Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Paid Clowns

Not all the clowns in the world wear make-up and perform in circuses or children's parties.

Some we elect into office ...

Saturday, July 12, 2014


Mix clowns, circus performers and music and you have spectacle. Often creepy spectacle. 

But every once in a while it can be effective.

Not often ... but once in a while.

And yes: The clown doctor in the video, while showcased only briefly, is still disturbing. Put yourself in the patient's place and tell me otherwise ...

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Dear Madam Barnum

Despite my elevated dislike for clowns (which has been evident for quite some time) there are, as with most rules, exceptions. And most effectively so where clowns are not presented in vulgar distaste.

One such such example tells a charming but sad tale of a charlatan working in a circus who is on the outs and ready to resign his station. The story is presented by one of my all-time favorites bands - XTC - from their 1992 album Nonsuch.

Too often clowns send shivers. In this particular case, you are simultaneously pleased and saddened at this clown's position.

Please enjoy. I do each time I hear this tune.

I put on a fake smile
And start the evening show
The public is laughing
I guess by now they know
So climb from your high horse
And pull this freak show down
Dear Madam Barnum
I resign as clown
You said I was the master of all I surveyed
But now I'm sweeping up
The last in line in your circus parade
Children are clapping
As I fall to the floor
My heart's torn and broken
And they just scream for more
If I'm not the sole fool
Who pulls his trousers down
Then dear Madam Barnum
I resign as clown
You tread the high wire
Between truth and lies
Your safety net just walked out
Much to your surprise
Strike up the band Love
And let the show begin
For this is the last time
I'm painting on a grin
If I'm not the sole fool
Who pulls his trousers down
Then dear Madam Barnum
I resign as clown

Friday, July 4, 2014

4th Of July ... Sans Clowns

Remember folks: No clowning around on the 4th of July. Let's all stay safe out there.

And keep in mind there isn't room for clowns in any of your Independence Day Parades, either.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Clown Tuesday

Happy Clown "Twos"-Day ...

Here's hoping you can go to sleep tonight without this image burying into your slumber ...

Monday, June 9, 2014

A Little Clown History

Joseph Gimaldi

"Even the people who are supposed to like clowns — children — supposedly don’t. In 2008, a widely reported University of Sheffield, England, survey of 250 children between the ages of four and 16 found that most of the children disliked and even feared images of clowns."

I mentioned previously at the start of this blog that, as these pages bounded along, there would be the occasional light shed as to some of the reasons why clowns could or might cause concern and uneasiness.

And here we go. The Smithsonian's Linda Rodriguez McRobbie wrote an enlightening article about a year ago, The History and Psychology of Clowns Being Scary, that's a pretty interesting read. Her piece does a better job than I could do in summation, delving into not only the history of the characters but some of the mindset and disposition of them as well. From Joseph Gimaldi to Jean-Gaspard Deburau's Pierrot to the Italian opera Pagliacci to Emmett Kelly to John Wayne Gacy and even Bozo and Ronald McDonald, there's a lot to absorb and quickly conclude about these painted entertainers.

Jean-Gaspard Deburau as Pierrot

It's a good article. But the information it contains doesn't shine a good light on clowns as a whole. As a matter of fact, it reinforces the their dark sides.

"Adult clown phobics are unsettled by the clown’s face-paint and the inability to read genuine emotion on a clown’s face, as well as the perception that clowns are able to engage in manic behavior, often without consequences."

Most of the information in the piece I've been aware of for some time. Still, reading it as it is, laid out in one big, informative lump, only underlines and bolsters the misgivings and uncertainty
not to mention out and out fear we exhibit toward clowns.

One of Gacy's portaits of his alter ego "Pogo"

If you didn't trust them before, you certainly will take exception to them after you digest the article. 

Or ... simply take heed of the words of David Kiser, director of talent for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus: 

"... clowns have always had a dark side ..."

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Bud And His (Possibly Demonic) Wooden Clown Puppet

What do you think: Should we just leave this strange looking clown and its owner (?) here and wonder about it a bit?

Hokay ... that's enough wondering.

Now? Let's get to the questions:

  • I assume the gentleman on the left is Bud?
  • And, in so assuming, why does Poopsie have an upside-down crucifix on its forehead?
  • A puppet that's a clown: That's an automatic two strikes against it ... right?

Three questions are plenty for me. I'm certain there are lots more. 

Go ahead ... ask away ...