Archive | But is it art?

Vintage Coulrophobia

vintage cereal box - sugar krinkels (with terrifying clown)

Sugar Krinkles: so you have the energy to run from psychotic clowns!

Things that make him extra scary:

  • tiny hat
  • suspiciously perfect teeth
  • he’s wearing someone else’s face
  • he painted it to blend with his face
  • the broken pinkie.
Alltop thinks he broke the pinkie in a funny way. (Maybe ripping off that face?)

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Lucidiva™ — Side effects

close up of big bird -- freakyCommon side effects include heavy breathing, panting, hyperventilation, lack of peripheral vision, excessive screaming, painful hearing and nasal discharge that may look like rice pudding. Sorry, but it happens.

You should probably enjoy flatulence if you want to take this drug, unless you live at an even-numbered address, in which case, expect projectile vomiting on an hourly basis. Married men can expect long periods of impotence, though we have not conclusively proved this is because of the drug.

Single men in the company of nuns should be ready for painful, humiliating bouts of extreme priapism. Women will want to have a razor handy. (For the excessive hair growth, not for dealing with priapism.)

If you’re thinking about taking this drug while driving, just stop right there. Also, most people taking this drug find themselves incapable of walking, crawling or singing the works of Cole Porter. Gershwin is ok.

Rare side effects include basket weaving, syncopated urination, frequent urination, explosive urination and occasionally, urination. We recommend you set up an IV of saline solution BEFORE you take your first dose.

Speaking of your first dose, when you begin taking Lucidiva™, you will experience a clarity of thought and eloquence of speech that makes President Obama look like his Donald Trump. We apologize to everyone trying to take an MBA, but clearly Lucidiva™ is not for you.

If your skin begins to strobe, consult your physician. If you fingernails burst into flame, put them out, but not with water. That will not work. Trust us on this. Use baking powder, or some kind of halon system. Just hold your breath. If you happen to inhale halon while taking Lucidiva™ we cannot be held responsible. Just make sure your will is up to date.

Very rarely, patients experience visions of aliens, talking monkeys and sometimes, angels. If the latter, it is acceptable to consult a priest.

Finally, if you see the bird, don’t try to talk to it. Don’t even look —

Alltop has heard the bird is the word.

Originally appeared on Grasping for the Wind on October 8, 2010.

Excruciating Album Cover Art — Mr. Bat Sings

Mr. Bat Sings

“Can’t sleep, clown will eat me.”
–Bart Simpson

I always used to think one of the silliest phobias was coulrophobia — the fear of clowns — until I saw this album cover.

This thing is terrifying. I mean, it just reeks of menace! Mr. Bat is wearing some kind of traditional Pagliacci-type of outfit, and though I do find the color scheme kind of foreboding, it’s not so bad. And he has your usual whiteface on, but instead of a nice happy red smile, he has a black frown painted over his mouth. And a tiny red soul patch underneath. (Or is that just a glob of human flesh?)

Then there are the glasses. I know Mr. Bat can’t help it if he’s short-sighted, but he might want to invest in some contacts for his clowning around. Wait a minute. . . wait . . . is that Dick Cheney?

That would explain why he’s holding up his left hand as though he was going to pummel us with his meaty Vice-Presidential fists of anguish. Maybe he’s called Mr. Bat because that’s what beats the children with. Then again, if Mr. Bat is Dick Cheney’s alter-ego, then he probably wasn’t ever holding a bat in that fist — it was probably a shotgun and they decided later to airbrush it out. (An easy enough feat, given the brooding black background — the pitch of evil that spawns malevolent Mr. Bat.)

“Hey kids, I’ve booked Mr. Bat to come and sing at your birthday party!”

“Aiiiiii!”

No, the kiddies wouldn’t scream and run. They’d be too paralyzed by their dread to run. And certainly not scream.

First a whimper, and then the awful wet sound of Mr. Bat “singing”.

#

cover for Clown Apocalypse

If this isn’t enough nightmare fuel, then I suggest you join my mailing list and get a free, exclusive copy of Clown Apocalypse and Other Calamities.



Alltop once ate a clown, and thought it tasted funny. Wikipedia entry on coulrophobia, and if that doesn’t help, here is a collection of evil clown pictures. Originally published, oh, eons ago, in 2007, well before the ClownScare of 2016.

Alexandra Leaving – a short history

This song is based on a poem by the Greek poet, Constantine P. Cavafy. His source material was a story from Plutarch about Mark Anthony, as he watched his allies and supporters leave Alexandra before his enemy Octavian attacked the city. The original poem is called “The god forsakes Antony,” and is a meditation on the vagaries of fate. It’s a beautiful and poetic warning that casts Anthony in a tragic light and encourages him to accept his end in a manly way. And there’s no doubt: he’s losing Alexandra, but he’s losing his life too. [Poem here.] Mark Anthony was a larger-than-life guy, and he came to a larger-than-life end.

Cohen kicks it up a notch, of course, and retools this legend for the 21st century. He makes this about personal relationships, and how we should face their endings.

My favourite line is: “Do not choose a coward’s explanation that hides behind the cause and the effect.”

Co-written by Sharon Robinson, who sings it beautifully here:

Alexandra Leaving

Suddenly the night has grown colder
The god of love preparing to depart
Alexandra hoisted on his shoulder,
They slip between the sentries of the heart

Upheld by the simplicities of pleasure
They gain the light, they formlessly entwine
And radiant beyond your widest measure
They fall among the voices and the wine

It’s not a trick, your senses all deceiving
A fitful dream, the morning will exhaust
Say goodbye to Alexandra leaving
Then say goodbye to Alexandra lost

Even though she sleeps upon your satin
Even though she wakes you with a kiss
Do not say the moment was imagined
Do not stoop to strategies like this

As someone long prepared for this to happen
Go firmly to the window, drink it in
Exquisite music Alexandra laughing
Your first commitments tangible again

And you who had the honor of her evening,
And by the honor had your own restored
Say goodbye to Alexandra leaving
Alexandra leaving with her Lord

Even though she sleeps upon your satin
Even though she wakes you with a kiss
Do not say the moment was imagined
Do not stoop to strategies like this

As someone long prepared for the occasion
In full command of every plan you wrecked
Do not choose a coward’s explanation
that hides behind the cause and the effect

And you who were bewildered by a meaning
Whose code was broken, crucifix uncrossed
Say goodbye to Alexandra leaving
Then say goodbye to Alexandra lost

Say goodbye to Alexandra leaving
Then say goodbye to Alexandra lost

Songwriters: Leonard Cohen / Sharon Robinson
Alexandra Leaving lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC