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Some times we all need a distraction, even if it’s clowns

Most of us have seen the memes or heard comments of how mainstream media carry some alleged bias toward or against those in office, and thus feed stories to distract us from “what’s really going on.”

I can’t speak for national media, but I do know at the EAGLE, we’re just trying to fill the paper so our advertisers have pages on which to put their ads and our readers have interesting and relevant local stories to read.

There’s no agenda other than to keep people reading, whether it’s something the Board of Aldermen or Board of Supervisors voted on that will affect local residents or a kind neighbor who dedicated their spare time helping others.

However, I have to admit, sometimes I’m guilty of chasing a story because it’s just fun and yes, even a distraction because we all need one right now.

National, and unfortunately, local headlines right now are filled with tension and turmoil. Race relations are strained. Friends fighting friends over a flag (that sounds way too familiar and way too scary). Many are just tired of hearing about the election and what the presidential candidates are saying or doing. There are riots over police shootings and even more division resulting from people protesting the protesters.

With all that going on, a clown sighting was reported last week in Water Valley and that story drew a lot of traffic to our website and social platforms.

I know some people who are very afraid of clowns. However, I suspect the oddity of it all is what has attracted people. After all, everyone can agree that clowns showing up in your backyard is downright unsettling. There’s nothing to fight over. No one is going to be unfriended on Facebook over their thoughts about clown sightings. Since no harm has been done, some find it almost comical.

I just hope it stays that way as I’ve read some pretty harsh comments about what one might do if they see a clown. Let’s just hope it doesn’t turn ugly and that these sightings are just pranks from bored individuals. Maybe they’re just trying to create a distraction from all the other horrible things making headlines these days.

With the amount of readers the clown stories have garnered, it’s a pretty good indication to me that many of us need that distraction.

It’s unfortunate, though, that we can only come together as a state or as a nation over a common enemy and lately, that enemy is clowns.

However, I’d take that any day over being enemies with my neighbors because of political beliefs, race or which flag should be flown over our state capital.

alyssa schnugg is city editor of the EAGLE. Write to her at alyssa.schnugg@oxfordeagle.com