The creepy clown breakdown

Well, this came out of nowhere:

Turns out that people with a lot of face makeup and bizarre, billowy hair aren’t just frightening America from debate podiums.

Creepy clowns, the ones with squirting flowers — not flags — on their lapels, are becoming a scourge across the country.

From Virginia to Florida to Ohio, police are getting calls about threatening men dressed up as clowns luring children into the woods with money, running around with machetes, pipes, knives or even guns and generally scaring the bejesus out of everybody.

OK, weird, but is it really a national concern?

During a news conference, a Bloomberg reporter asked White House press secretary Josh Earnest if President Obama was aware of the clown reports and associated arrests. Earnest said he did not know if the president had been briefed on creepy clowns, and deferring to the FBI and Department of Homeland Security on the jester specifics.

What’s going on with this clown obsession? The clowns of my childhood weren’t scary. They were happy, like this guy:


Bozo the Clown


Did I completely miss that 50 years ago? In my mind, back then, if Bozo showed up in a van and offered candy to get in, I’d have gone for the candy. I mean, what if there was candy in the van?

I was cool with clowns until this guy showed up:


This is Pogo the Clown, better know as John Wayne Gacy. Back in the 1970s, he killed 33 teenage boys and young men in Illinois. One of his lures was “the handcuff trick.” You can figure out what that was, and that it wasn’t a good idea to let him do that to you. But we don’t have to worry about him anymore. He was executed in 1994.

By the time Stephen King released “It,” his killer clown story, in the mid-’80s, I realized that a lot of the greasepaint guys and gals were creepy.

Then clown porn came along the whole clown concept was over as far as I was concerned.

Anyway, King is telling us to relax:

But, really, why is everyone freaking out over clowns in 2016? What has happened on the national scene that has gotten people so upset they’re spotting dangerous clowns all over the country?


Now you understand. It’s Freudian, but it’s true.

Meanwhile, I’m reposting my favorite creepy clown video:

Now that’s a clown that’ll give you nightmares.

A reflection on ‘Do the Right Thing’


And speaking of the opening credits:

So why are we thinking about “Do the Right Thing“?

Because Radio Raheem died this week.

Bill Nunn, a versatile actor best known for playing the role of Radio Raheem, the boombox-toting neighborhood philosopher killed by police officers in Spike Lee’s 1989 film “Do the Right Thing,” died on Saturday in Pittsburgh. He was 63.

His death was announced on social media by Mr. Lee. His wife, Donna, told The Associated Press that Mr. Nunn had cancer.


Bill Nunn

What I didn’t realize was that we’ve seen Bill Nunn in a lot of things. He was in the Spider-Man movies, appeared in “Sister Act” and was a regular character actor on television.

Also, here’s something interesting to consider. Radio Raheem’s death by cop in “Do the Right Thing” happened decades ago. Very little has changed, but there has been an interesting reaction to similar circumstances today:

colin-kaepernick-time-maagzine-cover-leadAnd this is why Colin Kaepernick is taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem. Because brutality that was the climax of a movie in 1989 that had pundits like Joe Klein saying that the movie was dangerous because it would make blacks want to riot (that’s right Joe, I haven’t forgotten that piece of editorial diarrhea) still happens today and doesn’t appear like it’s going to stop anytime soon.

Spike Lee was criticized for making it the focus of attention in 1989. Colin Kaepernick is criticized for making it the focus of attention in 2016.

Follow the leader: GOP congressman goes into Trump mode

Since the GOP nominee for president constantly gets away with saying stupid shit, other members of the party see no reason to not say stupid shit. Case in point:

A United States representative from North Carolina said in a television interview on Thursday that protesters in Charlotte “hate white people because white people are successful and they’re not,” and then hours later recanted and apologized.

The representative, Robert Pittenger, a Republican whose district includes parts of Charlotte, was interviewed on a British Broadcasting Corporation show, BBC Newsnight, when he made the comment.

And, of course, he gave a non-apology apology:

So, when you translate this, he’s saying, “Maybe I offended someone, so I’ll apologize to that person. But I know the people who voted me into office feel the same way I do, so they don’t need an apology.”

He doesn’t care about peace and calm. He just wants Charlotte’s non-whites to shut up.

And because his constituents are most likely further to the right than he is, he’s going to be reelected in November.

Let’s take a look at his BBC comment:

So he quotes Martin Luther King, then he plays the government puts blacks in bondage through welfare, and police shootings are no reason to protest.

Since TV people in the U.S. are incompetent and would have let him get away with this, as Matt Lauer proved in the “Commander-in-Chief Forum,” as Chris Wallace proved when he said his job isn’t to fact check someone who lies to him and as Chuck Todd proves every Sunday on “Meet the Press,” we should have the BBC interview American politicians. At least they don’t back down.

ABC News: 15 years ago today

I used to work in New York, and my office building was directly across the street from the World Trade Center. I was about to leave home for work when I saw this and immediately went to our emergency backup facility in New Jersey. My office remained in New Jersey after that, and I haven’t worked in New York since.

I had been in my New York office in 1993, when terrorist blew up a van filled with explosives in the World Trade Center. That was nothing compared to this, but it closed off lower Manhattan. This destroyed lower Manhattan. A family friend died in this.

So now you know why I have nothing but contempt for Rudy Giuliani, a political opportunist supporting an ignorant charlatan, who says that there were no terrorist attacks on United States soil before Barack Obama became president. Rudy was mayor of New York on this day. He knows what happened and he knows that what he said was a lie.

Decoded: Racist stereotypes that used to be the opposite

Let’s just say that somehow the racists still find a way to apply all of these stereotypes to African-Americans. Which can in itself be a loaded term, because Africa is a big continent, and it consists of black and white people.

Like how many of you refer to this person an African-American?

Yes, Charlize Theron is African American. She became an American citizen in 2007. She was born in South Africa, and when she won the Oscar for the 2003 movie “Monster,” it was considered an honor for the nation. Nelson Mandela said so, so it must be true.

Now if we ever become a land that elects a caramel clown for president, and people just like these two weren’t world famous but still had high moral character, which one do you think the alt-White/alt-Right folks would let in while claiming the other was a terrorist sympathizer?

That was a roundabout way of saying that the stereotypes in the first video aren’t applied to African Americans, they’re applied to blacks. And since all of these once ethnic stereotypes have been turned on their ear, repurposed into racial stereotypes, let’s deal with the fact that race, from a scientific standpoint, isn’t real:

And now that we’ve done our dissertation on skin color, let’s get to the issue that is guaranteed to further fuel the Trumpster fire that’s making America hate again.

Are Hispanics/Latinos white?

Well, yeah, there are whites who are of Latino heritage (I’m old. It’s going to take a while for me to reach Latinx).

One immediately comes to mind, and he’s a hero to the alt-racist crowd:

George Zimmerman says he acted in self-defence

That’s George Zimmerman. He’s the pseudo-Neighborhood Watch fascist who got away with murdering Trayvon Martin, a black kid headed to his father’s house, in 2012. Zimmerman was born in America (Virginia to be exact). His father is American and his mother came from Peru. But he was white until someone down in Florida decided to make him Latino so people would stop saying the murder was racist.

Which is was. And still is.

The hard-boiled sons of Emmitt Till

Sixty one years ago today, whites in Money, Miss., murdered a 14-year-old boy in Money, Miss., for whistling at  a white woman. He was from Chicago, visiting family for the summer. His name was Emmitt Till:

They put Till in the back of a pickup truck and drove to a barn at the Clint Shurden Plantation in Drew. Till was pistol-whipped and placed in the bed of the pickup truck again and covered with a tarpaulin. Throughout the course of the night, Bryant, Milam, and witnesses recall their being in several locations with Till. According to some witnesses, they took Till to a shed behind Milam’s home in the nearby town of Glendora, where they beat him again and tried to decide what to do. Witnesses recall between two and four white men and two and four black men who were either in or surrounding the pickup truck where Till was seated. Others passed by Milam’s shed and heard someone being beaten. Accounts differ as to when Till was shot; either in Milam’s shed or by the Tallahatchie River. The group drove with him in the truck to Bryant’s store, where several people noticed blood pooling in the truck bed. Bryant explained he killed a deer, and in one instance showed the body to a black man who questioned him, saying “that’s what happens to smart niggers”.

In an interview with William Bradford Huie, published in Look magazine in 1956, Bryant and Milam said they intended to beat Till and throw him off an embankment into the river to frighten him. They told Huie that while they were beating Till, he called them bastards, declared he was as good as they, and had had sexual encounters with white women. They put Till in the back of their truck, drove to a cotton gin to take a 70-pound (32 kg) fan—the only time they admitted to being worried, thinking that by this time in early daylight they would be spotted and accused of stealing—and drove for several miles along the river looking for a place to dispose of Till. They shot him by the river and weighted his body with the fan.

His mutilated body was recovered and taken to his mother in Chicago. Where she held an open casket funeral so the world could see what the white Mississippians did to her boy. Thousands viewed the body. It was one of the major events of the civil rights era.

There was a trial, but this is Mississippi in the 1950s. The murderers were found not guilty.

They were murderers though. Several months after the trial, they were interviewed by Look Magazine. Here’s what one of them said:

Well, what else could we do? He was hopeless. I’m no bully; I never hurt a nigger in my life. I like niggers—in their place—I know how to work ’em. But I just decided it was time a few people got put on notice. As long as I live and can do anything about it, niggers are gonna stay in their place. Niggers ain’t gonna vote where I live. If they did, they’d control the government. They ain’t gonna go to school with my kids. And when a nigger gets close to mentioning sex with a white woman, he’s tired o’ livin’. I’m likely to kill him. Me and my folks fought for this country, and we got some rights. I stood there in that shed and listened to that nigger throw that poison at me, and I just made up my mind. ‘Chicago boy,’ I said, ‘I’m tired of ’em sending your kind down here to stir up trouble. Goddam you, I’m going to make an example of you—just so everybody can know how me and my folks stand.’

Today, this guy would be called a member of the alt-Right. He’d attend a rally for a megalomaniacal yam, chanting “Make America Great Again,” and throwing sucker punches at people standing quietly holding a copy of the U.S. Constitution in their hands.