Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Clowns Respond

Yesterday's post concerned Clowns Without Borders, an organization dedicated to bringing baggy-pants hijinx to disaster scenes and war-wracked Third World nations.

I did not approve.

For this I received a lot of negative feedback from the clowning community. One clown casually mentioned that he would love to make a balloon animal out of my head. And a second, sitting menacingly atop his unicycle, hissed that I should make sure to look both ways when I crossed the street.

So today I am turning over the blog for a rebuttal from Mr. Jellybean, acting president of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Clown People).

Thank you, Mr. Gerard. For too long, my people have been second-class citizens in this country. The country we helped build. America would not have won its independence from Britain if Tater the Clown hadn't distracted General Burgoyne with his silly magic at the Battle of Saratoga. Who did Lincoln turn to in his darkest hour, when the Union looked all but lost? Floppo, the Abolitionist Clown. When the pioneers forged the West and the Freedom Riders stood up for civil rights, who were right beside them, spraying seltzer down the pants of evildoers?

Many heroic clowns have died forgotten. Like Happy the Clown, who lost his life trying to give Hitler a hotfoot. And Vincent van Goof, the face-painting genius from whom Picasso and Braque stole Cubism.

And yet, all this time, while women, African-Americans, comedy magicians and other minorities have been granted their rights, clowns have been and continue to be maligned. Prized for our mirth, and scorned because of who we are, our lifestyle, and the fact that we wear a "fright wig." Fact: Did you know that the original draft of Franklin D. Roosevelt's First Inaugural Address included the line, "We have nothing to fear, except fear itself...and clowns"?

America, for two hundred years you have used us for your idle amusement, then cruelly dismissed us. We are unable to organize, form political parties and climb the corporate ladder, except on stilts. We are routinely rejected for senior executive positions just because we have size 48 feet.

But that's over. No more "back of the clown bus." No more Uncle Tom-ming. Off with the fright wig, the red nose, and the suspenders! From now on, we will perform on our terms. If we feel like using garden implements or reading from the works of Jacques Lacan, so be it!

I am here to announce that we are organizing a Million Clown March on Washington, which will happen as soon as we can find a clown car large enough. For our dreams.

In conclusion, I'd like to say while you may consider us aliens, remember that every one of you has an inner Clown that yearns to break free. That you all have at least one clown in your family tree. And we look forward to the day when each and every American can stand up and proudly proclaim: "Ich bin ein clown." Your HTML cannot be accepted: Closing tag has no matching opening tag: