Sorry about bringing up clowns again, so soon, and outside of Halloween Season, and it’s not like I even love clowns all that much! And I’m not even saying that I am obsessed with them, but even so — obsessions don’t understand your notions of there being appropriate times or places. In fact, an obsession wouldn’t comprehend the word “inappropriate” at all, or “creepy” for that matter. And neither do I!

 

 

Anyway, I saw this beautiful gif the other day, while I was living on the internet as I do, and I became mesmerized with a thought. Mr. Rogers was a good man, a saint, and is very definitely a saint in our Sneerholic pantheon. He represents all that can be good in the world and is without blame. You know how we feel about him. On the other hand, clowns are commonly known to be evil, I guess, in these modern times. They are frightening and often up to no good. ALLEGEDLY. There are plenty of kind clowns out there, clowning for the sick and in parades, but every single one of us suspects their motives. Each of us wonders what possibly-literal skeletons are in the closets of their murderhouses. Thanks, John Wayne Gacy!

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I am not a person who is given to complaint — don’t believe anything you might hear from the rumor mill! Vicious lies. In my daily living, I am not about to complain about regular human error. Mostly I am thinking that if I am served the wrong food, because I don’t have any outrageous food allergies or restrictions, I will just eat it because I would rather not waste food. And I guess I would rather not make a big fuss over it. Although I just realized that they probably would let me eat for free so maybe next time, if it ever happens again, I will say something! Witness my character growth in the very first paragraph in real time.

me a lot

However, the point of this article is to tell you the story of this one time when I felt WRONGED. I was misled by packaging. So I went after the Kroger corporation in the only way I could figure out that didn’t involve speaking on the phone or to anyone’s face. I wrote an angry letter, just like an old person.

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norma

Have you ever watched Sunset Boulevard starring William Holden, Erich von Stroheim, and the unconquerable Gloria Swanson? If not, I won’t mind if you open Netflix or find some other method to stop everything you’re doing just to watch it right now. I can wait.

As you (now) know, this film is a masterpiece of cinema which laid bare the cruelty of these things: aging, celebrity, Hollywood, youth, pride, vanity, EVERY ASPECT OF LIFE, and probably some other stuff. I’m not writing a thoughtful essay here! It did nothing to fix any of it, as far as I know, but it is interesting to see how the old silent stars were thought of and treated in the 1950s. I imagine that the cycle continues and the young talent of today considers the actors and actresses of the 80s and 90s to be weird old fossils from another time. I assume that the fate of Norma Desmond is what every actress fears for her future — or maybe kind of wants it, who am I to say?

None of us will ever be as rich as she was, or as influential in any industry, that is a certainty. I have made a little maze so that we can pretend to know what it’s like. From the comfort of your ostentatious manor, embark upon the wobbly journey to your great return. You will encounter all kinds of obstacles from nostalgic reveries to suicide attempts to homicide, but if you can keep your focus, you’ll be in the pictures again. You’ll get the attention you deserve, you icon. You legend.

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November is casually referred to as “NaNoWriMo,” but it and I aren’t close pals, so I’d like to treat it a little more formally — please forgive me. November is also known as “Movember” because some men choose to grow a mustache in order to raise awareness of some men’s health issue and they think that growing unsightly facial hair is better than just educating people with frank discussion, but the novel writing is a better use for a month. Gentlemen, may I suggest that you wake up daily and begin with a shave, and then write your novel about the men’s health issue? I don’t think I even know what the health issue is because I avoid going places where I might see a mustache.

National Novel Writing Month.

This has been going on for years and years, for as long as I can remember on the internet. However, I have never been interested in giving it a try. “What could I possibly write about that could be engaging?” I always wondered. I write nine hundred million words for Sneer Campaign every year in the form of these well-composed articles, but those aren’t NOVELS. Novels are more serious. Novels are respectable. I mean, aside from all of those self-published novels that flood Amazon’s e-shelves. Those weird novels that seem to have been written in a week and never proofread. But I would want to do better than that! Wouldn’t I?

blah blah blah

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We know you love to color, and you know we love to make delightful drawings of ourselves in our ideal lives, living together, as a group of actual friends. In the same place. Ideally, that place is sometime in the 1920s but only for purely aesthetic reasons. According to illustrations of that era, everyone was abnormally thin and lithe. They didn’t walk, they slithered. And that’s how we are too, on some level.

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The human clown is a Halloween costume that take you a lot of miles down the road to Terror Town. Weak-minded people believe that clowns are, by their very nature, terrifying monsters and not actually just kindly people in grease paint or in rarer cases, serial killers. People who have clown phobia will be made uncomfortable no matter how sloppy your attempt is at applying the right make up, so it is a real winner at any costume party. It is a golden standard of nightmare fuel.

However, there has been a “craze” lately where people think that you have to make the clown scarier. Those fools standing on the sides of roads, frightening people by being clowns where clowns are not supposed to be, seem to always be wearing those latex masks of a “scary clown head.” In my very honest and correct opinion, the very attempt to make it scarier makes it LESS scary. Somehow, clowns are the one part of life where I am brave. I just know that if I ever see a person in a scary clown mask, I would want to slap that mask right off of their face and tell them to get a clue. And that’s about when I realized I also needed to write an article about it in order to keep printed copies to hand out in just such an occasion. Today is the day. This is the hour.

My theory goes that all you must do is simply be a clown. It will make people uncomfortable, but it’s a little boring. To bring things to a more expert level, you will want to combine the clown part with pretty much any other thing. But which kind of clown with what sort of thing? Well, there are three general types of clown, so you have plenty of choices!

me me me

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One of the most commonly viewed horror films belonging to the silent film era, Nosferatu is, without a doubt, a creepy creepy German film. We have all at least seen footage of it, have seen still images of that awful Count Orlok lurching around all wide-eyed and gangly and long-horrible-fingered. Dreadful. But what of the film itself? Well, for those of you not in the know, I’ll tell you.

count orlok

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It is a statement of fact when I announce to the world here that dogs 100% love Halloween because they are animals that enjoy being dressed up in ridiculous costumes. Our four-legged friends excitedly wag their tails when they see their human companions lunge toward them with doggy-sized clothes. They yip in ecstatic delight and dance their paws in place when they see fabrics sewn to fit their quadruped shapes that then showcase these proud little companions to be some sort of dog-related pun, or the star of some television show that the dog does not appreciate OR even watch at all! Dogs love being made into laughingstocks, there only as spectacles for human snickering – the tune of which either sounds misguided, derisive, or full of pity (dogs can tell the difference). I mean, even going to a costume site will display for you, one after the other, the expressions of pure canine joy as they pose for the camera in yet another adorable, cutie-wootie, charming little outfit.

awoof

Oh wait, what am I talking about? Dogs obviously hate being dressed in anything like clothing and endure it only because they think they are being punished and will do anything to get back into your good graces. These friends of humankind are long-suffering little heroes, designed to help people and be true pals. People, of course, are mostly undeserving of such unconditional love, and throughout history have beaten the dogs, and submitted them to every form of cruelty, interspersed with occasional treats, food, and shelter. OCCASIONALLY. You could say that dogs have had it a lot better lately (ignoring all of the cruelty they are still subjected to at the hands of modern-day monsters, as seen daily via viral videos designed to make us weep), but then… then we notice an increase of popularity of Costumes for Dogs.

 

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masks

When two friends hold a casual conversation, sometimes it turns into an unexpected confession. Sometimes, it is revealed that one or both of the conversationalists are terrible people, on the inside. In this real life chat that really did happen, cchris seems like he is maybe worried, or at least taking mental notes for some purpose or another, but I’m sure I was just saying what he had already thought for himself before. I’m CERTAIN.

Please, enjoy this comic. And please, don’t run away from me.

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Modern film-goers are often found to be of the opinion that black and white movies are “boring” for reasons that I cannot fathom. Perhaps they require color and bright flashing lights and cgi effects to keep their attention. Maybe they accidentally caught a drama from the 1940s when they were young children, at an age when ANY drama will seem dull and agonizingly slow. The people who feel this way, and there are a dismayingly large amount of them, can’t begin to imagine how boring and terrible silent films must be. No color AND no sound?? Actually, these people probably dismiss the idea of ever watching a silent movie so quickly that they don’t even form an actual opinion on the matter. If you are one of these people, then please read on. I hope to open your rapidly moving eyes and special little minds to a few gems.

eek

Truthfully, the silent era created great masterpieces in comedy, action/adventure, drama, mystery, tragedy, and so on. Many of these movies are so entertaining based on the incredible stunt work alone that you forget that movie-making was in its infancy and there would not be a dependable computer involved in the process for almost a hundred years in some instances. Yes, the make up was thick. Yes, they did over-act in a strange manner, but these people were used to stage acting in front of live audiences and Vaudeville, and old acting habits were probably difficult to overcome. If you give them a chance, you can see past the old-timey fashions and unusual activities and casual instances of appalling racism to see that these people are still people, and just like movie stars should be — most of them are quite easy on the eye. They might be older than your great-grandparents on the timeline, but if you can suspend your beliefs on matters of actual age vs movie age, or if you can even imagine yourself to be alive in those 1920s and seeing these films as they were released in the cinema — you might find it a more welcoming experience than you would have otherwise.

But I am not here to explain to you the entire history of the silent screen. No. It is Halloween time, friends. And you all love scary movies. Lucky for you, the silent films did their part in creating some of the creepiest imagery of all time. There is a lack of bared bosoms and painfully realistic gore, but they did quite fine with what they DID show, and also with what they only implied. Also PS the film quality makes everything kind of spooky and horrifying on top of everything else. So stand by, Sneer Friends, while I watch a few select films one by one — most for the first time ever — and become increasingly scared because I am a wimp.

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