Hang on in there a second or two while I put to you a scenario, or if I am to be grand about this, a parable. There is a point to this mini-allegory. The moral of this multipart entry is quite a heavy one, so I thought it would be more entertaining to set it up it with some light cartoonish imagery.
Imagine, for one second you are in a café. You’re just tucking into your thoughtfully chosen snack when from the corner of your eye, you see a clown pass by outside. Your next instant thought might be one of these:
“Clowns – funyy”. Being funny, is what clowns were supposedly put on earth to be – so why not?
“Clowns – so mobile, so clever”. Often clowning involves being able to mime, manipulate the body and performs illusions involving sleight-of-hand and magic tricks. It’s not easy for everyone to do this well, and no doubt an effective clown is either gifted, well trained, or both.
“Clowns – scary. Yes, everyone’s seen It, but I personally was scared , as a wee lad, of my toy sock puppet clown (to the point where I “lost” him), and my kid sister had a phobia of them which makes her petrified, even today, long before Stephen King’s famous resident of Derry and evil sewer-dwelling jokester made his literary and cinematic appearances.
“Clowns – saddos dressed up”. As with Morris dancers, you may see these guys as embarrassing costumed beardy-men trying to remain 20something forever. Maybe clowning is a sex replacement activity? By the way, I like Morris dancers, though you don’t see many of them here in Northern Ireland.
“Clowns – circuses” – your feelings from then on will depend on your feelings towards and experiences of the circus, and your empathy toward animals doing tricks or being kept in cages…etc.
OK – if any of these thoughts sprung into your mind (or similar – let’s not get over-pedantic) then you are somewhat inaccurate. Or rather, I haven't told you whole truth. If I had you may have got it straight. But not being given the whole truth is sort of the point of this set of blogs.
The whole truth? I’ll fill you in tomorrow.