[2016] The Great Clown Panic of 2016 (lol)

I was studying in Japan for its entire duration, so I had absolutely no first-hand impact. But I remember vividly the laughably absurd mania that infected the entire United States for a couple months over friggin’ clowns.

What the hell was up with that?

The Great Clown Panic of 2016 is the better term for what Wikipedia generously titles “2016 clown sightings.” It was completely fake besides, apparently, for some viral marketing stunt in Green Bay, Wisconsin back in August, 2016. But thanks to the power of the internet and the power of humanity’s innate desire to go into hysterical fear over things they saw in a movie once, the stunt turned into something much, much bigger.

People from all over the United States, in almost every single state, reported sightings of creepy clowns standing at the edges of forests, or clowns attacking them, or rumors of a “Clown Purge” on Halloween to kill off all of the non-clowns or something like that.

It was all bunk. All of it. But the sightings continued. Across three months, people kept saying they got attacked by clowns or that some clowns tried to kidnap them, to the point that violence ensued.

Seriously. People got stabbed over this stuff.

One vivid memory of mine from this was when one of my classmates in Japan who was… let’s say, a frequent user of Facebook, got upset at me when I mentioned the entire thing being mass hysteria. She said her own friends had seen the clowns, that there was something deeper going on here.

There wasn’t anything deeper going on here.

It turned out that we were the real clowns all along.

I, for one, am sick of all this scary clown crap. It’s enough that IT: Chapter 2 and Joker came out in the same two-month span to make clowns out to be these terrifying abominations in all of pop culture. The creepy clown stuff is annoying and stale and I’m not buying it anymore.

We need more clown positivity.

I’m only being half-sarcastic, too. Clowns are funny kids stuff, but at this point, they’ve become such a meme that literally every representation of them in pop culture is either the Krusty the Klown-esque sleazebag type, or the bloody-mouth-monster type.

Why can’t clowns have anything nice happen to them? Why do they have to be the subject of the dumbest social media hoax of all-time? I don’t know, but I don’t care enough to make a stand for it.

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