Thursday, July 10, 2014

Xmas in July, Day 10: Circus Treats

I'll definitely take this clown Sno-Cone machine cuz it easily out-cools any of the others on the market at the time-- and that circus themed pop corn popper is pretty hot too! It's fun making treats at home, even if they never quite turn out as good as it actually tastes at the carnival or circus. (Sears Christmas Wish Book, '76)


Mr. Karswell said...

PLEASE NOTE: Any comment mentioning how "creepy" or "scary" clowns are will not be posted. People PLEASE stop pretending to be pussies about clowns, you know you're not really afraid of a fuckin clown.

Thank you.

Mr. Cavin said...

Ha! Roll up your sleeves and single-handedly end that stupid cliche once and for all! I pity people who really are scared of clowns--assuming they actually exist--because the trend has totally watered-down any legitimate claim that may have ever had. Sort of like white people who really do have some sliver of Native American blood in their veins--simply admitting it rolls you into a group with all those frat bros who want to pretend they're just like Anthony Kiedis.

Anyway: I totally had the clown when I was a kid. You finally posted something I actually owned! I liked homemade sno-cone machines a lot, actually. I used-up several throughout my single-digits. It always totally turned me off that the syrups came out of bottles that looked like should hold mustard and ketchup, though. So I tended to just poor sweet blue and pink whatever straight out of the piece of Tupperware I'd mixed it up in. Later I realized I could get the very same "shaved snow" effect with a cheese grater and it was easier to clean-up later, too.

I never knew they made a homemade candy button tape machine, though. Kinda gross, that. Looks like a Play-Doh playset.

Mr. Karswell said...

I remember LOVING those candy dots on paper when I was a kid... had some recently though and couldn't spit 'em out of my mouth fast enough.

Yeah, the thing with clowns has really gotten old. It's like people who pretend to be afraid of dolls and stuff too. I mean, sure, there can be stuff that looks kind of creepy or whatever, but this band wagon mentality that anytime you see a clown doing ANYTHING you're immediately just supposed to scream or react in terror is ridiculous. I've seen some creepy looking natural clowns, mostly because of the angle of the photo or a smile captured a little bit too oddly, lighting, a maniacal look in the eyes, but they were never clowns that were TRYING to be scary either. Any clown created to be scary is immediately NOT scary, at least to me.

Mr. Cavin said...

I was thinking the same thing. It's not that I think a clown can’t be scary. Indeed, a banker can be scary. A grocery store check-out bagger. What makes me groan is the assumption that a clown just always is, by default, scary.

The reason we got here is because horror--and the sort of basic, adrenal thrill we get from fear as entertainment--is considered to be more timeless if it is made up of those things that frightened us back when being frightened was reasonably safe and new. What they now call kindertrauma, right? Those things that, possibly inexplicably, scared the hell out of us when we were kids. Back when we were just learning how much like a drug being scared really was. Some of mine are the Wicked Witch of the West, people burning to death in TV disaster movies about nuclear holocaust, the robot Maximilian drilling into the commander's guts with his propeller arm.

But then again, there are people who were scared of Care Bears when they were very young, too. I can see how a small kid, confronted by the messed-up face and sweaty, forced jocularity of a clown could totally freak. Or even more inexplicably: The sounds of Bigfoot movie trailers used to chill me to the roots every night while my parents continued to watch TV after my bedtime. I couldn’t see it, so I didn’t know how scary it was. Also, mom putting her hand over my eyes when they'd show previews to JAWS and THE SHINING before whatever movie we’d come to see terrified me about what I might be forced to look at if she wasn't there to stop me.

So while I didn't grow up particularly frightened of what I saw in movies, which I chose to watch, I did grow up frightened of the advertisements they would play beforehand, which I did not. But it's hard to imagine a generation of people who cannot even determine the difference between horror and comedy getting much traction out of my fear of movie trailers. And while they did manage to coin a lot of nonsense about the scariness of clowns, they still don't seem to know what it is that originally made them scary. It’s not that clowns are from space and have razor blades for teeth, that’s for sure. Clowns are scary, if they are, because they are actually perfectly normal, and anonymous, and supposedly safe. It’s that they are fucking loud, need you to love them, and come at you with the willing collusion of your very own parents. But you can’t be sure whether or not you know them; they are still strangers or worse.

But none of this matters at all if the one meant to be terrified isn't channeling the profound immaturity of childhood, the very lack of experience and personal autonomy that can render silly crap like this frightening.

Craftypants Carol said...

cool. is that acceptable?

Mr. Karswell said...

Perfectly put, Mr. C, as usual :)

Mr. Karswell said...

Positively frozen, dearie