“We are all clowns”


Back around 2014 I predicted that a wave of clown-themed mayhem would sweep through the nation. There was a rash of ominous sightings coinciding with the 2016 election, one of the better seasons of American Horror Story, and then not much until February of 2019 when conspiracy theories began circulating that our world had been invaded by spectral clowns bent on reshaping it in their own warped image.

And now, as Jean-Luc Mounier notes in From Beirut to Hong Kong, the face of the Joker is appearing in demonstrations:

From Chile to Lebanon, via Hong Kong and Iraq, a number of people have taken to wearing the recognisable exaggerated smile of the Joker currently portrayed in the cinema by Joaquin Phoenix in the international hit film by Todd Philipps. The face of the Joker, Batman’s ultimate nemesis, has now been seen in masks, face paint and graffiti tags in global demonstrations protesting against governments. […] In the weeks since this film came out in the cinema, this Joker symbol of protest has already been visible on the streets, particularly in Lebanon, where a group of graffiti artists called Ashekm has painted a mural of the grimacing clown holding a Molotov cocktail. Other inscriptions elsewhere also allude to Todd Philipps’ film, such as in the Chilean city of Los Angeles, where someone has written at the foot of a statue “We are all clowns”.

4 thoughts on ““We are all clowns”

  1. One of my favorite Joker quotes is from the first Michael Keaton Batman film, in which Jack Napier’s girlfriend says to him, “You look fine,” and his response is “I didn’t ask.” I always thought that would be a funny thing to say…

    Then yesterday, when I went into class, a whole bunch of my students were surprised to see that I had shaved my head (I was wearing a hat, though!), and I didn’t want to get into a whole thing of why I did it (for religious reasons–yesterday was the Death of Antinous), and one of my female students said “I like it, it looks good!” and I replied “Thanks, but I didn’t ask.” That surprised the hell out of everyone…I later explained I was slightly quoting Jack Nicholson’s Joker, and she thought it was very funny (she did laugh initially when I said it).



  2. “See…their morals…their code…it’s a bad joke dropped at the first sign of trouble. They’re only as good as the world allows them to be. I’ll show you, when the chips are down, these….”Civilized People”….they’ll eat each other. See, I’m not a Monster…I’m just ahead of the curve.”

    Two of my favorite Joker scenes from “The Dark Knight”

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.