America has had reports of "clown sightings". Clowns just hanging out. Clowns are just on street corners standing around, waving to people. Sometimes it is during the day. Sometimes it is during the night. A clown might be just in a clown mask and normal clothes, but sometimes the clown is in full clown costume. This is sending people into fits of terror.
People call the police. People give interviews where you would think a werewolf was walking in their neighborhood. The media has commented on it with a touch of lightheartedness and others have discussed the fear. Clowns have been turned into an image of horror in the '80s thanks to "Killer Klowns From Outer Space", Stephen King's Pennywise from "It", and the other killer clown the media sidesteps, John Wayne Gacy, the gay killer rapist. Fear of clowns has a name, and is out there.
Fear of clowns is not widespread enough to invoke hysteria or panic. The reaction to this series of pranks is more a reflection of America's heightened level of anxiety. Michael Crichton dubbed our raised level of anxiety the state of fear. In 2011, 11% of middle aged women and 6% of middle aged men were on anti-anxiety medication. In five years, want to bet that number is up? It is. Americans are nervous and Americans have lost coping skills.
We live atomized lives, and with single living and lower rates of marriage, we are alone more often. Television formerly would portray those who lived alone as slightly off or prone to hearing voices and acting odd. That was a stereotype for a reason. People feel less secure on their own, and also miss having another person there to tell them to calm down. The elderly live alone until they can be shuffled off to a nursing home. Many women live alone now compared to days of yore. All are drowning in the same lie of "anyone can be attacked at anytime", which is as truthful as "anyone cant get HIV".
Another problem is that Americans have lost how to sort information and properly evaluate threats. I will exclude blacks and cop shootings because after the 10th time a black with a gun or committing a crime is shot by cops and then blacks burn a city, blacks have now shown themselves to be completely devoid of logic and purely emotional. White Americans are presented with news and have lost the ability to put it into context. Wait for the next mass shooting by a white that will get them talking for two weeks about more gun control, while they have completely forgotten the Orlando, Cascade Mall or Houston shootings from this summer since the media memoryholed them due to non-white (immigrant) shooters.
Americans are presented with information and have forgotten that 310 million people in a landmass, with extremely high population density in our metro areas, go along their merry way every single day without much problem. The key is avoid black neighborhoods at all times and lower income Hispanic areas at night. A mass shooting occurs, excluding gang drive-bys that artificially inflate that number, and people fear to go outside. Simply avoid the areas I mentioned in the sentence before that one, and you will be very very safe for your entire life.
This has a cousin with the college rape hysteria that has resurfaced after a lull. Sexual situations are sometimes murky, especially when mixed with alcohol and drugs, and women do not cope well with this. There was a reason for those old restrictive rules. It prevented you from regretting that you are free. The focus on consent and comical consent forms and affirmative consent laws are a hysterical way to reconstitute old restrictions but under the guise of feminism. They might as well make contracts where people only have sex if they commit to a lifetime of loving one another and supporting one another. They could name it "safe sex space" for alliteration since "marriage" is kind of dry.
People are so anxious they are calling the police over clowns. This is another tell on the state of modern Americans, forget that, Weimericans. An American would just walk up to the prankster with a baseball bat or golf club (9 iron) and the prankster would move along. A Weimerican is so scared to handle something themselves, that they run to daddy law enforcement to clear it for them. Anxious... afraid of responsibility... relinquishing of authority or agency... popping pills to be soothed... the Weimerican is a child nervous about the world around them, needing a binky and daddy to help them. These clowns are in real life trolls of sorts, and they found the perfect targets.