Shane Alexander Caldwell is the Editor of Circus Bazaar Magazine, host of the Big Tent Podcast and the sole Ringmaster of the Circus Bazaar Company. He performs acts of international political magic on the regular.
Ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages! Thank you for having blessed the universally acclaimed and much anticipated first edition of Circus Bazaar magazine with your sought-after presence. For this, I will, against all good humility, take on the role of your Ringmaster. I shall do this, for otherwise, I should stand guilty of the most terrible of literary crimes against your good self, the reader, and myself as the self-proclaimed editor. As what is an editor, if not the Ringmaster of a circus by other means? After all, this most fantabulous of publications, being by its very nature a great metaphor for knowledge, will require a guide. I shall then, henceforth, be your most glorified of buffoons.
But first, and in the interest of proper acquaintance and attention to hyperbole, I would like to give you a short history of Circus Bazaar. We sprang from the naive digital soil of 2013, as a platform for various forms of political activism and participation in political debate (later to be known as the Freak Show). However, it was with the tears of a clown, and the broken jaw of a journeyman boxer, that we realised that although we were giving many a welcome soul a ticket, the money box remained empty. It was here that the concept of Circus Bazaar as a vocation was born. The plan was simple: Open the Big Top to all who wanted to share in what we were doing. To quote many a prize fighter, ‘Anyone who wants it can get it’.
We were performing research, analysis, film production and documentary; we were growing ever more creative in our ambitions. Why not share these things with others? Why not write a political opera for the international anti-nuclear weapons movement, or produce music videos for some of the most famous acts in the world? Why not take our unquenchable fascination for critical socio-political issues and help to educate the public and government on some of the most pressing concerns of our time?
My dear audience, we have toiled under the sun in the best traditions of the beast, with the sincere hope of finding our way home to our circus tent, and with the great wish to bring back an audience to experience what we are and have become. But what is that? What have we become? All defies explanation, except for one thing. We are the unashamed secret wish of any maniacally driven publication to share the great curtain call of life and ideas that matter with the people. We wish to be you, the reader. Your curiosities, your questions, your dreams, your passions, your anger and your position on the world stage, however big or small it may be.
We are the Ringmaster who organises your thoughts, and the Marionettist who pulls the strings of your philosophy. We are the Fortune Teller that is your faith, the Acrobat that flips your language, and the Freak Show that is your politics. We are the Animal Trainer that is your will to conquer, and the Magic Acts that are the technology you use. We are the Buffoonery that is your entertainment, the Knife Thrower that is your favourite polemicist, and the herniated Contortionist that is the history we all share on this ever-changing earth.
Without further ado, I present to you, ‘Catching Tigers in Red Weather: The Politics of Science and Technology in a New Century of Fear’. A blasphemous offering from guest editor Zac Rogers, the great deconstructor of late-modern myth in a new and dangerous digital world, within which we are all fated to participate.