Do you remember The Ed Sullivan Show? There was a performer, Erich Brenn, who would come onstage and spin plates. He’d set up a table with a rack of long dowels, put a plate on top of each dowel and start each plate spinning. As long as the plates kept spinning, they’d stay on top of the dowels, but Brenn had to keep adding spin so that all the plates would stay in the air.

The tension would build as he ran back and forth, trying to keep all the plates spinning. Eventually, he’d have too many plates in the air to manage and they’d start to fall. He’d end up panting and sweating and watching plate after plate crash to the stage, making a glorious mess of things. The whole experience was invigorating, at least for some of us.

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