Send in the Clowns

john-wayne-gacy-creepy-clown

John Wayne Gacy, a REAL Creepy clown.

As Halloween gets closer, I couldn’t help but write about the ‘Creepy Clown Craze’ that has now even made it’s presence across the pond!! My experience with clowns has been 50/50. I grew-up watching a Chicago live program called ‘Bozo’s Circus’ with Bozo & Cookie Clowns. How could you not love these redheaded jesters??

On the flip-flop, I also grew-up during the 70’s hearing about the local serial killer John Wayne Gacy that dressed as ‘Pogo the Clown’ for local fundraisers. Gacy murdered at least 33 teenage boys and young men, and was nicknamed the ‘Killer Clown’. Now THIS GUY was a real, creepy clown.

In High School, I was talked into going to a midnight showing of ‘IT’, by a very cute boy. I don’t think I would have gone had I not been smitten with him. The nightmares from the movie lasted longer than our relationship! Ha! Even now, after all these years, I still can’t look at a drain in the same way.

I know many folks must be coulrophobic, or the movie would have flopped. Marketing gurus from the upcoming IT 2 movie have clearly stated had the clowns not been bothering children, this would have been a great ad campaign, however they can’t claim it as theirs.

The hubbub over clowns also has Ronald McDonald keeping a low profile.

Sociologist Robert Bartholomew from the Botany College in New Zealand has studied mass hysteria for years, and said the current clown scare is a result of two things in the U.S.: social media and a fear of otherness, whether it arrives in a limo or a refugee boat.

“Social media plays a pivotal role in spreading these rumor-panics which travel around the globe in the blink of an eye,” he said. “They are part of a greater moral panic about the fear of strangers and terrorists in an increasingly urban, impersonal, and unpredictable world.”

I found another view that I agree with more… I call it ‘Mob Mentality’, however the correct term is Social Contagion: when somebody does something unusual or out of the ordinary and it affects other people’s thinking. Think Monkey see, monkey do.

Copycat clowns are likely motivated by the idea of getting attention and making it into the news. They have seen the attention other clowns are receiving and want to experience the same.

image

This was at a campground.

Bill Indick, a professor of psychology at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, who specializes in media psychology, agrees that attention-seeking behavior is one explanation. However, he also thinks the media is to blame.

“The media propagates it, creates it, feeds it and at a certain point, gets tired of it. The media then digests it and eliminates it. And just as quickly as it started, it’s over.”

In the end, there are many young folks making huge mistakes following this craze. Two 14-year-old girls from Fresno, California were arrested in connection with threatening to shoot up schools in Fresno – all the while making references to clowns. Police Chief Jerry Dyer said the threats were serious and deemed to be felonies.

“Their future is ruined because of something this stupid,” he told reporters.

First there were vampires, then aliens, then clowns… what will be next? Furries??
© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

22 thoughts on “Send in the Clowns

  1. I wish facebook&youtube will ban this stupid clown videos, so this id*ots have no longer a base to spread their BS. It’s sad to see how easy it is to inspire the mob to violence and spreading fears :o( It’s the first time of the year I can’t feel joy for halloween…thanks to this a-hats who are on the way to ruin everything…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My youth was a little different than yours. Had a strong authoritarian mother who didn’t believe in
    ‘those’ types of programs and besides they weren’t even around when I was growing up. So, clowns frighten me a little as a child.
    As far as what is happen currently, with all this ‘sensationalism’ being first and foremost on everybody’s mind, it is a production of the times, nothing more or less. (my opinion)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Clowns never were my thing. I always thought they were creepy. In the ‘old’ days, there was ‘news’ reported on TV. With the speed and access of the internet, everyone reads news online. Now, the TV news is nothing more than entertainment and fear mongering. Who knew it would come to the day when there are multiple weather forecasters on one channel who share time to scare you to death about what might or might not be coming. Hey, I still look out the window to see if it is raining. I tried switching channels to find one that was just news and not their opinion about what they were propagating. I wasn’t successful so now I just don’t tune in.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s hard to find news without the opinions of the station or newscasters. I don’t tune in myself… I do keep apprised of a few topics I find important, tho. And yes, I’m always tuned into the weather. For pure entertainment! It’s like gambling to me. 😉 Hmmm. 40% chance of rain? I’m down with sandels…

      Like

  4. We had Bozo on the local NY station also. Was it a franchise? Any way, I don’t go to creepy clown movies, So I don’t have the clown nightmares. And anyone who does that creepy clown gig on a day other than Halloween, is asking for trouble…

    Liked by 1 person

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