10/29/11

The History of Halloween


Celtic society, like all early societies, was highly structured and organized, everyone knew their place. But to allow that order to be psychologically comfortable, the Celts knew that there had to be a time when order and structure were abolished, when chaos could reign. And Samhuinn, was such a time.

- Philip Carr-Gomm

 

And here we are, the final week of October, and I, being the Holiday enthusiast that I am, have decided to treat what few readers I have with something special to let them know that I appreciate it- for the first time ever, a third essay in one month. Don’t look at me like that, I don’t have any money left, I spent it all on Batman and pizza, just like you should’ve. And honestly, I couldn’t have picked a worse time to ‘reward’ you fools, two essays down and I’m running out of adjectives and descriptions for ‘scary.’ So just remember while you’re reading, should you come across any sentences that strike you as being a bit crazy, I’m doing my best, and pulling out all the stops- because this is MOTHERFUCKING HALLOWEEN. Shit’s sacred. It’s little kid’s excuse to dress up and get free candy, and adult’s excuse to see their female acquaintances in skimpy versions of regular clothes (I’m talking about you Sexy Janitor costume- those are just two words that just shouldn’t go together). But what really makes it so brilliant, is that it’s every man, woman, and child’s excuse to look Polite Society in the eyes, and simply say, “Fuck it, you know what, I think I WON’T wear a business suit to work, I’m gonna dress up as Batman and HR can just suck my chocolate covered milk duds if they think they can do anything about it.”
"Just be happy I didn't get the one with the nipples."
You know that nice kid in gym who helped you find your glasses after class? That’s the same kid who’ll be leaving a bag of flaming excrement on your front lawn come Halloween, with a smile on his beet-red face, and a vulgar joke oozing from his lips. And it’s all thanks to the Celts- allow me to explain. Back in about 5th century BC, Ireland was populated by an especially powerful tribe-like pseudo-society called the Celts. You may have heard about them because, while they certainly weren’t the most popular of early civilizations, they were definitely the most beloved, because while civs like Egypt and Greece and others were making mythical creatures that wanted devour your soul, and turn you to stone, and basically kick the living shit out of you just for being mortal, the Celts were inventing MAGIC. It was the Celts who thought up fantastical creatures like faeries, elves, trolls, as well as so many other fascinating symbols and beings that are still incredibly relevant today. How relevant? Just look at any movie, or book, or video-game that has to do with fantasy, because you’ll basically be getting a straight-up first-hand experience of ancient Celtic culture.
A level 47 mage-class with his impoverished family.
And somehow, the Celts managed to take these amazing beliefs, and form it into a religion that could help dictate their lives, forming a rather simple society operated by farmers, and led by druids, men who claimed to be able to understand the natural forces of the world, and could give the people advice on things like medicine (dirt, grass, blood, or goat shit, pick your poison), relationship counseling (man > woman), and most important, agriculture. The Celts ran their rudimentary calendars around the harvest, dividing the years at the end of summer (the end of the harvest season), and the beginning of winter (the beginning of the sit-in-your-hut-trying-not-to-die-of-frozen-nutsack-syndrome season). On the Roman Catholic calendar, this time was the last day of October, and the first day of November, and was a VERY special time for the Celts. See, they noticed that it was kind of funny how the world worked like that, how you could go from a season full of life, growth, and abundance, to a season more dead and barren than the sex life of your average redditor (I could probably get them to read my essays if they would just stop looking at pictures of cats in silly clothes every five goddamn seconds). Curious, they brought it up to their druids, who came back with the perfect explanation- Druids: “Just don’t think about it.” People: “But what about-” Druids: “HEY! LET’S HAVE A PARTY! RIGHT NOW! EVERYBODY’S INVITED! FREE CAKE!” People: “Wha- oh, uh, o-okay then! Cool! I guess we can just talk about this later then…” I mean that’s probs how it went down. Maybe. Either way, what was born that day was (and is) one of the greatest holidays to be celebrated EVER. The whole thing was called Samhain (pronounced SOW-AN, but have fun reminding yourself that in your head every time you read it as sam-hain), a day-long period when it was believed that the world of the living and the dead crossed over, and whatever moral rules applied on any other day, went right out the window with whatever fucks you possibly had to give any other time of the year.
Huge bonfires were lit and people danced around them having fun, playing with apples, oh and having random, inappropriate sex with their friends and neighbors, all of which presented a bit of a problem, specifically, all the annoying dead people walking around. You see, besides being an awesome care-free day of not giving a shit, Sanhaim was also the day when the dead were supposed to interact with the world of the living, and if you just woke up from a long dirt nap to find a massive party going down, don’t you think you’d like to get your crunk on with all your widowed loved ones? The druids had apparently thought of that one though, and instructed people to light fires and torches all around, to keep the dead away, and to wear costumes and masks to keep the dead from recognizing them. It was like if the nerds tried to go to the popular kid’s party, only to show up at the door and have that one jocky douche-bag stand in their way and tell them that they weren’t invited.
"Sorry bro. The Orgy Party's full."

This went on for another couple of hundreds of years or so, with Samhain being adopted by the Romans, who made a few changes to it, like dressing up as gods of the underworld who represented early versions of monsters we use today, like witches, and vampires. The Romans also brought some troubles to Samhain though, like, for example, trying to fucking kill it off. You see, over time, Roman Catholicism became the dominant religion in Ireland, the druids and the nature-magic of the Celtic age replaced with the priests and God worshiping of the new age, those creative Celts we have so much to thank for, slowly growing into the drunken Irishmen we’ve come to know and love today. However, many of the Celtic customs still remained, including the language, the architecture, and the holidays, especially Samhain, which was still as wild and crazy as the day it started, and even though it left many women spending their winters trying to track down their baby daddies (but really, even if proper condoms had been invented back then, do you actually think they would have used them), Samhain was beloved by all those who happened to like fun- which means that it pissed the Catholics off. No disrespect to my theist readers, whoever you may be, but please recognize the fact that much of the history of the Catholic Church boils down to political subterfuge, and frequent dick-measuring contests (I’m not really sure who they’re trying to impress though, it’s not like their five year old boy-friends have enough experience to judge [aaand it’s official, if there IS a God, then I’m going to Hell]). So when they heard of a yearly tradition where the only rule was ‘fun,’ they set off in their pope-mobiles to shut that party off like a crew of grouchy 80’s comedy movie cops. Basically, they made November 2nd the new date of their toootally original holiday called All Souls Day, or All-Hallows Day. The celebration consisted of parades and bonfires, with people dressing up as demons and angels, and despite it’s more restrictive rules, it was a lot like that other holiday, what was it called again? Sockan? Softan?
Hmmm... It had something to do with an enourmous orgy...
Well, while the church will never admit it, it is theorized (and generally accepted) that this was a pretty obvious attempt to overshadow, and hopefully eliminate good ‘ol Samhain- an attempt that, if it is true, blew up right in their face. Because for some odd reason, the church didn’t consider the possibility that placing their celebration holiday the day after the biggest party of the year, and then expecting people to get off their hung-over asses to show up, is like taking a group of people, putting blindfolds on them, and then asking them to read you the bible. So, instead of being buried, Samhain simply adopted a new name, ‘All Hollows Eve,’ which over time, became the name we all recognize today- HALLOWEEN. Time continued to progress, many, many decades passed, with Halloween becoming even more interesting and exciting for each generation, while at the same time calming down a bit, inviting in more people at a time, like younger children, who could bob for apples with their friends, and dress in costumes, and be allowed to join into the general festivities of the party, without having to worry about accidentally becoming audience to their mom, their barber, and several other people they’d never seen before going at it like they were playing naked twister, before drunkenly dancing around a house sized bonfire. The most progressive changes to Halloween actually happened during its migration to UHMERICA, with colonists sometimes celebrating the holiday by gathering together and telling ghost stories, dancing, singing, and lighting candles as was customary, in order to ward off the dead. Many myths surround the candle lighting, as, back then, the tradition was to carve out turnips, which were in abundance in Ireland, stick a candle in there, and then light it and use it as a little, nasty-tasting lantern.
I mean there are worse alternative of course.
 Honestly, the closest thing you have to sense when it comes to an explanation for that is an old Irish tale about some guy name Jack, who one day met the devil, and clearly confusing the devil with a bear of some sort, climbed up a tree. The Devil, Lord incarnate of all that is evil, vile, and horrible in this world according to the Christian belief, who resides over Hell, and is so powerful that it was predicted that He would one day battle God himself, some how managed to climb up a tree after Jack. Until Jack jumped out of the tree, and the Devil, Ultimate Prince of Darkness, had to ask Jack to help him, because he was stuck in a fucking tree. Jack agreed, under the condition that the Devil would back the fuck off for the rest of Jack’s life, and leave him alone. The Devil had no choice (he couldn’t exactly call his infinite legion of demon warriors who obey his every word to help him), and so Jack got to derp around for many more years before he finally kicked the bucket. But when he went up to the pearly white gates, he was denied entrance for being an overall dick-hole his whole life. Pissed, Jack went down to hell, but found the door locked, because the King of Darkness, the Torturer of the Damned Eternal, didn’t want Jack to come in, on account of the fact that he was a meanie.
I'm gonna tell God on you!
After leaving what can only be described as a clearly mature, and logical argument, Jack kind of just had to wander around, in-between the world the living and the dead for a while, using a turnip and candle he found as a lantern to light his way. In America, pumpkins were used instead, and that story is apparently the reason they’re called Jack O Lanterns. But don’t think the colonists were just sitting around playing with candles and being all nice and friendly-like. Even back then, people were still using Halloween as an excuse to raise hell, and make mischief and whatnot. Mind you that this is during colonial times, so pranks like Toilet Papering the neighbor’s yard were out of the question, mostly because when it comes to toilet paper, like the condom, while it hadn’t been invented, I don’t really believe they would have used it for its intended purpose anyway. Around the middle of the 19th century, during the mass Irish migration due to the potato famine, Halloween saw a second coming in America, going from a small celebration some farmers here and there enjoyed, to a full on mass Holiday, so much so, that by the beginning of the 20th century, communities and towns all over the country realized that if they didn’t try and set some guidelines for Halloween, people were gonna burn the whole damn nation to the ground.
The Great Haunted House Mishap of 1902
Newspapers everywhere started publishing articles pushed forward by community leaders, articles that were meant to try and get people to see Halloween in a more family friendly light, without all the mischief making, and ghosts, and witchcraft and stuff. While they did succeed in making Halloween more family friendly, they didn’t exactly neuter the Holiday, as they also tried to let the celebration become more about getting together with your friends and neighbors, i.e. waiting until the kids were gone, and then throwing crazy-ass parties that would make their ancestors smile (before they froze to death or whatever people did for fun back then). But let’s not forget exactly what allowed Halloween to become so family friendly- when they were trying to re-work Halloween’s image, many towns would focus on the new tradition that had been becoming popular, of taking kids door to door, costumed, and begging for food or money. Only what they didn’t realize was the popular saying that had come along with the tradition, where after someone answered the random child’s knock to the door, the little tyke would say in a calm voice, “Trick or Treat,” which basically was short for, “You sir have made the gravest of mistakes, simply by opening your own door. Now that I know you are present in the domain, I will offer you a choice- you respond positively to my demands for food, and whatever money you can spare, or deny me what I ask, whereupon I will commence making your life a living hell. I may not be of a physical stature capable of fighting you, sir, but I will have you know that on this Holiday which I am currently celebrating, I no longer feel the moral boundaries that contain me for the other 364 days of the year, and would contain me in this very situation. For such reason, I can torture you in all ways mentally, destroying your property, setting up simple yet time-consuming puzzles and traps, which will inconvenience you at first, but over time, will slowly drive you to the brink of insanity, with no inkling of remorse on my part. All of this will come to pass, and more, unless you give me, and whoever else may be accompanying me this evening, some goddamn apples, RIGHT NOW.” And that’s where trick or treating comes from. Children using the threat of fucking up peoples homes to extort from them whatever they wanted. Like adorable thugs.
Creepy thugs, or possible trick or treaters?
Still, regardless of where it’s come, how it’s changed, what was true, and always will be true is that Halloween, at its heart, is more than the sum of its parts. It is more than getting to play pranks; it is more than getting to pretend you’re something fantastical, even if only for a night; Halloween is the one night which has served as a reprieve from the prison of society. We stay in the prison by choice, despising it for the stress, indignation, and the constant stifling it requires, but understanding that society also serves the purpose of keeping the order necessary for us to work, at least somewhat peacefully, together. But on Halloween, we no longer have to worry about social status, about our constant battles of belief, about the problems we have to handle everyday; we no longer have to worry about reason. I know it sounds incredibly corny, but Halloween will always be my personal favorite Holiday, because on Halloween, whatever age you are, whether you’re going out trick or treating for the first time, or you’re going out in costume to spend your night partying with friends (and getting EX-tremely drunk), you can truly allow yourself to get wrapped up in the incomparable feeling of unlimited possibility. Before I bid you adieu, I’d like to do something I haven’t done before, and dedicate this essay to a group of very special people: The Westboro Baptist Church. The single most dedicated group of trolls I have ever seen. Happy Halloween everybody.
And a very Happy Halloween from the WBC.

10/24/11

The History of the Boogeyman


Hush, Hush, Hush- Here Comes the Boogeyman!
-       Henry Hall
Alright people, I’ve got some good news, and some bad news. For you I mean. For me, it’s all about the good news, I’m like a newspaper’s worst nightmare. Whatever a newspaper is (I’ve heard it’s like a shitty, paper-wasting hipster version of reddit). Basically, the bad news is, I can’t give you a proper essay. I meant to do it over the weekend, but then I started playing Bioshock, which should be all the explanation necessary. I could work on a super long and awesome essay, as per usual, but Batman Arkham City’s coming out, which should also be all the explanation necessary. Fortunately, when I started looking up the boogeyman, back when I still intended to write a full essay, I found out that there’s about two actual links that have anything to do with the history of the boogeyman, one of them is a Wikipedia article, and the other is written by some guy who I’m pretty sure might be the extremely creepy reincarnation of Charles Manson. All the other links were either about that shitty 2005 movie starring Who Cares, or links to some conspiracy site about 9/11. Oh, and porn. Lots and lot of boogeyman porn (oh internet, you rascal). But then I realized, hey, I’ve given these people my heart, twice a month, for like, several months. I’m allowed a bit of a reprieve (go ahead, try and complain in the comments section- IT DOESN’T EXIST). So instead, I’ll be using the Wikipedia article I found, and giving you my top five favorite boogeymen from across the world. Enjoy.

Alright, just to go over what I just said, in case it didn’t leave any impact in you- fucking boogeyMEN. PLURAL. Let me describe to you the idea of the boogeyman, the boogeyman is a monster that lives to terrorize children, it is the sum of all your fears, it eats puppies, shits nightmares, and sweats un-drinkably warm lime Gatorade. You wanna know where the boogeyman lives? Nowhere near you, just IN YOUR GODDAMN BEDROOM. Best case scenario, he lives as far away as your closet, most probable case scenario- under your bed (so the next time you do an under the cover bed fart, remember- he smells them ALL). And now consider the fact that there are more of these terror spewing bastards living all over the WORLD.  And here are, in my opinion, the most irredeemable of the Undead Nazi level scary bunch:
5) El Cuco. 
It's like the great pumpkin, except it wants to devoure your soul.

First off, don’t let the name fool you. The Cuco (or El Cuco in Spain, where the monster originates) is a scary figure that parents sing lullabies about to their children, before they go to bed. Parents tell their children that if they do not go to sleep, then this pumpkin-headed ghostly-ass mofo will come out from under their bed, and devour them. First of all, I’d just like to question the logic behind that- you want the kid to sleep, so you tell him something so tuh-tuh-terrifyingly scary that there’s no way they’ll get to sleep, which said child needs to do if they don’t want to continue pissing their bed every time they hear a cat start meowing at the moon (as Spanish cats are wont to do). Seriously, parents are already telling their kid a lullaby, a form of song that is meant to soothe a child into sleep, why the hell do they need to add in the part about the homeless pumpkin-ghost thing (I’m assuming it’s homeless, as it has decided to take up tenent under a small child’s bed), that at any unspecified time, could up and start snacking on the kid because his/her mother’s a goddamn sadist. Is it because regular lullabies weren’t doing the trick? In which case, get some singing lessons then! Hire a fucking mariachi band if you have to! The only thing you’re doing with this Cuco shit is just terrorizing your na├»ve little child, who only just learned how to control the whole bladder thing, and isn’t really that good at it in stressful situations. And hey, in case the child just happened to forget, Spain renamed one of the main characters on Sesame Street to Coco, like some friggin homage. Ridiculous.
4) The Abu Rigl Maslukha
It looks like this, except alot less admirable.

Say hello to the Egyptian boogeyman, the Abu Rigl Maslukha, or, for you more non-Egyptian speaking fools out there, the Man With Burnt Leg. Yeah. Let’s just soak in the fact that the super-hardcore badass Egyptian’s scariest nightmare is a cripple. Apparently, Egyptian parents tell their children the story of the Man With Burnt Leg (who I will from now on refer to as ‘Stubby’) in order to get them to behave, and follow their orders. This is because apart from being a twisted scary excuse to cry in public, Stubby is also a cautionary tale. Apparently, as a child, Stubby didn’t listen to his parents, which somehow caused him to light his leg on fire. Now remember, these people lived in the friggin DESERT, the most exciting thing they had in their lives were rocks, and whatever they could make with them. How in the hell Stubby managed to get into so much shit with rocks that his own leg ignited into flame, is beyond me. For some reason this caused him to be pissed off at literally everybody else, which may have something to do with the fact that (and I’m just guessing here), when young Stubby was rolling around in the sand screaming for somebody to help, the rest of his friends and family were too busy being rock hard and emotionless to care. Anyway, he now carries some vendetta against little children who don’t listen, so he carries them home, then just straight up starts cooking and eating them. There is of course a silver lining behind all this leg burning and child eating- the fact that Stubby is able to cook proves that while the fire definitely ruined his life, it did not keep him from doing what he loves. And that’s what being a winner is all about.
            3) The Sack Man
When you think about it, everybody is really going as The Sack Man. And it's HORRIBLE.

This one is especially scary, mostly because it’s believed to have inspired just about every other Boogeyman myth in Europe, not to mention that fact that, oh yea, it’s f-ing REAL. With a name that already makes it sound like some sort of Euro-pedophile, the Sack Man is this guy who spends his nights walking around town, finding disobedient children, and then just shoving them into the sack he carries with him, so he can take them god-knows-where. And unlike other boogeymen, the Sack Man isn’t just some rogue monster that children should be scared of because even their parents can’t seem to control it, no, the Sack Man is, in most places, a psychotic murderer that’s been accepted by the society around him, so much so, that parents actually fucking HAND kids over to him. Like, for example, if you don’t want to eat your soup, sucks, because the Sack Man’ll be happy to have some when he comes over to shove you in his child-bag, and replace you with some awesome kid who’s respectful, and nice, and goes ape-shit for soup. Now remember what I said earlier- this is based off fact. But that’s crazy right? The idea that any society would be cool with some guy just coming and picking up their kid, and taking them away in his evil man-purse/satchel of pure twisted darkness. Well guess what, the idea wasn’t so crazy for 16th 17th century Eastern Europe, who had an actual bag-man who’s job it was to find orphan babies, stuff them in his sack, or basket, and then carry them with him while he did his rounds, looking for other motherless and fatherless babies, before he dropped them off at the orphanage. Of course, if you know anything about babies, they’re like little people with bones made of glass and skin made of that shitty tracing paper used in art class. So after being jostled around in a bag slung over some dudes shoulders for a couple hours, they were pretty much dead by the time they reached the orphanage. So yea, even a pedophile might have been better than the alternative.
            2) The New Jersey Devil
Myth Debunked: It's just Sarah Jessica Parker on a trip to Jersey. Duh.

Now the scary thing about the Jersey devil isn’t necessarily the creature itself, but the effect it seems to have on those around it. It makes them stupid. The creature has some legend behind it that has something to do with its mother being a witch who preached to Satan, and asked ol’ Beelzebub for a child, and Satan, being a massive troll, instead gave her some sort of horned, winged, horse looking thing, which before the Witch (ugh) could even properly name (I think she wanted to call it Lucas or something), flew off into the Pine Barrens, to go fuck up some poor deer. When it comes right down to it, it’s the chupacabra for the North East, the difference being that the second anybody catches word of it in the news, literally everybody loses their shit. Take for example the week of January 16-23, 1909, when not one person, not two people, , but actual HUNDREDS of people accounted reports of the Jersey Devil. The newspapers dubbed it Phenomenal Week, and instead of treating it like the silly little hoax that it clearly was, people went nucking futs, schools were closed, workers stayed home, a goddamn church house was set on fire in one case, all this because, in most cases, one person said he saw something, or some goddamn footprints showed up in the snow. Then in 1960, some more spooky animal tracks were found around Mays Landing, which prompted some merchants in Camden to pool their money together and offer a $10,000 reward for the capture for the Jersey Devil. They also offered to build a private zoo for the creature if it was captured, which after the money they’d laid down just to catch the damn thing, I imagine looked a lot like a cardboard box with ‘Jersey Devil’ written across it in Sharpie. Now before you go crazy laughing at those simple people, going wild over such trivial, silly things, over-exaggerating the most minute details to the point of insanity, just remember- Rebecca Black. Yeah.
            1) Der Schwarze Mann
It really isn't helping that this is the only picture I could find of it on google.

The German boogeyman is Der Schwarze Mann, or, when properly translated, the black man. It was apparently created before any German had even heard of the African race, but that doesn’t matter, because the scariest thing to Germans is black people. There is even a game for German children centered around this exotic creature, called ‘Who is Afraid of the Black Man?’ I should probs say now that ‘Schwarz’ isn’t referring to the skin, just the monster’s pension for hiding in black, or dark, places. This does not change the fact that Germany is still, and always will be, That Guy. Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed it, now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be getting back to playing Batman and laughing at Germany for continuing to fuck up at proving they’re not just one big nation of jerks.

10/12/11

The History of Clowns

I had a friend who was a clown.

When he died, all his friends went to the funeral in one car.

-Steven Wright


            I should not really have to explain why clowns were my first choice for my “Scariest Shit Known to Man,” themed October essays, and I wouldn’t, except if I don’t, then this essay would be way too short to submit. Also, I’m a total sadist, and enjoy the idea of you missing out on another night of sleep because you had to wake your mom up at one in the morning, just to help clean your sheets, now soaked with pee (and RAW FEAR). But to contradict myself, I’m also here to hopefully relieve some of the fears and misconceptions you may have held about those men and women who dedicate their lives to mastering the clowning arts, for example, the idea that all clowns are serial killers is preposterous. Their entire job is to make you laugh! Gruesomely murdering you is about as far from their job description as they can get, it’s like if a banker, a person who’s entire job it is too protect your money, and keep it safe, just started frivolously spending it without your permission! Preposterous! So you see, just like bankers, and all those associated with banking and economic protection in general, clowns only heartlessly destroy the lives of innocent, random people, some of the time. Then again, clowns might not be the greatest idea in the first place, which I say on account of the fact that apparently, clowns were first invented by the Ancient Greeks. Remember those guys; the ones who I explicitly said should just stick to math and philosophy? Well I guess they got bored with that, and created the theatre, where orators would recount famous tales and legends to the people, and men would go on stage and make fools out of themselves for comedy.
Hey, beats watching Leno.

Now, y’all know I hate to judge, but if a clown’s entire point is to be ridiculous looking, then I’m not sure exactly how he could have looked anything but normal in front of an audience of Ancient Greeks. I’ve gone over this before, I love the Greeks, they were the first civilization, but it’s just things like the fact that they basically never took baths, yet they all wore towels around themselves, which just makes it hard for me to take them seriously (also they all looked homeless). Apparently, the Greek clown's role consisted of playing the foolish secondary character in plays, or the humorous parody of a famous serious character. Oh yea and they also were supposed to throw nuts at the audience. So clowns back then were a lot like today except, y'know, we throw shit at them, instead of the other way around. Still, while clowning originated in Greece, people believe that many empires invented the idea of a funny idiot on their own, empires like China, who had jesters performing in their courts since 1818 BC, as well as the Aztec empire, the Roman empire, certain tribes of Native Americans, heck, evidence has even risen up that a sort of pygmy clown was present in the court of Egyptian pharaoh Dadkeri-Assi, the real marvel being that the Egyptians actually laughed at something, instead of just looking at it stoically, before crushing it under their feet.
No, I do not know why the chicken crossed the road, I live in the DESERT.

Despite usually being horribly disfigured, or having unattractive physical characteristics (which is clearly hilarious, and something to be openly mocked by the public), many clowns throughout time have played integral parts in important events and conflicts, twisting and shaping history like the balloon animals of which they are so fond. For example, around 300 BC, when Chinese Emperor Shih Huang-Ti, tired of having his country invaded by the freaking Mongols all the time, came up with the brilliant, tactical solution to build a huge-ass wall around his country, it was his jester, Yu Sze who finally spoke up when he thought the whole plan was going a little too far. See, ‘cus just building the wall cost hundreds upon hundreds, upon HUNDREDS of lives, and apparently, after it was all done, the Emperor decided that there was no point in keeping out the Mongol hordes if they had to look bad to do it, and wanted the whole wall painted, which would have cost another couple of thousands of lives to do. Everyone in his court realized this, but apparently everyone in his court was also suffering from a severe case of tiny ball-sack syndrome, everyone that is except for Yu Sze, who was the only one to listen to this whole ‘painting the wall’ garbage, and call the Emperor out on his shit. Using his natural classiness, and affinity for humor, he managed to convince the Emperor to realize that he was acting like a five-star jackass, an act that left him remembered as one of the most famous Chinese heroes, Yu Sze, the man who saved thousands of peasants from killing themselves unnecessarily decorating the world’s largest and most obnoxious cock-block (that can be seen from space).
Still, a couple decorative flowers here and there wouldn't have hurt.

Sze perfectly exemplified the role of the jester in the court for almost all of the world, he was there to entertain the king, but because he lied somewhere in between royalty and peasantry, he was granted certain privileges not allowed to even the highest ranking dukes and lords, such as complete (well, mostly complete) free speech, allowed the jester to shift the king’s opinions and decisions on many important subjects, affecting entire nations at a time. It also allowed them the privilege to kind of just fuck with people, like famous European jester, Nasir Ed Din. In one of his many stories, Nasir’s king had just looked in a mirror, and once he finally got a look at how old and saggy he was, he kind of just started crying, proving that no, not all old dudes are as shit-stompingly bad-ass as Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino (and real life). In a pretty unsettling coincidence, this king’s court was also completely made up of men with very miniscule nuts, so when they saw the king crying, they all just started crying too. So after this entire room of grown men crying like schoolgirls had finally dried their tears with their tampons or whatever, they all started looking around and noticed that the jester, Nasir Ed Din was still bawling his eyes out. The King asked why he was still going at it, Nasir looked right at him, and said “Sire, you looked at yourself in the mirror for but a moment and you cried. I have to look at you all the time.” At which point, one of the earls present yelled out “BOOM! ROASTED!” and mirthful bro-slaps were given all around.
You're mom's pretty ugly too. No offense bro.

Admittedly, Nasir got away with shit like that because, in case you hadn’t noticed, his King wasn’t exactly the “OFF WITH HIS HEAD,” type; he was more like the Dean Pelton from Community type, in that he probs dressed like a woman when he thought he could get away with it. But seriously, when it came right down to it, a jester’s main duty was to entertain their king, but the second shit got personal, you could bet your ass that all the smarmy wit in the world wasn’t going to save him from the chopping block, the agonizing stress of which may have been one of the many reasons why after the middle ages started to fade, and the renaissance started to flourish, clowns started to get… creepy. I am talking about, of course, the Italian Harlequin, or Arlecchino, who first appeared in the Divine Comedy, which in case you haven’t heard of it, I’ll sum up for you right now, is the story of some dick trying to earn redemption by pulling a Christmas Carol type scenario IN HELL. So yea, the Harlequin didn’t exactly have the best start to begin with (I mean Satan’s a dick-hole, but at least he started in heaven), and didn’t really resurface until the famous Commedia dell’Arte, a famous series of shows starring famous literary characters, that followed a formula that’s popular even today, of three characters, the first Zany, who was a clever servant that plotted against his masters, the second Zany, who was just his shit-for-brains henchman, and the third Zany, who was the token hot chick. Surprisingly, the Harlequin was at first cast as the second Zany, but as time progressed, and different writers wrote stories starring the characters, the second Zany went from being the fool (or the tool, if you will), to a smart, sly, acrobat, who wore a black or white mask, and was known mostly as a Pantomime character, which is like if you took a mime (already pretty freaky on its own), and mixed it with one of those creepy Goth-Twilight kids, basically resulting in Tim Burton’s black and white colored wet dream.

This clown was also known to partner with the new French clown, the Pierrot, who had the famous ruffled white collar, colorful clothes, and exaggerated face make-up, like the painted on smile, which would provide annoying avant-garde college students something else to talk about over their overpriced lattes (FUUUUCK, YES, OF COURSE ALL CLOWNS ARE SAD, THAT’S WHY THEY’RE NOT WORKING WITH YOUR DAD AT HIS BIG WALLSTREET ACCOUNTING FIRM, PAYING FOR THEIR OWN KIDS TO GO TO COLLEGE AND MAJOR IN LIBERAL FUCKING ARTS, NOW SHUT UP). The Pierrot, or white-face clown, became one of the most iconic clowning symbols in the world, especially after the birth of the circus industry in 1768, where Philip Astley toured around with his troupe of fellow entertainers. Philip is credited as the first circus clown because of his historic (at least in clown terms) act, of attempting to mount a horse, but comically failing each time, which has amused audiences back from when riding horses was cool, to now, when riding horses sucks (all the nut-crushing discomfort of riding a bike, with the added knowledge that what your riding probably hates you, and is waiting for you to slip up so it can fucking kick you to death in the face). And so the circus was born, many more popping up all over, becoming especially popular in America, where circuses would travel with carnivals from state to state during the 20th century, helping kids experience what it meant to grow up, while at the same time scarring them forever.
"Now kids, in court they're going to use this doll to ask where I touched you, and you'll say..."

Many agree that it was American pop-culture and entertainment that turned clowns into the frightening figures we see them as today, with movies like Stephen King’s It, Stephen Chiodo’s Killer Klowns from Outer Space, and the fucked up crazy serial killer John Wayne Gacy. Gacy was famous for assaulting and murdering at least 33 young boys, and became known as the “Killer Clown,” because of how, when he wasn’t being a complete psychopathic monster, he would attend charity events and birthday parties as a clown for entertainment. It is because of men like him, and many other nightmare-fueling clown characters, that there is actually a medical diagnosis for the fear of clowns, called coulrophobia, as well as a wet spot in the sheets of millions of kids all over the world who have recently attended a circus, called piss. Thankfully, as we all know, this isn’t the first time the United States of AMUHRICA has dropped the ball, and while they could never really clean up the mess, they did their best to remedy it for the people it affected. They’re called rodeo clowns, and they’re AWESOME.
All he can think right now is how much he wanted to be a lawyer.

Basically, men will capture feral clowns from the wild, then force them into a ring with one or more pissed off and totally killer bulls, and gather an audience to watch as the clown runs for its life from 400 to 500 pounds of pent up rage and muscle. It’s like back in the Roman era, when Christians were captured and put in the Coliseum to fight off lions and tigers and shit, y’know, back in the good old days? So hey, that’s about all you need to know. Yes, clowns are scary like accidentally saying the ‘N’ word at a Black Pride rally, but they weren’t always that way, in fact, they used to be pretty chill. And besides, in today’s modern world, we have ways of dealing with clowns, so you don’t have to be so afraid. They’re called police and guns, use them as often as possible, whenever possible.