Send in the clowns

by Laura Vilaça

Employed with proper timing, being called a clown is offensive. I think we can all agree on that much. While literally meaning “a comic entertainer, especially one in a circus, wearing a traditional costume and exaggerated makeup”, calling someone a clown with the intent of offending falls into the notion of being a “silly, foolish or incompetent person” (New Oxford American Dictionary).

Since Friday, Portugal has been deeply reconnecting with this concept after a well-known writer, journalist and political analyst, Miguel Sousa Tavares, called our President of the Republic (PR), Aníbal Cavaco Silva, a “clown”. Mr. Tavares stated on an interview to the biggest national economic paper that the country doesn’t need a Beppe Grillo, because “we already have a clown. He’s called Cavaco Silva”.

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