Like bees and some leafy green vegetables, clowns are the kind of thing you’re too damn old to be afraid of at this point. GIF artists 100% Soft, Robin Eisenberg, Jon Vermilyea, Mochimochiland, Colin Raf, and Jess Mac all, on some level, must know this, for their looping clown animations roam free in that liminal space between waking life and dreams, where big red noses, white skin, chattering teeth, and bloody kitchen knives, are common. Some science actually suggests coulrophobia comes from a learned desire to keep things status quo—meaning your “fear of clowns” stems from how desperate you are to fit in. A cursory glance over the comments on the new IT trailer attest to this: You’re not afraid of clowns, you’re just afraid of being by yourself. And who better than a clown, then, to pay you a visit?
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