use to nut cases who try to use scripture to justify the ills of man.  Slavery, the oppression of women, homophobia…I always say:  if you want a scripture to justify what you want to think, you can find one…or twist one…to suit your needs.

But I’ll be damned if self-described men of the cloth aren’t just spouting off whatever they want to say, with or without any scriptural support!   And those on the mental edge have been pushed over it by Colin Kaepernick and his awesome protest of racial injustice.  

The pastor of Sweet Home Baptist Church in Alabama, who moonlights as an announcer at McKenzie High School football games — or maybe it’s the other way around — told a crowd Friday night to rise for the national anthem…or get shot.  

“If you don’t want to stand for the National Anthem, you can line up over there by the fence and let our military personnel take a few shots AT you since they’re taking shots FOR you,” Pastor Allen Joyner said before the game, according to an (of course) now deleted Facebook post.

School officials denounced Joyner with a quickness. Continue reading

Southwest Flight Attendant’s ‘Unusual Talent’ Makes Landing Fun! (Video)

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*So you’ve had a long weekend and now it’s time to get back to work. Here is something cute to get you on your way!

Many of you may be too young to remember the Saturday morning cartoons that differ greatly from those your kids may be watching today (Teen Titans or other more techno-looking animations). I’m talking about the original, classic, irreplaceable funnies that starred characters like Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd, Tweety Bird and Daffy Duck.

I recall getting up on Saturday morning and watching these characters as my siblings and I ate breakfast… together .

Oh! Talk about glory days!

Apparently, a male Flight attendant at Southwest Airlines misses those days as much as I do.

Hey Face: Get ready to grin!

Continue reading

82-year-old Grandpa Starts the Fall Semester at College…with his Granddaughter

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*My 77-year-old mother never finished college, and she says that decision is one of her biggest regrets. She went back briefly in the 1990s (GOD that sounds like it was a long time ago!), but dropped out again after just a day or two (I’m not exaggerating), telling herself that, at 50-something, it was too late.

I love Mom dearly, and she sacrificed a lot to help raise her children.  But for decades she has bought into the ridiculous notion that she’s too old to go back to school.  Throughout those same decades, my siblings and I have tried to convince her that it’s never too late to pursue a dream.

Maybe we need to ask Rene Neira, 82, to give her a call.  He just started the new semester at Palo Alto College — with his 18 year old granddaughter.  

The octogenarian is just a class away from earning his associate’s degree in economics.  His granddaughter, Melanie Salazar, has just started her studies at the San Antonio, Texas community college.

“Grandpa and I are very close,” Salazar said.  “I like to say he’s my best friend and it’s great to have him here with me.”

Continue reading

Corrections Officer Charged After Leaving Dog in Hot Car for Two Hours

Morning game mood
Morning game mood

*A Pennsylvania state corrections officer is being charged with animal cruelty after a drug-detecting yellow Lab in his care died in July, after being left in a hot car for over two hours.  

The 2-year-old Totti had been left in the locked car for over two hours during a training exercise, according to a Department of Corrections investigation.  Several tried to cool the dog down after she was removed from the car, but she died later after being taken to a vet for treatment. Continue reading

TV Station Suspends Female Anchors, Orders Them To Lose Weight

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*They say the camera adds 10 pounds, and that everyone looks a little…healthier on TV.  Egypt’s state broadcaster thinks it’s more than the camera for eight of its female anchors, and has suspended them and ordered them to lose weight!  

The Egyptian Radio and Television Union (ERTU) has given the women just one month to take off the pounds before allowing them to appear again on air with what they say will be “appropriate appearance.”

Interestingly, the ERTU has a female director, Safaa Hegazy, who used a be TV anchor!  

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Lest you ask, yes, Hegazy is what many in the US would call a “skinny beeeatch.”   I think she looks like Sally Field, but anyway… Continue reading

‘Don’t Want No Trouble!’: Florida Gator Takes Leisurely Walk Through Yard (Watch)

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*We always hear the tragic stuff when an alligator is in the picture. But sometimes these crocodilians (I learned that word from Wikipedia) just want to hang. You know, take a leisurely walk around your yard to see what’s up on the other side.

Secretly, they may wish we would just stop fearing them, and allow them to just lay beside us on the ground as we enjoy our outdoor picnics. Hey, they may even want us to play a friendly game of ball. You know, you use your feet to roll it over to the croc, and then watch him skidaddle over and catch it in that huge mouth.

OK, I know it’s a stretch, but you’ve got to admit, I was on some kind of a roll!

Anyhoo, fun times appear to be what’s happening for the world-weary gator in the video below, shared by the Miami Herald

I’ve decided to name him Socrates, after the Greek philosopher. Why?

I dunno. Just felt like it. Continue reading