Mark Frauenfelder at 10:47 am Tue, May 5, 2009
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Hebiclens / WMxdesign used an image editing program to put clown makeup on the faces of prominent conservatives. I like the pastel color palette he used, as you don't often see it on clowns.
RNC Clown College
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. His latest book is Made by Hand: My Adventures in the World of DIY
MORE: Art and Design
The anxiety of unplugging and why we should disconnect to connect
Suspicionless searches at US border: the next battleground for press freedom
@5 Took the words out of my mouth.
Insult to clowns everywhere…
Thanks, my clown fear will now require medication.
@2, Nope “college” is correct. Barnum and Bailey trained performers in their own clown college for decades:
Bachman & Jindal are terrific…I mean of course, the makeup!!
I love watching how butthurt conservatives get over this sort of thing… *everything* must be Fair and Balanced! Which means, of course, if you have something bad to say about Republicans, you must have something equally bad to say about Democrats, regardless of actual realities… it’s like affirmative action for criticism of public officials…
When did Repubs gets so damn whiny about everything? Take away their waterboards and all of sudden they’re a bunch of little children who’ve never gotten a fair shake in life… awww, did your fiscal policies get refuted? Poor little babies… it must be so hard, now that people don’t care about your knee-jerk social policies based on obsolete mythologies and superstitions…
Brings to mind Bill Clinton on George H.W. Bush, October 1992, after Bush called Clinton a “bozo,” Clinton shot back, “Bozo makes people laugh; Bush makes people cry.”
This also reminds me of the film, “Clown At Midnight.” A clown at noon is there to entertain your children. A clown at midnight has a different agenda. While in reality these people don’t have the makeup, they definitely do have a different agenda.
@jaketaylor: agreed, and glad i’m not the only one who immediately felt that way. We don’t need to sink to the level of Fox News. Especially when they provide so much fodder for actual, reasonable ridicule.
I sometimes wonder if certain commenters on BB actually know any conservatives personally, beyond what they read on liberal blogs. I’m a hardcore libertarian (or, rather, as hardcore as a libertarian can be, given their nature), and I have acquaintances and close friends who span the political spectrum from one extreme to the other. Sometimes at parties I’ll wind them up and watch them go at each other.
Mostly what I’ve noticed is that both sides complain that the other is full of whiny babies with childish knee-jerk reactions who get butthurt over the stupidest issues. Oddly enough, meanwhile, both sides are whipping themselves into equally whiny, childish, butthurt frenzies about the silliest of issues–liberal bias in the media, the evil scourge of Fox News, the “War on Christmas”, the personal beliefs of some random Miss America contestant whom no one would remember had we not made such a big deal over so little, the creationism vs. evolution debate, the evils of nuclear power, the evil-evil Bush administration, the antichrist-esque Obama administration–whatever is the hot issue of the moment is.
Both sides are guilty of butthurt childishness, and it rather bothers me when people declare that it is solely the purview of one side or the other.
Gah, I hate to double post, but another thing I meant to add–
Not that I’m saying that both sides are filled with nothing but childish, whiny crybabies. Considering the fact that most of those I know on both sides of the issue are perfectly capable of sitting down together and discussing their political differences in a calm, mature manner (at least, most of the time), I would rather submit that it’s just that the only people we really hear about are the screechy, obnoxious, nonsensical ones. It’s the trainwreck factor. I mean, which is going to attract more disbelieving stares and attention (and therefore more money for the media outlets): adults calmy and respectfully disccusing their differing beliefs on gay marriage, or gay rights protesters interrupting a random church’s services because a state halfway across the country voted gay marriage down? people calmly and rationally discussing the issue of abortion, or a traditionalist Catholic group staging prayer sessions 24/7 outside of a local Planned Parenthood?
Probably any liberal can name dozens of crazy conservatives, and conservatives, vice-versa. I think it’s really more of an issue of the squeaky wheel getting the grease more than a significantly larger proportion of crazies on either side.
Haha, you said “hardcore Libertarian.” :D
EXCELLENT! They all look more in keeping with their positions!
If the makeup and floppy shoes fit, wear ‘em, Conservatives, wear ‘em!
No, you’re a doody head!
Examples of whiny republicans:
Anything that comes out of Limbaugh’s mouth. Ever.
And Fox News, considering it supposedly purports to any kind of evenhanded journalism, is a fairly good source of evil, considering how many people blithely believe anything the talking heads tell them without thinking twice.
If the left is overdoing it now, its mainly because we’ve spent the past 8 years getting more angry, bitter and horrified at what Bush and his minions were doing. Now we’re just blowing off steam. :)
I used to consider myself a Libertarian… then I read a few more political books than Ayn Rand’s novels, and realized that even though being in an obscure third party allows you to hold unrealistic political goals while simultaneously being able to stand back and laugh at the Left/Right dialectic, ultimately you wind up looking like this guy:
Nowadays, I do my best not to identify as anything… but no matter how nuanced my political beliefs become, no matter how often I agree or disagree with the Democrats, one thing never changes – Republicans are morons. They pay lip-service to a few things I care about, but ultimately they are the party of corporate control and religious ideologues. No thanks.
Ah, the oft-cited Rush Limbaugh example. I’m not sure if many liberals know this, but many republicans find him faintly embarrassing, and tend to look at him as one does that loud, racist uncle that you hope will go away if you ignore him long enough.
Oh PS in case anyone wants to doubt whether I know any real conservatives, (talking to you Sycorax) it’s worth noting I come from a very conservative family… I was born and raised in the Midwest… and some of my friends are very well-read conservatives who I enjoy talking with at length… mostly because they aren’t violent religious zealots who get offended anytime someone disagrees… very smart people, for conservatives… think PJ O’Rourke… mostly Libertarians, a few moderate Republicans, a few moderate Dems…
If only I could get them to quit voting for clowns….
Sycorax, I believe you. Unfortunately for conservatives, the media laps his crap up and it makes the whole party look bad.. particularly when your own party leaders grovel at his feet….
Except for elected Republican officials, that is, who all do and say whatever the fat clown tells them to. Fail, Sycorax, fail.
Yo, juggalo homies and juggalettes…
you ain’t think up this horrors show
what’s next, what’s comin, what’s around the corner?
you want to see the real wicked shit, where the wicked at?
channel 2, 4 and 7, they be kickin that news!!
The right has a lot of schadenfreude coming. Well-deserved, too.
And to the left, what happened to Bring the Troops Home Now?
That “funny red nose” on Haley Barbour comes from 50 years of Jack Daniels.
As far as I’m concerned, the interesting part is that these are actually reasonably well-done. Look at poor Mitt Romney, there, he is so sad! They fit the expressions quite nicely.
As for the appropriateness, it doesn’t hurt that there is some serious infighting in the Republican party right now. The politicians that form the public face of the party being particularly comical. I’ll refrain from ranting about it, but it is safe to say that this is not surprising in a party that just lost the presidency and is having serious image problems. Serious image problems. It’s not a big leap to clown makeup.
@TDAWWG: a lot of Republicans feel that the GOP has let itself be taken over by radically conservative faction that needs to get its head out of its ass. I, for one, used to consider myself a Republican (solely on the grounds of being fairly conservative, fiscally) but switched allegiance when the GOP went from being the party of Reagan to a party whose sole concerns were protecting “traditional marriage” and picketing abortion clinics. In fact, the Republican party, having realized how carried away it has gotten, has begun, of late, to make efforts to turn things around.
@6 – Your argument ignores the fact that a conservative with photoshop and half an hour wouldn’t be able to think of anything vaguely amusing/clever to do with it.
See: The 1/2 Hour News Hour
“A clown at noon is there to entertain your children. A clown at midnight has a different agenda” is the best thing I’ve read in the last month.
If you hadn’t told I would not have thought the point here was to degrade conservatives, not even the ones depicted. The make-up is so nicely done that the effect is more surreal and sublime than comical and mocking. And I would interpret them as mocking liberal horror and outrage just as much as conservative… non-clownitude? Really, what offensive thing could these pictures be saying other than, “People look funny in clown make-up,” and “Don’t take these bogeymen so seriously.”
That’s it. You people have held me back for long enough. I’M GOING TO CLOWN SCHOOL!
I didn’t know Owen Wilson was a prominent conservative.
Some of the makeup looks fake, but some of it looks great. I’d like to know how he got the eyebrows to look caked with white in some cases.
@sycorax – are you kidding? Reagan was a piece of shit. He led the charge RE: picketing abortion clinics, trumpeting christian family values, and his biggest failings probably were his policies (or lack thereof) concerning AIDS. The whole christian right movement as we know it today was incubated under Reagan. And as far as economic policies are concerned, we all know what happened with the theory of “trickled down” economics, and the savings and loans scandals: FAIL.
Cindy Sherman did a series of self-portrait photographs of herself as clowns. They were hideous too.
It’s sad how conservatives (or whatever they call themselves now) drag out this lame “moral relativity” sermon whenever someone points out the bleeding obvious about them.
This thread reminds me of the way you distract a chicken when you want to get one of the eggs it’s sitting on — you distract it with one hand while you reach underneath it with the other.
Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, Greens … the best way to get the masses to be content with their bread and circuses is to get them to squabble amongst themselves over perceived allegiances and team colors and banners and which group is most loyal.
America’s Founding Parents would be shocked — not at what our government has done (they were well versed with Parliaments, Duchies, Baronies, and other European governments), nor with our depictions of them as full of clowns — but at our complacency.
Can you put it on a velvet background? I love velvet clown paintings!
That “radically conservative faction” took over decades ago, Sycorax. Y’alls’ problem is only that you got your collective ass whupped by a junior Senator from Illinois. I didn’t hear you all crying over the invasion of Iraq, so don’t start now that you’ve been kicked to the political curb.
As a graduate of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Clown College (Class of 1979), I am deeply offended. And highly entertained. See you in your nightmares, kids!
Clown college? I’ll thank you NOT to refer to Princeton that way!
Let’s see, today’s news from these congresspeople probably includes a warning of a socialist takeover by Obama, a revelation of a homosexual conspiracy to eliminate marriage and something something something Christian. Al Franken is still being blocked from taking his senatorial seat by these sphincters, five months after his election.
Yes, they merit the clown makeup.
PALIN / KRUSTY IN 2012!!!!!!!
Childish whining? Both sides? Bush had 60,000 people murdered outright, and a million more have died since then. For an invasion which cause was based on “evidence” produced through torture. A president who had bugged the newsmen who barely questioned him anyway.
There was nothing childish about our horror. You should be glad your heroes aren’t being executed for war crimes and treason right now, rather than being tagged with clown makeup.
Sarah looks better with her (clown) makeup on.
You know what would be really funny? A sign showing that it’s in season to go ahead and start hunting these clowns with guns.
I’ll assume that you’re referring to coulrocide.
Shouldn’t that be “collage”? Or is it a play on the state of carnival higher-ed institutions?
I retract that last comment.
I didn’t realize it was more of a “roster” than a large collage. :)
I find both equally scary.
Very nice. The topper would be a crying-eagle-in-front-of-the-flag in clown makeup.
Any takers? :)
Brilliant satire, and a trenchant commentary on the current state of the political right.
Of course, if some conservative with a copy of photoshop and some spare time did the same thing to some pictures of prominent Democrats, it would have been cheap and stupid, the equivalent of drawing mustaches, devil horns, and stink lines on pictures of people you hate in middle school. Unless they used a pastel palette, in which case it would be cool.
Amazing work, but it does imply that Democrats are not clowns.
I don’t get…ohhhh, you’re making fun of conservatives!! For a second there I was confused, I thought it was going to be something edgy or bold or remotely original. My bad.
Palin in clown make-up… It’s like a mash-up of several of my fetishes!
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