Friday, November 27, 2015

Send Out the Clowns

Welcome Pewsitter visitors. Won't you consider bookmarking the Bear for your future enjoyment? There's nothing else quite like it -- the Bear.

If there's one thing the Bear knows it's circuses. The Bear has always lurked about the habitations of human beings. (He still does; sorry if that sounds creepy.) People are entertaining, and always have food laying around. Especially now.

The problem is that people find Bears entertaining, too. While a prime specimen of ursus arctos, or brown bear, can run 21 miles per hour, this particular Bear is 1300 years old. Over the centuries he's lost a step or two. And as upset as St. Corbinian was about his horse, the Bear can only imagine how mad he'd be if the Bear really did bite a person in the face. (Not that he wouldn't; must keep everyone unsure, you know.)

All of this comes back to circuses. Well, that, and Bear-baiting, but we don't talk about that, except to say the Bear -- miraculously -- is undefeated. The disgraceful truth is the Bear, who can't run very fast, and won't bite pursuers in the face, has never been particularly hard to catch. If follows that he has spent a good many years in circuses.

The Bear always enjoyed performing, because it seemed to make people happy. Being endowed with an intelligence far greater than other Bears, he was able to mitigate the crueler aspects of the business. Except in Turkey, where they seemed to just enjoy torturing Bears. You will excuse the Bear if he retains to this day a dislike of Muslims. He has never met one that does not say the most astonishingly vile things when he feels safe to do so.

It's about the clowns.
The Bear tenders himself to the court as an expert witness in circuses, and trusting there is no objection, finally gets to the point of this essay, which he can express in one word; clowns.

Clowns, as we know them, are a late invention, going back only to the 19th century.  The Bear spent most of his circus days in the British Isles, finding the English to be the kindest and most civilized people in the world. He was with the best of show people. He knew the Payne Brothers -- wonderful clowns -- and spent thirty years with the fabulous Pablo Fanques circus.

The Bear being personally acquainted with the Hendersons and Mr. Kite, imagine his delight when the Beatles made their famous song, "For the Benefit of Mr. Kite." Alas the Bear is forgotten. Even so, it brought back fond memories.

Pablo was an equestrian. That meant that horses were the star attractions. You may imagine the torture of appetite the Bear suffered as he watched them circling the ring from his cage. Not only that, it was galling to be limited to Bear bits when he could have stood on his hind legs and recited limericks while smoking a cigar! But the Bear always knew his real capabilities were a secret between him and St. Corbinian.

They didn't have many clowns. The truth is, the Bear has not met anyone who actually likes clowns. Some people actually fear them: coulrophobia. A good circus keeps clowns to a minimum. They're more of a distraction than an entertainment.

The Bear has observed the Vatican as if it were a circus, and if it were, an immediate change of management would be in order. It's a circus made up nearly entirely of clowns. Who wants that?
  • Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, papal preacher
  • Fr. Federico Lombardi, press secretary who is absolutely not a homosexual
  • many German clowns, including Cardinals Reinhard "Kirchensteuer" Marx and Walter Kasper (Germans make the absolute worst clowns: destructive and humorless.) 
  • Vatican functionary Krysztof Charasma, who jumped out of his little car, said he was gay, to no applause, and was fired
  • American clowns: Bishop Robert Barron, who used to do a good job as the Carl Sagan of Catholicism; Archbishop "selling aborted baby parts is bad, but no worse than unemployment" Blase Cupich, and Cardinal Timothy "Bravo" Dolan. 
  • Oh, and the USCCB stands for "United States Clown College for Bishops."
The Bear hopes this exercise is not as tedious to read as it is to write. If the Bear views the Church as a circus, there are too many made-up, floppy-shoed clowns who are love with their own antics and don't care if the crowd grows uneasy and the boos begin. One suspects they're not real circus folk at all.

Just who's running this circus, anyway?


  1. Post-synod, filled with trepidation for the Francis Year of Mercy, and knowing clowndom rules will make this Advent an especially reflective time. Already Christmas is coming into more profound focus and all the materialist trappings are more tawdry and repulsive than in years past. Pope Francis is part of the ugliness for me. I recoil from his image.

  2. "... don't bother they're here..."

    1. Stephen Sondheim.

      Seattle kim

    2. Sondheim wrote it. Barbra Striesand sings it very well too.

  3. It's true, it's clown time. All of it a shame, but it won't last longer than the Good Lord wants it to last.
    Or is that apathy.
    On a brighter note (possibly), have you heard yet of the potential Eucharistic miracle in Utah? Wouldn't that be wonderful.

    1. And you're exactly right. I return to my rant that it's not "fighting" this and "changing" that. That's red meat to the people that sign up for your $25 subscription, but we simply can't move the needle in an organization designed to give us no role. We must pray, but mainly bear patiently whatever comes our way. Seriously. That patience is real action. It's gold. It matters.

    2. So true. I've long felt like I am enduring the culture and the church, always feeling as if I must not be doing my part, or should be doing a lot more. I'm sure that's true but at the same time, this is all way past us. It's a time for trust in God's providence. That is easy to say and much harder to do, and it doesn't mean we shouldn't openly discuss the goings on in the Vatican. In fact, discussing it helps, because it points out we're in it together.

  4. Thanks Bear. You summed it up pretty good. This is a circus we hope would leave town now, but no, Popey is taking his act on the road with his Year of Mercy. Set your calendar, your Mercy Priest will be coming to a church nearby with a special surprise for all you sinners out there. Tickets only $5.00. All religious denominations welcome.

    1. I thought we already had a whole sacrament of mercy, called penance? Why do we have to invent new solutions when we already have tried and true? I'll tell you. The New Catholic won't humble himself to go to confession, so we've got to get him shrove somehow.

  5. The really useful ones are the rodeo clowns. They distract the bucking broncs while the rider gets to safety after being thrown. Oh, ok, now I get it...

  6. Don't have coulrophia. But I have hated them since childhood. I have a truly annoying relative who is a Shriner clown.

    Seattle kim

  7. Yes, ugh. He tried to do his clown act at my wedding reception. The act was lip syncing "Ruby Don't Take Your Love to Town" while pretending to play a fake guitar made out of a toilet seat. My sister stopped him.

    Seattle kim


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