Stop Clowning Around: Why We Shouldn't Confuse the "It" Remake With Reality
When Did Clowns Get So Scary?
Kids Are Scared
Anywhere from Georgia in the United States to Nova Scotia, and now in Ontario, Canada, there have been a rash of clown sightings, and it's not even remotely funny.
There are some parents who are contemplating the wisdom of sending their children out for that night of scary nights - Halloween - because of the dumb decisions of several young people to don a clown mask and terrorize neighborhoods.
Part of the recent clown sightings might be the news that there will be a remake of Stephen King's It, the movie and novel responsible for many people's continued fear of clowns. The movie is set to bow in cinemas in 2017, and given that according to the storyline, Pennywise resurfaces every three decades, and It the novel hit bookshelves in 1986, there is a remarkable coincidence afoot.
Coincidence aside, there's a time for fun, and this isn't it. Halloween for sure is about being scared and "seeing" spirits and demons come to life, but there comes a time when you have to question the rationale that some people are bringing to the table. There are a lot of these "clowns" that are popping up that do not have children of their own, but seeing them wandering the neighborhood with full clown makeup or just a clown mask would be enough to make anyone's blood run cold.
Overseas, there were even large groups of clowns wielding machine guns, iron bars and knives. Most were in the adolescent age group, and yes, there are many teens who do not think about the consequences of their actions. But where are these teens getting the idea to throw on a clown mask and carry a baseball bat or a gun?
There once was a time when clowns were seen as innocent and carefree, with no question of their purity of intent. Now, though, these small pockets of people are making decisions that are going to haunt massive amounts of people for the rest of their lives. There are both kids and adults alike who are deeply afraid of clowns, and it's because of people like these who are running around and terrorizing neighborhoods that the fear of clowns continues.
Pennywise - Probably The Scariest Clown
Scary Cinematic Clowns vs Reality
Of course, Pennywise is not the only scary film clown. There's the clown in 2000's Killjoy, Zombieland (2009) and its clown, and the creepy clown doll in 1982's Poltergeist. There have been enough incarnations of frightening film clowns over decades of cinema that people who are genuinely fearful of clowns have plenty to fuel their imaginations.
Unfortunately, sometimes fear of one fairly innocent thing can be passed on to the next generation, and it seems that this is the case as far as clowns go. In addition, there are a number of kids over the years who have at least gotten a glimpse of a non-funny, somewhat scary clown, and it's been just enough for these people to get turned off the notion of clowns altogether.
These are fantasy clowns that we're discussing, though - not the people dressed as clowns bent on striking fear into many people. While it's easy to admit that at times, it's fun to throw a bit of a scare into someone - sneaking up on them, for instance, and causing them to jump - cases like this only make one's blood run cold.
To try and consider telling a kid that they can't go out for Halloween because there are people running around carrying baseball bats or grabbing children and they are dressed as clowns is about as low as it gets. Kids should be kept as innocent as possible, not have something that should be a highlight of their young lives destroyed because a select few people are bent on horrifying neighborhoods.
What pleasure or gain do these scary clowns get in freaking people out? Why does this seem like a good idea on any level? Kids need to be kids - not worry about something that should be innocent and easy like a clown. How difficult is it for little kids from here on with stories like this to then go to a fair or a circus where there might be a clown there and not have a full blown meltdown on seeing the clown?
Regardless of intent, these realistic clowns are far scarier - as reality often is - than the cinematic ones, and with good reason. Thus far, there have been cases where at least one of these clown-clad people have menaced kids, even going so far as to lay hands on the kid. That's enough to chill even the stoniest of hearts; children are our most innocent, most precious commodities, and should be treasured, not scared.
These people need to be brought to justice, if for no other reason than these children need to realize that just because people are trying to terrorize, doesn't mean all that all people like that. Kids can still learn about clowns - this is a group of people that have a very rich history - and even enjoy what they do, but they have to learn that there will always be someone or a group of someones who are determined to try and strike fear into people.