“there’s a dance in the old dame yet
toujours gai toujours gai”
………………………………………Mardi gras Cat; Fat, Fat, Fat!
THE BUTTERFLY CIRCUS
“OH SHIT I FORGOT TO DO THE HOMEWORK AND IT’S LATE THURSDAY NIGHT SO I’LL IMPROVISE”
Sweet freedom whispered in my ear
Y‘re a butterfly
And butterflies are free to fly
Fly away, high away, bye bye
In the 1930s, America is suffering from the Great Depression. Many people are jobless and homeless, and everybody is sad and worried about the difficult economic situation. Mendez is the charismatic master of a small circus, the Butterfly Circus, and he leads his troupe through Southern California. Along the way, they perform – sometimes for free – to bring some light into the dull lives of people. One evening, they see a sign for a (traveling) carnival and a sideshow and stop to see a funfair with carousels, games, and other entertainment, including a freak show. Here Mendez meets Will, the main attraction, who has no limbs and is on show as a freak of nature, alongside other odd characters such as a painted (tattoo)ed man and a bearded woman. Will is bitter and unhappy, but after meeting Mendez, he decides to leave the carnival and manages to hide on one of the Butterfly Circus trucks to escape. The people in the circus welcome Will, but Mendez tells him he must do something else than just be a freak to become part of the act. Will gets to know his new friends and learns that many of them have a sad past, but that Mendez has given them a second chance in life. One day Will accidentally realizes that he can swim, so he decides to perform a difficult act in the circus. He is raised to the top of a tall pole and dives into a small tank full of water. Will is now happy since he is in the show not because of his odd appearance but because of who he is and what he can do.
I had to watch the film several times but only twice all the way through. I had one of the same problems on my computer, as here in group, I couldn’t understand the entire dialog because I’m going deaf. However, here goes. I wrote this in the form of an essay because
That’s the way I like it
(Uh Huh) (Uh Huh)
I like it
(Uh Huh) (Uh Huh)
I’ll start with Mendes the most complex character for me and therefore probably an example of the “Wise Mind”. He is the most enigmatic character. He has no beginning, no past, no apparent flaws, and no obvious source of income but one assumes the circus does perform for money at times; so he appears to have no need for wealth. He seems god-like in that he unconditionally accepts fragility yet also empowers others to accept his view of them and to come to terms with themselves and adopt his views as their own. The Strong man and the Mother, the pregent prostitute and the physical embodiment of The Butterfly; are actual examples of this acceptance and then self-ralization.
Mendes does exhibit extraordinary insight into people’s abilities and potentials and I suppose he has the Wise Mind because he shows compassion which is an emotion. He exibits a very toned down anger, when the boys throw tomatoes; but also empathy for Will as well as his own troupe; each emotions as well.
Yet these emotions are coupled with an almost hyper Rational Mind and stoic lack of visable emotion, aside from joy or laughter he shows very few emotions. He does not even command his driver to stop for the stranded travelers but commands with a question to attend the Carnival. “Why Not?” This indictes to me a god-like belief in his followers, they will do what he thinks appropriate; he is their leader; one that shows both emotional and rational thinking combined and they the followers are better for knowing that. He is charismatic but perhaps if the Weigels ever finish and produce a full length movie;; Mendes might be less Magician and more Human; he appears to me now just to be an allegory for Validation of others, he seems to need no self-validation of if he does; it needs a full lenght film to show it.
Mendes will not allow Will to perform as a freak because he realizes it demeans Will as human and also his own troupe and himself. Mendes does not believe in or practice demeaning behavior or negative thoughts. He sees what others may not; just the phrase:
“You are Magnificent”
However his ability to see does not come with empathy at all times. He not only did not help Will at the water’ edge; he did not even watch or check for him. He issued a challenge and then turned away. Remember the Driver/Contortionist is the character who noticed Will was missing and sounded the alarm, not Mendes.
Next Regarding Will
I believe he is another example of a wise mind but we get to see his journey to that state. The Wise Mind is a place where people long to arrive but few seldom stay.
Unlike Mendes, we see him growing toward and possibly obtaining this state. At least to the stage where he understands he is a person and also a person of worth; as defined by him and also others.
He starts out knowing he is a human being but experiencing that others do not and believing he is not able to be anything other than be a Freak. He is not happy as a Freak but believes that he can, only and always, just be a Freak. I don’t believe that at all. I believe a person who cannot believe they can change their existence is not really a Freak but a Fool.
Real Freaks believe they must be Freaks because they want to be Freaks. They are Freaks because they choose to be not because it was thrust upon them. However, Will does seems to have been in the latter category. He is complacent but angry and negative; a Freak who has been labeled such and believing he has no ability to change his “fate”.
He progress from anger and a sense of the inevitable thru becoming aware of himself as a person and not feeling he cannot act. The “old” Will would never had called, let alone even demanded help at the water, he might spit in your face showing disrespect because he doesn’t believe you owe him respect.. Yet this new will believes he deserves help and the, soon to become Butterfly Will, discovers he can help himself, and participate in life on whis own terms as well as others; he can even perform actions that others admire.
A Wise Mind? I wonder but then?
“Life needs a little wonder”.
This film seems like the perfect metaphor for this group; caterpillars who have decided to become butterflies; not because nature demands it but because we choose it,
As All Wise Mind’s Should.
And on that nonsensicial note I will finally quit!
Why are you crying?
I’m not crying, water is just leaking from my eyes.
When do you cry?
When water leaks from my eyes but for a reason, then I am crying..
Why do you cry when you are crying?
I usually cry because I am sad but I can cry when I am extremely happy.
I also often cry from the ugliness of it all but exquisite beauty can make me cry too.
I can cry because of utter despair, I can cry because I care, I can cry for the sublime, I can cry because of time, I can cry because you’re not there, I can cry because you are, I can cry for all the world, I can cry for the absurd. However, I am not crying, water is just leaking from my eyes…………..
Why are you crying?
I am not crying, water is just leaking from my eyes.
Oh be quiet and go away, I’m tired.
……are you crying?
Since I got nut’n for today, I thought I’d take a trip down memory lane, follow me if you’d like by copying, pasting, and clicking the link to a past post of mine. dru