There is a clownish figure haunting our collective sleeping and waking hours right now – an orange-haired clown with exaggerated expressions.
Evil clown hysteria is sweeping the nation. Writers are anguishing about why. Readers, however, lay the blame squarely where it belongs: with the orange-haired clown who tops the Republican ticket.
The hysteria is manifesting itself with hoaxes, threats, sightings, copycat events, and rumors that have provoked arrests, school closings, clown hunts on college campuses, and a multitude of false alarms. The International Business Times has even published a global sightings map, as well as a timeline of sightings, as the phenomenon has started spreading to other countries.
Stephen King felt the need to weigh in with a tweet, in an effort to quell the panic:
Hey, guys, time to cool the clown hysteria–most of em are good, cheer up the kiddies, make people laugh.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) October 3, 2016
Which hardly seems fair since his characters, like the clown Pennywise, have done a lot to promote fear of clowns — though maybe not as much as America’s orange-haired clown.
Readers aren’t fooled about what’s really going on. A woman named Stacy responded to a New York Times article on sinister clowns with this:
Let’s see: There is a clownish figure haunting our collective sleeping and waking hours right now – an orange-haired fellow with exaggerated expressions, an O-shaped mouth, artificially colored complexion, and oversized clothing worn over a potbelly… He is everywhere. He says he wants to punch people in the face. He says he wants to expel millions of people. He says he wants to jail his opponent…He says he gropes women (and then he says he doesn’t). He says he’ll consider using nukes. He says the world is against him. He says everyone else lies… He says his daughter is really, really hot. He says everyone agrees with him that his enemies get what they deserve.
When The Guardian wrote about the hysteria spreading to the UK, readers saw right through the phenomenon. Someone with the handle “addled” responded:
This is a Trump tactic to divert attention from the Fat Orange Clown, aka ‘King of the Clowns’.
And it’s working.
“Polarbear67” also related the phenomenon to the orange-haired clown in the presidential race:
Mass hysteria in politics
Immigrants are evil … A nice umbrella phrase so we don’t have to say Jews or Italians or Muslims or … Cause that’s racist … We just say any alien beings we stamp as alien … Are a virus infecting us like a devils curse
Clinton and Obama are called Devils … Look at the video of Obama checking himself for the smell of burning sulphur
An satanic control system is bent on destruction … On destroying Trump The saviour … Evil Hilary and everything that isn’t Trump is hell driven…
Eugene Harvey wrote to The Guardian about the most obvious manifestation:
Yea, I’ve seen one of these clowns, it was really disturbing. He was big and fat, with orange makeup and a ghastly wig…and he was stalking this little old lady around a stage…it was terrifying…I wanted to yell out “Hey lady, turn around, there’s a creepy clown behind you !!
And “55MarcusA” wrote about his disappointment at the actual content in the paper’s article:
I started to read this as I thought the headline was for an article about Trump.
Not to fear, 55MarcusA. Twitter has come to the rescue, as usual:
— Maria (@ximarri) October 8, 2016
— Blackwolfe (@Woffen) October 16, 2016
No argument here.