AFTERSNARK: More then one correspondent has suggested that the Montreal constabulary was taking the mouth-breathing yahoos from Rebel News less than completely seriously, and this might all blow over given that there were (apparently) no actual arrests. But I suspect that would change if Ezra, in his infinitesimal wisdom, decided to raise holy hell about this, and sue.
If Ezra decided to make an issue of this, it is entirely possible that the cops would decide to do something about it, and the obvious target would be Rebel's clown prince of clownishness, David Menzies, who can be seen clearly on video pushing a police officer and, yes, that constitutes assault, so it would be entertaining to watch Ezra go full-metal retaliation, at which point the eventual outcome would be Menzies being saddled for the rest of his life with a conviction for assaulting a police officer.
Then Menzies can find out how limited his career prospects would be.
Another possibility is that the police and legal authorities, having been subjected for over a month to the millennial whining and nightly interference of the Rebel scruffs, have handed this over to Crown for something a littler more interesting than a round of tickets. Ezra is on record urging disobedience to legal COVID restrictions. He has flown in a group of people to provoke a confrontation ending in the assault on a police officer. There have got to be a couple of serious charges associated with that kind of intentional war on public order.
There used to be a sad pecking order to carnival life.
At the top of the food chain werethe top performers in the big name circuits. Apart from the exceptional and the lucky, their careers were usually pretty short - these were high pressure, stressful career, both physically and mentally. Those who passed their prime generally retired from performance into some other, less demanding aspect of the operation.
Those who couldn't give it up, though, slipped down to a lower status level - secondary performers off the marquee, or supports to another act. However, since these were also entry level position for newer, hungrier and younger talent, the declining ex-stars were inevitably shunted off the main circuit down to smaller, regional, less profitable tours, moving gradually to more rural, poorer circuits, lower wages, and jobs of rapidly declining prestige.
In the end, those without the capacity to leave the carnie would find themselves hopelessly slipping into roles at the bottom of the pyramid, the jobs that even newcomers wouldn't take. The muckers, the laborers - and of course, the freaks.
Freak shows, now long gone, had their own pecking order. Yes, the performers were will willing to exploit and exaggerate their own physical anomalies to shock and disgust the rubes. But they retained a sense of their own worth and dignity within a hierarchy all their own. And at the very bottom of that hierarchy was the Geek... a lost soul who made his living eating insects, wallowing in filth, and, as the climax of his act, biting the head off a live chicken, rat or snake.
Circuses were the viewed as the lowest form of popular theatre; sideshows were seen as the bottom rung of circus life; and Geeks were the lowest of the low, held in utter contempt by even the bearded ladies and crocodile boys. Geeks were often people who suffered from mental illness, and most were dealing with drug or alcohol addiction. It's hard to imagine a life more dismal, but they hung on, mostly because there was simply nowhere lower to sink to.
I'm not sure why I'm thinking of Dave Menzies right now...
Menzies has career prospects?
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