Saturday, September 19, 2009

Utah State Fair

I paid $8 last night to enter a big grass field, covered all over by booths and attractions that costed additional money: fairground grass had never been so expensive.

I saw some of the weirdest, saddest things last night. First, there was the 'smallest woman in the world' from Haiti. They kept her in this half-box as people filed through and just looked at her. I immediately had regrets for entering the attraction as I saw the sad, lonely look on her. How barbaric! Aside from this little woman, there were billboards for: "The 5-legged sheep", "The Beautiful Head of A Woman on the Ugly Body of a Snake", "The 2-Snouted Cow". The whole carnival atmosphere just reminds me of one of those old disney movies, that teach young people some morally prolific lesson (ex:Pinocchio, Alice in Wonderland, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride).

We walked through the 'tent of informercials' (as I'll call it) where there were old men selling: knives, George Foreman Grills ®, Hair Removal Kits, and my personal favorite, 'The Super Shammy'. They old guy with the super shammy, poured an entire bottle of root beer on a piece of carpet, and cleaned it all up with a shammy! Incredible. If it hadn't cost $15 for a 2x2 square of the stuff, I might have splurged.

We also rode a ride called the Zipper, which was designed to make your 'insides' want to be 'outsides' and vice versa. Not only was it like a miniature ferris wheel, circulating around a central point, each individual cart also spun at torrent speeds. It was a highlight of the night.

While I was at the Carnival, though, I thought about the lives of the people who travelled and worked at the Carnival. I mean, I entered this insane, freakish world for a night to somewhat escape reality and feel alien for a minute. I wondered if the "Carnival people" perceive their world as an accurate portrayal of reality. A world of flashing lights, bouncy music, and stuffed animals. It is legitimate to assume that those people have a very skewed view of reality. We all live in our own personal Carnivals and mistake it for reality.

reality (n) - something that exists independently of ideas concerning it.; the world or state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them.

Sometimes, we have ideals that are important to us--so we create worlds that have no actual ties to reality. Like the man who loved giant mice and pizza so much, that he created Chuckie Cheese. Or the man who loved candy so much, that he wrote about a character named Willy Wonka. More important, is when we experience the reality of the world and then form ideals and notions about that literal actuality!

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