Clowns, Unicycling, and Jobs

Why do so many Unicyclists dislike clowns? Do they dislike clowns because
they are clowns, or do they just dislike unicycling clowns? Is it because
so many of the uncultured associate clowns with unicycling? Or is it
because clowns do unicycling and tricks for other’s entertainment, and we do
it for fun?

The other day I had a ton of schoolwork and other problems to deal with.
Essays to write, projects to work on, movies to watch (an assignment), books
to read, insane parking situations, and generally just a lot to deal with.
After I went unicycling and working on pedaling backwards and bunnyhopping I
felt much better. I didn’t worry about or care about all the junk I had to
do. It was a great feeling. Then I began to think, “this would be great if
I could do this for a living.” Would it be all that bad to be a clown or
entertainer? How else could I incorporate unicycling into a job? Then
again, I’ve always thought that you should never make something fun into
work.

Clowns are sooooo annoying and they are always demanding attention. I think the reason why many unicyclists dislike clowns more than most is because clowns are disliked in general and a typical stereotype of a unicyclist is that of being a clown. It’s a bad stereotype, doesn’t represent what unicycling really is, and deters people from the sport because they think its for clowns.

To get an idea on why clowns are disliked in general, you can check out my friends site at ihateclowns.com… BTW, the T-shirt is cool (about the only non-unicycling t-shirt I have).

Alot of it is the association that people make unicycler = clown, whats just
as bad is when they start singing that circus song (gladiators? or something
like that) It just not right. Something needs to be done.
Dustin
Zupancic

“Bill Huff” <BHUFF@satx.rr.com> wrote in message
news:YP378.91100$XZ1.4133496@typhoon.austin.rr.com
> Why do so many Unicyclists dislike clowns? Do they dislike clowns because
> they are clowns, or do they just dislike unicycling clowns? Is it because
> so many of the uncultured associate clowns with unicycling? Or is it
> because clowns do unicycling and tricks for other’s entertainment, and we
do
> it for fun?
>
> The other day I had a ton of schoolwork and other problems to deal with.
> Essays to write, projects to work on, movies to watch (an assignment),
books
> to read, insane parking situations, and generally just a lot to deal with.
> After I went unicycling and working on pedaling backwards and bunnyhopping
I
> felt much better. I didn’t worry about or care about all the junk I had
to
> do. It was a great feeling. Then I began to think, "this would be great
if
> I could do this for a living." Would it be all that bad to be a clown or
> entertainer? How else could I incorporate unicycling into a job? Then
> again, I’ve always thought that you should never make something fun into
> work.

I’m not a unicycler…but as the owner of http://www.ihateclowns.com I would have to say that your base question should be “why do so many people hate clowns”.

Surprisingly, there are 100’s of thousands of people around the world that hate clowns…it just so happens that some of those people are unicyclers.

Along the lines that Gilby mentioned, unicyclers might hate clowns more, because unlike the “normal” clown hater, Unicyclists have a high possibility to be mistaken as a clown (the very thing they hate).

clowns aren’t funny.

Here’s an interesting thread from my ‘i hate clowns’ forums about the subject of clown hate:

I personally have nothing against a good clown riding a uni. What does get
my blood pumping is when you get a smart arsed comment about being a
clown. This is mainly down to the perception of a clown on a uni goofing
around in a seemingly clumsy way purely for other peoples ammusement. I ride
for myself, the challenge and the buzz of it all. I do take it [perhaps too]
seriously. So the implication that I’m doing something silly, attention
grabbing and for others enjoyment does piss me off some what. Also the fact
that the person asking the question thinks they’re being clever and / or
funny at my expense doesn’t do much for my answering back in a polite manner
:wink:

There have been several times though when someone, in all seriousness, has
asked me if I’m in a circus. This I can handle as the question is invariably
asked with a genuine interest and an appreciation for the time and effort
(way way more than I ever do) uni riders in a circus put in. I take their
question as a big compliment.
Cheers,
Neil

> Bill Huff wrote:
> > Why do so many Unicyclists dislike clowns? Do they dislike clowns
> > because they are clowns, or do they just dislike unicycling clowns? Is
> > it because so many of the uncultured associate clowns with unicycling?
> > Or is it because clowns do unicycling and tricks for other’s
> > entertainment, and we do it for fun?

First off, as a kid, I’ve always been afraid of clowns. They have all this
weird makeup, dress strangely on purpose, and run up to little kids trying
to make them laugh. Perhaps there’s still some resentment from my
childhood, but I’ve got other reasons.

Clowns demand attention, yet frequently, they have little or no skills to
justify this attention. I have been approached by clowns, and asked if
they could try my unicycle. In most cases, this is something they have had
no ability in whatsoever, and no real desire to learn. Other times, they
have been able to ride, but could do nothing more challenging than ride and
idle.

Yes, there are exceptions, yes, I am generalizing. I am talking about the
clowns I know of from american style circuses. There are clowns out there
with skill, and I respect them for it. (I still don’t understand the need
for all that makeup.)

And yes, there’s the fact that quite frequently, when I am riding, someone
will ask me if I am in the circus, or if I am a clown. “No, I am not. Are
you?”

As for unicycling for a living, consider this. There is a huge difference
between practice and performance. Practice for the purpose of improving
yourself, and having fun is fun. Practice for the purpose of putting on a
show can be work. When you ride for the fun of it, you are generally not
considering how you would look to an audience, which direction you should
face, how long you should do a certain trick, how you should synchronize
yourself to music, etc.

My juggling club is putting together a show. I’ve been juggling for over
three years, but this is the first time I’ve been preparing for a
performance. And I must say, it really is work. There are specific tricks
I want to do, in a specific order, and I want to be able to do this without
dropping. I am generally a very mellow guy, but getting a performance
ready has put me very close to breaking clubs out of anger. Anyway, I’m
looking forward to the show, and hope to do some others in the future, but
never as my primary source of income. It’s funny, the best thing I can do
to relax after practicing is find someone to pass clubs with – we throw
the hardest tricks to each other that we can. When we catch them, it’s
great. When we drop, it doesn’t matter. :slight_smile:

Anyway, if you think you have the drive to persue a career in unicycling, I
recommend giving it a go. Just make sure you have something to fall back
on in case it doesn’t work out.

Jeff Lutkus

> Why do so many Unicyclists dislike clowns? Do they dislike clowns
> because they are clowns, or do they just dislike unicycling clowns? Is
> it because so many of the uncultured associate clowns with unicycling?
> Or is it because clowns do unicycling and tricks for other’s
> entertainment, and we do it for fun?
>
> The other day I had a ton of schoolwork and other problems to deal
> with. Essays to write, projects to work on, movies to watch (an
> assignment), books to read, insane parking situations, and generally
> just a lot to deal with. After I went unicycling and working on
> pedaling backwards and bunnyhopping I felt much better. I didn’t worry
> about or care about all the junk I had to do. It was a great feeling.
> Then I began to think, "this would be great if I could do this for a
> living." Would it be all that bad to be a clown or entertainer? How
> else could I incorporate unicycling into a job? Then again, I’ve
> always thought that you should never make something fun into work.
>
>
>


> rec.sport.unicycling mailing list -
> www.unicycling.org/mailman/listinfo/rsu

Sent via the Unicyclist Community - http://Unicyclist.com

If you look in many dictionaries under the term “clown”, you’ll find that it means “a buffoon; an object of ridicule; a coarse, rude, vulgar fool”.

Now is that really a good thing? I definately don’t want to be mistaken for a clown.

^snip^
There are clowns out there
with skill, and I respect them for it. (I still don’t understand the need
for all that makeup.)
^snip^

Thank god someone said it. I didn’t want to be the first!

^snip^
I am talking about the
clowns I know of from American style circuses.
^snip^

Most of what we think of today as ‘clowns’ derives from European jesters and
American rodeo clowns. However both Europe and the states has a long
tradition of clowning with great skill and high regard for the value of the
art. The early silent movie stars, The Marx brothers (in particular Harpo),
Keaton, Chaplin, the Keystone cops, Laurel and Hardy, the great vaudevillian
performers, Popov and many other greats to come out of eastern Europe. Today
we have many too, Jim Carrey, Steve Martin, Leslie Nielson, Woody Allen, Lee
Evans and many others.

These are all clowns in the truest sense. Rarely resorting to appalling make
up and clothes. These are the clowns which have my respect and admiration. I
regularly work alongside so called ‘clowns’, they simply do not deserve the
name, and it constantly offends me to see how little they know and how
little they can do. They simply do not care about the artform they are
insulting. I have met a few that not only understand their art but can truly
perform, entertaining to a high level. This is a rare but interesting
occurrence.

So, my conclusion to this little tirade is this. The people you see in
bright wigs, big shoes etc, are not clowns. They are simply chancers dressed
in a way that they think a clown should look. Just as you do not become a
pilot simply by putting on a pilots uniform, you do not become a clown
simply by putting on a green wig. Clowning is a highly skilled artform which
demands dedication and resolve. Sometimes a clowning style may demand the
colourful costume, but certainly not always.

Regards all

David Straitjacket (Who would be proud to be called a clown by anyone who
knows what clowning is really about, and who never wears the nasty costume!)

www.straitjacketcircus.co.uk

BTW… I was banned in no uncertain terms from the British clowning society
for putting a link to ihateclowns on my website! My comment that maybe as
clowns they should develop a sense of humour received complete silence.

My fear of clowns started when I first read Stephen King’s ‘IT’.
Prior to that reading I thought clowns were entertaining,
sometimes funny and sometimes even intelligent. Sure clowns
demand attention, but deep down inside don’t we all? Since that
reading though, every time I see a clown I run away in fear of my
life. As I run I always have the sense that the clown is chasing
me. I run faster but the clown still gets closer and finally he
catches me and produces a mouth full of razor sharp teeth.
Everytime I look at the moon I can’t help but see the face of a
clown. It’s quite frightening!

My fear of clowns was re-enforced when I saw the movie Spawn.
John Leguizamo’s portrayal of the ‘Clown’ was absolutely chilling
and did nothing to reassure me that clowns were kind and gentle.

Things are getting better for me though … I’ve started rigorous
therapy sessions. I’m told that clowns really are kind and gentle
and that my fear stems from over-imaginative manifestations
caused by fictional works. One day I will be able to confront a
clown, face to face, without running away and screaming like a 6
year old girl.

Carl :*)

----- Original Message -----
From: “Bill Huff” <BHUFF@satx.rr.com>
Newsgroups: rec.sport.unicycling
To: <rsu@unicycling.org>
Sent: Sunday, February 03, 2002 12:24 AM
Subject: Clowns, Unicycling, and Jobs

> Why do so many Unicyclists dislike clowns? Do they dislike
clowns because
> they are clowns, or do they just dislike unicycling clowns? Is
it because
> so many of the uncultured associate clowns with unicycling? Or
is it
> because clowns do unicycling and tricks for other’s
entertainment, and we do
> it for fun?
>
> The other day I had a ton of schoolwork and other problems to
deal with.
> Essays to write, projects to work on, movies to watch (an
assignment), books
> to read, insane parking situations, and generally just a lot to
deal with.
> After I went unicycling and working on pedaling backwards and
bunnyhopping I
> felt much better. I didn’t worry about or care about all the
junk I had to
> do. It was a great feeling. Then I began to think, "this
would be great if
> I could do this for a living." Would it be all that bad to be
a clown or
> entertainer? How else could I incorporate unicycling into a
job? Then
> again, I’ve always thought that you should never make something
fun into
> work.
>
>
>



> rec.sport.unicycling mailing list -
www.unicycling.org/mailman/listinfo/rsu

Bill, I know how you feel when it comes to having tons of homework, projects, and other things to do, and just blowing off steam by riding a uni. In fact, every day I’m too busy to ride, I get mad and stressed, just because i’m away from my unicycle. Also, on clowns, my best friend and I both ride and he is an excellent juggler. I’m just learning to juggle, but since he’s been juggling for a while, and at school ocaisionaly, he really hates being called a clown. I personally have nothing against clowns, but when I was little I could never find the humor in them. My friend resents having ever being called a clown, but the worst part is that he dressed up as an entertainer for haloween and brought his clubs to school to juggle. While most people thought it was cool to juggle, he got called a clown a few too many times.
What I don’t get is why people automatically link really hard things like unicycling and juggling, which are really challenging and use the brain a lot, with acting stupid like a clown. (??) Last summer I went to a parade and there were some unicyclists dressed as clowns riding around, tying balloons etc. While I have nothing against these people for what they did, the clown costumes made it so people didn’t appreciate the skill involved with riding a unicycle.
Oh well. Maybe one day people will understand us unicyclists.

I’m new to unicycling. I was naively unaware that “so many Unicyclists
dislike clowns.” I’m also dismayed by this. It sounds too much like
the British dislike the French or Protestants dislike Catholics or
whites dislike blacks or straights dislike gays. Why not live and let
live? I’m also a serious marathon runner but I appreciate and applaud
every Olympian and “weekend jogger” I see; regardless of their level of
skill, they are doing something that I love and can relate to.

I ended up unicycling because I went to a clown camp expressly so that I
could cheer up people in hospitals. I have few, if any, clowning
skills, but I feel that my heart is in the right place and I’m willing
to put myself out. I doubt I’ll ever acquire a high level of
proficiency on the uni. I’ll see what happens. But if I were ever to
dress as a clown and ride my uni, that wouldn’t, in my mind, diminish
the talent of others who take unicycling “seriously” (actually, I think
that anyone who learns to ride one wheel applies some degree of
seriousness to the project). Any more than my juggling skills, which
are probably intermediate at this point at best, should lead others to
be unappreciateve of a Gatto or a Garfield. I just can’t understand
this need for divisiveness. People ride unicycles for different
reasons. Are some better than others? If a clown is obnoxious, maybe
it’s because of the person behind the costume. And yes I know that some
people/children are just plain afraid of clowns and that’s fine. I
guess I just don’t see what’s wrong with being called a “clown.” Does
it mean that “Clowns are not legit unicyclists” or “I need to
disassociate myself with clowns or I won’t be seen as a true
unicyclist?” Unicycles have always been associated with circuses and
clowns. So, why the need for clown-bashing?

Remember Shakespeare’s line: “Things are neither good or bad, it’s only
thinking that makes them so?” He was way ahead of his time.

Dave

“David Straitjacket” <straitjacketcircus@'DELETETHIS’totalise.co.uk> slipped
me a tenner and said,

> BTW… I was banned in no uncertain terms from the British clowning society
> for putting a link to ihateclowns on my website! My comment that maybe as
> clowns they should develop a sense of humour received complete silence.

Have you read any of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books? They mention the
Fools and Entertainer’s Guild as a dark and humourless place…

:o)

I have to agree, I dislike clowns ever since a really scary episode of
Doctor Who when I was but a wee nipper; it was in a circus tent, and it gave
me nightmares for the next week…

Phil, just me

"when I am riding, someone
will ask me if I am in the circus, or if I am a clown. “No, I am not. Are
you?”

Hehe, that is a good reply. Can I use it next time one of the foolish
people accosts me?

It’s the one I use when the need arises.

Right on Dave. I agree.

Lowell

----- Original Message -----
From: Dave/Cheryl Chandler <dcjzsc@ulster.net>

> I’m new to unicycling. I was naively unaware that "so many Unicyclists
> dislike clowns." I’m also dismayed by this. It sounds too much like
> the British dislike the French or Protestants dislike Catholics or
> whites dislike blacks or straights dislike gays. Why not live and let
> live? I’m also a serious marathon runner but I appreciate and applaud
> every Olympian and “weekend jogger” I see; regardless of their level of
> skill, they are doing something that I love and can relate to.
>
> I ended up unicycling because I went to a clown camp expressly so that I
> could cheer up people in hospitals. I have few, if any, clowning
> skills, but I feel that my heart is in the right place and I’m willing
> to put myself out. I doubt I’ll ever acquire a high level of
> proficiency on the uni. I’ll see what happens. But if I were ever to
> dress as a clown and ride my uni, that wouldn’t, in my mind, diminish
> the talent of others who take unicycling “seriously” (actually, I think
> that anyone who learns to ride one wheel applies some degree of
> seriousness to the project). Any more than my juggling skills, which
> are probably intermediate at this point at best, should lead others to
> be unappreciateve of a Gatto or a Garfield. I just can’t understand
> this need for divisiveness. People ride unicycles for different
> reasons. Are some better than others? If a clown is obnoxious, maybe
> it’s because of the person behind the costume. And yes I know that some
> people/children are just plain afraid of clowns and that’s fine. I
> guess I just don’t see what’s wrong with being called a “clown.” Does
> it mean that “Clowns are not legit unicyclists” or "I need to
> disassociate myself with clowns or I won’t be seen as a true
> unicyclist?" Unicycles have always been associated with circuses and
> clowns. So, why the need for clown-bashing?
>
> Remember Shakespeare’s line: "Things are neither good or bad, it’s only
> thinking that makes them so?" He was way ahead of his time.
>
> Dave
> ___________________________________________________________________________
> rec.sport.unicycling mailing list - www.unicycling.org/mailman/listinfo/rsu

Hi,

I’m sorry if I offend anyone, but the deterence from the general public, is why this sport is just now beginning to grow. I have had many people ask if I am going to run off and join the circus. It just aggrovates me, and makes me feel angry towards clowns. I’m sorry but the preimage that they have supplied for us to deal with daily, is degrading, along with the other remarks many of us get.

I am getting to the point what of not caring what people think of unicycling, just as long as I present a positive and true image of it, because it’s not just a hobby to me; it’s a sport, and I am obsessed with it. After my introductory speech in Speech class, and all of the pictures I have in my folders, I think people will get the idea.

People are often detered, because of society, because it’s not “cool” to ride a unicycle. In other words they’re too scared of what other people think.

These are just some of my ramblings,

Keep riding and live by this ---------> ride to livel; live to ride

Evan

I think the reason why many unicyclists dislike clowns more than most is because clowns are disliked in general and a typical stereotype of a unicyclist is that of being a clown. It’s a bad stereotype, doesn’t represent what unicycling really is, and deters people from the sport becuase they think its for clowns.

>are probably intermediate at this point at best, should lead others to
>be unappreciateve of a Gatto or a Garfield. I just can’t understand

Have you seen Garfield’s Juggling Kung Fu Master 2000? It’s been a while
since I’ve watched, it, so I might get this scene slightly wrong…

Garfield is looking for somewhere to practice his juggling. He finds a
nice quiet looking park, and begins working on his 7 ball cascade (or
something like that). There is a clown not far away, doing a 2-ball shower
(in the eyes of a juggler, not truly juggling).

The clown has an audience, but slowly some of the people begin to notice
Garfield. This upsets the clown, and he starts trying to beat up Garfield.

Anyway, it was funny if you have the right sense of humor. The point is,
Garfield wanted nothing more than to practice quietly, away from
distraction, but instead was being beat up by angry clowns. Definitely a
huge exageration, but vaguely along the lines of where I tend to think.

I do not object to clowns entertaining people. I do object to people
thinking that because I am juggling, or riding a unicycle, I am there for
their entertainment.

To be honest, the comment which I resent the most is applause. If someone
asks me where the other wheel is, or whistles the March of the Gladiators
as I ride by, they are being entertained, but trying to entertain at the
same time. Of course, I’ll still kindly smile at the person clapping,
while in the back of my mind, I’m thinking throwing some punches, Jason
Garfield style.

Jeff Lutkus

Sent via the Unicyclist Community - http://Unicyclist.com

Personally I don’t hate clowns. Nor do I dislike it to be asked
whether I work in a circus, or to get “Gladiators” sung at me. I
reckon that those people think they utter an original and witty
remark, so why take offence?

Klaas Bil

On Sun, 03 Feb 2002 05:24:08 GMT, “Bill Huff” <BHUFF@satx.rr.com>
wrote:

>Why do so many Unicyclists dislike clowns? Do they dislike clowns because
>they are clowns, or do they just dislike unicycling clowns? Is it because
>so many of the uncultured associate clowns with unicycling? Or is it
>because clowns do unicycling and tricks for other’s entertainment, and we do
>it for fun?
>
>The other day I had a ton of schoolwork and other problems to deal with.
>Essays to write, projects to work on, movies to watch (an assignment), books
>to read, insane parking situations, and generally just a lot to deal with.
>After I went unicycling and working on pedaling backwards and bunnyhopping I
>felt much better. I didn’t worry about or care about all the junk I had to
>do. It was a great feeling. Then I began to think, "this would be great if
>I could do this for a living." Would it be all that bad to be a clown or
>entertainer? How else could I incorporate unicycling into a job? Then
>again, I’ve always thought that you should never make something fun into
>work.
>
>


“To trigger/fool/saturate/overload Echelon, the following has been picked automagically from a database:”
“credit card, Juiliett Class Submarine, top secret”

With the acception of the perpose of amusement, being concerned with others pre or mis conceptions about you is a complete waste of time.

By reacting with biting comments or hostility, you are cheeting yourself out of a wonderfull opertunity.

Q: Are you in The Circus?

A (adult): shocked look No… not since the accident. glower darkly I’d rather not talk about it. visibly hold back emotion, then ride off with obvious effort

A (child): Who, me? No, not yet. look misty eyed and dreamly into the distance Some day… if I’m lucky. Someday…

Idealy, this should be executed with enough conviction to leave the questioner believing you are sincear. The adult will retell of the brief encounter for weeks to come. The child will have imprinted in his mind that it is possable to run off and persue dreams, and that all adults are not boring (which is, of coarse, fiction).

The alternitive is to be bitter and droll- and therefor boring, which is unforgiveable.

Christopher

^snip^
If you look in many dictionaries under the term “clown”, you’ll find
that it means “a buffoon; an object of ridicule; a coarse, rude,
vulgar fool”.

Now is that really a good thing? I definately don’t
want to be mistaken for a clown.
^snip^

Hmm… Do I sense a certain amount of heat? A spark maybe if not a flame.

David

Gilby <forum.member@unicyclist.com> wrote in message
news:a3jt1f$418$1@laurel.tc.umn.edu
> If you look in many dictionaries under the term “clown”, you’ll find
> that it means "a buffoon; an object of ridicule; a coarse, rude,
> vulgar fool".
>
> Now is that really a good thing? I definately don’t
> want to be mistaken for a clown.
>
>
>
>
> –
> Gilby
> Posted via the Unicyclist Community - http://unicyclist.com/forums