NR Digital


Keep Off the Grass

by James Lileks

A rodeo clown in Missouri has been banned from rodeo-clowning for the rest of his life because he wore an Obama mask and subjected our president to ridicule. Tough break; rodeo-clowning is not one of those skills that transfer to other walks of life. Construction crews, for example: A big piece of machinery pops the parking brake and starts rumbling away, they don’t send someone with a painted face to wave his arms and distract it. On the other hand, waving his arms and distracting us is an adequate job description of the president.

I know what you’re saying: First they came for the rodeo clowns, and I said nothing, because I was not a — hold on, I am a rodeo clown. But even if you’re not, you have to wonder if the clown went too far. (Note: All clowns go too far, just by being clowns.) Let’s just agree that the mockery was not only wrong, it was horribly racist, just as cavils about Hillary Clinton’s tenure are sexist. (Criticism of Condoleezza Rice, on the other hand, is motivated solely by the highest principles.) It makes one wonder what you can criticize these days.

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