In the midst of a recent tweet exchange the topic of neurotic emotional triggers came up. The exchange was brief but it centered on whether or not clowns are creepy. To most of the participants they were. It made me wonder why that’s the case.
Clowns are supposed to be caricatures of bright goodness, yet many are misanthropic. They are depicted as a child’s companion, a buffoonish idiotic moron. Why then do they strike such an uncomfortable chord within?
For me I know it’s the association of the horror movies I consumed so rapaciously as a teen – not to mention the deliciously creepy Stephen King tome It. That was the first King novel I read and although I saw many of the films and read some of his other stories, I’m not a huge fan, but It stays with me. In college I cut class for two days while I sequestered on my couch surrounded by empty bottles and sandwich wrappers while I read. I learned a lot about writing from that experience.
And I know I don’t like clowns. I once dumped a guy because I found out he worked as a rodeo clown = too creepy to kiss. I was firm in this stance until….along came Heath Ledger as the Joker. I were smitten, as they say. What a wonderful villain. In an eggplant purple suit no less. Delicious. Intriguing. Titillating. Now I have to rethink my deep-seated prejudice about clowns. This requires a moment of introspection.