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October 06, 2016

Flashback: In October 2014, France Had a Panic About Evil Marauding Clowns Abroad in the Night, Too

Reason has an article knocking the media for reporting on the clown menace.

I'm conflicted. Of course this is bullshit to push clicks; but do we really care? Does anyone actually believe this crap?

Is it okay for the media to present bullshit as entertainment, if people are generally in on the joke?

I know not everybody can be in on the joke. Some people will take this seriously. However, those people will not be dissuaded by a piece pointing out that this is a silly not-so-massive mass delusion.

So given that there's no getting to them, is there any problem with the rest of us enjoying the Alternate Reality the media has cooked up for us today?

And how is this bullshit Alternate Reality different in quality than the bullshit Alternate Reality it usually cooks up for us? I'd rather read the media lie about the Creeping Clown Menace than lie about Trump or Sid Blumenthal's non-involvement in pushing the Birther conspiracy.

I dunno.

I followed this Clown Panic in 2014, when it was going on in France. Perhaps we can learn from them and how they dealt with clowns, pseudoclowns, and Anticlown mobs.

Reprinted from the blog on October 27, 2014:

I'm not joking, and I'm only slightly exaggerating.

There is actually a fear that these attacks -- and the growing fear/panic about violent clowns -- will become worse as Halloween approaches.

Fake clown attacks put French police on alert and trigger vigilante response

Residents fight back after spate of incidents thought to be fueled by social media while real clowns are saddened by trend

Anne Penketh in Paris
The Guardian, Monday 27 October 2014 14.58 EDT

French police are on high alert after fake clowns caused panic across France in a spreading phenomenon that has led to violence and a response by vigilantes.

Fourteen teenagers dressed as clowns and carrying pistols, knives and baseball bats were arrested outside a school in Agde, southern France, on Saturday. One provincial newspaper, Dauphine Libere, wrote: "These clowns aren’t funny any more."

In Montpellier, a 35-year-old man was beaten with a metal rod on Saturday night by a man dressed as a clown who tried to rob him with two accomplices. They were arrested the next day.

A 19-year-old butcher’s apprentice, who had dressed as a clown to terrorise children in Douvrin, northern France, was given a six-month suspended prison sentence at a court in Bethune last week....


But the trend, fueled by Facebook and other social media, is spreading -- prompting police to issue a national appeal urging people to report the fake clowns. Meanwhile, some people have taken the clown hunt into their own hands. Police in Bordeaux stopped a dozen youths who were carrying sticks and metal rods and said they were hunting clowns. One was a 12-year-old boy armed with a dagger.

In eastern France, five people were arrested in Mulhouse last week after setting out to catch scary clowns.

More from Le Figaro.

The below translation is weak and over-relies on Google translate. This was just a really tough thing to translate. A lot of words I'd never seen before. I just sort of threw up whatever seemed to make sense.

Police Aren't Laughing Anymore About Alerts About Violent Clowns

bu Jean-Marc Leclerc, Paul de Coustin

The Interior Minister wants an end to the attacks by painted fools which are creating a panic. One of the two [recently arrested clowns] has been sentenced to twelve months of prison... for having attacked a passer-by with a length of metal.

This is not a joke. The attacks against pedestrians led by the false clowns are growing a little throughout France. To the point that the Interior Minister has been required to call a special meeting, bringing together police and gendarmeries, for trying to put a stop to the phenomenon originating in the US.

That's a reference to the creepy-looking clown that's been spooking people in Wasco, California.

...

But in France, the Internet is buzzing now with thousands of rumors of "Hordes of Clowns," ready to attack on Halloween...

For the past two weeks the phenomenon is growing in strength, sometimes degenerating into real aggression. It's sustaining a kind of panic in small towns or neighborhoods, north, south, east, to Perpignan, or Guingamp in the Pas-de-Calais. Monday afternoon at Chelles, near Paris, a 14-year-old dressed as a clown was arrested after he tried to attack a woman. She was not injured "but was put in great fear," said the police told AFP. In Besançon, a student who claims to have been injured Saturday by a clown armed with an ax has filed a complaint.

In the night from Saturday to Sunday, Herault also had a strange burst of violence: a clown damaged a car in Marseillan; three motorists have filed complaints against "frightening clowns" in Palavas-les-Flots, Thézan-lès-Béziers and Cessenon-sur-Orb; a pedestrian 35 years was beaten to death with an iron bar and robbed of his cell in Montpellier by two teenagers and an adult dressed as clowns.

...

Then, still in l'Herault, four juveniles had been arrested in the parking lot of [a high school], carrying guns, knives, and baseball bats. [Are they] hunting clowns?

The situation is in the middle of degenerating into a melee between clowns and anticlowns....

Police are now urging people on social media: "Report the presence of an aggressive clown, by dialing 17 or 112."

"Anticlown" is in the original.

Incidentally, France's national security system is called "Vigipirate," which I imagine came originally from the notion of being vigilant against pirates.

The Vigipirate system is now being used to report both the Clown Menace and Anticlown Mobs.

...

And from October 28, 2014:

The Clown Menace grows.

(Translated.)

A 14-year-old was attacked yesterday by an individual disguised as a clown in the region of Macon. While returning to his parent's house, he was knocked to the ground, then hit by the fake clown, all the while receiving a barrage of insults.

A little later, the juvenile was able to alert his family, who in turn called the police station. According to several witnesses, two other clowns had been spotted near a bus stop. One of them was carrying a baseball bat. [Alarming as this may have been], there was no attack in this second case.

"Fake clown" was actually "pseudo-clown" in the original.

I mentioned this in the other article, but a group of fourteen armed clowns were arrested in a high school parking lot in Agde.

I think I misread this article and took these 14 to be an "anti-clown" posse. Nope, they were just more Evil Clowns.

Fourteen juveniles dressed as clowns and carrying pistols, knives, and baseball bats were arrested Saturday night in the parking lot of the high school Agde (in Herault), taken into custody and released Saturday morning, according to a police source. Witnesses disturbed by the sight of the group of armed clowns had called the police who had then moved to arrest them.

Furthermore, at Montpellier (Herault), a 35-year-old pedestrian had been struck 30 times with an iron bar, late Saturday night, by a man dressed as a clown and two accomplices who had tried to strip him. The three were been arrested.

In Herault, six complaints had been sworn out alleging attacks by "clowns seeding terror."

Below, some gory and scary Evil Clown Prank Videos.



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posted by Ace at 03:28 PM

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