A Patriot

Long before BARNUM was known for anything else he was known for being…
_ _ A PATRIOT_ _
A man who did not shirk his self imposed obligation to LIFE at a more intense and satisfying level, LIBERTY in more liberal terms and THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS in accordance with his own interpretation of what happiness consists of and he counseled others to do the same.
Ever determined to educate the public to a more open minded approach to things and ever anxious to dismantle the organized structures of repression, he garnered fully as many enemies as he did admirers inevitably inheriting the dire consequences and fateful repercussions which are most often the legacy of free thinkers and political activists who dare to go against the tide of public opinion.
It has been said that reasonable men accommodate themselves to the world in which they find themselves where-as unreasonable men try to change the world to accommodate themselves. Thus ALL PROGRESS HAS BEEN MADE BY UN-REASONABLE MEN.
BARNUM was nothing if not an unreasonable man. He defied convention, broke the rules and sought THE ODD and THE UNUSUAL – THE UGLY as well as THE BEAUTIFUL.

 THE ABNORMAL as well as THE PARANORMAL if only to highlight the difference between them. But very often his willingness to celebrate all of the peculiarities and disturbing aspects of the human form or psychic dimensions of life on the planet provoked fear and suspicion and was met with retaliation. He believed in the freedom of the individual to be who, and what they were even if who and what they were was disturbing or discomforting to others.

 He defended a persons right to differentiate, be it physically, psychologically, socially or in any other way a person finds free expression. Not a popular concept during an era where in conformity was considered a virtue and individuals were expected to mold themselves to societies expectations. The proof of his ability to incur the wrath of his political enemies and various adversaries was made manifest by the many fires he survived through out his career as a MUSEUM CURATOR and COLLECTOR OF THE ODD and THE UNUSUAL.

 So many fires in fact that he was literally burned out by arsonists the length and breadth of Broadway. Vindictive incendiaries who sought to end BARNUM’S Career, his political views, his diatribes against repression. But much to the chagrin of those who attempted to stifle the cause of the libertine upstart called BARNUM – he seemed always to rise like the phoenix out of the ashes ever more outspoken and liberal than before. BARNUM’S AMERICA meant FREEDOM and for him FREEDOM was more than just a word. It was a way of life, which come hell or high water, he intended to live by!

Nevertheless he accepted his disasters and misfortunes with the typical good humor of the prankster that he was, poking fun at and ridiculing his political enemies for the presumption of their belief that they could put out his fire with theirs. Like the Showman that he was and with the gift for CON, MOXIE and CHUTSPAK for which he was famous BARNUM managed to market his disasters and failures with the same gusto as his successes. Barnum’s political views and what was then considered a sinful and subversive approach to life served somehow to articulate the independent declarations of a strange and forthcoming paradigm of reality which can only be described as a - -

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