[Vision2020] "The Clown Has Taken Over the Party" by Roy Zimmerman

Kenneth Marcy kmmos1 at frontier.com
Sat May 14 19:58:57 PDT 2016

      There is little doubt that clowns have developed a bad reputation 
in recent years.  In fiction, Stephen King's _IT_ with Pennywise, and in 
real life the likes of the serial killer John Wayne Gacy, have done 
little for a positive clown image.

      On the other hand, when I was a little tot watching our family's 
Emerson black-and-white television set (it received one station, a CBS 
affiliate), I remember seeing Freddie the Freeloader and Clem 
Kadiddlehopper, both characters created by an actor known as the Clown 
Prince, Red Skelton.  Many years later I learned that he was an avid 
painter of clown images, and won recognition and admiration for those 
efforts, too.

      Like the archetypal trickster, I doubt that the clown can be 
destroyed.  The most that is possible is to unmask the particular 
instance with which one is confronted, and attempt to learn its 
character details because the mirror image of those details will 
indicate something about the person who apprehends them.  As Stephen 
King illustrates in, for example, _Needful Things,_ the best that can be 
done is to run the very old proprietor of the establishment out of town, 
then attempt to recover from the effects of its visit.

      Because the massive, long-term, collective action necessary to do 
anything about the archetype embedded in our collective psyche would 
amount to a reconstruction of the human psyche, it is highly unlikely 
that tricksters, clowns, and the like will be going away any time soon. 
In fact, after Needful Things was closed in Maine, a new store in Ohio 
called Answered Prayers was opened.  You could hardly believe your eyes.

      Part of the reason why Stephen King wrote Needful Things was to 
provide himself with a literary vehicle with which he could destroy his 
fictional town named Castle Rock, about which he was tired of writing.  
He wanted to write the last Castle Rock story, and to purge the town 
from his system.  Considering the many times it is mentioned in later 
works, his purging success is incomplete, but the geography of his 
fictional world is better represented.

      And so it might be with the American electoral psyche, if the next 
president, whoever it may be, is willing to allow, and perhaps 
facilitate, more open discussions of the darker parts of twentieth 
century American history.  There too many various activities by too many 
people of high official rank and rich social station that are only 
reluctantly discussed in polite society.  The nation's civil society 
needs the services of political psychiatrists (not to mention accurate 
historical researchers) to allow our collective self to examine and to 
grapple with these unresolved questions.  To the extent that Donald 
Trump, a relative outsider to politics, elective office, and the 
machinations of the less-than-completely-public parts of our society 
might be able to allow, if not actually to facilitate, such a set of 
discussions, then perhaps his presidency might not be a total waste of 
our collective time.

      This is not to suggest, of course, that his election would be 
preferable for this purpose.  But if he is able to catalyze 
truth-telling and justice, then some related benefits might accrue.


On 5/14/2016 1:36 PM, Tom Hansen wrote:
> "The Clown Has Taken Over the Party" by Roy Zimmerman
> https://youtu.be/pmanuxq3PEM
> Reminder . . .
> The Eighth Annual Intolerista Wingding
> (with Roy Zimmerman, Jeanne McHale and the Threat Level Purple Singers)
> June 10th (Friday), 6 pm - 10 pm
> The Great Room of Moscow's 1912 Center
> Beer, wine, sodas, and munchies on sale by /D Willy's Blues, Brew and BBQ/
> Admission is FREE!
> Seeya there, Moscow, because . . .
> "Moscow Cares" (the most fun you can have with your pants on)
> http://www.MoscowCares.com <http://www.moscowcares.com/>
> Tom Hansen
> Moscow, Idaho

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