Hey, Creepy Clowns ... You're Not Being Original

Sept. 9, 2016
Perhaps you have one in your community ...

See that rather small bandwagon going by? I'm jumping on it for a second.

Let's Address These Clowns

And no, I'm not going into politics with you. Sorry. So don't even try.

I have to assume that originally the clown concept came from a pure place. One to insight giggles and enjoyment, laughter and point out the absurdity of life. Happy or sad, the painted faces placed a reallife talking mirror in front of our emotions. I have to assume that they were meant to be funny. Unfortunately their uncanny aspect turned out actually to be pretty hard to take. I'm no psychologist, but if something's twisted just enough ... even if the intent was to be "funny" ... there's the possibility of a level of horror.

And I'm not using that term lightly.

Even the seemingly authority of frightening painted faces responded to Entertainment Weekly's questions about the recent rash happening in North Carolina: 

King said he suspects these real-life clown scares are partly fueled by a collective “low-level hysteria.” People are sensitized to freak out about clowns, and pranksters are pushing that button for a laugh. “The clown furor will pass, as these things do, but it will come back, because under the right circumstances, clowns really can be terrifying,” King said.

And Mr. King is Correct

This happens time and time again. How's that saying go? If you don't know your history you're doomed to repeat it? I get it, it makes sense. I also think it just doesn't matter sometimes.

The wonderfully odd Atlas Obsura site took to this topic and investigated what's going on. It should be to no one here on Officer.com's surprise, turns out this has happened before. 

The article writes,

Why clowns? Why now? What's going to happen next? Atlas Obscura spoke with cryptozoologist Loren Coleman—perhaps the world's foremost authority on mysterious clowns—about this latest outbreak. Spoiler: he blames old wounds, sad journalists, and "the real clown," Donald Trump.

They brought up politics, not me.

The piece points to 1981, Boston. Where a couple of clowns (see what I did there) reportedly dressed up. After a call for evidence a researcher started getting stories across the nation.

Some recent efforts turned out to be marketing ploys - I'm looking at you Green Bay - for a documentary. If memory serves the guy responsible didn't think it would have gotten so far. 

Sure. He didn't want his marketing tactic to go viral? Sure. Ok. Right.

But that's not the case every time. King's novel IT features the classic horror monster clown Pennywise (thus why Entertainment Weekly sent the dude an email). But that came out 5 YEARS after Boston saw clown one on their streets. Not to mention something "going viral" wasn't something that happened ... unless you're talking about Captain Trips. So it's not always a seemingly innocent marketing tool. Sometimes it's a figment of a frightened child's imagination. Sometimes its someone wanting to just cause a bit of chaos. Sometimes its, well, worse.

Remember, as Green Bay's Police Department stated when they had their visitor, dressing up as a clown isn't against the law. While true, they still checked out the call. The media scratches the itch of this rash, possibly making more people who might have already thought about doing something like this they go-ahead. Hey, they might just make local news. Right?

Take note of this irritation for your community. Your area might need permits for marketing ploys so be aware of them. Pennywise isn't done with. There's a new It coming out next year. While I hope the team behind the movie knows enough that having people dressing up like clowns and sticking them down storm drains and informing walkers by of the buoyancy properties of their current location just isn't a wise idea. It's an unfortunate prediction, but there just might be more clowns on their way.

No creepy clowns, even though you think you are, even though you think it might be harmless with Halloween approaching, it's not original.

Ok. My ride on this bandwagon has gone far enough. The street's cobblestones are starting to drone-on and I'm sure this wagon's horse would appreciate me jumping off.

Stay safe out there.

Want more? Check out these posted after this blog's writing:

>The Daily Beast, 9/28 - Here's Why Your're Terrified of Creepy Clowns

About the Author

Jonathan Kozlowski

Jonathan Kozlowski was with Officer.com, Law Enforcement Technology, and Law Enforcement Product News from August 2006 to 2020.

As former Managing Editor for Officer Media Group, he brought a dedicated focus to the production of the print publications and management of the Officer.com online product and company directory. You can connect with Jonathan through LinkedIn.

Jonathan participated as a judge for the 2019 and 2020 FOLIO: Eddie & Ozzie Awards. In 2012, he received an APEX Award of Excellence in the Technology & Science Writing category for his article on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in police work, aptly titled "No Runway Needed".

He typically does not speak in the third person.

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