About the Clown Punk: “Can’t Sleep. Clown will eat me.”

I’d imagine it’s pretty hard for teenagers today to realise how different punks were – and just how many people would stop and stare. Punk has long since become mainstream, and modern ‘Punk Pop’ just doesn’t have the edge…

First, you’ve got to understand what happened before…

Here’s Led Zeppelin in action…

And then you’ve got this:

Armitage is a couple of years older than me, and I can just remember seeing my first punk on the streets. To teens these days – anything goes. Semi-naked, skin-tight leopard-skin, hair colour any colour, piercings, make-up… I can still remember the first person I met who had their nose pierced, yet when I was teaching a couple of years ago and one of my year nine students had his nipple pierced, it was just something fairly standard – not shocking at all. So we don’t have that sense of shock any more about people’s clothes or appearance or values.

Yet punks got public tellings-off in the streets from other people’s parents! People would stop them and tell them they were a bad influence, or they were causing the downfall of society. And that’s pretty much what they meant.

Now, punk is a look. It’s not a state of mind any more. In the past, punk was about rebellion, about not fitting in, about people who didn’t feel they had a place in society. And that’s precisely what this punk does.

Not only that, he’s a clown-punk. Maybe that’s because he’s funny, but clowns are terrifying to a lot of people. You’ll need to buy my next e-book on Character and Voice if you want my thoughts on why, but the whole notion of clowns is that we think they are fun, yet lots of people are completely terrified. Whether it’s the uncanny laughter of the clown in the box at the seaside, or Pennywise in It, lots of people have a genuine phobia of clowns. Including Phil in The Modern Family (if you haven’t seen The Modern Family yet, you should. It’s great!)

And this might be why…

Even Bart thinks Krusty is a little sinister…


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