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  • rileysoloner

Starting a Patreon (pt 2)

I can chart a personal history of creative projects that I developed "title first." Vacation Jason was absolutely a name before a character. There is an argument for Vacation Jason being name only! But I digress.

CLON started as a word scribbled on a nightstand post-it.

Googy Morning! changed forms week-to-week. But the title promised that it would be a morning show, and that it would be googy.

I've been thinking about starting a Patreon for years. But the elusive tipping point has been, for what? I haven't been doing the character sketch video thing for...over a decade. I don't have a podcast. I ended the livestream show. I need a container, some constraint, a border. Clear, bold and declarative. But flexible enough for me to pour in everything I want to dive into and share.

I sat at Gesundheit! Institute trying to draw a big circle around all of it. The historical, personal, philosophical and performance. My lived experiences. The people I've learned from that I want to tell you about. The collaborators and peers I want to speak to. Movies, theater pieces, and TV shows I want to screen and discuss. The intersections of clowning, art, protest, antifascism, myth and mysticism.

But the title. It's always a sticking point. I can walk towards it without naming it, but naming it would really give me the boost I'm searching for.

Hours and hours of these radical group discussions at Gesundheit!. Allowing myself to soak in all these strong feelings that usually sink into subconscious as modern life overwhelms and distracts. I racked my brain for a synonym of anti-fascist. We love our anti-fascists, but the term is too buzzword. Too on the nose, so to speak.

The only other thing that came to mind was, Clampdown. It's a song I've bopped around to a million times. When was the last time I read the lyrics? Just years of workin' for the clamp-down! Boy, cool sounding song! The Clash sure are cool, they're like one of my favorite bands. I think this song is about workers rights...? He sure is singing 'work' a whole lot..

I looked up the lyrics. I downloaded the song. I played it and I got chills. Goosebumps!

The voices in your head are calling

Stop wasting your time, there's nothing coming

Only a fool would think someone could save you

It had been a long week week of talks about participation as the antidote to fascism. A long month of communal living and exercising my collaborative clown idealism creativity muscles. Years of looking up and learning from the clowns who changed the way I think.

Clampdown Clowns!..?'s getting there. Kind of sounded too much like I was about to sing "Camptown races, sing that song..."

Then my friend Mark said, "what about Clash Clown?"

Clash Clown.

I got back to the City. I texted Zina, who is all at once one of: my oldest friends, the best clowns, the biggest Clash fans and most incisive radical thinkers I know. She broke it down, fast and bold:

"fascism is all about consolidation of power. Clown is all about examining power dynamics. So clown/comedy is THE tool for calling out fascism."

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