2016-10-19 / Editorials

Reclaim A Beloved Tradition

It is unfortunate that we have allowed a few wacky weirdos to hijack a treasured archetype – the clown. Clowns represent the fun, lighthearted part of life, at the circus, with the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey’s Circus, Bozo and Ronald McDonald, to name some of the most famous celebrity clowns. Real clowns have always represented carefree, fun silliness for kids and now, but because of a few – most likely disturbed – individuals, who have decided to dress up as clowns and proceed to terrorize and hurt people, the idea of clowns has become tainted with fear and dread.

Clowns, jesters and tricksters have existed in all cultures throughout history to bring joy and levity, a break from the weight of the world – something we all need. Intellectuals credit them with out-of-the box thinking – “irrationality” – which begets creativity, or satire, which is also important to a healthy society. We understand that this trend of impersonating clowns to incite fear may have been started as a publicity stunt for a (not very original) horror movie. In any case, “copycat” criminals who only want to destroy peace and happiness, who offer nothing creative or constructive to society, but just try to get attention and their perverse jollies, from jumping on the bandwagon of the latest threat to society need to be dealt with.

It would be sad if a tradition up to now beloved by all (except perhaps a few with overactive imaginations tainted by too many horror movies), characters with only good intentions of bringing smiles should come to represent horror, terror or evil.

We encourage the authorities to pursue and prosecute anyone using costumes to terrorize or for anything other than entertainment. They should not be used to ruin our celebrations, or even our perceptions. Genuine clowns are to be embraced, and welcome as a fun component of any festival, and to have them taken away from us would be a shame.

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