Thursday, 15 April 2010

Clowns (or kittens, whichever you prefer)

I have three Clown related things to discuss here. If you suffer from Coulrophobia (the fear of clowns and my word of the day), please feel free to mentally replace every instance of the word 'clown' in the following post with 'kitten' - or alternatively skip the blog post, which might seem a slightly better move.

Firstly, we talk about a personal hero of mine. Someone I hold very dear to my heart, and want to emulate at every oppurtunity. In fact, he's probably my personal hero, and, in my opinion, the finest mind of his generation.

I'm talking about Batman.

Only I'm not exactly talking about Batman. I'm talking about the most iconic member of his rogue's gallery, the Joker. Heath Ledger's portrayal of the Clown (kitten?) Prince of Crime in The Dark Knight was hailed, quite rightly, as absolutely genius. Unfortunately, there was one tiny snag in his whole performance: the fact that he went and died. The absolute genius that would surely have been in a continuation of Bats and the Joker's battle is not going to happen, or at least not in this series of films. We're never going to see Ledger's joker again.

Or are we?

The Joker Blogs are a work of absolute genius. One man has found that he has a disturbing similarity to Heath Ledger's joker, and written a truly brilliant set of videos that start as video diaries of the Joker's therapy sessions in Arkham with one Doctor Harleen Quinzel - and any Batman fan should recognise that name and what it implies. Where they go from there, however, is far beyond almost any other amateur video I've ever seen in terms of production values and writing. The series seems to have finished recently, sadly, but it's an absolute crime not to check them out in their entirety on their youtube channel. I'll leave it there because, honestly, I could go on about these all day.

Secondly, I'm going to talk about what I think is quite possibly the best political movement in history. I'm talking about CIRCA, or, to give them their full name, the Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army. (For those with coulrophobia: Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Kitten Army is possibly even better) And yes, that was pretty much my reaction too. But incredibly, these are a real organisation: and not just a Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster like spoof, either.

Instead, CIRCA are trained circus clowns who use their skills to protest against governments worldwide, with parts of the movement in the UK, Ireland, France, The Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, The Middle East, Germany and the USA. There is absolutely no way I am making this up. To quote their website:

"CIRCA aims to make clowning dangerous again, to bring it back to the street, restore its disobedience and give it back the social function it once had: its ability to disrupt, critique and heal society. Since the beginning of time tricksters (the mythological origin or all clowns) have embraced life's paradoxes, creating coherence through confusion - adding disorder to the world in order to expose its lies and speak the truth."

This seems like a strange mix between the medieval tradition of the fool (which is no doubt an influence), The Joker himself, and the Guild of Fools and their Battle Clowning in Terry Pratchett's Discworld, and I for one am all for it.

Unfortunately, the website hasn't been updated since 2007, which leaves us two possibilites - either:

CIRCA has disbanded, the members leaving the last meeting while a solitary clown played a sombre "waa waa waaaaaaaaa" on the trombone.


CIRCA have been forced underground by the government and somewhere out there, a band of rebel clowns is hiding and trying to strike back against the man (possibly with routines involving picking up a ladder).

I know which I prefer.

Oh, and finally, talking of clowns and politics?

Enough said.

1 comment:

  1. Very well written. You are a gentleman and a scholar.

    You now have your first comment, Mr. Crome.