Friday, January 18, 2008

The Fears of a Clown.

Well slap my thigh and call my lady patch Audrey. New research has shown that children are scared bloody witless by clowns. Who'd a thunk it?
From the BBC

"Children are frightened by clown-themed decor in hospitals, a survey suggests. How did the smiley circus entertainers become a horror staple?
Anyone who has read Stephen King's It would probably never choose to decorate a children's ward with clowns.

And it probably comes as no surprise to horror fans that a University of Sheffield study of 250 children for a report on hospital design suggests the children find clown motifs "frightening and unknowable".

It is the fear of the mask, the fact that it doesn't change and is relentlessly comical

One might suspect that popular culture is to blame. In It, made into a television movie in 1990, Stephen King created a child-murdering monster that appeared as a demonic clown.

King's It has sparked a slew of schlocky movies over the past 20 years, known as the killer clown or evil clown genre.

Examples include Clownhouse from 1990 where three boys at home alone are menaced by escaped mental patients who have taken on the identities of clowns they have killed; Mr Jingles from 2006, where a killer clown takes its revenge; and 2004's In Fear of Clowns, in which an artist with coulrophobia is stalked by a clown resembling one of her paintings.

S.I.C.K., Killjoy and the Camp Blood Trilogy are other low-budget examples of the genre. But perhaps the highlight is 2001's Killer Klowns from Outer Space, with the tagline "In Space No One Can Eat Ice Cream"."

Yeah yeah yeah, I don't think we can blame Stephen King at all, the reason used Pennywise the clown in IT is because he ALREADY knew they were terrifying. Although King certainly amped up the terror. Between the wind resistant balloons and the razors in the gums and the 'We all float down here' eeeeeeeeeeeek, damn you king, I want MegRyanFish to cuddle in terror.
But clowns have always been frightening and I'm not a 100% sure why, even as a youth I remember going to the circus and being relieved when they went out of the ring, sure they're funny when doing pratfalls and what not, but the laughter was always slightly strained and fearful.
The paramour has two great fears, people hiding behind things and leaping out at him screaming 'RARRRGH' and clowns.
(There was/is a place in Barcelona called Tibidabo, it's a fun park, where you can be chased by midget clown with knives. I know personally of one strapping man who was a near gibbering wreck after such an encounter)
Children often don't find stuff as amusing as we adults thing they will. Beautifully made wooden toys for example. We buy them for their worthiness, hand craftiness and clunky cuteness. We present them, beautifully wrapped, to excited children who rip open the paper and then oh so politely thank us-as their parents have thought them to do- before they hurtle back into the living room to play with Girl's World or the bright yellow plastic Tonka truck someone else who actually understands children bought.
But children have this one nailed and I am totally in accord with the mini people.
Clowns are scary buggers, me no likey.
Clowns, I am against them.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Clowns are scary, no doubt, and nothing to do with horror pics/stories. They're just freaky.

All the same I feel much more comfortable with the clown pic you've posted than your usual Friday menu.

11:25 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Oh don't worry BBB, I've got something up my sleeve.

11:51 a.m.  
Anonymous sheepworrier said...

Do they not play on fear in the circus - pretending to throw water over the audience. And the whole pratfall thing is fine in a cartoon, but seeing that in real life, as a child, would you not think these clowns are some sort of invincible michael myers type being?

Maybe I'm thinking about it too much.

IT scared the bejesus outta me tho. The bit where one of the kids sees his dead dad waving at him.... eep!

12:00 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Or the eyes in the water drain, right before he grabs Stuttering Bill's brother, argh. RUN! Don't go neat the drain, NO, run away! Why can't you hear me, oh right, telly.

12:19 p.m.  
Anonymous sheepworrier said...

Yup, I really shouldn't of watched that when i was 12 - its an 18 cert for a reason! The same way that the nursery ryhme in Nightmare on Elm Street still gives me the wilies...

1,2 Freddy's comin for you
3,4 better lock your door....

12:39 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

The Fog was the film that most scared the bejaysus out of me as a kid, it really did, all that 'hi Antonio Bay, there's fog bank moving against the wind and I'm sitting in a light house ALONE with only the creepy music for company.' Argh.

12:47 p.m.  
Anonymous nonny said...

Neither Clowns nor horror film scare me, I remember sitting on my Grandmothers knee watching The Shining when I was about six’ish, I have vivid recollections of her shouting, “He’s in the bush, get him, GET HIMMMM”.
However, midget clowns chasing me with knives would scare me shitless. I think it is reasonable to be scared in such circumstances.

12:49 p.m.  
Blogger Dr. James McInerney said...

Not nearly as scary as spider babies.

1:00 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Indeed Nonny, I think most reasonable people might find that disturbing.
Docky, do you mean actual spider babies or 'It' spider babies?

1:03 p.m.  
Blogger Andraste said...

I'm with you, Cat. Clowns (or remember Hahaha, and his fear of clowans?) were just as frightening before IT as after. King just amped it up. And sad clown paintings, goddamn. Creepy, creepy, creepy. Brrrrrhrhrhrhrhrhr.

1:05 p.m.  
Anonymous nonny said...

Ahh don’t be scared of spidies, I have a Tarantula, Incie Wincey. Not sure what species he is but he has never bit anyone, held us hostage or engaged in otherwise sinister activates. Besides you are considerably bigger than spider no need to be afraid.

1:14 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I'm not afraid of spiders at all, I usually catch them in a glass and release them outside. but my oldest friend has the worst case of arachnophobia I have ever seen. She can barely breath when she sees one and once called her then boyfriend in the middle of the night to come out to her house (6 miles away) to kill one that had her trapped in her room, cowering in terror.

Andraste! I'd forgotten about sad clowns, vile.

1:24 p.m.  
Anonymous nonny said...

Em, my mother is like that. I used to mock her but I suppose we all harbour unique and sometimes off the friggin wall fears I suppose you just have to respect them, even if it is with a raised eyebrow, uttering weirdo under your breath.

1:49 p.m.  
Anonymous sheepworrier said...

Doc: Is that like the spider baby from Father Ted - "It's got the body of a spider, and the mind of a baby"

2:32 p.m.  
Anonymous Sam, Problemchildbride said...

I blame Scooby Doo.

3:02 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I liked Scooby, but I always hated that Scrappy.

3:22 p.m.  
Anonymous sheepworrier said...

Scrappy Doo was an annoying wee c*nt.

"Lemme at'em, lemme at'em"
I'll friggin let my boot at your testicles!

4:01 p.m.  
Anonymous Sam, Problemchildbride said...

Fangy clowns are the worst.

4:41 p.m.  
Anonymous Sam, Problemchildbride said...

Diminutive cartoon relations didn't always back-fire though. Godzuki was way more endearing than Godzilla.

4:43 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

really? Scrappy just always ticked me off. 'Let me at him' he'd cry and I think, 'fuck, why won't someone just savage the little pest.'

4:53 p.m.  
Blogger Medbh said...

I never had much exposure to clowns when I was a kid, but Santa scared the shit out of me. In every picture of me as a kid on his lap, I'm howling my bloody head off to get away.

5:06 p.m.  
Anonymous Sam, Problemchildbride said...

I wish you could do that thing in real life where you pull one end of a mummy' bandages and it all unravels with nothing underneath.

I know, I'm just dreamer.

But I'm not the only one.

5:16 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

For that song quote I"m going to insist you chug a jagermeister before your second cocktail as punishment.
Medbh! Quite right, I believe there's one of me looking totally freaked out as a child too. And there's definitely a web site dedicated to those photos, I think it's called evil Santa.

5:24 p.m.  
Anonymous Sam, Problemchildbride said...

I have sworn a vow never again to let that unholy beverage touch my lips.

Looks like I'll need a straw.

5:34 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

If you just fling it back it won't touch your lips either.

6:09 p.m.  
Blogger Dr. James McInerney said...

Spider babies: body of a baby, mind of a spider. Clowns ain't got nothing on a spider baby.

9:47 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Yes, but do they scuttle? Things that scuttle are usually worrisome. Scuttling babies would trouble me a lot, especially if they made odd noises.

9:54 p.m.  
Blogger Oblivion Seeker said...

They shit me up big time. My sister was into all thet Pierot stuff when she was little and had dozens of masks in her room. Horrible...

4:07 a.m.  
Anonymous Sam, Problemchildbride said...

That baby that scuttled across the roof in Trainspotting was diabolical.

8:38 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

God that was gross, or when LInda Blair came down the stairs upside down and backwards. Blee.

1:35 p.m.  

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