On Being and Understanding The Class Clown

On Being and Understanding the Class Clown

If you remember anything from your grade school years you know that reputations are established quickly and typically remain static representations (or, in unfortunate cases, caricatures) of a personality. You also most likely remember your class clown by both name and deed. They are typically males, so I will prefer the male pronoun throughout, but please feel free to make the gender adjustment as necessary—women can most definitely fulfill this role with cynical pleasure.

Let’s begin with some definitions, because the class clown can be distinguished from the other types of individuals who mimic with overlapping characteristics.  I can remember the funny man. We’ll call him Jack. He was a calculated humorist with an unmatchable wit, who could manage maintaining a solid grade point average and athletic superiority, all the while running with the class clown on occasions when it fulfilled his need for excitement. This would get Jack in trouble, but never too much trouble. You know what I’m talking about. He was an escape artist par excellence, and his genuine charisma and stable academic profile gave him a clear advantage.

The class clown also had posers. There seemed to be a proliferation of this type. They manage to do nothing of originality and appear to be piggy-backing off the class clown himself, maybe in a way to elicit his attention. Seth was our wannabe extremist. He was a nuisance, because while he didn’t mind attempting to do ridiculous things his execution of them was stilted and unnatural. His outbursts and actions were flat, lacking both depth and inherent mystery.

What distinguishes our clown of the class is his genuinely paradoxical nature, his intensity, and natural aversion of the predictable. He speaks and does when you least expect it, and when you are prepared for him you are never equipped enough for what it is that he says or does. He’s well acquainted with everyone—possibly even having a group he predominately mingles with—but he doesn’t fit well with anyone. There are those who seem to be afraid of him. He defies their attempts at categorization. Those within this group range from the confounded to the disgusted. Others are amused. These are the ones who may passively revel in his antics or actively suggest misdeeds in some twisted effort to vicariously partake in the sort of activities they can’t themselves muster the nerve for. Then there are, of course, the ones who withhold their distance as well as their opinion (a group that deserves a paper all their own).

He becomes distanced by all groups because of his intensity. People may find him interesting but unapproachable, always situated behind an ironic smile that’s particularly unsettling. The posers are too emotionally needy and can’t harness their role model’s own unperturbed self-appreciation. Even the funny man thinks he crosses the line between finely crafted jest and the infinitely absurd. As the world pushes away from him he responds in like spiraling into crescendo after crescendo of ever-increasing isolation. His own personality becomes to himself like a shadowy figment of ambiguity. Skirting along the gray, spectral, edges of noumenality—the act of becoming within the thing-in-itself—his sense of self becomes reducible with the self (just as you find within the pit of your being the sinister eyes of the Other-that-is). Your class clown is a master of deceit, not necessarily intentionally but as an inevitable consequence of the riddles and paradoxes that consume his thinking. You shouldn’t be surprised to learn later that he’s existentially crippled with ironies and the life and pleasure that we all typically experience has been sapped from his essence as he drinks himself into catatonic completion and lies fetally in a tight, dark, closet surrounded by his blood and brain-matter.

So enjoy the laughs while you can.



The Art Process for Those Curious pt 3

Its been tough to find time to devote to this project. Little 30 minute splinters of time here and there, but nothing substantial. But I think I’ve solidified some solid foundational elements.

First of all, what is driving the emotion in this piece? Music. No doubt. With something abstract (but becoming more narrative by the day) it’s important for the emotional gaps to be filled and driven by that which is very emotional and feelings oriented, rhythm and harmony.

I’m debating on these two songs, and have even created different editing timelines for each one since I like both of them so much.

Listen to them, and imagine greatness.

The American Dollar – Signaling Through the Flames

This Will Destroy You – The Mighty Rio Grande

Aren’t these wonderful!? I hope to go with a direction soon. It’s been a bit infuriating trying to create a project in two directions. Of course, input is welcome.

In the coming weeks I hope to shoot some more footage, and try and get more video with the use of actors. We will see though.

“Wound-Colored Light” – An Excerpt from Author ML Candelario

The following is an excerpt from ML Candelario’s upcoming collection of short stories. This particular short story excerpt is from the piece “Wound-Colored Light”.

The man shall remain faceless and nameless, but you can see him. See him there in the darkness of his bedroom, the light of the moon peering through closed blinds. A greenish light, and blue. The color of an old bruise on the verge of healing. Wound-light. See him there, naked, his feet skritching at the neglected carpet, a carpet he knows he should have vacuumed weeks ago but he has never found the time [and he won’t. not for a week and a half yet]. See the sleeping forms in front of him, prone on his marital bed. Two of them, curled together against the doctors’ better judgment, their snores only ever so slightly above the decibel level of a whisper and yet he hears them. You see him hear them, see the face go soft and gentle, the stress of his day rising like steam from his shoulders as muscles unclench.
Yet it is there. It is there in the space just below the Adam’s apple. In the small cleft above where the bones meet under his skin. A throbbing. A pulse. And it is far too fast for a man becalmed. You know this. You can sense the tension there in the space beneath his skin, tucked away where few can see [only those with eyes like yours. ink-eyes peering at the man through paper]. Yet still you watch him. You are watching him still.
See him move, this man. See the too-calm manner in which he slips beneath the sheet [for it is summer, and winter’s blankets have been stored in the attic until next year, next winter, a never-ending cycle of housekeeping that, you sense, is part of the reason the vein is throbbing in the man’s neck] and slots himself next to his wife and child. You see him slip beneath the covers, curl up beside his wife in a position you know as The Big Spoon. You do nothing to stop him, though you can feel that something is coming. Something is changing. You feel it. The color of the light: an old bruise. It is not the color of healing, you know. It is the color of the almost-healed, and therefore of the never-healed. So close, and yet so far. That is the phrase you think of as you stare between the lines at this man trying to will himself to sleep. So close and yet so far. It is a cliché, but it is a useful one. So you use it. Linger for a moment in the dim room. Let your eyes adjust. You want to say something to this man, to warn him of the thing that is coming—the terrible thing you know approaches just around the bend, perhaps in the next paragraph or the one after that. You want to warn him, for he is innocent. Not innocent, no. He is guilty. But so are you. So are we all, you think. Us. You want to warn him, but you don’t. You can’t. The narrative does not allow for it. Instead it pulls you out of the room, gradually accelerating, out through the slits in the closed blinds, out through the glass [you marvel at not breaking it, at slipping seamlessly through a closed window, but why should you? you have done this before], out into the night air where the light is more natural, the air less toxic with expectation. You linger here instead, in the trees outside the man’s window, knowing you could fly if you wanted to—could climb an invisible stair right up to the moon and yank it down, if you wanted—but you don’t want to. Maybe you used to. But not anymore. Now you just want to sit in the topmost branches and let the silver moon, bright and big as a newly minted quarter, wash over you. So you do. You want the still air to calm you, so it does. You want it all to wash away the dread you felt at seeing the naked man there, faceless and nameless though you know him. So it does.
Sit here for a while and catch your breath. Go to sleep, if you want. This night doesn’t change to day until you want it to.
Want it to.