Have you ever entered a place and just felt there is something wrong there? A vibe that just makes you uncomfortable for no obvious reason? Where something is in the air, hovering between the lines and giving you the bad kind of chills? Well, to me that place is the funfair. That’s right, the funfair.
Ever since young ages, I have always disliked the time I spent between Ferris wheel and the tunnel of horror. It went as far as having that flickering feeling inside your chest when you feel you did something horribly wrong and wait for the nasty consequences to kick in. Weird, isn’t it?!
Without any clear, distinctive correlation, the kaleidoscope of potentious pleasures brought me nothing but awkward strolls and empty hopes. A dish that would make my stomach ache even though I was not allergic to any of the ingrediences. As a kid, that puzzled me. Now, I found what is wrong with the recipe. It simple does not match in any harmonous way whatsoever.
The funfair as an event and location to me has no common ground, no deeper motif, no genuine root. What is it that holds together that collective bunch of stallholders? What common committment do they share? What string lines candied apples next to throwing cans next to a pathetic lottery? What is the mission here, where is the catch?
As for me, the one thing – if anything – that does unite the protagonists on a funfair is money. The naked, blunt, sheer greed for profit. Everything provided and ballyhooed within a funfair is highly polished bullshit. Nothing seems to have real value, the goods and services are as hollow and ephemeral as the event itself. Cotton candy, that looks pretty and is made a huge fuzz about in the making, shrinks down to nothing once you taste it. And is nothing but bad for you. No nutrition, no spine, no soul.
Other seemingly similar venues have never sent that awful chill down my neck or that foul taste down my stomach. A medieval market works for me, no matter how poorly the settting. The attempt is to re-create, indulge in and maybe even educate a bit about a former age. Bring it on so! Likewise, the circus unites travelling artists and showmen of multiple disciplines to entertain and display outstanding talents and attractions.
Even Disneyland is set out on some bigger theme. Apart from digging as much cash as they can, that is to lead a visitor into the its universe and celebrate its characters and creations. It is an invitation into a somewhat coherent universe. Once I let myself in for that, I can have a descent experience there now and a blast when I was a kid.
The funfair has no such consistence. All it throws at me is the pressure to buy, the invitation to play a foul game, a hand reaching out for nothing but my wallet. All the hustles – rings that do not fit on the targets they are thrown at, rigged shooting galleries, sensational fortune tellers – are the logical excesses of the fraudulent spirit that seems to set out the whole operation in the first place.
As for me, I am not buying it. In every sense of the word.