Are clowns really scary? Ha ha aaaargh!

klown danger

When Australian singer and TV personality Mark Holden appeared as a clown recently on Channel 7’s Dancing with the Stars, his supposedly “bizarre” behaviour sparked furious debate and complaints to the network, demonstrating the problematic nature of the clown figure today.

The clown has a long history, ranging from the court clowns of ancient Egypt and imperial China, and trickster figures of Native American cultures, through the “sanctioned fool” of Renaissance drama and zanni of the commedia dell arte, to mainstay of the circus in the 19th century…

The decline of touring companies and vaudeville reduced the visibility of the clown in the later 20th century. While clowns still operate in the circus and theatrical entertainments, they are more likely to be found in children’s entertainment, therapeutic and community fields…

…It’s our awareness that there is an offstage self that generates much of our uneasiness around this figure.

In the early 19th century Joseph Grimaldi made the clown a star attraction of British pantomime. As he endured personal tragedies, alcoholism and chronic pain, he also became representative of the “sad clown”, of the clown as a divided figure, split between his comic on-stage identity and melancholic off-stage self…

So, when the jovial onstage figure, whose very existence seems designed to make us laugh, is revealed to be a depressed alcoholic (Grimaldi), or rage-driven killer (France’s Jean-Gaspard Deburau), or convicted sex-offender (Australia’s Jack Perry, the “Zig” of Zig and Zag).

Undoubtedly, the most notorious of such cases is that of John Wayne Gacy, an amateur clown who was convicted of killing 33 boys and young men in Illinois in the 1970s…

One of the most notable influences was Stephen King’s novel It (1986), filmed in 1990 with Tim Curry as the murderous supernatural being which takes human form as “Pennywise the Dancing Clown”.

The ubiquity of the “dark clown” trope is evident in itself becoming the stuff of comedy, as in Seinfeld episode The Opera, and the character of Krusty the Clown, a depressive with substance-abuse issues, in The Simpsons.

The context is unimportant; but, I spent a short while on the inside of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus. I met Emmett Kelly there. Most clowns I ever met don’t like to break character as long as they are in makeup. And Kelly was always in makeup.

Which meant he never spoke to anyone – including everyone he worked with. Because Weary Willie didn’t speak.

You can build a scary plot just out of that.

Utah coppers raid Halloween party — because of dancing! WTF?

This is absolutely not a joke. Police in St. George, Utah raided a family fun center that was hosting a Halloween party because the event included (gasp!) dancing:

The “Monster Mash” was an event organized by the Heart of Dixie event group that advertised unlimited access to the bumper boats, go-karts, mini golf and a dance party. The event was to run from 9 p.m. Friday to 1 a.m. Saturday.

Sometime between 9:30-10 p.m., around five-six St. George Police officers arrived on scene instructing that no dancing was to take place, said Brett Crockett, owner of Fiesta Fun Center…

The city issued a permit. We applied for a special event permit for a “dance”. It was issued. Then when they had no way to shut it down they produced additional pages to the permit that we were not given on which they had hand written that the dance was not allowed. Not to mention we were on private property, it is a first amendment right to dance, we weren’t playing music loud enough to be heard off the property and when the police were there NO ONE was dancing. They sent 6 officers to make sure no one was dancing! DANCING IS NOT A CRIME.

Did you think that “Morality Police” were only limited to fundamentalist countries in the Middle East? Welcome to the heavenly land of Utah.

Whisky recalled in Europe for antifreeze ingredient – Feds say OK for us!

One of the fastest-growing liquor brands in America is being recalled in Europe over an ingredient found in some types of antifreeze.

But here in America, it’s still on store shelves…

“Whiskey is hot, but flavored whiskey is even hotter, and out of all the flavored whiskey, Fireball is by far the hottest,” New York Times editor Clay Risen said.

But some European countries have given the cinnamon-flavored drink an icy reception.

Finland, Sweden and Norway pulled it off store shelves after finding it contained too much propylene glycol…

While strictly monitored in Europe, both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have approved the use of propylene glycol in the U.S. in limited quantities.

It can be found in scores of everyday products from food to certain toothpastes.

Mostly products that are heavily processed, so a lot of sodas, a lot of store-bought cake mixes, a lot of icing, a lot of ice cream,” Clay Risen said. “People are not getting poisoned by soft drinks or ice cream. It won’t happen with Fireball either.”

Mostly crap processed food you shouldn’t be eating in the first place, Bubba Clay.

Sazerac insists Fireball Whisky is perfectly safe to drink. Still, this bad publicity could end up burning them.

The FDA allows about 50 grams per kilogram of propylene glycol in foods.

Like I said above, you shouldn’t be consuming most processed foods in the first place. You’re just guaranteeing an abundance of salt, sugar, artificial flavorings – and propylene glycol in your body. I have enough in the radiator of my old pickup truck for the winter. That’s sufficient.

Thanks, Mike