Beware of the real clowns in public office
Saturday 15th October 2016
The Paddy McGuffin column
Right, I’m back! What did I miss?
I jest of course because even in the lead-lined, sea bed-located bunker into which this column inters itself on such infrequent occasions the madness could not be prevented from seeping through.
Basically it’s all been about clowns, right?
As if that was in any way different to every other two-week period in the annual schedule.
But no, the media have whipped themselves and everyone else into a frenzy over the so-called prevalence of marauding killer clowns, apparently terrorising people both in the US and, as with so much else of their junk “culture,” copied in Britain.
At first I thought this was a serious news story.
Quite right, I thought.
The ridiculous hair, the ludicrous outfits, the nonsensical gibberish and the constant levels of outrageous and wildly inappropriate behaviour.
It’s about time they did something about the continued travesty that is Donald Trump and his mentally defective cheerleaders.
But it gradually dawned that this was not the angle the hysterical mainstream media was taking.
And then this column got angry. You see, since childhood it has inadvertently gone against the prevailing orthodoxy and really liked clowns.
Far from being coulrophobic it would class itself as firmly in the “philiac” camp.
Clowns teach us valuable life lessons such as: “Don’t go up to strangers, especially if they’re wearing grease paint and particularly if they are in possession of an abnormally large hooter.”
They also teach us, from an early age, about the pain and pathos that life inflicts, particularly if a Tory or Republican government gets in.
Clowns, in the main, are a noble breed who sacrifice themselves to help others if only to forget their troubles for an hour or two, and who hold up a sometimes painful reflection of our baser selves.
Who reading this can honestly say they have never wanted to smack someone in the mouth with a custard pie or round the back of the head with a plank of wood? Or much, much worse.
A classic case in point, when it comes to the artistry of the form, is that of Joseph Grimaldi, often described as the king of clownery.
Grimaldi’s life on the stage started at around the age of three and, despite the physical and mental agonies he suffered for his art, he remained on it almost until his tragically early death as a crippled wreck of the man he used to be, carried to and from performances because his brutally abused body would no longer allow him to walk.
Making people laugh is a serious business, as any decent comic will tell you, but by anyone’s standards Grimaldi was hardcore.
He suffered for the audience’s amusement.
In most settings that would be heroic.
The original role of the clown was, while in some ways similar to that of their latter-day equivalent, much more philosophical and dare I say it profound, at the same time as providing light relief and yes also spectacular acrobatic and mirth-inducing skill.
The fact that certain individuals appear to have been donning the guise for allegedly nefarious purposes (no-one at time of writing has actually been convicted of anything) is of course a cause of concern but if, as the press seems intent on suggesting, they are seeking to lure and therefore one supposes entrap or abuse children, there are far less terrifying yet insidious outfits they could have worn.
Jesus or the Easter Bunny for a start.
Meanwhile our hacks are so “concerned” about the potential of another John Wayne Gacy (no, I hadn’t forgotten about him) that they are letting the real fools — in Westminster and Washington — literally get away with murder.
Let us take as an example our current Home Secretary Amber Rudd who basically used her party conference speech to brand all immigrants as scum. And then furiously denied that she was in any way racist.
To employ a phrase I have used previously, much like Tory policy, if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, stick an orange up its arse and whack it in the oven.
And then of course there’s Boris… I struggle to recall a time when Britain had a minister purportedly in charge of foreign affairs who had such little grasp of international politics.
But never mind the fact that his global knowledge stops somewhere around the end of the Peloponnesian war. This week he took hypocrisy to a whole new level by calling on the public to protest outside the Russian embassy in London over the country’s involvement in Syria.
This would be the same Johnson who, as mayor of London, spent hundreds of thousands of pounds of tax-payers’ money to try to evict peace campaigner Brian Haw from his perfectly legal position in Parliament Square over his sustained opposition to the war that started all of this.
The same Johnson who sneeringly ignored two million people opposing the illegal invasion of Iraq.
You can’t have it both ways just because it suits you now, you fatuous arriviste.
It is becoming increasingly apparent to all but the most slavish and dim-witted in our society that Johnson’s sole “qualification” for the role of foreign secretary appears to be that he played Risk when he was an over-privileged pre-pubescent.
Give him a couple of weeks and he’ll be announcing the invasion of Kamchatka.
Here, as with the ongoing game of mutually assured destruction being waged on the other side of the pond, when it comes to elections the gullible public gets what it deserves and most assuredly deserves what it gets.
We must resist Amber Rudd’s divisive immigration proposals if we are to build unity and solidarity between migrants and the wider working class, writes DON FLYNN: here.