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Clown College

I don't really care...but

why you be so freaky
metal dripping from your face
blue streaky hair
tats all over the place

we used to rebel with
attitude and mouth
just stated our case
have your arguments gone south

dress up your rhetoric
not just image per se
but then again
clowns don't usually talk
perhaps you've nothing to say

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Mostly, they are just rebelling, nothing new to say, like many wore side burns and D.A's just to piss off their fathers just back from the war and then long hair and ponytails, tats, etc. Just busy protesting like every other generation. I see remnants of the hippy and yippies and the new-agers
coming to terms with mainstream and going out to vote, running for office and in general; becoming part of the political process. Not just parading and holding signs, but actually trying to do something.
We don't have it right yet, but I think that after another couple of hundred years, [if we survive that long], we may do better. Hope so. ~ Gee.
P.S. Nice work!

Honest critique and comments shouldn't hurt.
It's why we are here, to get better at our craft.

one big difference...D.A.'s, sideburns, and long hair are not permanent.
piercings and tats are! even legitimate clown make-up washes off

thanks for your thoughts,


author comment

Maybe just hiding behind the mask of a rebel, Regards Roscoe....

Roscoe Llane,

Religion will rip your faith off, and return
for the mask of disbelief that's left.

...but the masks they are choosing are somewhat permanent

thanks for stopping by Roscoe. It's been awhile


author comment

Why can't people look and dress the way they want? People choose to have children at 16. Those are permanent. Get married at 18. That's fairly permanent. Choose a career path at 18, that's often permanent. Yet, those decisions will effect others. But how people choose to dress or mark their bodies? Only effects them.

Also, clothes can just be clothes. We need to wear them to protect our bodies from the environment. Weird/rebellious ones don't have to be political. People can just enjoy things for the sake of enjoying them.


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Hi kelsey

you asked "Why can't people look and dress the way they want?"
they can...I don't think I implied that they couldn't.
I was just wondering why some choose such extremes while still so young...permanent things...
things that WILL effect their future opportunities.
Be as freaky as one wants, but there will be ramifications

people (all people) are judgmental to more or less a degree



author comment

I just saw calling people clowns and writing the poem in the first place as you caring much more than the first line states. Forgive me! I do get hyped up about these sorts of conversations, being a weirdo who was bullied all my life and fought with my parents about it, despite being otherwise completely "good" and "normal" in behavior and a very hard working student. Never did drugs, never drank, never smoked, never went out being promiscuous or starting fights. Just wanted to read my books and look spooky in peace, but that was just asking too much.

I'm sure my dad's parents thought he was a clown when grew his hair long in the 60s and 70s and maybe worried he was turning out to be a bad person when he stopped listening to gospel and country and starting listening to Ted Nugent and Led Zeppelin and Van Halen and all the rest, but he wasn't. He was rebelling from what was the norm for him growing up on a farm in rural North Carolina, but he wasn't being a bad person and it didn't stop him from getting a job at a meat packing plant. He worked his ass off just like he had on the farm, but he just needed to be away from the farm for once. And now having long hair and listening to that music would be considered tame because people realized it wasn't as bad as it was made out to be by the people who didn't like it. I think the same will happen for weirdos today as people begin to look back and realize clothes and appearance are the least of our problem in today's society.

I think that's how a lot of people then and now are. They just want to be different. People are pushing for different to not be equated with bad anymore. So opportunities are growing for people who are different. More and more they can be successful artists and doctors and teachers and carpenters and every other job that makes the world work because businesses are realizing that being judgmental is shitty if you want good employees. Not everyone who looks good and traditional is good or traditional or hard working and not everyone who looks like a freak is actually freaky, and many of those who are freaky are just a type of freaky that only affects their partner in the privacy of the bedroom.

I don't think the extremes of the appearance should change people's opportunities in the first place. I think that's a problem in our society that luckily some people are working to change, because looks don't determine if a person is good or bad or not. Maybe in the past it was easier to safely assume some punk rock looking guy was a bad apple, but not today. Today people just like the look, but are perfectly normal and caring people who strive to work hard. Like I said, the looks stopped being political for a lot of people.


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I was a little more critical than I let on, but not about " a look" but permanence of said "look"
I could have been more clear on that.

I must say, your are a lot more optimistic about the future and human nature than I am.

one may be a good doctor...but still needs to attract patients
or a good lawyer, but still needs clients that can relate to him/her
or a fine salesman, but customers come in all varieties, and not all will be as enlightened as you...even in the future

a non-traditional look will not preclude success, but won't make it easier

I hope I am wrong

I am OLD. My attitudes and perceptions are a reflection of that fact.

stay tough, Kels,


author comment

where they become like the part of the parents they didn't want to become. I mentioned my dad rebelling and how his parents reacted, and that got me thinking about how my parents reacted to me. They did the same thing to me that was done to them. Why? I don't know. But it seems like many parents do that, old or young.

Please don't mind me writing so much, I just don't have many people to talk to.

I had such a visceral initial reaction to the poem because it immediately reminded me that I'm still very much so bitter about the way I was treated, by family, classmates, bullies, so-called friends, people who I still consider friends, and strangers on the street. Like I said I just wanted to read my books and be spooky in peace, but it was too much to ask for.

I was bullied all the way through school, kindergarten til senior year, almost exclusively about my appearance, long before I was spooky/weird. People who I thought were my friends were using me to get to my brother (to date him) or to get a ride or to literally get laid (had so-called friends in high school have sleep overs with me like regular kids, thought all was fine even after they left, then found out they experimented sexually in my bed beside me as I slept, from people at school who knew before I did). What in the hell, right?

Parents never commented on my brother's appearance or behavior, but always had something to say about me. Always disagreed with everything I did. Shaved my hair and died it purple before high school graduation, they screamed and treated me very badly. Even though, you would think, hair dye washes out and hair grows back, not good enough. As the hairstyle stuck, they got worse and worse, eventually getting to the point that they would just insult me flat-out, repeatedly, in the hopes of getting me to conform to what they wanted ("why do you want to look like an unattractive dyke?" they asked, "don't you ever want to be loved/be with someone?" they asked). Threatened to send me to catholic school and boot camp (I didn't ever see myself as misbehaving though? Just wearing what I wanted to). Yet all the while they took care of me, never threatened to disown or physically harm me. I know people do get those reactions and those treatments, so I'm grateful I didn't.

At the same time, I don't know if I blame my parents anymore. I understand they just want their daughter to be happy, and they think to be happy I should be pretty and feminine and normal. Because those things make life easier. Easier to get a job, get a man, get good treatment, all that (because just like you said, people do still make so many snap judgments). But I just want to be myself. If there really is no person out there who would like someone like me, I've spent almost 25 (birthday is in two weeks) years alone, I can spend the rest the same way. They don't like to hear that.

If you can tell by my profile picture, I stood my ground and endured. The sides of my hair are buzzed/shaved. Had this same haircut for almost seven years and I cut it myself. I have colored hair (sometimes, hair dye doesn't stay well for natural redheads), facial piercings and earrings, tattoos (but they are all of good things: Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, and other childhood cartoons I love), dark makeup and dark masculine clothes. I guess I repressed/suppressed the continual bitterness/sadness/frustration with it all. So the poem forced me to ask myself "why me?" and I didn't enjoy the feeling so I wanted to defend people like me. I want to be different, yes permanently as far as I can foresee, but not treated badly for it. I didn't do anything wrong. But you don't have to do anything wrong to be bullied/judged harshly/etc, because it's the problem of the bully/judgmental person/etc, not the person being bullied.

I don't find myself to be all that tough. Just stubborn, bitter, too sensitive, and outspoken on the Internet only. But your words make me thing I may be wrong in some small way, but I've been put down so long I may never know.


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between permanent and impermanent visual significators of protest or individuality so I'm afraid it sounds like it could start with "Back in my day..."

Did you really never grow or shave your hair? Dye it? Get any piercings or tats? Not even wear jeans with the knees out or a heavy metal t-shirt? Or maybe even just want to do any of those things but weren't game?

Are you seriously suggesting that our generation had some sort of intellectual superiority?

A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'

this was more a reflex about an individual I saw on Youtube
at a protest.I assumed he was a student
face and neck tats, awkward hair style and an enormous amount of piercings and metal.
When asked a question he could not respond coherently.
This was not meant as an indictment of every stylistic choice of young people.
I suppose it could have been written better (but then everything "could" be written better)

Even if the "poem" started with "back in my day", what difference would that make, other than the phrase might turn some people off.

The point about intellectual superiority....I say no, but I'm hard pressed to say they are as well educated.

I had long hair as part of a "uniform" while playing in pop rock bands during the middle 60's -70's.
Other than that, no tats, piercings and never wore clothes with writing on them (and I was not a "square")

...but I understand your points, and questions.

thanks for responding,


author comment

Some basic arithmetic and literacy skills seem to get overlooked and I'm firmly against 'every kid gets a prize'. I know I would have been royally pissed off when I duxed a subject or won at some sport if everyone else got the same prize. In other respects it has probably improved at a humanitarian level. Less shaming and draconian punishment.

Had to laugh though, mate, I was just waiting to see if you trotted out that old 'uniform' saw.

As a constructive suggestion on the poem perhaps a word or two to differentiate the permanent features, like tats. Even piercings pretty much disappear when the objects are removed, unless body malformation has taken place, which is pretty extreme.

Oh, and nobody's mentioned it's nicely written and well constructed, which is probably a compliment, you got us all going on the content and the form did not jar or intrude.

A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'

back in 1964, when the Beatles arrived on the scene and became inordinately popular, we and our manager chose as part of our image, the clothes and hair style (though not actual Imitation) of the a sales gimmick at first. Not one of us would have thought to grow his hair long if it were not for that. It was, at the time, part of an actual "uniform"

so there! whose laughing now? ( imagine me with a big snarky American grin)

later man,

ps, thanks for commenting on the structure etc.


author comment

The content of a poem has not spurred my interest so strongly in a long time. The fact that Al even took the time and effort to make it rhyme gave an added punch of fervor for my reading.


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