THE ACTS OF A CLEVER DEVIL
MONOLOGUE WRITTEN BY CLYDE LEWIS
A couple of weekends back I decided that I wanted to see the final chapter of Stephen King’s IT. Many people are familiar with the story because one of the main characters is a terrifying shape-shifting clown named Pennywise.
After watching this film, I started to realize why the clown in the story is so terrifying – it is not that he has a painted face and that he drools when he sees a child; that of course, is troubling but this time it was the unpredictability that me on the edge of my seat.
I wanted to jump on to the topic of the clown and how terrifying they can be but I thought that I have spoken of it before.
Psychologically, many people are terrified of clowns because most of us like predictability when things feel uncomfortable or out of place if things feel like they are in a fit of chaos – we tend to shut down, get frightened, or become angry.
Studies have found that behavior that is slippery or amorphous is everything our safe, predictability-craving brains fear the most.
Clowns already scare people because of their ambiguous nature. Psychological research demonstrates that when someone sees a face that looks not quite human, like a clown’s, the brain experiences a hiccup in the pattern recognition techniques it uses to make cognitive sense of the world. When the brain is confused, it’s an easy next step for it to become scared.
Some of the most powerful images come from films and many of the most frightening characters that exist in our nightmares are white-faced entities who utilize the death shape, whether masked or unmasked in order to stir primal thoughts and stir up anxiety and hysteria.
In films, the death clown visage appeared in various horror films and it turned out to be an effective tool to terrify audiences all over the world. Characters like Michael Meyers from ‘Halloween’, Captain Howdy from ‘The Exorcist’ and the immortal death image of the Joker portrayed by Heath ledger are all associated with the clown, the trickster, or the shape shifting, transmogrifying devil – all with the power to mesmerize, trick and, in some cases, attack.
Sid Haig, the actor who played the evil clown Captain Spaulding recently died at the age of 80.
Spaulding is a vicious murderous clown that appeared in the film, House of a Thousand Corpses.
One of his best lines is “Don’t ever turn your back on a clown when he is talking to you.”
It is good advice – because clowns have been icons that represent the clever and tricky devil.
If you take a broader look at the history of the clown, they have always been an ambiguous figure. Sometimes they’re laughing at themselves, sometimes they’re laughing at you – sometimes they’re the victim, sometimes you’re the victim. It’s a mistake to ask when did clowns go bad because many people believe that they were never ‘good’ to begin with.
What is most interesting about the clown is that it always seems to walk a tightrope bordering on anarchy. The clown can hide behind its sadness and its anger and be contained just enough to allow for laughter.
Its actions are funny and cheerful in the element of the circus or the carnival but when it leaps outside the gates and stands on your street corner it becomes a threat that dissolves into an object of ridicule.
When that balance tips the wrong way, it’s a quick slide into horror.
The clown has always been a ceremonial trigger and psychologically affects everyone who sees it. Lon Chaney, the man known for his thousand faces, had once quipped that there is nothing scarier than a clown after midnight.
In the ancient Gnostic beliefs, the trickster is a god. The god you make a deal with to come to this planet. It is neither man nor woman. It is an androgynous figure with distorted features who plays tricks or otherwise disobeys normal rules and conventional behavior. Ancient memes within all of us confuse the trickster with the hero. The trickster and the culture hero are often combined in ancient cultures. It was Carl Jung that gave a very interesting view of the clown-turned-carnival barker who collected young, impressionable souls for food sources. The word ‘carnival‘ itself is taken from the Latin ‘carnus’ (‘flesh’) and ‘levare’ (remove) as in being skinned or shed of meat.
According to Jung, the trickster loves to play malicious pranks on people. His home is the carnival and he manages to achieve through flash and showmanship, what most people can do with their intelligence. He has the personality that appears to be gentle and childlike and yet on the inside, the trickster is dark, conflicted, and threatening. He can convince even the keenest of intellect to play in his world and has the ability to draw upon the innocence in the unconscious to cover up his devilish intent. The trickster is also obsessed with changing his shape and demeanor.
The clown is an ancient symbol of the shapeshifter whose expression bends and molds a visage of death.
However, the progressive woke crowd – or the extreme left have now hijacked clowns and have made them symbols of white supremacy, incel culture, and homophobia.
The new film “Joker” will be released in theaters next week; however, there seems to be a bunch of controversy being stirred up before the film even makes it to the theaters.
The reason is simple – an overreaction to a possibility that the film could trigger mass violence –and mass shootings in movie theaters.
Yesterday I read that the US military has been warned to be aware of the potentiality for shootings during showings of the new film. The U.S. Army confirmed that the warning was widely distributed after social media posts related to extremists classified as “incels,” were uncovered by intelligence officials at the FBI.
A separate memo, issued a few days ago by senior officials in the U.S. Army’s criminal investigation division, stated that the Army had obtained “credible” intelligence from Texas law enforcement officials pertaining to “disturbing and very specific chatter” on the dark web “regarding the targeting of an unknown movie theater during the release.”
The trickster, of course, is triggering more than fear — there is also the trigger of déjà vu where we all remember when James Holmes walked into an Aurora, Colorado Century 16 Theater and opened fire on an audience as they were watching the Batman Film “Dark Knight.”
This film is different as there is no Batman – only the deterioration of a man who has very deep mental issues. In the original Batman, it was chemicals that made the Joker a white-faced madman – this time it is our violent and unloving unforgiving culture that creates the psychotic clown that lifts the veil on a world that has spun into chaos.
There is one theme that is always evident in every interpretation of the Joker and that is his uncanny way of exposing how most people are amoral to the point that they can be turned into an exact copy of him.
In the movie, Dark Knight, the Joker tried to do it with Bruce Wayne and he succeeded in doing it to Harvey Dent who eventually became the villainous Two Face.
What is most disconcerting about these warnings by the FBI and military about potential shootings in theaters, during the Joker’s showing is that it is setting a precedent. It is like a challenge to would-be killers to go out and be famous or as the Joker would say “add a little chaos.”
This could be that very provoking element that does lead to what the warnings are supposedly meant to prevent.
This has happened before with the Stanley Kubrick’s film “Clockwork Orange.”
A Clockwork Orange told the dystopian story of a brutal young man, named Alex who leads a band of thugs on a terrifying crime spree, beating, raping and committing acts of what’s called “ultra-violence” along the way. At one point, he bludgeons a woman with a phallic sculpture; at another, he and his gang called, Droogs, bash a man and rape his wife while we hear the song “Singin’ in the Rain.”
Stanley Kubrick’s film drew an immediate outcry despite its box office success.
But what made Clockwork Orange especially troubling was the spate of copycat incidents that followed, or at least incidents that looked as if they’d been shaped by the film.
In early 1972, a British prosecutor slammed it for influencing a 14-year-old accused of manslaughter. Later, a 16-year-old, pleading guilty to killing an old man, said he’d heard about the movie, while his attorney assured the court that “the link between this crime and sensational literature, particularly A Clockwork Orange, is established beyond reasonable doubt.”
There, of course, is the absurd assumption.
No study has ever established that link beyond a reasonable doubt; nor is there any evidence to show that a criminal, even one who imitates something on film — wouldn’t have done something equally abominable at another time.
Kubrick knew this.
Still, shaken, he asked Warner Brothers to withdraw his picture from theaters while defending it with the argument that: “To try and fasten any responsibility on art as the cause of life seems to me to put the case the wrong way around. Art consists of reshaping life, but it does not create life, nor cause life.”
Now, almost half a century later, the studio that released Clockwork Orange is now going to release Joker but this time they are realizing it and a point in time that has been designated as the epoch of Clown World.
Before Tracy Twyman died, she appeared on Ground Zero and literally predicted that before the end of 2019 there would be an upsurge in national chaos. She called it “Clown World” which is a phrase that was originally coined on the internet to describe the complete and utter chaos that exists in Western politics.
The “Clown World” political view took on many personalities – just like a clown can take on many different faces.
It’s basic premise is that Clown World has a connection to the Mandela Effect in that it presents a fork in the road of recall and present interpretation of reality.
Clown World has you suspecting that you are living in a circus or an amusement park that is a great cover for what is in reality a slaughterhouse – where everyone is targeted for termination.
Unlike the Mandela Effect, where are limited to recalling whether or not the title of a children’s book about bears has been misspelled, or whether or not here is an “N” in the world dilemma, the Clown World is a nightmare reality that is completely ridiculous. A bit more dramatic or over the top than it should be.
Perhaps something that is just so supremely absurd —that no one would’ve taken it seriously at some point in the past. Now it is treated like it’s the most sane and reasonable thing, that should be accepted as a fact even though there are so many salient arguments to the contrary.
For example I believe that I realized I was in a Clown World when during the holiday season there was a story that was published that stated the Radio stations across the country were pulling the song “Baby It’s Cold Outside” off of their Christmas playlist because of complaints that the song appears to be a bit “rapey.”
The song came under fire by the #MeToo movement saying it was a song about sexual coercion.
The truth is that the song was first performed in the film, Neptune’s Daughter – the original hit was performed by Betty Garrett to Red Skelton – a woman singing it to a man and then there was a version sang by Ricardo Montalban to Ester Williams -basically a song that was shared depicts an empowered woman, asking a man to stay for the night.
In the song’s original score, the duet partners are designated only as “wolf” and “mouse,” with genders unspecified, and the song’s many decades of covers have featured several women taking the wolf’s role—going after that mousey man.
The song’s only problem is that it did not age very well but in Clown World that song becomes a political tool for a movement you rarely hear of anymore.
When I first heard of this, I thought the world had lost it.
You realize when you are in Clown World that there are people in places of power who are extremists that love to gaslight you in order to have you fall into their chaotic thinking.
It can only be done in a world run by clowns.
In general normal groups of people don’t have any idea how to respond to the gaslighting, so anything they do will be “wrong” within the parameters of the rigged psychological game.
There are powerful clowns that are now doing the most crazy and ridiculous things and then they expect you to respect them for it.
For example, you tell a joke and then you are punished because of the way you tell it. You are also told that in order to make things better you should apologize. When you apologize there are clowns that say that you really aren’t apologizing for what you said – you are apologizing because you were exposed as an uncaring and horrible person who makes jokes at other’s expense.
The clowns see themselves as a mob of good people with good intentions when in reality they are cartoonish evil and sadistic.
Since the phrase clown world was first used to describe the bizarre antics of zealous political opportunists, the clowns themselves have now gone on the attack and have now designated it as a dog whistle for Nazis and White Nationalists.
But of course, that very argument proves that we live in a Clown World.
Because why else would people who claim to be the more intelligent and more responsible side of the Left/Right political paradigm not actually apply any of that intelligence and realize they’re being gaslighted by sadistic trolls?
It is because we live in a Clown World.
The observation of Clown World is now being ridiculed as being racist and bigoted – but in general calling out the clowns is merely a way to communicate grievances towards illogical socially progressive initiatives and the illicit fake outrage from sympathizers.
With the mostly negative news coverage and depressing headlines of our current affairs, it’s easy to be pessimistic. Pessimism of our modern society has come in the form of nihilism and the black pill meme. The black pill meme came from an offshoot of the meme inspired by the “red pill or blue pill” scene from the Matrix. The black pill encompasses a pessimistic attitude towards society, viewing it as beyond repair.
Additionally, those who “take” the black pill are referred to as “Doomers” in internet circles. While the black pill is a pessimistic response in internet culture to society, a new meme makes an optimistic one: Clown World.
The Black Pill looks at our society with pessimism, Clown World seeks to turn the Black Pill upside down. It does this by moving off of the basis of the black pill but instead turns the grim outlook into one of ridiculousness. Instead of approaching our society from an attitude of doom and gloom, Clown World seeks to make our current situation seem nonsensical.
Another example of Clown World brings us back to Stephen King’s Pennywise and his recent appearance in IT chapter 2.
Many people are probably unaware that for some strange unexplained reason Pennywise was somehow embraced by the gay community as a gay icon.
That is, until Chapter 2 hit theaters.
In the film, Pennywise is featured taunting a closeted gay man and killing and eating another one.
This Prompted Rose Dommu from Out Magazine to write in her column “I’m sad to announce that Pennywise is not gay, or even an ally. In fact, Pennywise is surprisingly anti-queer.”
This is obviously a big demonstration of how we are living in Clown World.
You mean to say a killer clown that loves misery and the death of kids doesn’t celebrate the LGBTQ equality?
Dommu said there was an actual time period when the depraved killer clown was considered a “gay icon”; again, a pedophilic child eating killer clown was seen as a gay icon?
Dommu said in her column in all seriousness that:
“In the aftermath of 2017’s It, Bill Skarsgård’s Pennywise the Dancing Clown became something of a gay icon. Between memes and makeup tutorials, Pennywise was everywhere — he and another monstrous LGBTQ+ favorite, the Babadook, were seen as #couplegoals.”
The other instance of Pennywise’s LGBTQ hatred comes when he taunts closeted adult Richie about his “dirty little secret.” Richie “reminisces about being called names as a child” and, wouldn’t you know, Pennywise doesn’t show up to remove that trauma, just to exacerbate it.
Dommu wrote, “He doesn’t just say it, he sings it — the song even appears on the album’s soundtrack.”
Well, what did you expect from a clown versed in murder and psychological torture of children? And even though the horror movie monster is designed to be the antithesis of love and respect, Dommu believes this is an irksome symptom of contemporary politics, concluding her piece with the point that the clown’s “a homophobe in Trump’s America.”
Meanwhile, after attending a showing of IT Chapter 2, I was informed by a police officer who knew me that there will be increased security at the Joker film.
There will be signs posted and even theater warnings that say that encourage: If you see something say something.
The film is now being marred by a gun control debate and the potential of it being a violent outing.
Is this a way of inciting and incident or is it preventing an incident from occurring? One can never know when they are living in a Clown World.