I don’t like clowns, I admit it. Maybe it goes back to Poltergeist from when I was a little kid. Or maybe it was Stephen King’s IT, a miniseries that aired on ABC when I was a teenager.
I was at least fifteen years old when IT aired over several nights in the early ‘90’s, and even at that age, Pennywise scared the hell out of me (and, quite frankly, he still does—we will see how well I adapt to this big screen remake on the way), but I’m quite certain I went on about my business and didn’t let it dictate my life decisions. These movies and these clowns were supposed to scare us, weren’t they?
I honestly can’t recall any books that turned me off clowns; I think it had to be these two movies. But all these years later, I still will stop and watch Poltergeist if I see it playing on TV. Just don’t get me started on the recent remake. I hated it, but I won’t digress and go on a tangent about a soon-to-be-forgotten remake (let’s hope) of a classic movie.
Now Target has become the biggest major retailer to remove “certain” clown masks and costumes from its shelves this Halloween. Why? It was all laid out in a piece in the Los Angeles Times this week, which in turn, came from the Washington Post. One woman who organized a “Clown Lives Matter” rally in Tucson, Arizona last weekend had to shut down the event after its Facebook page received death threats! I guess clowns are scary but threatening physical harm to others isn’t. I get it …
Target cites the recent “scary clown sightings” across America, some of which have involved actual attacks. Others have even forced some schools into lockdown. Even the creator of Pennywise himself, Stephen King, had to tear off his fright mask on Twitter to appease the masses, assuring his followers that “most of ‘em [clowns] are good.”
A friend of mine once said “the ‘pussification’ of America” is underway. His words, not mine, so pardon the term. He’s a conservative, I’m not, so I kind of laughed off his comment at the time. He may not be right about everything (no pun intended because he may actually be, on the political spectrum), but I think I now agree with him on this point!
A corporation takes it upon themselves to decide for a whole what to dress as for Halloween? Sure, you can go buy a scary clown costume somewhere else, but if I were a business owner, or a CEO, I would take the thought of my faithful customers shopping elsewhere into consideration. If I were a business owner, or a head of a corporation, I would embrace Halloween and go wild with it for one month of the year. Shareholders, be damned!
Maybe that’s why I’m not the head of a corporation … among other reasons.
Halloween is not a holiday for the overly sensitive, the weak-stomached, or the most politically correct. Anyone who’s been to any “adult” Halloween costume party will tell you that much. If that doesn’t work, there are the social media party pics and watercooler stories at work the next day to back it up. I’ve seen even the most stringent of P.C.-spouting liberals (I don’t consider myself one of those either) let loose and have a good time—and laugh off an “offensive” costume—for one night of the year.
Ugh, why Target, why?
I love the two-story “super Target” just a few miles from where I live. But I may not grace its doors for a while, even though we’re weeks away from having the commercialized holiday season and cheery green-and-red TV commercials crammed down our throats. By the same people who think clowns are scary.
Rudolph playing on TV before the Thanksgiving turkey gets cold is okay, but a clown costume is not.
Let’s also not forget the people who will put away the casseroles, kiss their loved ones goodbye, and then head to Walmart and slug somebody over the last flat-screen TV