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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2673

Creepy Clown Craze: sightings across Britain triggers little laughter and more anxiety

Hemantha Abeywardean writes from London…

Creepy clown craze, the phenomenon in which a man disguises himself as an armed clown, has been sweeping across Britain for the past few weeks, amid mixed public feelings about the banter, because at times the funny element of it just ends even before the clown in question springs into action; his mere presence, judging by what has been reported so far, just kills off the very aspect of hum our.

For instance, when a clown in costume, armed with a chainsaw or knife, appears in front of a group of schools kids or elderly men and women from nowhere, it is hardly funny; not only is it frightening, but also life threatening, especially, if the human being in question is a sufferer from a serious medical condition.

This is the not-that-funny element of the phenomenon, which prompted the police to issue a nationwide warning that creepy clowns could be charged with public order offences, if they are in possession of knives or anything that could cause physical harm.

Neither the threat of prosecution nor the public anxiety has so far killed off the enthusiasm of the individuals to become creepy clowns; on the contrary, shops that sell clownish outfits report record sales, across the United Kingdom.

The craze could reach a menacing level in the coming weeks as it coincides with the Halloween; because, people – even the authorities – will not be able to make any distinction between a creepy clown and a chap in a traditional Halloween costume. In this context, even the police may find it difficult to pursue catching offending clowns, while filtering out the seasonal, good clowns.

As most thing that catch public imagination, creepy clown craze is an American import too: it first started in the US on social media and then started spreading across the continent, before crossing the Atlantic into Europe.

The controversy surrounding the craze leads to curiosity, which leads to social media traffic, which leads to newspaper headlines, which leads to big society figures coming round in condemning the clowns in much the same way as they condemn terrorists or paedophiles, with one big question behind the whole thing: what do creepy clowns really try to achieve?

Of course, they are not coming to make us laugh; on the contrary, they want to have a laugh for themselves at the expense of petrified masses. That’s why the whole clown industry is up in arms at present against creepy clowns - for ruining their livelihood: there are reports, for instance, of parents becoming reluctant to hire clowns for children parties for fear of unintended consequences.

Creepy clowns are not necessarily plucky individuals; sometimes, their pranks don’t turn out exactly how they want them to be, especially if they could not choose the right audience. For instance, I saw a video clip, in which a clown pursuing a pair of well-built men, only to be punched in the face by one of them – with the fun coming to an abrupt, painful end while nose bleeding starts.

So far, creepy clown craze has not led to dangerous situations in Britain, apart from the clowns acting in haste paying a reasonable price for sheer amateurism. The authorities and most of the general public, however, are worried that certain sinister elements in the society could potentially exploit the phenomenon for sadistic gains.

Perhaps, in the light of bad publicity and the protest from professional clowns, crazy clowns may evolve while defying Darwinism; it is just a few months old, after all. It is much easier than creepy clowns think that it is: all they have to do is not to use offensive weapons and not targeting the most vulnerable in the society.

If they do that, they can leave their footprint in the sands of clowning industry for elevating banter to a new constructive level; there is no better time to achieve that supreme goal than the relatively auspicious time of Halloween.

- Asian Tribune -

Creepy Clown Craze: sightings across Britain triggers little laughter and more anxiety
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