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”.