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Continuing evidence of love and support for the ICP lifestyle.
August 17, 2011 10:38 AM   Subscribe

Juggalo Like Me: Dropping In on the Demented Utopia of the Gathering of the Juggaloes. A young woman's firsthand experience of trying to fit in with the Insane Clown Posse enthusiasts annual meetup.
posted by rodmandirect (88 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
Whoop whoop.
posted by infinitywaltz at 11:01 AM on August 17, 2011


This, I thought, was very silly, very lame.

Juggalo culture in one sentence.
posted by EatTheWeak at 11:06 AM on August 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh Jesus H. Presley, not another one. Non-Juggalo/Juggalette drops in to tell us all about the bare breasts and the face paint and the Faygo, blah blah, lookit these lower-class people and their sad little annual Woodstock? Who got a lot of shit thrown at them this year? (Charlie Sheen, apparently.)

Also, isn't Deadspin supposed to be Gawker's sports blog? Or were they just desperate for the page hits and didn't find any sports-related excuses to show boobs?
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:08 AM on August 17, 2011 [10 favorites]


NOTE TO ENTIRE UNIVERSE: ENOUGH JUGGALO SHIT ALREADY
posted by notmydesk at 11:09 AM on August 17, 2011 [18 favorites]


Juggalo culture in one sentence.

A slightly longer one from the article:

My awkwardness at the Gathering, I realize early on, has less to do with the fact that I am a woman and more to do with the fact that I was once a ninth-grade jock who got good grades, and now I am a blogger living in Brooklyn. Hip hop—and sports, and good grades—was for me part of the escape plan from my hometown in Vermont.

ICP's version of hip hop—politically anti-racist, but very white and non-urban—is the escape plan for the kids who don't ever leave. The Gathering is an annual diversion. Of any of the things Juggalos hold dear, this is the one I might be able to understand now.

posted by burnmp3s at 11:09 AM on August 17, 2011 [6 favorites]


It was actually relatively kind, talking about how she felt like a jerk for trying to go undercover as a "Juggalette" and how everybody was nice enough to give her the benefit of the doubt.
posted by infinitywaltz at 11:10 AM on August 17, 2011 [13 favorites]


It was actually relatively kind

I enjoyed it. She seemed quite honest and open minded in her attempt to understand the event and the people that attend.
posted by Hicksu at 11:14 AM on August 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


That made me think that Juggalos are the kind of people you would think would be quick to single out outsiders and stomp them, kind of like hells angels with face paint, but they are actually not all that bad. I do kinda want to check out the drug bridge.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:17 AM on August 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


The fact that my work blocks Deadspin, but no other Gawker sites, makes me think someone is savvier than I would have imagined.
posted by peep at 11:18 AM on August 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


Well, don't blame me if the 2012 Gathering turns out to be 75% underemployed hipsters from NYC who are trying to scrape up a moderately-original angle for The Awl and Good.is.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:20 AM on August 17, 2011 [19 favorites]


i dated a juggalo well, i should say, i dated a guy who became a juggalo a couple years later. he's quick to laugh, loves loud music, and was raised by a hateful alcoholic who used him as a punching bag. he was bad in school and bad at sports and spent his whole life being "the bad kid" which was just about economics, really. by the time i met him he was playing the part that society had decided for him, but underneath all the bluster and the anger, there was a guy who was just looking for someone to understand him. you crack that shell even just a little bit, he is one of the kindest, sweetest men i know.

according to his facebook page, he was at the gathering. i hope he had a great time.
posted by nadawi at 11:22 AM on August 17, 2011 [62 favorites]


The scene is a little scary… there is one ambulance for 10,000 people.

But when they open the ambulance doors and all pile out in their makeup to wild calliope music... not so scary.
posted by hal9k at 11:22 AM on August 17, 2011 [31 favorites]


Well, don't blame me if the 2012 Gathering turns out to be 75% underemployed hipsters from NYC who are trying to scrape up a moderately-original angle for The Awl and Good.is.

I am reminded of the comic strip I saw once where the klansman -- no, I am definitely not making a comparison between ICP and the Klan -- is taking off his hood during a march asking "is there anyone here who isn't a journalist?"
posted by griphus at 11:25 AM on August 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


nadawi - can't tell if trolling or ...
posted by k5.user at 11:27 AM on August 17, 2011


After all these years everyone is finding out about a subculture that's been right under their noses the entire time—and then elbowing past one another to be the first to write "investigative" articles about it like they've discovered a Ya̧nomamö village. C'mon guys.
posted by critzer at 11:32 AM on August 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


k5.user - not trolling even a little bit. i'm actually confused at how my comment could be read as anything besides sincere...
posted by nadawi at 11:33 AM on August 17, 2011 [20 favorites]


Just a Juggalo
Everywhere I go
Clowns are all around me
posted by mmrtnt at 11:36 AM on August 17, 2011 [8 favorites]


I'm glad these people seem to be having fun and connecting with their fellow humans in a way that is meaningful for them. No sarcasm intended.
posted by naju at 11:37 AM on August 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Nudity, face paint, mushrooms, drugs, sex.

So, a midwest, blue collar, burning man?
posted by mrzarquon at 11:44 AM on August 17, 2011 [42 favorites]


Seems to me, it's all about having a good heart no matter how dark the place your're in. Juggalos are alright by me.
posted by Drexen at 11:48 AM on August 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


nadawi - are you trolling?
posted by longsleeves at 11:49 AM on August 17, 2011


nadawi, because everything you said is a trope ..
posted by k5.user at 11:52 AM on August 17, 2011


i think you'd find if you spent some time talking to some juggalos that my friend's story would be repeated thousands of times. it might seem like a trope, but it's the reality for a lot people i grew up around. born poor, raised abused, pushed aside, looking for acceptance...
posted by nadawi at 11:56 AM on August 17, 2011 [14 favorites]


This thing is just irresistible to alt-weekly journalists, isn't it? I kind of sympathize with the "another one?" eye-rolling. With a "juggalette like me" spin, even. At least it was well-done, I guess (as was the recent Village Voice story), and, as someone said already, I thought it came across as pretty sincere.
posted by thelonius at 11:57 AM on August 17, 2011


That made me think that Juggalos are the kind of people you would think would be quick to single out outsiders and stomp them, kind of like hells angels with face paint, but they are actually not all that bad.

Agreed. Here's my Juggalo story, which I can't recall if I've told on MeFi before:

A couple years ago, my crew played a pirate festival in a small waterfront town. The big party was Saturday night, at the town's largest bar/restaurant, and the place was packed with people hanging out, drinking, eating crabs and listening to the music. While we were performing, I saw a couple of teenage Juggalos standing near the front of the crowd, wearing their ICP shirts and regalia, and I started watching them from the stage. They were trying very, very hard to look disinterested, in the way that teens do, but the occasional foot tap or head nod gave them away. They were into it. I decided to give them a shout-out, and at the next opportunity I yelled, "Is everybody here having a good time? We don't care who you are! We don't care if you're a pirate, a wench, a landlubber, a biker, a Juggalo; we love you all and we want you to have a good time!"

Their faces lit up. They were just so goddamned thrilled that someone had acknowledged them and welcomed them. They started tossing me ICP handsigns and such, and it just made their whole night.

Wherever those kids are now (we've played at the same festival, but I haven't seen or recognized them there), I hope they're doing all right.
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:57 AM on August 17, 2011 [78 favorites]


In fact, it sounded horrifying; it did not sound like music at all. The tracks were off-pitch and had distorted, heavy bass lines, and there was what sounded like whispered gibberish over every song. I listened through four tracks before I thought to adjust the cord to the headphones. This time, the words and the beats came through clearly [...]

Is that even possible?
posted by user92371 at 12:03 PM on August 17, 2011


Is that even possible?

If the headphone jack isn't inserted all the way, it can do weird things to the sound. But, usually, it just makes one side of the stereo sound muffled. So your left headphone might come through clearly but the right side won't. That's not what the author describes though, and I suspect she might be exaggerating for effect.

I don't really know what her goal with that section is, though. Is it to show that she is such an outsider to Juggalo culture that, initially, she just assumed that the music was supposed to sound all fucked up?
posted by asnider at 12:07 PM on August 17, 2011


nadawi, because everything you said is a trope ..

Good christ, k5.user, I'm sorry if it pings up on tvtropes.com's "rough exterior with a heart of gold" radar, but you need to learn that real life is sometimes full of overused cliches, and not pleasant ones. This stuff - abuse, alienation, the marginalization of lower-classes - is regular as heartbreak, right in your town, right now. Acting tough and identifying with a "tough" subculture is a common coping mechanism for otherwise decent people.
posted by Slap*Happy at 12:10 PM on August 17, 2011 [44 favorites]


If everyone wants everyone to have a good time, how does throwin bottles and diapers at Tila Tequila equate a good time?

I know it's Tila and all but I can't be all down with the "but, but we just accept everyone."
posted by stormpooper at 12:17 PM on August 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


The more I am exposed to the Juggalo subculture, the more I realize what really bugs me about it—aside from the awful music. A couple years ago, I made it to the most awesome music-related thing I've ever been part of: DEVOtional, a two-day, more-or-less annual convention in Cleveland for DEVO fans. Though there was far less drug use and casual sex, it's one f a small number of places I felt accepted despite, or even because of, my weirdness. The DEVOtees are my kinda people.

Thing is, after we left, we all went and blended back into society. Normal days, you wouldnt catch me in an Energy Dome or yellow chemical suit. The thing about Juggalos is that it's not just a fun thing, but a damned lifestyle. When you wear facepaint to McDonalds, or the mall, it moves into a different realm. I feel the same way about S&M lifestylers too. These things are a part of your life--not your whole life.
posted by SansPoint at 12:20 PM on August 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


If everyone wants everyone to have a good time, how does throwin bottles and diapers at Tila Tequila equate a good time?

I know it's Tila and all but I can't be all down with the "but, but we just accept everyone."


I honestly wonder if there is a gaping hole of CRAZY missing from this article due to the fact that the author only stayed for 12 hours and didn't experience the entire festival. I imagine that the violent mob mentality takes a while to take hold and doesn't rear it's ugly head until a few days in.

Now, having said that, I think it probably *is* a mob mentality. Most Juggalos are probably fairly normal and decent people, but it doesn't take much to turn a music festival into a riot.
posted by asnider at 12:20 PM on August 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wonder if that interesting chap charging $3.50 to play with his genitals brought sufficient coins and small bills to make change. Perhaps even one of those belt mounted dispensers you'd see at the arcade.

This is probably why I don't get many Christmas cards.
posted by dr_dank at 12:23 PM on August 17, 2011 [8 favorites]


I hope this isn't too self-linky, because I really can't not tell this story.

So I work for a company that puts on pub quizzes across an increasingly large portion of the United States. Once a year, they have a huge blowout called Geek Bowl which, last year, drew more than 800 people and was correspondingly held at one of the larger concert venues in Denver. We brought in quizmasters from Seattle, Austin, Albuquerque, Philadelphia, and a bunch of other places, and put them all up in a hotel directly across the street from the aforementioned large concert venue.

Owing to the gravity of the event (with a very large cash prize on the line and with problems having occurred in years past), all of us were expressly forbidden from drinking during the event itself. Note that this goes DIRECTLY AGAINST most of our standard operating principles. This was partly made up to us by an open-bar afterparty which we made good on for a couple hours. It was wholly made up to us as we stumbled back to the hotel to find two kegs of beer waiting for us.

So, it's 2:30 in the morning, we're in a hotel, and we have beer. And by "we," I mean "a bunch of people who traveled across the country to staff or attend an 800-person pub quiz." So, there's a dude unironically wearing a propeller hat. There's a dude wearing Super Mario's hat. There's some goth chicks. There's the Philadelphia contingent, calling themselves "Philly Ray Cyrus" who were wearing mullet wigs under their Phillies caps. All of us wandering around the hotel completely loaded in a Dionysian nerdfest the likes of which I hadn't seen since Latin Camp in 11th grade. I would liken it to a sci-fi con, but there was one major distinction: the sci-fi con generally tells the hotel they're coming.

Over the next couple hours we sustain a number of angry phone calls from the front desk and basically play hide-the-keg by switching rooms faster than they can keep up. Around 4:30 the hotel finally decides to get serious and sends up uniformed security. It's late, and we disperse in a generally orderly fashion. But not before hearing one of the guards remark "fuck, Insane Clown Posse played across the street last week, and they and their fans weren't nearly as much trouble."

Everyone in attendance agreed that being called "worse than ICP fans" is the ultimate compliment any of us will ever receive.

/ICP story
posted by 7segment at 12:24 PM on August 17, 2011 [53 favorites]


because everything you said is a trope

Has it ever occurred to you that tropes, stereotypes, generalizations of all flavors exist for a reason?

Like nadawi, I've known a few people who later got involved with the Juggalos. The way nadawi described her old friend is pretty much exactly the way I'd describe my old friends -- rough exterior, blah blah, but the nicest sweetest most generous people underneath it all.

I've also known rough looking, hardcore, scary biker dudes (if you're basing your judgements solely on their appearance, that is) who do a shitload of animal rescue work in their spare time. Seeing a big, bald, tattooed, thuggish looking mofo cuddling a tiny kitten up next to his face and going, "Awwww, who's a buddy?" is a pretty damn great thing.

So am I a troll now, too? Gee, I wonder who looks the most like a troll in this thread. Hmm. Gosh.
posted by palomar at 12:24 PM on August 17, 2011 [13 favorites]


If everyone wants everyone to have a good time, how does throwin bottles and diapers at Tila Tequila equate a good time?

What part of that is NOT a good time?
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:25 PM on August 17, 2011 [10 favorites]


Dudes treat women like pets. It is known.
posted by Brocktoon at 12:28 PM on August 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


i've seen violence at country shows, punk shows, radio friendly girl and piano/guitar shows. if you want to judge an entire subculture by their worst participants, you better be ready to throw out all of your ramones and slayer and johnny cash records.
posted by nadawi at 12:31 PM on August 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


Oh Jesus H. Presley, not another one. Non-Juggalo/Juggalette drops in to tell us all about the bare breasts and the face paint and the Faygo, blah blah, lookit these lower-class people and their sad little annual Woodstock? Who got a lot of shit thrown at them this year?

I tend to prefer Driven by Boredom for how it is, as he used to be a juggalo, and kind of fits in while also knowing what would be interesting to those not "in". It's easy to mock something when you're not part of it, but it's more interesting when you get an inside view. This goes for all groups, and something everyone writing these things should understand.
posted by usagizero at 12:36 PM on August 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


This actually puts into perspective what I know about the one ex-Juggalo I've ever met. Thank you.
posted by TheRedArmy at 12:37 PM on August 17, 2011


But, usually, it just makes one side of the stereo sound muffled. So your left headphone might come through clearly but the right side won't.

Another effect is you end up hearing L-R, which is very weird. Anything panned full left or right appears normally, anything that is equally in the L and R channels cancels out. This was a common problem with the first gen iPhone if you used anything but the original earbuds -- you had to get an adapter or trim the plug down to make sure it would seat all the way in.
posted by eriko at 12:47 PM on August 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


k5.user its really quite simple: when a person is talking about one individual they personally know, yeah that person may have characteristics that remind you of cultural cliches, but they are just describing their friend. if someone starts talking about entire groups of people via those cliches, then you can pull out yr OMGodwin flag and go to town!
posted by supermedusa at 12:54 PM on August 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


i think you'd find if you spent some time talking to some juggalos that my friend's story would be repeated thousands of times. it might seem like a trope, but it's the reality for a lot people i grew up around. born poor, raised abused, pushed aside, looking for acceptance...

Are we talking about juggalos or strippers?
posted by hal_c_on at 1:06 PM on August 17, 2011


Strippalos!
posted by mmrtnt at 1:07 PM on August 17, 2011


Everyone in attendance agreed that being called "worse than ICP fans" is the ultimate compliment any of us will ever receive.

This happened to me in a youth hostel in Budapest once, except my group was called "Worse than Norwegians"
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 1:13 PM on August 17, 2011 [6 favorites]


There's a comprehension problem here, and I'm not sure it's mine to own.

ETW'S GUIDE TO THE INTERNET, LESSON EIGHTY-SEVEN: When you begin to slander the reading comprehension abilities of those on a thread who object to something you have said, there is a high probability that you are being obtuse, tedious and peevish. Generally, the problem is not that your words have not been correctly comprehended, but rather that they have.

Rather than passive aggressively accusing your interlocutors of general bigotry and making the thread about you (especially when a thread about Juggalos would actually be preferable to a thread about you), consider taking a walk instead.

/lesson87
posted by EatTheWeak at 1:24 PM on August 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


it read straight out of trope land.

And so you felt compelled to accuse someone of lying. That's a shitty thing to do. The issue is not that some stereotypes may or may not have roots in reality. The issue is that you accused nadawi of lying.
posted by rtha at 1:28 PM on August 17, 2011 [9 favorites]




except my group was called "Worse than Norwegians"

Swedes?
posted by elsietheeel at 1:47 PM on August 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


nah, Finns. :)
posted by palomar at 1:50 PM on August 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


The more I read these narrative type things about Gathering of the Juggalos the more I think it's really just not that different from something like Mardi Gras or Carnaval. It's a festival in the sort of primal sense of that word. Seems pretty human to me, and I guess the only reason it garners pseudo-journalistic ogling is because the aesthetic is more obscure.

That being said I thought the article was pretty good. Would still love to see some writing about the Juggalo culture and ICP that isn't essentially bug-eyed.

Recently I worked with a self-identified juggalo in the IT department of a large regional bank. He was a pretty normal dude. Very passionate about ICP if asked, but otherwise he was just normal and was not overbearing. I also grew up with some guys who were very into ICP. They are both brothers and are both on the sex offenders registry for molesting their little sister. My cousin and her husband are "light" juggalos. They're just about as normal as the rest of my family, though they aren't great with money.

On a related note, I used to play in a jam band, and have spent some time at large jam band festivals/concerts. They really aren't any different at all. The drugs are there, the titties are there (though seemingly less often), the unwashedness is there. It's just folks letting loose, y'know?
posted by Doleful Creature at 1:57 PM on August 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Gathering sounds like any other group of people dedicated to something other people don't get. If no one is being harmed, let them have at it. I mean, I don't get why you'd want to be surrounded by people in clown makeup, but, I am terrified of clowns. (I've told that story on MeFi before, somewhere.)

I have gone to various things that my friends and family don't get. Game cons, writers' meets, RABcons. I can imagine if you were on the outside looking in, most people wouldn't get it. Hell, I know most people wouldn't, but, that doesn't necessarily mean they are bad things.
posted by SuzySmith at 2:16 PM on August 17, 2011


SansPoint: The thing about Juggalos is that it's not just a fun thing, but a damned lifestyle. When you wear facepaint to McDonalds, or the mall, it moves into a different realm. I feel the same way about S&M lifestylers too. These things are a part of your life--not your whole life.

Splitting off the thing about "S&M lifestylers" (I've known people with very different levels of involvement in BDSM, from using it as an occasional spice to their otherwise vanilla sex lives and lookie-loo visits to dungeons to people who did make it a big part of their lives, although in terms of external visibility they limited it to fairly modest visual signifiers that would have meant something only to people who were also in the lifestyle), have you really seen people hanging out in McDonalds or the mall in juggalo facepaint where they weren't possibly going to or from a concert or something? The only time I've seen that is at a comic book convention where a juggalo act was appearing, which is not really an everyday event; the most I've seen on the street is an ICP T-shirt or someone wearing one of those little-running-dude-with-axe logo necklaces.
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:16 PM on August 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


Would still love to see some writing about the Juggalo culture and ICP that isn't essentially bug-eyed.

OK, I'll have a go....
...and damn it, my phone crashed and I lost everything. Well then, here's the condensed version:

MOSTLY HARMLESS
posted by happyroach at 2:25 PM on August 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


ICP isn't my thing, but I attended enough Grateful Dead shows in my life that this all sounds pretty familiar. (OK, well, not "enough", 'cuz I'd love to see more, but a lot even by Deadhead standards.) Lots of younger people, older people, marginalized people, drugs, unwashed hordes in varying states of intoxication, more drugs, some hustle, the feeling of being a part of a loose family, the outsider status, being easy targets for jokes, etc. The casual misogyny in the ICP scene is troubling but it seems to be accepted by the participants as part of the culture.

Anyway, I agree with others that no new ground is being broken in either the story or the event, but that's OK. I wish these people well. I also really hope they sobered up before they drove home.
posted by plowhand at 2:41 PM on August 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


[For the record, "I think you are trolling" discussions pretty much need to happen in Metatalk, as in go there within a comment or two if they didn't already start there. Please don't derail a thread by making it into an argument about other people's motives.]
posted by cortex at 2:47 PM on August 17, 2011


Man, MetaFilter justs twists itself into knots when working-class people have the wrong kind of fun, doesn't it?
posted by BitterOldPunk at 2:47 PM on August 17, 2011 [19 favorites]


How ironic that this writer, by fluke and photogenia, became the face of last year's despondent, dead-end graduating class. And yet look at her now.
posted by Flashman at 3:00 PM on August 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


How is that ironic, Alanis?
posted by hincandenza at 3:41 PM on August 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Not really surprised that a k5 user sees trolls where there are none. That site succumbed to the trolls long ago.
posted by Joe Chip at 3:48 PM on August 17, 2011


Also I can't imagine a less pleasant setting for hallucinogens than what the article described.
posted by Joe Chip at 3:50 PM on August 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


How is rampant misogyny "fun" and "decent"? It's "working class" so it gets a pass? No, I guess I don't get it.
posted by Brocktoon at 4:11 PM on August 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


Any day now, I bet we'll be seeing a Juggaloes Without Borders group. When disaster strikes, Juggaloes will arrive with Faygo, drugs, and titties.
posted by perhapses at 4:13 PM on August 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


How is that ironic, Alanis?

Hey, I'm just trying to get into the Juggalo spirit, by affecting ignorance.
posted by Flashman at 4:20 PM on August 17, 2011


I have a favorite Juggalo. I never thought I would say that, but there's an African American teenager who lives (it appears) on the streets in my town and is a Juggalo and has a puppy. Watching him cross the street while holding the puppy might be one of the tenderest things I have ever seen in my life.
posted by liketitanic at 4:37 PM on August 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Whether you're a Little Monster, part of the Turbojugend, a fellow member of the Unified Scene, a soldier in the KISS Army or a Juggallo it's all the same - if the music and the community sustain you and get you through life, than it's good and helpful. Stupdity aside.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:47 PM on August 17, 2011 [6 favorites]


For as long as there have been outcasts, stereotypes about them have existed. But their stories also deserve to be told, and their desire for happiness is just as valid as anyone else's...

The Heart is a Juggalonely Hunter, you guys. :\
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 5:38 PM on August 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


How is rampant misogyny "fun" and "decent"? It's "working class" so it gets a pass? No, I guess I don't get it.

I don't think anyone is giving the misogyny a pass. It exists, and it sucks that it's a big part of the experience, but it isn't the whole experience and the misogyny isn't unique either. Misogyny sadly occur in a lot of groups, especially music groups (I remember warped tour being like that back in 1998 when I went), and frankly most of American culture is predominantly (though covertly) misogynist. But then this FPP isn't about misogyny it's about juggaloes.

So we won't give it a pass, and we can talk about it if you want, but I'm genuinely curious: what is there to say that hasn't already been said about hip-hop in general?
posted by Doleful Creature at 5:52 PM on August 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Halloween Jack: actually, it was Burger King where I saw the Juggalos in full makeup. Middle of the day. No ICP concert in Philly that day to the best of my knowledge.
posted by SansPoint at 7:05 PM on August 17, 2011


And I've seen a juggalo guy with lots of regalia on the C-Train in Calgary. Maybe it's a fashion thing, but he's pretty far from the epicentre of juggalo-dom. I was just happy that I knew about ICP from reading mefi.
posted by sneebler at 7:16 PM on August 17, 2011


I loved the hook of the article -- outside goes to Juggalo gathering to document the weirdos only to realize it serves a social purpose and that she's just a tourist, in the very Marla Singer sense.

Too bad that the article, however, read like the first draft of that story -- long on the set up for one kind of story, rushed on the close with little sense of self reflection up front. It's not a choose-your-own-adventure novel for chrissakes.

Which brings up two things:
1) I own a lot of early ICP from when I was younger. I've grown up, but they've also gotten old and lame. How? It's a miracle.
2) Choose-Your-Own Adventure book -- Gathering of the Juggalos. Or Sim Juggalo.
posted by Gucky at 7:42 PM on August 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wonder if some of you have known juggalos.
I've known a few self identifying juggalos, went to school with, and were in peripheral circle of friends. I can't make a generalization about them as a whole. Yet there were some commonalities. Primarily these people came from what seemed like dysfunctional homes from afar. Alcoholic parents, gamblers, perhaps single parent. A couple were pretty normal. Additionally, these people as teens tend to seek attention. Glorifying drug use, skiping class, getting involved with the law.
Fast forward a 5 years after high school. These kids have at least one dui. Work in dead end jobs. Steal from employers. No planned futute other than " getting fucked up". Its the epitome of white trash culture.
I find it rather depressing.
posted by handbanana at 9:49 PM on August 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


white trash culture
:|

:I
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 9:54 PM on August 17, 2011


Fast forward a 5 years after high school. These kids have at least one dui. Work in dead end jobs. Steal from employers. No planned futute other than " getting fucked up". Its the epitome of white trash culture.

I think, for the most part, calling Juggalos "white trash" is a massive oversimplification. Basically, these are working class people, often the working poor. Envisioning a future beyond getting drunk on the weekend can be tough to do when you've been beaten down your entire life, told that you're nothing but white trash, and given very few options to improve your situation.

There are a lot of things about Juggalo culture that can be criticized (such as the rampant misogyny that has been pointed out several times up-thread). The fact that most of the participants in the culture is working class is, I would hope, not one of them.
posted by asnider at 10:34 PM on August 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


White trash is not a synonym for working class. One can easily be white trash and middle class.
posted by handbanana at 11:14 PM on August 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


Well, while we're not generalising our juggalo experiences, let me add a positive one then.

I was good friends with a group of self-identified juggalos when I was 16. There were around 8 of them and they were, to a man, very attached to the concept of family. Particularly self-made family. They accepted me into their group and much fun was had, though I admit I was mostly puzzled by the actual music at the beginning.

(Some sample lyrics from a song I was serenaded with, one of the first silly, inebriated nights I spent with them:
'I want a rusty axe!
I wanna know voodoo!
A fat bitch named Bridget!
..And a little sip of Faygo too.
'
I...really didn't know what to say to that.)


Still, after a while their sheer affection for the music won me over and the sincere value they placed on loyalty and friendship was something I really admired. There were a few shitty upbringings among them and a few regular lower-middle class ones but I suppose the only real similarity I could hit on for all of them was a sense of being Outside. They all felt that way, for varying reasons.

I had a lot of fun with those guys and felt the most accepted and appreciated I ever had by friends, 'til that point. So, to the positive bit and the happy ending, how did they turn out?

Four are living pretty regular, single lives - stable jobs all, still living in that same hometown though.
One has married, had a child and then made an utter hash of things and is now a rather sad, single man. But he has a radio show and is making a go of it.
The last three all joined the army as they'd dreamed of doing since they were young. Two are in 9 year-long very happy marriages with two kids apiece, all of whom call me Aunty Pseudo and are the target of my frequent hug-attacks.
The last one? Mefites, I married the hell out of that guy. Differing music taste aside, he's awesome. 10 years together this year!

And only one DUI charge out of the lot of us!

(White trash is a damn ugly phrase.)
posted by pseudonymph at 11:26 PM on August 17, 2011 [24 favorites]


I can't wait till ICP form a PAC and start wielding serious clout (in at least Michigan state politics) and politicians will be forced to go to the GoTJ to get a slice of that Juggloa Dollar.
posted by PenDevil at 12:22 AM on August 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


[6 favorites +] [!] I can't wait till ICP form a PAC and start wielding serious clout (in at least Michigan state politics) and politicians will be forced to go to the GoTJ to get a slice of that Juggloa Dollar. posted by PenDevil at 12:22 AM on 8/18

That made me chuckle. That's assuming they have money. Yes Michigan has a large concentration.
To get them to the polls just offer faygo and a dime bag of brick weed.
posted by handbanana at 7:18 AM on August 18, 2011


To me, Juggalo culture is the absolute ultimate example of "Not my bag, but more power to you." And considering I've found a lot of support in weird scenes of my own (from old school death rock and goth to extreme noise), I find their whole deal fascinating, if not necessarily something I'm interested in being a part of.
posted by infinitywaltz at 10:56 AM on August 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


actually, it was Burger King where I saw the Juggalos in full makeup. Middle of the day. No ICP concert in Philly that day to the best of my knowledge.

Huh--not even in Detroit, then. Wow.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:30 AM on August 18, 2011


what's a Juggalo?
posted by philip-random at 2:23 PM on August 18, 2011


$175, same as at the Gathering, ninja.
posted by Errant at 3:55 PM on August 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


I just saw a couple of Juggalettes walking around the in afternoon on a Thursday. In Edmonton. It was odd. To be fair, though, the Fringe is happening and they were in the area of the festival, so there is a bit of a carnival feeling in the city right now.
posted by asnider at 5:22 PM on August 18, 2011


Sorry, I should clarify my last comment: they were wearing full makeup.
posted by asnider at 5:31 PM on August 18, 2011


It's nice to see MetaFilter come full circle on Juggalos and get it that they're just a bunch of people having a go in the world. My life got So Much Better when I realized that we're all just doing the best we can while we muddle through - so much the better if we can do it with a little company.
posted by stoneweaver at 8:30 PM on August 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


89 things I learned at the gathering of the Juggalos. Don't go to the Faygo bar.

There were some comments here on these, these photos are fun.
posted by dabitch at 12:56 PM on August 20, 2011


Salon gets in on that juggallo craze today. It really has become a phenomenon of the internet writing establishment.
posted by ndfine at 3:06 PM on August 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


what's a Juggalo?

About 5 pounds.

Oh, sorry, thought you were asking what's a henway.

doesn't anyone know the old cheesy jokes anymore?
posted by krinklyfig at 3:44 AM on September 3, 2011


This was the opposite of the punk ethos, in which you resent having to pay even $5 to see 12 bands. That bourgeois posture of poverty always rankled me. Juggalos don't go in for that anarchist, everything-should-be-free thing. Screw that. They need gas money.

From the link ndfine posted, a Salon article. That's pretty good.
posted by krinklyfig at 3:50 AM on September 3, 2011


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