Each generation has its own task and need not trouble itself unduly by being everything to previous and succeeding generations. Just as each day's trouble is sufficient for the day, so each individual in a generation has enough to do in taking care of himself and does not need to embrace the whole contemporary age... (The Concept of Anxiety, 7)
Let others complain that our age is evil; my complaint is that it is paltry. For it is without passion. People's thoughts are thin and flimsy as lace, they themselves are as pitiable as lacemakers. For a worm it might be considered a sin to harbour such thoughts, but not for the human being shaped in the image of God. Their desires are stodgy and sluggish, their passions sleepy. They do their dudy, these hucksters, but like the Jews, they let themselves clip the coin just a little; they think that however well the good Lord keeps His books, they can still get away with cheating Him a little. Fie upon them! That's why my soul always reverts to the Old Testament and to Shakespeare. There at least one feels that it's human beings talking. There people hate, people love, people murder their enemy and curse his descendents through all generations, there people sin. (Either/Or, 48)
A fire broke out backstage in a theatre. The clown came out to warn the public; they thought it was a joke and applauded. He repeated it; the acclaim was even greater. I think that's just how the world will come to an end: to general applause from wits who believe it's a joke. (Either/Or, 49)
But why would they believe it's a joke? -- Because they are at the theatre. The clown's attempts to communicate with the audience are subverted by the audience's immediate context and expectations. Has this also been the case when Kierkegaard attempted direct communication, and he is now communicating indirectly through the analogy of (Kierkegaard?) the clown?
Is this then saying that the audience views life as a kind of theatre, as spectators rather than individuals? Do they then view Kierkegaard's message as a joke? Whatever the case, this is not just about a clown, a burning theatre, and an oblivious audience.