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Wallenda to walk a tightrope over Niagara Falls

Nik Wallenda Walks Across Pittsburgh

Nik Wallenda Walks Across Pittsburgh (Photo credit: jstrak)

Tomorrow night, Nik Wallenda of the famous Wallenda daredevil family, will attempt to walk a tightrope across Niagara Falls. What do you all think about that? It seems this daredevil business is something from a distant carny past. Who knew people still did this?

I remember when I was a kid, Evil Knievel was smashing himself up, doing crazy motorcycle jumps, but after that, I’ve hardly heard of anyone not named Wallenda in the daredevil business. Wallenda comes from a big family of tightrope walkers, many of whom either died or were seriously hurt, all in a day’s work.

So, what’s the attraction? Is it the question? Can Wallenda complete the walk? Or is it the doubt? Maybe he’ll fall and die? The TV network behind this has insisted on Wallenda using some kind of safety harness. Does that take some of the excitement out of it? In other words, is the excitement in the possibility of a fall or in the possibility of a deadly fall? After all, only two things can happen. Either he doesn’t fall or he does fall. Would you watch this? Would you go to Niagara Falls to watch it?

I suppose I have a certain morbid curiosity about the spectacle, and if a 10 second clip came on the news I suppose I’d watch it, but walking on a wire across a falls, even a really really big falls, just doesn’t do it for me. That said, I wish Mr. Wallenda well. I hope he fulfills his dream walk and all of that.

I’d love to hear your opinions on daredevils and circuses and all that jazz.


  1. inkcasualty

    Ringo summed it up at Fallsview last eve regarding the whole harness thing.
    Really…a harness…that’s akin to a first kiss with a drunk ex waiting in the corner..

  2. This morning on CBC radio, Mr. Wallenda was referred to as a tightrope “artist”. It seems like today, everybody is an artist. Except artists. I’m not sure what they are anymore.

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