Friday, June 11, 2010

Why The Circus Is Scary

Wednesday I went to another one of those poetry things I told you guys about a while ago. It was great. Each month they base every act/poem/reading around a theme. This time it was the Circus.


The Circus is scary for multiple reasons. The first, of course, is clowns. I never really had a good way to explain WHY clowns are scary except for their use in the movie IT.


The clown in IT was played by Tim Curry. YEAH.


But last night someone wrote a line which I thought really put it in perfect perspective: "You painted a face on your face." BAM, my mind was blown. I mean, that's it, isn't it? There's no more to it than that. OH WAIT, there's one more thing to it: white clown face paint. It is crazily white. And it's so white, no matter how healthy you are, it ALWAYS makes your teeth and eyes look yellowed and sickly. And no one wants to take a balloon from Consumpto, the coughing clown.

The second reason the circus is creepy is because of all the old-school pictures of circuses during their heyday. Pictures from the turn of the century are scary. They are blurry, they look weathered, and no one is smiling. Everyone is upset and sad. Then add to the fact that these are castaways before the time of equal opportunity and safer surgeries, and you have some freaky shit going on.

And the third reason is John Wayne Gacy. I have been traumatized by the story of this man for a seriously long time. He was executed when I was nine, and his story was all over at the time. Of course, it was the first I'd ever heard about serial killers. Which helps. I'd just gone through my first loss (Lucy, my sister's hamster) and now I have to deal with the idea of a murderer. A murderer who is being murdered. Anyway, I knew he drew pictures of clowns, so I wasn't surprised when one girl did a poem about him.

Let me tell have never heard a poem that will give you such nightmares. (Unless you've read Beowulf--BA DA BING!) She even had this creepy sing-song weaved throughout it to the tune of that classic circus song:

So there's that. I was so creeped out/intrigued by this girl's poem that I had to do some Wikipedia-ing into the man's life just to get some closure.

Did I get closure? Yes, closure of the brain. I am traumatized further. WHY. WHY did I feel the need to research a man who murdered dozens of people in Chicago? Why was that necessary? Oh, he dressed as a clown and is quoted telling the police "You know... clowns can get away with murder" before they ever found anything on him.




Anyway, now I'm sufficiently creeped out. My clown=serial killer quotient has been filled for the day. I'm ready for things that are slightly less scary.

Like whales.


Sra said...

Dear Em,
Thanks for ruining my life.

Emily said...

You. Are. Welcome.

mom said...

I listened to the circus music and imagined a poetry reading to it -- genius! I can see why it was memorable. I love circus stuff -- the creepy esoteric life of the performers has always fascinated me. Are you sure you don't want to go to see "Showmans Rest" at Woodlawn cemetery with me?
ps - sorry I let you see the JWG stuff!

Liketohike said...

I am pretty sure you couldn't pay me to look up JWG on Wikipedia. I have enough trouble with Law and Order.

I like circuses, too, I guess I just have good memories of light up fiber optic toys.

Also, Todd's parents have friends who were married at the National Clown Convention. In full clown. Is their marriage a joke?

Liketohike said...

Also, why have you not joined Roller Derby yet?

Emily said...

Um, hi, because I said I would if I was voted up to the #3 spot in the Blogger's Choice awards. I am currently #17.

abbey said...

Yeah. I caved and started researching the clown killer. What. The. Hell? I came to work unafraid of clowns. I will be leaving terrified. Awesome.

Kim L said...

Ever seen Killer Clowns from Outer Space? I think that's what it's mom let me watch it as a child. Nightmares for life.

Also, circus people have a pact with the devil to perform their amazing and death defying feats. No wonder cirucuses (circi?) give off the solemn sense of death and creep. haha