Take this summer of 2009. Look at the new posters called "unpleasant," "disturbing" and a "fake grassroots movement" by liberal bloggers, and pointed out by conservatives as some kind of "popular" commentary. The original image was apparently created by Firas Khateeb, a student living in Chicago. However, whoever adapted it as a poster and added the legend, "socialism," is still a mystery.
Photos by Chris, via Tammy Bruce.
Made by persons unknown, the posters started showing up around Los Angeles. They are of President Obama as a version of Heath Ledger's Joker character in The Dark Knight, with a none-too-subtle "socialism" message attached to them.
It gets to be very cryptopolitical and weird out there. [Update: See SMiles' "Alex Jones as The Joker."]
Of course, such visual expressions were used against the previous administration too. Drew Friedman, in July 2008, drew President George W. Bush as "The Joker" for Vanity Fair. He entitled it "No Joke."
Clearly, the Joker's impact lives on today.
Even sightings of past stars are recorded in terms of their old Joker roles this summer. For example, see how Philadelphia Inquirer entertainment columnist Michael Klein mentioned one such actor on July 20, 2009:
Jack Nicholson, shooting the James L. Brooks comedy in town, was spotted sitting near home plate at Monday's Phillies-Cubs game in a white Yankees cap. Fans gave him a pass because, well, he's Jack Nicholson. The Phillie Phanatic came out on the field in a Batman costume and pretended to take on "The Joker." Nicholson played along, shaking his hands to signal that he was going to "get him."
Meanwhile, the movie's star Reese Witherspoon, who starts before the cameras Tuesday (7/21) in the Brooks comedy, was Jake Gyllenhaal-less at dinner with her kids and nanny Saturday at Plate restaurant at Suburban Square in Ardmore. She's living on the Main Line.
For future reference, be aware of the Joker, Donnie Darko's Jake Gyllenhaal, and the name "Ardmore," in Michael Klein's short passage.
As I have mentioned recently in "Top Ten Evil Clown Stories of 2008", "Evil Clowns 2008", and "Phantom Clowns Are Back", sinister clowns are an active Fortean and cultural phenomenon.
Now, something wicked this way comes, or, at least, a new momentarily appearance of same.
On August 11, 2009, WSBT 24/7 News broadcast the following breaking story, "Clown reportedly chases man near Ardmore Trail."
Police looking for a man dressed as a clown were unsuccessful in locating him early Tuesday [August 11, 2009] — that’s after a driver told St. Joseph County authorities the stranger chased him around just west of South Bend.
The man called 911 shortly before 3 a.m. and said the person in a clown suit was on foot, but chasing him as he was in his truck in the 55500 block of Melrose Avenue.
The clown then disappeared back into the woods, police were told.
Officers who responded to the scene were unable to locate the clown, according to 911 dispatch.
Clearly, in this seemingly near "abduction" case, it reminded me of the "Phantom Clown" cases where clowns were seen, children were threatened with kidnappings, and the clowns then merely vanished.
So I searched around a bit.
Guess what? On Thursday, August 6, 2009, there was a near-abduction of a little girl in...get this...Ardmore, Oklahoma!
Daniel Armbruster of KXII-TV reported:
Ardmore Police say a 10-year-old girl was riding her bike near her home Thursday evening when a man approached her and asked her to get into his car. Now a seemingly quiet neighborhood is on edge.
The 500 block of H Street Southwest in Ardmore is described by residents as peaceful and a great place to raise children. But since last Thursday evening some residents have become concerned that their small neighborhood may no longer be the safe place they one believed....
Ardmore Police say the only description the little girl could provide is that the man was light skinned. They say it was the skills her parents taught her about strangers that possibly saved her life, because she refused the man's invitation to get into his car and immediately ran home.
Ardmore, Oklahoma having a near-child abduction and Ardmore Trail, Indiana being the focus of "clown" attention on 8-11 are bizarre and very Fortean. What name game is behind "Ardmore"?
The name Ardmore is a Gaelic word signifying high grounds or hills. John A. Keel would often point out that hilltops (literally the "keels" of the high grounds) were the best places to observe Forteana.
Most of the uses of the word "Ardmore" link directly back to Ardmore, Ireland.
Round tower and ruins of St Declan's Church, Ardmore, Ireland.
On a hill above the village of Ardmore, Ireland, is a well-preserved 30m high, 12th-century round tower and the ruins of St Declan's church and oratory dating from the 13th and 8th centuries respectively. One of the outer walls of the church features some stone carvings retrieved from an earlier 9th-century building. The carvings include a very early image of a harp, and of Adam and Eve in the garden.
The Ardmore church also contains two Ogham stones (ancient alphabet message phallic carved rocks, see one below), which rest in small alcoves.
Where does "Ardmore" pop up in the USA?
Ardmore, Oklahoma was named after the affluent Philadelphia suburb and historic Pennsylvania Main Line stop Ardmore, Pennsylvania, which was named after Ardmore, Ireland (the oldest Christian settlement in Ireland) by the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1873.
Another Ardmore is a city in Giles and Lincoln counties in the U.S. state of Tennessee, and borders its sister city, Ardmore, Alabama. That Ardmore is a town in Limestone County, Alabama, and is included in the Huntsville-Decatur Metro Area. It is home to the Saturn 1B Rocket, at the Alabama Welcome Center, just south of the Tennessee border, on Interstate 65.
On April 22, 1966, Ardmore, Oklahoma, was the site of the worst plane crash in Oklahoma history, which killed 83 people.
And now a "clown" is appearing along the Ardmore Trail in Indiana, and a child kidnapping phantom in Ardmore, Oklahoma. BTW, as aferrismoon points out, synchromysticism's Godfather John Shelby Downard was born in Ardmore, Oklahoma.
Ardmore is the site of Downard's imagined or real horrible Masonic childhood abuse memories.
For more on "Phantom Clowns," see Mysterious America (NY: Simon and Schuster, 2006). For more on symbolic criminal behavior, see The Copycat Effect (NY: Simon and Schuster, 2004).
Thanks to Dan Shideler for the first hints of the Ardmore Trail events.