Send in the Clowns


clowns1This week’s clown sighting in the woods behind my children’s grammar school caused a panic induced, district-wide lock-down and a roaming mob of concerned, armed parents, supported by local law enforcement authorities, to scour the county searching for a man in clown makeup.

Reports from witnesses told of the clown doing everything from peeking out from behind a tree, to offering children fee candy from a nondescript, windowless van, to ritually sacrificing a puppy.

Coulrophobia is the fear of clowns.

The only leg-pull in the above description is the exact location. As far as I know, there have been no clown sightings in my end of the Tennessee Valley, but with the scary clown hysteria sweeping the country, I expect to be recruited into an insane clown posse any day.

Hopefully, I won’t go insane in the membrane.

I’ve long held the opinion that eyewitness accounts are the least reliable form of evidence. This is especially true when the witness is also the victim. Pain, adrenaline, shock, and emotional stress screw up perception and the mind’s ability to accurately recall the most basic of details.

Disregard the mountains of research that clearly demonstrate everybody sucks at accurate detail recollection in stressful situations. Ask your favorite cop how often a witness’s description of anything is accurate.

It’s not that they’re lying. They’re just plain wrong.

We labor under a cultural assumption that children are accurate relaters of information and possess astute observational powers. It’s as if we believe children are born with clairvoyance that diminishes as they approach majority.

That’s hogwash. Children are sneaky, devious liars who relish opportunities to embarrass adults by innocently blurting out gems such as, “My baby brother was an accident” or “Mommy and Daddy are buying me a pony for Christmas. They’re hiding all the leather tack gear in the closet.”

You’ll get a pony the day I get peace in this house.

Children are not allowed to make important decisions in their lives precisely because they lack experience, the ability to accurately discern, and a wider contextual understating of the world. In short, they’re ignorant of most things, and to take what they say at face value, without rigorous scrutiny, corroborating testimony, and physical evidence, is parental foolishness.

Now, that I think about it, we should probably disregard the vast majority of what children say because it’s mostly whining. Entertaining their petty grievances and indulging their fantasies only encourages them in their neuroses. Try telling my grandfather there was a clown lurking in the woods. You’d be lucky to only be laughed at. More likely, the response would be, “Then don’t go near it, stupid.”

clowns4Harsh? Perhaps, but still sublime. Somewhere along the line, we decided the only letter’s that should not be appended to a gentleman’s name on his calling card are M, A, and N.

Post-secondary education produces exactly the opposite of what it claims. Today, college only makes people dumber. The same founts of idiocy that have given society safe spaces and trigger warnings, also turn out educators, administrators, and civic officials who will shut down an entire school district on a child’s say so.

Doesn’t anybody besides me remember the McMartin preschool case and how many lives were ruined by false testimony from children?

How many IQ points are sacrificed with each tuition check written?

The creepy clown craze has grown from a few isolated instances of idiots to a full-blown hysteria. Schools are prohibiting clown masks during Halloween. Various local police are arresting people in clown costumes for disturbing the peace, inciting public disorder, or whatever catch-all law their jurisdiction uses to deal with low-grade troublemakers.

Most of the arrests are of teenagers getting their kicks scaring younger kids. It’s deplorable behavior, but pretty much what I’d expect from a teenage boy. Whom I really feel for are the honest-to-goodness, no-kidding, professional clowns, who spend years perfecting their craft, only to see their bookings evaporate. That’s the real crime, destroying someone’s livelihood.

If your age ends in “teen,” it’s an open question as to whether you should be counted as a human being or not.

According to spokesfool Josh Earnest, the White House has consulted with the FBI and Department of Homeland Security about how to handle creepy clowns.

Holy crap. Dig up J. Edgar Hoover because this just became a federal case right up there in magnitude with bank robbery, human traffickers, underage prostitution, child pornography rings, and ISIS trying to cut our heads off.

Since when are assholes in greasepaint such a big problem?

clowns2A quick look around the internet reveals the growing counter-hysteria of videos depicting what can be classified as just deserts for clowns behaving badly. These videos show what I would imagine is a non-professional clown who approaches someone going about his day and behaving in one of those disorderly manners that would earn them arrest by a policeman. Basically, being a jackass.

The person or persons approached, either out of what seems genuine fear or simply not being in a mood to be screwed with, knocks the tar out of the clown.

And I can’t say as I blame them. Most people have no desire to be drawn into someone else’s silliness. If you’re stupid enough to go around antagonizing strangers, don’t be surprised when they express their displeasure strongly.

If you’re gonna be dumb, it helps to be tough.

Here is my wild-assed theory: This whole creepy clown hysteria is a viral marketing campaign spun out of control.

My first thought was the campaign was connected to Stephen King’s IT movie adaptation. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and television mini-series. However, with a release date of September 2017, the timing seems off. Hysterical clown sightings for nearly a year seems to be too long to ask to hold the public’s attention.

Besides, both Stephen King and the film’s distributor, New Line Cinema, are established names with enough budget for a traditional marketing campaign and stand to lose far more than they gain when it foreseeably spins out of control the way it has.

clowns6Just like Youtube, Coca-Cola, and Apple, Stephen Kind and New Line Cinema are such dominant players in their fields with such broad general appeal that avoiding alienation of a segment of society is more important that thrilling and impressing a tiny target demographic; i.e., horror movie fans.

Rob Zombie, on the other hand, is a better candidate for wild accusations. His latest movie, 31, is clown-centric and was released September 16th of this year.

Hummmmmm. Law enforcement types call these things “clues.”

clowns5A well-known, but far from household name, movie maker releases a horror movie set in a circus, chock-full-o’-clowns, right at the same time dumbasses in clown costumes begin making benign appearances standing near trees and skittish, overprotective parents hit the panic button, setting off a national frenzy that makes it to the White House and much of the English-speaking world.

Well played, Rob Zombie. Well played.

Starting November first, bearded men in buckskins and Indians wearing loincloths will begin making public appearances to promote my book, L’homme Theroux and generate pre-release interest in Little Crow’s War, the next installment in the Coureur des Bois series.

What the hell. It worked for that other guy.

 

 

 

3Thank you to every one of my readers for coming back week after week. The content on this website is free to access, but does take resources to produce. Please visit my Patreon account to see what I have in the works for the homestead and consider becoming a supporter, which gets you additional content, behind the scenes access, goodies not available on the main site, and unique Thank You gifts for support.

L'homme Theroux CoverIf you’d prefer something more tangible in return for supporting my work, please preview my novel L’homme Theroux and consider purchasing it, if you enjoy the sample chapters.

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