Calling clowns creepy and not funny, lawmkers in both houses of Congress today passed legislation outlawing entertainers who wear makeup, big red noses, and floppy shoes in a belief that people find them funny.
“I know there’s a tradition, dating back to the days of court jesters, of entertaining audiences by wearing costumes and makeup in goofy ways while engaging in antics, often with balls or bicycles,” says Rep. Snowden Baxter (R-Texas), principal sponsor of the legislation. “But not all traditions are destined to survive in perpetuity, and clowns are one of those traditions whose time should come to an end.”
Baxter pointed to overwhelming support from members of both parties for his bill and cited it as an example of the kinds of things Congress can get done when the need is clear and compelling.
“No more should clowns make small children cry and the skin of adults crawl,” says Sen. Susan Mayer (D-Maine). “I know rodeos and parades will be different without them, and that’s the point.”
Clowns are modern-day equivalents of court jesters, who donned hats and wore other colorful, absurd clothes in an effort to make clear their actions were not intended to be taken seriously. By creating this difference between themselves and their audiences, jesters, and later clowns, were able to say and do things that would otherwise not be appropriate in polite company.
“They were truth-tellers,” says Albert Smith, a historian at Cornell University who has written about clowns in his book, Jesting in Sadness (Knoph: 2014). “Clowns often wear sad faces and their humor often has a sad edge to it because they’re expressing the burden of knowledge and the sadness of life that regular people can’t express without violating unwritten and unspoken cultural norms.”
Be that as it may, people don’t enjoy clowns and even find that the humor, such as it is, often cannot rise above the creep factor that so many people feel in their presence, according to experts.
“Every time I see a clown I want to go home and take a shower afterwards” says Ashley Pines, a recent graduate of the University of Delaware who has not gone to a parade since she was 10 years old because she doesn’t like to put herself in close proximity to clowns.
Yes, they’re freakin’ weird as hell,” says Doug Glenn, an auto mechanic in Fort Wayne, Ind. “You know, they’re not funny and so I think, What’s the point? If anything, they’re kind of sad, like they want to kill themselves. How is that funny?”
Although the legislation passed easily, the Circus Entertainer Society of America lobbied heavily to defeat it, but few lawmakers took their side. “The clown group made a very strong case for themselves, but they just couldn’t cut through the fear factor,” says Rep. Steven Little (R-Okla.), one of the few legislators to oppose the bill. “I actually like clowns myself. I really don’t see what the problem is. But obviously more people don’t share my view than do.”
President Obama has said he will sign the bill. “I’m glad Congress has been able to come together in such a bipartisan way to put behind us what has been such a nightmare for so many people,” he said in a statement after the bill passed. “No longer will children be frightened by these scary people, and no longer will the skin of older people crawl. We are coming together as a nation to end this terrible and rarely funny form of humor and blot on our lives.”
This is a work of satire. It is fictional news article not meant to be taken seriously. Photos (some modified): jdg and mab (Creative Commons and public domain). Not necessarily an endorsed use of images.
Despite His Criminality and Sexual Assault Bragging, He’s Not a Mexican Criminal or Rapist, Trump Says
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump says he shouldn’t be mistaken for a Mexican, because although his university and foundation are under criminal investigation, his type of criminality is different from a Mexican’s. The same goes for the revelation that he’s a man who sexually assaults women. Although he kisses and grabs women without waiting for their consent, he isn’t a Mexican rapist because he’s a celebrity and the women let him do it. “Hillary Clinton and her slimy rapist husband Bill Clinton are trying to make people believe I’m Mexican because of the criminality of my operations and my history of assaulting and abusing women,” he said today. “But I’m not, and these attacks are part of the rigged election. I can guarantee you, my supporters are going to use their Second Amendment freedom to protest this rigged election when I lose because of Hillary’s cheating.” More.
In an exclusive Q&A, Tim Peters, the man selected to patrol public bathrooms in North Carolina under the state’s new anti-LGBT bathroom law, sits down with The Nattering Nabobs to talk about why he’s the man for the job. The Nattering Nabobs: You’ve been a policeman since 1992. Why did you throw your hat into the ring when the state was looking for a bathroom monitor? Not only is the law controversial, but you have to spend your days in bathrooms. Tim Peters: I’m doing it for the girls. When they go to the bathroom, they should be able to pull up their dresses and pull down their panties without any other man being in the bathroom. More.
After a lifetime of making the lives of his three sons miserable, Ralph Murton got in one more dig by living to 100 while still showing no signs of slowing down. “I know my sons would like nothing more than to finally be rid of me, but if they think I’m going to let them off the hook, they’ve got another thing coming,” says Murton, an engineer who retired from Midwest Pacific Railroad in 1983. Murton says he knows perfectly well his sons think he’s a bastard, a harsh disciplinarian who seemed to enjoy punishing them for the slightest infractions when they were younger, like when Dan, his oldest son, accidentally tore his new jeans when he was in eighth grade. “They used to cringe when I came home from work, wondering if I was going to find something they did wrong,” says Murton. “Usually I did find something, because it’s not hard to find things when you have three sons.” More.
Cross-dressing Society Sues Garment Industry for Not Making Women’s Clothes That Fit Men, and Vice Versa
Calling it “unconscionable” that no women’s clothes are made to fit men, and vice versa, the North American Cross-Dressing Society filed lawsuits in the United States and Canada today against the garment industry in the hopes of forcing manufacturers to end size discrimination. “These lawsuits are for cross-dressers everywhere who are tired of the slim pickings they find at clothing racks across the United States and Canada,” says John Sebers, president of the cross-dressers group and a cross-dresser who lives in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. “In a day and age when heroes like Caitlin Jenner are breaking down barriers for transgender people, we cross-dressers continue to find our favorite coordinates and our essential mix-and-match outfits completely mis-sized for us.” More.
SmartCarry™ Luggage Carts are the go-to brand of carts for most homeless people, a survey released today by Brand Trust, a business-to-business trade magazine. The magazine asked 250 homeless people in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Toronto about their brand preferences when it came to luggage, grocery, or other types of carts for carrying their possessions and just under 200 said SmartCarry™ is their cart of choice. “They last a real long time,” says Arnold Sween, a homeless person in New York City. “I’ve had mine for 10 years and it still rolls good. Holds a lot, too.” More.
The world’s worst investor says he’s going all-in on California swimming pools, because with the state’s new water meters and water-use restrictions, swimming pools will become the “forbidden fruit” of the moneyed set. “Where does the 1 percent live? In California. What does the 1 percent want? Swimming pools,” says the world’s worst investor. The world’s worst investor says he “took a bath” on his last big investment idea, Texas gun locks. But he thinks he’s backing a winner this time. “You want to go where people are going, only go there sooner,” he says. “Right now, where are people going? They’re going to California to swim.” More.
AKRON, Ohio—Touring a wire coat hanger factory in what was once a blighted industrial area here, President Barack Obama said the United States is returning to its roots as a manufacturing giant and he took a stab at critics who say the country risks losing more manufacturing jobs if a Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal is passed. “Like this wire coat hanger I have in my hand, the United States is strong,” Obama said, speaking before the 75 employees of the Ace Wire Company. “Anyone who needs evidence that the United States can compete with anyone in the world just needs to look at the factory floor that surrounds me. Every day, more than 10,000 coat hangers are made here and distributed to dry cleaners and hotels throughout the United States and throughout the world. America is back!” More.
Manufacturers and technology companies have failed to blanket the living environment with blinking lights and bleeping noises even though they’ve had the capability to do so for many years, the world says. Until enough blinking lights and bleeping noises fill all living spaces at all times, there will be operations and processes that won’t be sufficiently signaled for people the world over to be sufficiently signaled about every process and operation. “As hard as it is to believe, it’s possible today to go from your home to your car without being signaled by a blinking light or a bleeping noise alerting you to an operation or process that has occurred and that could affect you,” says the world. “Has the newspaper arrived at your doorstep? Have your sprinklers been turned on to water your grass? These are the kinds of processes and operations today that remain un-signaled with a blinking light or bleeping noise. More.
Poll numbers have been slipping for U.S. Republican presidential aspirant Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) since he announced he candidacy in April and one of his top advisors is pointing the finger at Rush, the Canadian progressive rock trio whose libertarian-themed lyrics have made them a long-time favorite of Paul’s. “As an individual, Rand Paul can listen to any music he wants,” says Chip Englander, the candidate’s campaign manager and one of his top strategists. “It’s not for me to weigh in on someone’s taste in music, no matter how horrible it is. But as a candidate trying to build a base of support, Rand Paul is doing himself no favors playing music that causes his base of support to run away, screaming ‘Make it stop!’ We’re telling him he can’t go on listening to this music.” More.
NEW YORK CITY—One of the top art critics in the United States today said abstract art, from Jackson Pollock to Pablo Picasso to Willem de Kooning, is “just plain dumb” and people are “morons for buying into this crap.” Richard Bartley, the Richard Colby Distinguished Professor of Art and Art History at Harvard University, whose books are widely considered the gold standard among critics, is raising an outcry with his remarks, which he gave at a gallery opening here. Bartley called today’s art industry a “total con game” in which people are suckered into buying “meaningless brush strokes of paint” on canvas and other media that have no worth outside of the market that artists, dealers, curators, and investors have created. More.
OTTOWA—An international task force has released a report showing Canada is a lot like the United States only with thinner people and fewer minorities. “Far more than the United States, the people in Canada have kept their waistlines at a reasonable size and, although they’re welcoming to minorities, they haven’t had a sizable influx of blacks and Hispanics, probably because of the cold weather,” says the report, released today. Canada: More America Than America was commissioned by the United Nations Task Force on North America to provide a detailed assessment of the country. It’s findings: More.