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July 23, 2009 11:25 PM   Subscribe

A (NSFW) infomercial for the 10th annual Gathering of the Juggalos. Juggalos being, of course, fans of The Insane Clown Posse so dedicated to the band that they've formed their own subculture (and slang!). The root of Juggalo fandom is Psychopathic Records, with The Insane Clown Posse and its scads of acolytes (treat all videos all NSFW). But there's also JCW (Juggalo Championship Wrestling), rumors of Juggalo gangs, Juggalo comedy, and (previously) religion.
posted by Bookhouse (228 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite

 
Your favorite band sucks.

Seriously.
posted by Riki tiki at 11:33 PM on July 23, 2009 [37 favorites]


Hey, clowns actually are funny!
posted by loquacious at 11:34 PM on July 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


Whoa, is it 1998 again?!
posted by Saxon Kane at 11:36 PM on July 23, 2009


This is the moment, shortly after posting a harsh or curt or sarcastic comment, when I would normally regret that I might be misunderstood.

...

Well, normally.
posted by Riki tiki at 11:39 PM on July 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


Wow, I just assumed they'd come to a bad end and become investment bankers.
posted by lukemeister at 11:46 PM on July 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is the moment, shortly after posting a harsh or curt or sarcastic comment, when I would normally regret that I might be misunderstood.

Well, the odds of there being an actual Insane Clown Posse fan on MetaFilter are pretty slim, so yeah, you're safe. But while the video is (IMO) hilarious, I am a little awed by the breadth (if not depth) of the subculture.
posted by Bookhouse at 11:49 PM on July 23, 2009 [4 favorites]


The way they spray around that Faygo, it's like the Jonas Brothers for white guys with bad teeth.
posted by felix betachat at 11:49 PM on July 23, 2009 [4 favorites]


The music is terrible but you have to admit that they've successfully built a fanbase which will keep them working for many many years to come, something plenty of musicians are going to wish they had in about five years time or so.
posted by PenDevil at 11:56 PM on July 23, 2009 [5 favorites]


God notice how all of there artists are really overweight. Just a subculture with a marketing team. They have been around for a long time though....
posted by highgene at 11:56 PM on July 23, 2009


My stepson liked these guys for about thirty seconds many years ago. Fortunately, it was during October and now my ex-wife has Halloween photographs that come in handy for all sorts of blackmailing purposes.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:02 AM on July 24, 2009 [13 favorites]


Dammit MetaFilter, you used to be my funhouse.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 12:05 AM on July 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


That actually sounds like it would be interesting to just observe from a cultural anthropology point of view.

Also I would need to have a machine that, at the push of a button, teleports me out of there after 5 minutes.
posted by chillmost at 12:08 AM on July 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Back in college, I had a Palestinian booty call. We'd met at a party and only really hung out for a couple weeks before we decided to hang out as "friends." We went out to dinner, and somehow the topic of conversation turned to religion, and immediately she flew off on this tirade about how the Jews were responsible for 9/11. I asked her what evidence she had, and she pointed to a New Jersey poet laureate who had championed the claim. She then went on to explain how the Jews are responsible for everything wrong in the world. Silently enraged, yet curiously amused, it was at that point that I decided to reveal that I was Jewish. If you ever need a better definition of awkward silence, remember this story.

I'm still more offended when she earlier revealed to me she was a fan of ICP.
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 12:13 AM on July 24, 2009 [141 favorites]


I never thought I'd say this, but this really should have just been a SLYT post. Maybe throw in a link to faygo.com (don't, would be my advice, but if you do, you might want to turn that volume down, ninjas).
posted by nanojath at 12:14 AM on July 24, 2009


The music is terrible but you have to admit that they've successfully built a fanbase which will keep them working for many many years to come, something plenty of musicians are going to wish they had in about five years time or so.

They figured out that transforming passing interest into immutable identity is a surefire way to get dedicated fans without any talent. They're furries who are more into makeup than costumes.
posted by allen.spaulding at 12:19 AM on July 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


I've never heard them called Juggalos. I've just been using "sociopathic shitheads".
posted by fleacircus at 12:22 AM on July 24, 2009 [4 favorites]


MetaFilter: back in college, I had a Palestinian booty call
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:23 AM on July 24, 2009 [8 favorites]


I'm just gonna recycle this comment: Don't forget ANDREW WK VS. THE JUGGALOS.
posted by boo_radley at 12:26 AM on July 24, 2009 [21 favorites]


Free BBQ! First Aid stations! Helicopter rides! Seminars! Stilt walkers! Coolio!
You really need to devote 15 minutes to watch that entire video as it sways between being a third rate wrestling promo and a commercial for a county fair. If the non sequiturs continued to build it would come across as parody but they're interspersed so evenly. These guys either went small-town corporate a long time ago or are total 100% earnest. Or maybe both. Nothing wrong with that as long as they stay the hell away from me. Although I think I might have a little crush of Sugar Slam and the terribly unconvincing way she curses.
posted by thecjm at 12:27 AM on July 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


I have a friend who's a "Juggalo" and attends the above described event whenever it's held. Apart from that, I don't know much about the group and I don't think I've ever listened to one of their songs all the way through.

However, I did read this a while back. It paints ICP as all-around also-rans and losers, living in the shadow of more talented acts such as Eminem and Kid Rock. I don't really have an opinion on the group, myself, knowing so little about them, but I like the article.
posted by Clay201 at 12:27 AM on July 24, 2009


I knew someone who used to work at Sears, and his method of catching shoplifters he would be "Juggalo Profiling." he would follow kids with the juggalo look (or if they were wearing an ICP shirt, etc) Lo and behold, every kid with an ICP shirt/demeanor would be up to no good. He said it worked every time.
(at least that's what he told me, I'm certain there are many fine law-abiding Juggalos)
posted by hellojed at 12:37 AM on July 24, 2009 [8 favorites]


getting in early in case they all die in a plane crash

.
posted by mattoxic at 12:37 AM on July 24, 2009 [6 favorites]


However, I did read this a while back. It paints ICP as all-around also-rans and losers

Hah. The "TruthMedia" reviews are deliberate trolls. The idea was to write critical reviews about pop culture memes with rabid fan bases while making lots of minor factual errors. After they were written forum goons would post them all of the web in order rile up the fans. Here is their review of The first lord of the rings movie for example.
posted by delmoi at 12:42 AM on July 24, 2009 [4 favorites]


Is this one of those things that you look, think "oh, that's cute, mildly interesting", then you start to walk away, illumination dawns on you, and you go "OH MY GOD! THEY'RE SERIOUS! THEY ARE ACTUALLY SERIOUS!" and you lose a bit of your faith in mankind?
posted by qvantamon at 12:45 AM on July 24, 2009 [7 favorites]


Metafilter: All-around also-rans and losers, living in the shadow of more talented acts such as Eminem and Kid Rock.
posted by Cathedral at 12:48 AM on July 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


well, you have compelled me to finally get around to paying a little attention to this cultural phenomenon

they sound like nerds and they suck
posted by pyramid termite at 12:51 AM on July 24, 2009


May not like their music, but most of the Juggalos I've met have been perfectly nice (and generous with the ganja).

This thread makes me think of if the nerds in high school made fun of the... the... whatever the Juggalos are. Anyhow, it doesn't reflect well on y'all, I don't think.

(full disclosure: a friend tried to get booked on the festival's wrestling show as a ref only to be told that he 'wasn't enough of a Juggalo.')
posted by jtron at 1:01 AM on July 24, 2009 [4 favorites]


told that he 'wasn't enough of a Juggalo.'

I would take that as a compliment of the highest order.
posted by item at 1:06 AM on July 24, 2009 [9 favorites]


This is what happens when high fructose corn syrup meets low educational standards.
posted by Spacelegoman at 1:09 AM on July 24, 2009 [55 favorites]


Also: how many here decrying the clowns' music were rocking out to "Punch 'Em In The Dick" not very long ago? It's a fine line, my friends, a fine line indeed.
posted by jtron at 1:11 AM on July 24, 2009 [22 favorites]


There was a dude from my high school, which was in a pretty nice neighborhood, who came from a severely fucked up and poor household who was a "Juggalo."

And, yes, it sounds pretty lame but the music and culture gave this guy a reasonably non-destructive way to express himself and belong to a group of peers whose super-ordinate identification with ICP kept him from being a total pariah.

And, out of all the class of rich little shits, he was actually one of the better behaved. So say what you will, but this relatively harmless subculture is sometimes the only thing keeping people from some serious fucked up shit (read: real gangs).
posted by tastydonuts at 1:26 AM on July 24, 2009 [23 favorites]


Not since performing (what I thought was) an innocuous search on the term "flatbiller" years ago to parse something I read online -- and the journey through subculture hell that followed -- has my nervous system experienced this particular mix of horror, fascination, sadness,...it's pretty fucking amazing really.

I've heard of "ICP" before, but this. This. Holy shit. Do women actually go to festivals like that? Not unarmed surely, but even then?

I might be completely off my rocker, but those, well, clowns, strike me as some of the most misogynistic bunch of assholes to walk the earth. Granted, for all I know they're right sweethearts beneath all that bullshit bravado and scandalous makeup. Somehow though, I really doubt it.
posted by Glee at 1:37 AM on July 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


This is the first time I'm heard them. That sound they're going for? It was done a lot better in 1991 with Bring the Noise.

If these guys really think they're all that hard, they've missed out on at least twenty years of music.
posted by creasy boy at 1:43 AM on July 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


I actually live in IL, so maybe I should go to this and make a documentary. I am not an ICP fan, but this actually looks like a lot of fun. You know, after doing a little bit of research into this whole Juggalo family thing, it starts to make a lot of sense. The more people "hate on" them, the more they seem to bond together. There is actually a whole culture of intense hate for these people. Maybe I should spend the next few weeks doing research (listening to Psychopath stuff) and infiltrate this movement for science.
posted by TheCoyote23 at 2:27 AM on July 24, 2009 [4 favorites]


Glee: One of the obsessions in Insane Clown Posse lyrics is a strong stance against violence directed towards women. Maybe it stems from a blown up adolescent sense of machismo, but things like the Rhihanna incident are what really drive Juggalos over the top. A woman attending an ICP event might feel she is in a bizarrely warped boy scout jamboree, but she would probably be very physically safe.
posted by zaelic at 2:35 AM on July 24, 2009 [12 favorites]


"Magicians and hypnotists walkin around that bitch"

"Calling all fat kids it's time to get paid: free cheeseburgers all afternoon long"
posted by unmake at 2:54 AM on July 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


getting in early in case they all die in a plane crash

.
posted by mattoxic at 12:37 AM on July 24 [+] [!]


Beat me to it. My dot is now for:

- the tiny speck of Zen detachment I am now building in my psyche for the little file of ICP-knowledge I now possess.

Knowing that if I go any further, true detachment will be impossible and I will have to face the staggering reailzation that this whole Juggalo/Faygo/ICP/face-paint fanbase for the WORST MUSIC EVER MADE BY ANYONE EVER FOR ANY REASON EVEN EXISTS.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 3:01 AM on July 24, 2009


This makes Japanese pillow romancers seem not so bad.
posted by dortmunder at 3:35 AM on July 24, 2009 [5 favorites]


Does anyone else think this is the Timecube of music festivals?
posted by festivemanb at 3:41 AM on July 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


The best part of this whole thing, to me, is that Stereogum picked up the video from a tweet from TED LEO. Who is pretty much the antithesis of the above.
posted by The Michael The at 3:57 AM on July 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wait, we're this far into an ICP thread and no one's posted this yet? I thought it was legally required.
posted by Rangeboy at 4:00 AM on July 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


I wonder what Coolio is going to think.
posted by avianism at 4:02 AM on July 24, 2009


Not my thing but looks like they're having a hell of a lot of fun, and pissing their parents off to boot.

Half thier luck.
posted by onya at 4:05 AM on July 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


What, Five for Fighting isn't opening the show? Shit.
posted by jbickers at 4:09 AM on July 24, 2009




Also: how many here decrying the clowns' music were rocking out to "Punch 'Em In The Dick" not very long ago? It's a fine line, my friends, a fine line indeed.

At least as far as how it was presented, "Punch 'Em In The Dick" was a comedy/parody song meant to be a send-up of hyper-aggressive rap. The song's writers have tongue-in-cheek sensibilities, and the wordplay was pretty spot-on. In comparison, you can call ICP and their fans earnest, but that's about it.

This "fine line" you speak of is similar to decrying someone for being hypocritical for rocking out to "White and Nerdy" while having no appreciation for Chamillionaire.
posted by explosion at 4:19 AM on July 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


how many here decrying the clowns' music were rocking out to "Punch 'Em In The Dick" not very long ago?

Read the first comment in the thread for that song. mediocre was not amused. Frankly, I can't hate on ICP because they're just so dumb. When "I Want My Shit" comes on in shuffle on my iPod, I don't skip it. It's actually pretty fun.
posted by uncleozzy at 4:29 AM on July 24, 2009


Do you think National Beverage will send a corporate representative, someone to congratulate ICP on their ten year anniversary and to thank all their fans for supporting the Faygo line of carbonated beverages and associated products? I hope they do.
posted by grabbingsand at 4:45 AM on July 24, 2009


Don't mind me, explosion; my late-night rhetorical idiocy was in fact my subconscious telling me to listen to "Punch 'Em In The Dick" 3 or 4 times straight (which I did, and I'm feeling much better now).

I was being more serious when I mentioned that it seems really ugly for the Metafilter crowd to be dissin' on people because they dress funny, listen to funny music, etc. They seem pretty benign as far as these things go.

mothafuckas talk shit, man, punch 'em in the dick
posted by jtron at 4:49 AM on July 24, 2009 [5 favorites]


In comparison, you can call ICP and their fans earnest, but that's about it.

They rap about having magical powers and being immortal.
posted by uncleozzy at 4:53 AM on July 24, 2009 [6 favorites]


Fascinating.
posted by Divine_Wino at 5:00 AM on July 24, 2009


I have never rocked out to "Punch 'Em in the Dick."
posted by billysumday at 5:01 AM on July 24, 2009 [6 favorites]


In comparison, you can call ICP and their fans earnest, but that's about it.

Great, now I have a treatment for Ernest Meets the Juggalos on my hard drive. Now I'm shopping it around to movie studios. Now I've sold it. Now I have to direct the damn thing.

Thanks a fucking lot.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:06 AM on July 24, 2009 [29 favorites]


There's a group of kids in this town who dress like the ICP, makeup and all, and call themselves a gang, rather "The Juggalos."

I guess they decided to be hot shit a couple months ago and start doing real crimes, and now a couple are in prison and a couple are shipped off and a couple are in hiding because they pissed of *actual* bad people.

They do scare old ladies and children though.

I personally lace up my lollerskates and glide right on by.
posted by TomMelee at 5:10 AM on July 24, 2009 [5 favorites]


About five years ago, a group of friends and I went to a local amusement park for the afternoon. We're all over 30, pasty white from staring at computer monitors all day, and lean fairly heavily into the artsy/nerd stereotype. This amusement park is one that we've all grown up with and have memories burned into our brain of "how it has always been." We walked through the gates, anticipating the traditional vision of cotton candy and the midway, and walked smack into a local ICP/Juggalo gathering. I would say of all of the people at the park that day, the Juggalo to non ratio was 75/25%.

Every line we stood in would be packs of Juggalos, only very occasionally broken up by people like us, or families with kids. I'm sort of shy, and costumed characters (Santa, Easter Bunny, sports mascots) terrify me. So there was a certain level of anxiety being surrounded by these folks. But you know what? They were fun. Hella fun. They weren't jerks (beyond the occasional chanting of "Jug-a-lo, Jug-a-lo" en masse) and it was fascinating to be surrounded by a "weird" subculture of people just out having a good time, among "their people." You haven't seen anything until you see a roller coaster filled completely with Juggalos, all hands in the air and screaming with a combination of terror and glee. We've gone to the amusement park a few times since then, and frankly, it's just not the same without them.
posted by librarianamy at 5:10 AM on July 24, 2009 [84 favorites]


Also: how many here decrying the clowns' music were rocking out to "Punch 'Em In The Dick" not very long ago? It's a fine line, my friends, a fine line indeed.

I was, (and thanks for the reminder) now "rocking out" to "Punch 'Em In The Dick" - If insane Clown Posse can match "Punch 'Em In The Dick" - then they know where to go. Duke em up clown boys.
posted by mattoxic at 5:11 AM on July 24, 2009


Nuke it from space, it's the only way we can be sure....
posted by photoslob at 5:42 AM on July 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


I am totally showing up at this gathering with my fuck-pillow.
posted by orme at 5:43 AM on July 24, 2009 [3 favorites]


It's easy to see how PAX or a ren faire or a tradeshow or a metafilter meetup are qualitatively different from this garbage. In the way that people with similar interests are all hanging out together and reveling in their quirks and shared culture.

Wait a second, no it's not. Rock out with your bad selves Juggalos.
posted by Skorgu at 5:45 AM on July 24, 2009 [9 favorites]


How did we get this far and also forget JuggaLove, the Juggalo Dating Service?
posted by mrzer0 at 5:48 AM on July 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


it was at that point that I decided to reveal that I was Jewish

Yer doin it wrong. Kirk Douglas waited until after his swimmers were in the Jordan. I'm not into biographies but that story was PRICELESS. What was it he said? "Guess what bitch, you just got f*cked by a Jew." THAT'S old school.

IANAJ
posted by rahnefan at 5:57 AM on July 24, 2009 [7 favorites]


I always thought 'Chicken Huntin' was kinda fun back in the day.
posted by spirit72 at 6:02 AM on July 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


to thank all their fans for supporting the Faygo line of carbonated beverages

A while back, I started seeing bottles of orange Faygo at my mom's house. That was a little unusual so I asked her why she was suddenly on a Faygo kick. She said that she'd become nostalgic for the cheap sodas of her youth. I accused her of being a secret Juggalo. "Is that what you call someone who likes orange soda?" she asked.

We've gone to the amusement park a few times since then, and frankly, it's just not the same without them.

If I were King, I would provide a certain number of Juggalos to every amusement park, funfair, and carnival in the land!
posted by octobersurprise at 6:03 AM on July 24, 2009 [4 favorites]


Ice Cube! Gwar! Coolio! Vanilla Ice!
I'm so totally there.
posted by brevator at 6:06 AM on July 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Haters should also note that MC Chris will be appearing.
posted by uncleozzy at 6:09 AM on July 24, 2009 [4 favorites]


There's a group of kids in this town who dress like the ICP, makeup and all, and call themselves a gang, rather "The Juggalos."

Perhaps they're just Akira fans.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 6:10 AM on July 24, 2009 [4 favorites]


You know, I've been hearing about the Juggalos for a while now, sort of on the periphery of my attention, and I have to say I had imagined something much crazier and more sinister. The experience of watching the videos in this post was like if someone had told me there was a magical world of candy where magic is real and all your dreams come true and then I found out they were talking about the 7-Eleven.

If you click the "Informercial" link you see this: "The second half of this video alone will basically juggablow your mind." And then they show an ad for a county fair? I mean, Water slide? WATER SLIDE? This is what all the hubub was about? This is what our rebellious youth are up to? Maybe my expectations were too high because for some months now I have been hearing things like those juggalos are fucking crazy. And now I find out that the crazy thing they did was to set up a water slide? And a board with balloons on it that you throw darts at and win a prize? What are they going to get up to next? Fourth of July Barbecue? Easter parade? I just... I guess put me down as someone whose mind was just juggablown.
posted by The Loch Ness Monster at 6:11 AM on July 24, 2009 [14 favorites]


“What is a Juggalo? A dead body / Well he ain’t really dead, but he ain’t like anybody that you’ve ever met before / He’ll eat Monopoly and shit out Connect Four.” –ICP, “What is a Juggalo?”

Intro to Vice Magazine's article "In the Land of the Juggalos"
posted by brevator at 6:11 AM on July 24, 2009 [9 favorites]


The whole thing really is worth watching. The first 2.5 minutes are kind of exactly what you'd expect and not really particularly interesting, but once they get to the presenters it really becomes, um... Something. I completely bought "DJ Clay" and his enthusiasm, even if he was a bit stiff. For some reason the girl didn't seem believable to me. When she swore and said something about one of the artists, it seemed like she had no idea who/what she was talking about and was just reading words of the teleprompter.

I'm all for mocking this video and the people in it but at the same time, I can't help but think that if there were some way to ... see what it was like at this thing from a safe distance.... I'd probably do it just because it'd be sad, and funny and surreal and David Foster Wallace isn't around to write an article for Rolling Stone about What It All Means.

But if you weren't a little skeeved out by the end, surely the, "AND SEX IS IN THE AIR *shot of woman showing her hip tattoo, shot of women wrestling*" made your skin crawl at least a little?

STILT WALKERS!!!! Burgers grilled by ANGRY CLOWN RAPPERS
posted by sparkletone at 6:18 AM on July 24, 2009


No, self-celebratory white trash having festivals isn't cool. I'm not falling for the "everybody be freeeeeeeeeee" bullshit turn this post has taken. Fuck these guys.
posted by grubi at 6:19 AM on July 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


Now this is awesome: according to Wikipedia, Faygo used to make a wine-flavored soda called "Chateaux Faygeaux" and a a nonalcoholic ginger beer called Faygo Brau "that looked and poured like real beer." What a shame that Faygo discontinued them! I'd give a lot to serve friends Chateaux Faygeaux in wine glasses.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:20 AM on July 24, 2009 [3 favorites]


Their own convenience store? What? I bet it's totally off the hook, yo.
posted by Talanvor at 6:23 AM on July 24, 2009


They seem more like the type to run a local dildoteria than a convenience store.
posted by grubi at 6:27 AM on July 24, 2009 [4 favorites]


I haven't listened to this band in years, but I wound up with a few of their albums because I knew these goth girls from rural Ohio who...you know, just saying that, I think I've pretty much outed myself as an ICP fan, because who else would begin a story that way? These guys are hilarious, and their fans are generally good people, and that's all I can say, really. Are they goofy as fuck? Oh my God yeah. I think (I hope!) that's the point. It's the same genre as "Punch 'Em in the Dick," absolutely.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:29 AM on July 24, 2009 [13 favorites]


Really, does that video not seem totally tongue-in-cheek? It's so over-the-top silly. I mean, I don't doubt that lots of the Juggalos take themselves way too seriously, but that video makes the gathering seem like an awesome time for Juggalos and non-Juggalos alike. Helicopter rides, wooop wooop.
posted by uncleozzy at 6:30 AM on July 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


ENTIRE PSYCHOPATHIC FAMILY
posted by koeselitz at 6:46 AM on July 24, 2009


I can't imagine anybody going to this shindig and not having a blast.
posted by dogwalker at 6:48 AM on July 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


If you click the "Informercial" link you see this: "The second half of this video alone will basically juggablow your mind." And then they show an ad for a county fair? I mean, Water slide? WATER SLIDE? This is what all the hubub was about? This is what our rebellious youth are up to?

Well, it's the county fair for kids who are too deep into some kinda low-grade anti-establishment stoppit-mom-you're-ruining-my-life thing to enjoy the normal county fair. It's like you've got your choice of two fairgrounds: regular and CRANKY.

And I can sympathize, because right now I'm cranky too — I'm getting no fried-cheese-on-a-stick this summer. So however these kids wanna get their fatty-food-and-waterslide action on is fine by me.

Apparently crankiness causes hyphenation. Who knew?
posted by nebulawindphone at 6:53 AM on July 24, 2009


grubi: No, self-celebratory white trash having festivals isn't cool. I'm not falling for the "everybody be freeeeeeeeeee" bullshit turn this post has taken. Fuck these guys.

Ah.

So, just so I understand you:

What you're saying is that you object to poor white people from the midwest having any sort of music they identify with or subculture that makes them feel part of something? And you also object to them being “self-celebratory” about it?

Whatever. I guess you must live in southern Illinois [checks] wait, no, you live nowhere near there, which leads to the question: why do you care so much? “Fuck these guys” is a pretty extreme reaction, and I have a feeling it warrants more justification than a slag on people's social status and a reference to the audacity of celebrating yourself and commemorating something you're a part of.

Hey, I'm no ICP fan, but I'm not gonna say all the kids that are are worthy of “fuck these guys” until I see more justification than “they're poor! They're white! And they aren't cowering in a corner like they should be!”
posted by koeselitz at 6:53 AM on July 24, 2009 [36 favorites]


He’ll eat Monopoly and shit out Connect Four.

Best thing I've read all day.
posted by jbickers at 6:54 AM on July 24, 2009 [5 favorites]


There's a group of kids in this town who dress like the ICP, makeup and all, and call themselves a gang, rather "The Juggalos."

Are they the Baseball Furies?
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:57 AM on July 24, 2009 [10 favorites]


Really, does that video not seem totally tongue-in-cheek?

Yes. And I get the feeling a lot of the fans don't take this shit very seriously. It's a bunch of people going away, getting drunk and high, and having fun. They might listen to some of the music, but being there is the real goal. Pretty much like every other music festival.

I would still hate it, though. If I wanted to paint my face and sleep in the mud and shit where I can and listen to painful noise with a thousands of people I don't know or necessarily like, I would join the army and get paid for it.
posted by pracowity at 6:57 AM on July 24, 2009


Wow -- its just like the Lillith Fair. Except, you know, with a lot more angry clowns.
posted by spilon at 7:01 AM on July 24, 2009 [16 favorites]



Well, it's the county fair for kids who are too deep into some kinda low-grade anti-establishment stoppit-mom-you're-ruining-my-life thing to enjoy the normal county fair.


For Juggalos, a normal county fair is less an opportunity for amusement, and more of a career fair.
posted by Benjy at 7:02 AM on July 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


All I know is that "House of Horrors" goes on every Halloween playlist I create.

Plus they created their own mythology, and that's always fun.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:11 AM on July 24, 2009


THE ARMY SO DOES NOT HAVE A WATERSLIDE.
posted by nebulawindphone at 7:12 AM on July 24, 2009 [11 favorites]


Juggalo baby funeral - Officially the saddest thing on the internet.
posted by freq at 7:13 AM on July 24, 2009


Due to a google search I can't remember, I ended up going down the Juggalo rabbit hole. I was lost for hours in the subculture. The wrestling, the cheap Faygo soda, everything.

And then I started reading about the life of Joe Bruce, a.k.a. Violent J, one of the two main ICP rappers. As I read about this guys life, how schools conducted canned food drives to feed his family because his dad split after stealing all their money, his mom's abusive boyfriends, and how he dropped out of school in the 8th grade and moved in with his best friend (whose life was no picnic either, but it wasn't the hell Bruce grew up in), it occurred to me that not only is ICP the best thing that could ever have happened to this guy, but that there's a pretty good shot that all of their fans have equally fucked up lives.

Think about it. A key hallmark in this culture is the kind of soda that grocery stores sell to people who can't afford Coke or Pepsi. These guys, and their fans, are barely above the safety stage of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Forget love. Love is a fantasy. For a lot of these people, food and shelter without a psychopathic parent beating the shit out of you or neglecting you entirely is itself a pipe dream.

What they get out of ICP is not a community - they get a family. That's why they refer to Juggalos as a family. And they mean it, in the truest sense of the word. Juggalos are their family, because their "real" family doesn't exist. It is very sad in a way, and depressing that there is such a huge segment of the population that live the kinds of lives that reveal the films Gummo or Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer to be accurate portrayals of daily life.

I'm sort of beyond making fun of it. Sure, on the outside it looks ridiculous and goofy. But it isn't campy in a Kiss or Gwar sort of way. It's more like something I'm keeping my eye on because it has the potential to go very wrong very fast if the guys who run it, who are now a little older and have some perspective, lose control of it. It's like 50,000 people screaming for help in unison, even though they know no one is listening.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:18 AM on July 24, 2009 [113 favorites]


explosion: …you can call ICP and their fans earnest, but that's about it…

That's ridiculous. Have you listened to this band? Have you met any of their fans before? They think this stuff is glorious, but that's because they think it's gloriously hilarious; it's a sort of twisted sense of humor that delights in the terrifyingly stupid and the stupidly terrifying, and that aesthetic (the same one that appreciates crappy horror films or streetfighting youtube videos) doesn't really appeal to me, but the last thing you can call it is earnest. These aren't old-school metalheads we're talking about here; they don't sit in their rooms and chant incantations and get all deadly serious when you mention their favorite band. These are the guys who laugh when they hear the lyrics about a wifebeater getting killed because (a) they find violence funny and (b) they feel like there's some justice in it. Not the way I feel, again, but it's not simple.

Anyway, this is worth checking out:

Insane Clown Posse vs. Bill O'Reilly, circa early 2001
posted by koeselitz at 7:18 AM on July 24, 2009 [5 favorites]


Holy Shit! Every time I think that video can't surprise me more, it does!

ICP music festival, okay, that sounds dorky and kind of lam...wait...there's a whole subgenre of clown-painted musicians?!
Ice Cube? Coolio? Vanilla Ice?! GWAR?
A comedy show hosted by another face-painted clown featuring..Pauly Shore?!
Now I want to see The Wrestler 2 with Rourke falling his way into the JCW.
SEMINARS! what

That was the best county fair ad I have ever seen.
posted by graventy at 7:20 AM on July 24, 2009 [2 favorites]



This thread makes me think of if the nerds in high school made fun of the... the... whatever the Juggalos are.


Well, yeah, we did, a little, although this was years before ICP or the Juggalos existed. I hung out with the nerds in high school and there were a few people that were too weird, asocial or irritating even for us. I used to contemplate them with a combination of guilt, because I knew that there but for the grace of Dr. Frank N. Furter went I, and relief that I wasn't at the very bottom of the high school food chain, which naturally reinforced the guilt. I could completely see some of them putting on the quasi-KISS makeup and pinning a few dreads on when they went out with their Juggalo friends on the weekend, if that had been an option then.

My sole encounter with Juggalos occurred at a comics convention where Twiztid was making an appearance. One of the people that I was with knew of them and had a low opinion of them, and I certainly have to agree that there was something about the demeanor of some of the Juggalos--particularly the Juggalettes--that indicated "low self opinion", but, you know, this is a comics convention, where despite the counter-stereotypes and comics are cool these days and blah blah blah, there's still a generous representation of Cat Piss Men.

So, yeah, it's easy to make fun of the lower-class kids with their randomly-appropriated subculture. It's not as if there might be a wee hint of envy, particularly if you don't have a big, sprawling "gathering" of your own to go to where it's not about the concerts or the sideshows as much as it is about just hanging out and belonging, if only for one lousy weekend out of the year.

But, hey, at least they're not Goreans.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:23 AM on July 24, 2009 [4 favorites]


As I understand it, the last album reveals the whole ICP mythos to be a parable for Christianity. As an atheist this makes me feel warm and tingly inside.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:27 AM on July 24, 2009 [3 favorites]


Man, this looks fucking awesome. It's like Burning Man for people who don't live on the West Coast and don't have the funds to build flame-throwing dragon buses to drive around.

It is not my culture; I'd feel out of place there. But damn, this sounds pretty amazing. It's a crazy blending of rap and goth and wrestling and a carnival midway. There will be seminars.

As a card-carrying member of the furry subculture in good standing, I applaud the Juggalos having their own giant festival of Juggalo awesomeness where they don't have to explain to anyone what this gothy clown facepaint is all about.

"And there's sex in the air - don't doubt it!" - yeah, that's going on at any subculture convention. Intoxication and freedom with people in your wide-spread tribe tends to lead to Con Sex. Hippies fucked each other at Woodstock and their other music festivals, nerds have been hooking up at SF cons since the fifties, dotcommers have been boinking at Burning Man, my own marriage started as sex at a furry con and is going pretty well. Making the implicit explicit in the official publicity material is kinda tacky IMHO, but hey, a lot of rap is about making the implicit explicit. If it's keeping you away, then good - I know that when I'm at a furry con, I don't want to be a freakshow for a bunch of jaded subculture tourists; I'm there to show off for my own subculture.

Here's hoping that the thousands of Juggalos who go to this will have thousands of totally awesome times.
posted by egypturnash at 7:36 AM on July 24, 2009 [24 favorites]


I just thought I'd clear something up. People don't buy Faygo because it's cheaper than Coke or Pepsi. People buy Faygo because Rock 'n Rye is freaking fantastic.

Aside from that, I'll concede that their imitation flavors (Cola, Moon Mist, etc) are fairly blah.
posted by Dr-Baa at 7:37 AM on July 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


I manage a shop that's sort of a mom-and-pop version of Hot Topic, and Juggalos are a huge part of our customer base. I'd much rather deal with them than the average Hollister-clad kids. Much less likely to shoplift, an order of magnitude more fun. ICP fans tend to be open, friendly, and enthusiastic. They don't care about seeming cool at all, and they're smarter than most people want to believe. If you're interested in joining their subculture, they will welcome you warmly.

Sure, they tend to be poor and from rough family backgrounds, and often are fat and/or physically unattractive. So what? They're good people. I can't help being annoyed at the classism some Mefites are displaying in this discussion, perhaps because I live in a working class community.

Interestingly, some of the original ICP fans have children who are Juggalos themselves; ICP family bonding!

The music is pretty bad, but it never gets played on the radio or TV, so it's not being forced on anyone.

However, I will no longer order directly from their merchandising arm, Hatchetgear. I don't know if the guys in ICP have their moms running it or what; in ten years of ordering merchandise for the shop, I've never encountered such bad service. It's almost as if they don't actually want to sell us stuff.

Now, I'm off to see if we can finally get Faygo in Minnesota. It might make the shop a few extra dollars.
posted by LynstHolin at 7:37 AM on July 24, 2009 [22 favorites]


Every time I see someone with an ICP tattoo, I think to myself "You are so going to regret that in a few years."
posted by elder18 at 7:38 AM on July 24, 2009


the whole ICP mythos to be a parable for Christianity. As an atheist this makes me feel warm and tingly inside

Again: there is no post so f-ed up that Mefites cannot turn it into LOLXIANS.
posted by rahnefan at 7:41 AM on July 24, 2009 [7 favorites]


Nuke it from space, it's the only way we can be sure....

I find your lack of faith to the source material disturbing.

MeFi sure likes hating on these guys though.
posted by Dr Dracator at 7:41 AM on July 24, 2009


Younger generation listens to music that the older generation thinks is crap and does things that the older generation finds to be stupid. Film of the youth menace at 11.

Faygo Red Pop ain't bad. It taste just as good as the expensive stuff
posted by double block and bleed at 7:53 AM on July 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Making sure its been said: That youtube video about the baby funeral does have a picture of the dead baby, in casket, wearing ICP shit. I didn't know this when I clicked on it, and am now unhappy that I did. Just wanting to make sure no one else accidentally looks at a dead baby.
posted by lazaruslong at 7:56 AM on July 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Q: How do you kill the Dark Carnival?


A: Go for the Juggalo.

I am ashamed to admit that I thought of that awhile ago and have sort of been saving it for the next ICP thread.
posted by norm at 7:57 AM on July 24, 2009 [10 favorites]


I have heard from a friend (circa 1998) that they clear over $1 million a year in merch sales alone. I took this as gospel because at the time they had 22 or so different hockey jerseys on their site each selling for $120.
posted by Asbestos McPinto at 7:57 AM on July 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


As I understand it, the last album reveals the whole ICP mythos to be a parable for Christianity. As an atheist this makes me feel warm and tingly inside.

As an atheist it terrifies me. It shows me how there's no mythos so stupid, so kludgy, so concocted on the fly that it won't attract lost souls and socially inadequate types in need of acceptance.

Frankly, I'd rather see some of these messed up people in a mainstream church. Which is not to say that all juggalos are lost souls and damaged people... just a higher percentage of them than you'd find in a demographic that doesn't go in for evangelical clown-rap.
posted by fleetmouse at 7:57 AM on July 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


The UK equivalent of this would be a cult of kids attempting to look like Northern Uproar.
posted by mippy at 8:02 AM on July 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Reading the article Brevator pointed to, I came across a mention of "Morton's List" as one of the Things Juggalos Do.

I googled.

And my respect for the ICP just went up by several notches, because this book of large tables to roll on randomly to find Something To Do is potentially pretty mindfucky; a bunch of the exercises in it are potentially gonna teach you some pretty interesting things about your brain and the world.

This novelty rap act has put out a document designed to train people to Think For Themselves under the guise of a game. That is just plain awesome.
posted by egypturnash at 8:09 AM on July 24, 2009 [24 favorites]


Younger generation listens to music that the older generation thinks is crap and does things that the older generation finds to be stupid. Film of the youth menace at 11.

I'm guessing that film is Reefer Madness.
posted by mippy at 8:11 AM on July 24, 2009


whoops, forgot to actual link to the online teaser PDF of Morton's List.
posted by egypturnash at 8:11 AM on July 24, 2009 [7 favorites]


I am wondering if there are lengthy infomercials that promote gatherings of earnest bookworms, or indoor festivals for fans of comic books and related arts, or elaborate get-togethers for rich nerds, or summits for serious Black men, or outdoor parties for middle-of-the-road types looking to get loaded and experiment with paganism, or traveling spectacles for car fetishists, or trade shows for people who like to make giant toys, or conventions for liberals who really care, and so on and so forth.

Because I know if any such video were to become a front page post, we would give its intended audience the intellectually curious, egalitarian treatment we are giving this subculture right here.

Alternately, I gather most MetaFilter readers are many things but not – unequivocally not – whatever it is ICP fans are.

Personally, I could care less for this music, its fans or their festivals. Then again, I feel the same way about 90% of the music that gets written up on MetaFilter. But so what? I'm happy for anyone that's got his own.
posted by noway at 8:22 AM on July 24, 2009 [6 favorites]


You know, they're an easy target, but what the hell. Mostly harmless? Not hurting anyone? Not my cuppa, but go nuts kids.
posted by jquinby at 8:24 AM on July 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


Alternately, I gather most MetaFilter readers are many things

No, MetaFilter readers are actually very few things cleverly and studiously disguised as many things.
posted by blucevalo at 8:27 AM on July 24, 2009 [12 favorites]


My god, that Morton's List thing is fascinating. My respect for this band just shot up about ten-fold.
posted by jbickers at 8:27 AM on July 24, 2009 [4 favorites]


These people ruined diet pineapple Faygo for me. I can't buy it without some crunchy cashier or bag boy asking if I have a hatchet tattoo.
posted by crataegus at 8:29 AM on July 24, 2009


I kind of want to go
posted by turaho at 8:32 AM on July 24, 2009 [6 favorites]


This would actually be a great premise for a Mike Judge-style comedy. Kinda combining the Not Sure and the pimpified army scientist roles from Idiocracy. Or maybe a comic along the lines of Transmetropolitan. There's an interesting redneck-dystopia quality to the whole scene, isn't there?
posted by es_de_bah at 8:38 AM on July 24, 2009


Man, "Juggalo" is such a cool-sounding word, in and of itself. It's too bad it's inextricably linked to ICP, otherwise I'd want to work it into conversation. It's sort of like "Grand Dragon," another title that would be so frickin' cool if not for, y'know, what it actually means.
posted by Captain Cardanthian! at 8:52 AM on July 24, 2009 [4 favorites]


Because I know if any such video were to become a front page post, we would give its intended audience the intellectually curious, egalitarian treatment we are giving this subculture right here.

Oh, get off your high horse. This is an awkwardly hosted video for what is essentially a music festival. Subcultures get made fun of everywhere.

I also kind of want to go. Vanilla Ice. In 2009.

That game is the most complex answer to "I'm bored" I've ever seen.
posted by graventy at 8:53 AM on July 24, 2009 [1 favorite]



The best part of this whole thing, to me, is that Stereogum picked up the video from a tweet from TED LEO. Who is pretty much the antithesis of the above.


And Ted Leo no doubt picked it up from The Best Show, where he is often a guest. On the July 21st show, host Tom Scharpling and comedian Paul F. Tompkins spend a good 30 minutes playing the commercial and cracking themselves up.

I think it's possible to laugh at this AND support the rights of Juggalos to find their own happiness in the world.
posted by billyfleetwood at 8:56 AM on July 24, 2009 [3 favorites]


I never understand when people get mad at other people having fun.

My favorite part of the video (ok one of my favorite parts) is when they show the midnight bonfire thing and it's just a huge stack of flaming cargo pallets, fuck burning man.
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:56 AM on July 24, 2009 [5 favorites]


Umm. Yeah, making fun of juggalos and juggalo culture is a cheap shot, and easy to do... they're mostly dirt-poor white kids too awkward to fit in with any other social group, so they're already used to it. It's more interesting to look at this as one of the few positive things emerging from lower-class white culture, that deals openly with feelings of anger and alienation, and turns them towards progressive values rather than the usual lets-blame-the-blacks/immigrants/non-christian pedagogery.

I actually like the music, but I also like zombie-rock from the 60's and psychobilly, so my taste was questionable to begin with. It's adolescent power fantasy in music form, which is why it ties in so well with pro wrestling.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:01 AM on July 24, 2009 [5 favorites]


Yeah, the whole ICP thing reminds me of stuff I read in sci fi thirty years ago.

The first time I saw ICP fans standing in line at a show in Ventura, I was all wtf, losers. I hadn't given it much thought since then, but viewing the first video ad for the gathering brings it all into perspective.

It's ok with me. It sounds like they have a heavy sense of irony, and they are doing it for fun. That's cool.
posted by Xoebe at 9:04 AM on July 24, 2009


As this thread progressed, I sort of started to change my mind about the ICP. Then I saw that clip of them on O'Reilly and it turns out they really are just douchetards.
posted by billysumday at 9:08 AM on July 24, 2009


I think it's possible to laugh at this AND support the rights of Juggalos to find their own happiness in the world.

This was pretty much my thought while posting this. I am listening to a funeral doom metal Moby Dick concept album right now and am going to Comic Con this weekend, so my high horse is a wee little pony.

And, c'mon. GWAR, Ice Cube, all you can eat cheeseburgers? My inner teenager sez YES.
posted by Bookhouse at 9:16 AM on July 24, 2009 [4 favorites]


When I first started in college radio, my timeslot as 3AM to 6AM. When I moved to a different night and time, an ICP-themed crew took over my old slot. This is their story.
posted by mkb at 9:25 AM on July 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


Personally, I hate ICP -- their music is terrible, they seem like douchebags, their fans seem like douchebags. But, then again, I probably seem like a total douche-monger to them, so, whatever. I'm glad they are having fun, and it seems like it is mostly harmless and not geared towards EVIL -- the Juggalo baby funeral notwithstanding -- so, have fun, Juggalos, but stay the fuck off my lawn, and I'll stay off yours.
posted by Saxon Kane at 9:26 AM on July 24, 2009


Oh Ice Cube...how you have fallen.
posted by thankyoujohnnyfever at 9:29 AM on July 24, 2009


Ice Cube's going to look back on that Lollapalooza with Ministry and be like 'You know, in retrospect, that was a professionally-run tour that attracted a bunch of well-adjusted young people.'
posted by box at 9:30 AM on July 24, 2009 [4 favorites]


You know what the 10th anniversary meetups for MeFi were missing? That's right. Helicopter rides.
posted by dhammond at 9:30 AM on July 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


My only experience with anything to do with ICP was about ten years ago, I was walking in downtown Houston for some unremembered reason and apparently ICP was playing. There was a long line of Juggalos waiting to get in to the club, all dressed up. As we walked past they all started yelling at us in a way that was scary, totally ridiculous, and yet, somehow friendly. Like, RWARHEYWHAT'SUP?ROCKONRWAR. I waved and kept walking and they waved back. Seemed like very strange but somehow friendly people. So, while I've never had a desire to have anything to do with that culture, I've never felt any negativity for them.
posted by threeturtles at 9:32 AM on July 24, 2009


a funeral doom metal Moby Dick concept album right now

I think I'm in love.
posted by threeturtles at 9:37 AM on July 24, 2009


JJ Walker? Dyn-O-Mite!!!
posted by squalor at 9:41 AM on July 24, 2009


On a certain "Random" website, which I will never admit to visiting, juggalo threads kill hours for me.
posted by mdaugherty82 at 9:45 AM on July 24, 2009


People are still playing Morton's List? That's beautiful. It was a staple for a couple dull years post-high-school.

I was sort of bummed that it never turned into a big Thing, because it was — well, I wouldn't have put it this way at the time, but if Point A is "OMG EVERYTHING IS LAME AND FAKE AND EVERYONE'S A SELLOUT AND I HATE MY LIFE" and Point B is spending a fabulous evening telling ghost stories or making sock puppets or jousting with cardboard weapons, then Morton's List is the shortest (and perhaps only) route from Point A to Point B. I actually kind of feel like it could have been a positive force in a bunch of people's lives if it had gotten popular.

We never realized it was a Juggalo Thing. Good thing too, or we wouldn't have played it. Juggalos were on the Lame Fake Sellout list along with everything else — we were in Michigan, and we'd had it up to here with ICP. I've mellowed out about that shit, but it took growing up and moving out of state.
posted by nebulawindphone at 9:48 AM on July 24, 2009 [3 favorites]


What is up with those crazy white people?
I mean, whenever we appropriate another culture (or subculture), we always manage to make it seem so much more, well, stupid. Maybe I'll mashup gay Harry Potter fanfic and the creation myths of the Navajo in the style of Chinese opera, but expressed in Ethiopian food. Or maybe I should just hit someone in the face with a traffic sign.
White people.
posted by rikschell at 9:58 AM on July 24, 2009 [3 favorites]


I have way too much tie dyed clothing in my closet to harsh on these guys for their choice in musical subgenres. The music doesn't do anything for me, but damn if that doesn't sound like a pretty fun music festival.

Also, I really agree with Egypturnash's comment that "I don't want to be a freakshow for a bunch of jaded subculture tourists; [when I'm doing my thing] I'm there to show off for my own subculture."

The vibe I got from that awesomely unselfconscious video was great, and totally changed my (admittedly limited) understanding of the ICP/Juggalo scene. I mean, they're gonna have hayrides. Hard to hate on a group that's gonna have hayrides and a waterslide.

Sounds a lot more like Woodstock '69 than Wood$tock™ '99.
posted by mosk at 10:00 AM on July 24, 2009 [4 favorites]


Due to a google search I can't remember, I ended up going down the Juggalo rabbit hole. I was lost for hours in the subculture. The wrestling, the cheap Faygo soda, everything.

Thanks, Pastabagel. I was beginning to loose faith that someone on MetaFilter was going to actually look into what was going on here. I think your rundown of ICP is spot-on -- and a lot of the kneejerkery going on here is exactly the kind of factor what drives the younguns to this stuff in the first place.
posted by tastydonuts at 10:04 AM on July 24, 2009


Every time I visit this thread I get sadder that there wasn't an informercial for the Metafilter 10th anniversary, featuring jessamyn and cortex and monster truck voiceover narration by mathowie. GROW SOME MOTHERFUCKING BALLS AND ATTEND A MEETUP, BITCH BOY.
posted by nanojath at 10:05 AM on July 24, 2009 [11 favorites]


ICP was playing at a club in my hometown many years ago and their, I presume, lone fan was skulking around downtown, waiting for their bus to show up. He was in Insane Clown Posse of One.
posted by bayliss at 10:12 AM on July 24, 2009 [1 favorite]




Metafilter: Is that even possible?! Guess what: it is possible. And it will fucking happen.
posted by joe lisboa at 10:16 AM on July 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


If you treat Juggalodom as neo-Dadaist, it's actually kind of fun. Morton's List is kind of a HeathKit to self-discovery and a nifty idea for the unfocused-but-aware. If you couldn't tell, ICP is one of my guilty pleasures although I'm way too old to be Juggaloing it up.

Intentional or not, there's something lurking below the superficial in the ICP-defined universe and some people who would never cotton to the idea that "there is something more out there" otherwise find it here. A lot of what goes down is what I and my friends were up to when we were in their target demographic--using non-specific and mostly harmless assholery stemming from unfulfilled curiosity to explore ideas of place and society. Of course if you phrase it that way you take all the fun out of it. Which is sad. Because it can be fun.

"some people" != "most people", YMMV, etc
posted by Fezboy! at 10:19 AM on July 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


I agree mainly with Pastabagel above, but there's a level of disconnect for me between "this is a subculture that gives poor white kids with poor social skills a chance to connect to other people and be part of a "family"" and "this is a subculture that strip-mines what little money that these poor white kids have, and puts them in an environment where they can only develop social skills necessary to interact with their new "family.""

I've been to outdoor music festivals. I was a regular at Punkfest in Marmora, Ontario, back when it was held at Spider's(RIP) property, next to and around his tarpaper-encased shack. That really drives me to understand things like this festival -- a few hundred punks, friends of punk, hippies, and general free spirits getting together for an anarchic long weekend of concerts, drinking, and tent living. And it all worked, year after year, astonishingly well. Other than the occasional OD, I can't remember any fights getting to the stitches stage; mostly people just did drugs,* had sex,** listened to punk rock,*** and didn't sleep for about 72 hours. The "organizing committee" handled things more like somebody at the seat of a runaway carriage, trying to steer things where they would do the least damage, and -- again -- it always worked out remarkably well. I was a bespectacled long-haired geek that looked more like a LARP fan than anything approaching a "punk rocker," but I was always accepted and embraced at Punkfest more readily than I ever was out in "the world."

So I totally understand the power of this kind of festival, and how it can do a lot of good, especially for folks that have a hard time finding themselves in step with 9-to-5 society.

But Punkfest was... free? Close to free? I don't recall. According to their Web site, Spider's last birthday bash was a $30 suggested donation, and if you were strapped for cash you got in free.

This costs $150. Per person. I can't imagine they're feeding attendees for free, and the social pressure to dress ICP and buy the merch, etc., is enormous. So we're talking $200, easily, from kids who are -- if we buy into the "this is a subculture for kids who are economically struggling" argument -- too poor to buy real soda.

"Family" has a price, and that price is probably four weeks' worth of grocery money per person, from people that can scarce afford it.

And on the "family" note, there's definitely a benefit in helping people who have trouble socially connect to fellow Juggalos, and help them make connections and bonds outside what might be some pretty dire social circumstances. In the end, though, I can't see how plugging these kids into "Juggalo culture" 24/7 will help them when the time comes, eventually, for them to wipe off the greasepaint and stumble out blinking into the light of day. Once you've Juggaloed up and bought in to the point that you're buying special coffins and clothes for your newborn's funeral, I can't really see how you're that much further ahead in the grand scheme of things.

So yes, I can see the good in this, and I'm not on the mock-the-Juggalos side of the equation by any means. But I think if you can't see some degree of exploitation here, you're looking at the clown makeup through rose-coloured glasses.

*Too scared.
**Too ugly.
***This, I managed.
posted by Shepherd at 10:20 AM on July 24, 2009 [15 favorites]


Pineapple Orange* (This flavor had a difficult premiere in 1961 or 1962, when unsterilized pineapple juice sourced by Dole fermented in the product and caused bottles to explode on the shelves.)

Man, Faygo sounds amazing. I've never seen any flavors other than the Coke/Pepsi knock offs, but I'd sure like to.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 10:24 AM on July 24, 2009


Serious question: What do Juggalos think of Sarah Palin?
posted by box at 10:36 AM on July 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Serious question: What do Juggalos think of Sarah Palin?

Probably something really obscene and, depending on your perspective, unflattering.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:38 AM on July 24, 2009


Also, this.
posted by box at 10:38 AM on July 24, 2009 [3 favorites]


I didn't pay attention to the lyrics of the ICP song that I posted above, but they really underscore the alienation that seems to be the mainspring of the subculture. It's like "Imagine" for socially damaged people:

Ain't nobody jealous, everybody has they own
Nobody locked up, everybody, everybody is free to roam
Lookin' at scrubby with a hottie on his side
Lookin' at rich kids, poor kids,
Everybody together on the same side
And they down to ride
...
Ain't nobody left out, everybody gets to go
It can never be too crowded, come on, we still pickin' up some more

posted by Bookhouse at 10:42 AM on July 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


"this is a subculture that strip-mines what little money that these poor white kids have, and puts them in an environment where they can only develop social skills necessary to interact with their new "family."

Yes.
posted by Saxon Kane at 10:44 AM on July 24, 2009


I grew up in the Rust Belt, in pretty much the right cohort for ICP fandom. I pretty much can't stand 'em (though there's a song they did w/Three 6 Mafia and a Portishead sample where the backing track is okay). Broadly, I think my feelings are somewhere between Pastabagel and Shepherd.

I've seen firsthand the ways that subcultures--punk rock, hip-hop, zine folks, rave kids, I could go on--can create meaningful art and change people's lives for the better. And Juggalo culture isn't that. It's kinda like that late-stage period in the lifespan of an underground movement, after it's all money-driven, top-down, bled dry by cynical capitalist profiteers, except that there's no 'eventually' here--the sellout was right from the getgo, and the cynical profiteers are Shaggy 2 Dope and Violent J. Punk rock makes people want to start bands and make records. ICP makes 'em want to chant and buy merch.

(The last segment of Douglas Rushkoff's Merchants of Cool is about ICP. Worth watching.)
posted by box at 10:51 AM on July 24, 2009 [6 favorites]


Whatever. I guess you must live in southern Illinois [checks] wait, no, you live nowhere near there, which leads to the question: why do you care so much? “Fuck these guys” is a pretty extreme reaction, and I have a feeling it warrants more justification than a slag on people's social status and a reference to the audacity of celebrating yourself and commemorating something you're a part of.

Hey, I'm no ICP fan, but I'm not gonna say all the kids that are worthy of “fuck these guys” until I see more justification than “they're poor! They're white! And they aren't cowering in a corner like they should be!”
Yeah I have to say, all the hate in this thread is pretty inexplicable as being anything other then pure class hatred, directed downwards. I mean, the video was obviously tongue in cheek, but it's like some people seem to think people of lower social status can't be self-consciously ironic.
posted by delmoi at 10:54 AM on July 24, 2009 [5 favorites]


(The last segment of Douglas Rushkoff's Merchants of Cool is about ICP. Worth watching.)

Is it worth the $24.99 Amazon's selling it for?
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:55 AM on July 24, 2009


Mmm--considering that you could interlibrary loan it, and that it's also available on Google Video or streamed from the PBS site, I'm leaning toward 'no.' Then again, I've watched it more than a few times and recommended it to dozens of people, so maybe.
posted by box at 10:59 AM on July 24, 2009 [3 favorites]


I was peripherally aware of ICP and had always assumed that they were urban and black, since (yay, let's play averages!) most rappers are black* and they came out right around when the inner-city clowning/krumping scene (cf Rize) was taking off. This is so totally not what I expected.

*and I mean, these guys are wearing clown makeup, so it's not like they're obviously anything at first glance
posted by kittyprecious at 11:17 AM on July 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Pineapple Orange* (This flavor had a difficult premiere in 1961 or 1962, when unsterilized pineapple juice sourced by Dole fermented in the product and caused bottles to explode on the shelves.)

Pineapple-Orange Faygo tastes just like baby aspirin. I used to drink Rock -n-Rye with bourbon - not too bad, actually.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 11:22 AM on July 24, 2009


Man, when a group of nerds finds another groups of nerds to pick on things sure can get ugly. It was over 100 comments into this thread before anyone mentioned a Mefi 10 meetup, the lead-up to which had a insular and eccentric group of 90,000 or so frothing at the mouth with excitement. Maybe no hayrides, but there was a block party. Pot, kettle etc. Haters, have a ball at SnarkJam 10.
posted by barrett caulk at 11:28 AM on July 24, 2009 [6 favorites]


One of the oddest things about ICP is the message on the song "The Wraith" on Shangri-La, which is almost the last in the line of albums with an overarching theme. Anyway, apparently the idea is they're Christian, or at least their God sounds pretty Christian to me. Not a fan by any means, but one night I got curious and started surfing around to see what the deal was with these guys. They sort of remind me of a more modern, hip-hop version of KISS - the music is not really that good, but they wear makeup, put on a big show and have a rabid fanbase.
posted by krinklyfig at 11:29 AM on July 24, 2009


Okay, I do kinda regret that my "your favorite band sucks" was the first comment in the thread. I don't hate the juggalos or begrudge them having their subculture or a big-ass county fair festival with helicopter rides and silly makeup. That part I'm good with.

But oh man, the music does suck. It's like the sound of fingernails scraping across the data side of a Manos: The Hands of Fate DVD.

The special edition.
posted by Riki tiki at 11:38 AM on July 24, 2009 [4 favorites]


ICP Music Festival == Yahoo Serious Festival

"I know those words, but that sign makes no sense." - Lisa Simpson
posted by tommasz at 11:42 AM on July 24, 2009


That's $150 for a three day festival, and covers camping, water and cheeseburgers, as well as rides. Metallica charges seventy bucks for a crappy seat in a football stadium for a three hour show. There aren't inflatable bouncy-houses, waterslides or hayrides, either.

A somewhat overpriced ticket and a concert-t are your idea of exploitation? Really? Have you heard of Amway? Television ministries? Hannah Montana? Some perspective, please.
posted by Slap*Happy at 11:45 AM on July 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


But Punkfest was... free? Close to free? I don't recall. According to their Web site, Spider's last birthday bash was a $30 suggested donation, and if you were strapped for cash you got in free.

This costs $150. Per person.


Yeah, but it's also way bigger, which requires much more infrastructure: 8,000 attendees compared to 500. More stages, more sound systems, more porta-potties. It is also in America, which means insurance and security is something that any place that hosts the festival is going to insist on. I mean in real numbers, what is that, like, twenty packs of cigarettes? 10 band shirts? That really seems doable for anyone who knows they are going months in advance. I don't really see it as a big money grab- we're talking about a festival with 120 bands.

Coachella is 270 bucks plus 55 dollars for camping, and there are no opportunities for helicopter rides there.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:56 AM on July 24, 2009 [5 favorites]


I also kind of want to go. Vanilla Ice. In 2009.

For what it's worth, I bought his first rap / metal album, Hard to Swallow as a gag. It's actually half-decent, and featured Shannon Larkin on drums, and guitars from Sonny Mayo. From what I've been told, he also puts on a good live show.

Here's what Ice has been up to as of late.
posted by Dark Messiah at 11:56 AM on July 24, 2009


A somewhat overpriced ticket and a concert-t are your idea of exploitation? Really? Have you heard of Amway? Television ministries? Hannah Montana? Some perspective, please.

Just because better fleecers are fleecing other people worse doesn't make fleecing okay, and the fact that the entire thing seems to position itself around needing to buy in to belong, for kids that have a hard time belonging in the first place, is what triggers my noxious reflex.

[And on preview: fair point about the comparison, oneirodynia -- there are a lot of factors that separate the two events.]

The mercantile elements of ICP aren't just restricted to their concert, but I was trying to make a direct comparison between my personal experience at a music festival designed to bring people who are part of an "underclass" together at a sort of "family gathering", and what I'm seeing at this one. Punkfest, for all its flaws, tried its utmost to be inclusive, DIY, non-profit and money-agnostic. "Juggalofest" doesn't hit the dizzying heights of money-grabbing that a lot of music festivals do, but it definitely puts a hefty price tag on "belonging."

Don't get me wrong -- I'm 90% in agreement with Pastabagel, and also with your (Slap*Happy, that is) earlier comment in this thread. I think that this is/could be/will be a good thing for a lot of people that don't have a lot of life options and ways to make connections.

But ignoring that fact that this is for-profit business designed to ultimately generate revenue doesn't do anyone any favours. I remember how pissed off my friend's mom got when she realized after many, many years that Jim Bakker was full of shit and had been sucking her money like a Hoover for decades while not really caring about her, his ministry, or his purported values.

I'm multiplying that by 50,000 and adding in the fact that these are in many ways angry people with nothing invested in society, and who already like lighting things on fire, and I get very very uneasy about what might happen if they come to a general realization that ICP is there to make money, not be their best buds and spiritual advisors.
posted by Shepherd at 12:08 PM on July 24, 2009


$150 sounds pretty cheap compared to the $270 you'll be charged to attend the Fairy & Human Relations Congress (which does not include hayrides, GWAR or Rowdy Roddy Piper! but does include meals.)

(the most awesome part of the video for me was the ad served by google: "elegant violin music for your wedding")
posted by vespabelle at 12:14 PM on July 24, 2009


So yes, I can see the good in this, and I'm not on the mock-the-Juggalos side of the equation by any means. But I think if you can't see some degree of exploitation here, you're looking at the clown makeup through rose-coloured glasses.

Christ, could you be any more condescending? What the fuck does "exploitation" even mean in this context? If they enjoy something and they're willing to pay for it, they're not being exploited. Period. The idea that poor people don't have any agency in their consumption choices is just enormously patronizing.

I hung out with a few borderline-Juggalo kids in high school. They really liked to play tough, but they were cool, nice kids, loyal and with all sorts of interesting hobbies.
posted by nasreddin at 12:15 PM on July 24, 2009 [9 favorites]


Half-decent? Which half was that--the rap-rock/nu-metal version of 'Ice Ice Baby' (If memory serves, it's called 'Ice Ice Baby 2000' or some shit) or the songs where he talks about his childhood pain? I got a promo copy of Hard to Swallow when I was reviewing albums--for at least a few years, it was my one of my go-to 'you won't believe how awful this is' selections (and, trust me, I know awful music). I'd rather hear 'Ninja Rap,' or that '90s album where he raps unconvincingly about weed.
posted by box at 12:16 PM on July 24, 2009


But ignoring that fact that this is for-profit business designed to ultimately generate revenue doesn't do anyone any favours.

One can be aware of that fact without finding it evil. I mean, do you think their fans don't know that the Insane Clown Posse is rich?

(on preview: nasreddin says it better)
posted by Bookhouse at 12:19 PM on July 24, 2009


But ignoring that fact that this is for-profit business designed to ultimately generate revenue doesn't do anyone any favours. I remember how pissed off my friend's mom got when she realized after many, many years that Jim Bakker was full of shit and had been sucking her money like a Hoover for decades while not really caring about her, his ministry, or his purported values.

Shepherd, no offense, but I'm sure you'll agree that there's a difference between a person who's selling religion and a person who's selling music and related trappings. The notion of for-profit religion should be intensely galling to anyone, I agree. The notion of for-profit music? Uh...I really don't think it's the same thing at all. It's very, very nice that nice people sometimes put on free music festivals, but just because the attendees aren't paying for them, that doesn't mean that they're really free. Someone's paying for all that stuff, even if only in terms of time taken away from paying pursuits.

I'm multiplying that by 50,000 and adding in the fact that these are in many ways angry people with nothing invested in society, and who already like lighting things on fire, and I get very very uneasy about what might happen if they come to a general realization that ICP is there to make money, not be their best buds and spiritual advisors.

I really don't think these are the unhinged whackos they're being painted as here. I'm sorry, but if rhetoric like this were being pointed at underprivileged black people instead of white trailer trash, this shit would already be in MetaTalk. The classism in this thread is blowing my mind, especially coming from such normally cool people.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 12:30 PM on July 24, 2009 [12 favorites]


Metafilter: gay Harry Potter fanfic and the creation myths of the Navajo in the style of Chinese opera.
posted by jquinby at 12:39 PM on July 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


ICP Music Festival == Yahoo Serious Festival

If there was a Young Einstein festival, I would totally be there.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 12:45 PM on July 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Christ, could you be any more condescending? What the fuck does "exploitation" even mean in this context? If they enjoy something and they're willing to pay for it, they're not being exploited. Period. The idea that poor people don't have any agency in their consumption choices is just enormously patronizing.

I think I could be more condescending, but it would take tremendous effort. And yes, I think I'm coming off as a colossal dick, because I'm overstating my case and not doing a very good job of it.

Indulge the asshole and let me try to dig myself out here:

I think the "poor people" thing is a blind alley to what I'm trying to say. I think poor people have total agency in their consumption choices. What I'm gathering from this conversation, and from a lot of the above, though, is that ICP and Juggalo "family" serves as a community to people who have had immense difficulty in their lives finding community. And that this community is driven, at base, by the motive to extract money from community members. I feel the same way about... well, a lot of the people Slap*Happy mentioned above in his list of bigger rip-offs than Juggalo concert festivals.

And that -- regardless of your personal bank balance -- if the only "community" you've been welcomed in is one with a vested interest in separating you from your money, that makes it less than a cotton-candy wonderland that empowers people and welcomes them into a benevolent clan of the like-minded.

Poverty is one of the factors that leads people towards the Juggalo community, or so the above comments and what I've seen seem to indicate. Juggalos, therefore, tend to be people with less money to lose/give away/spend on baby funerals to feel like they belong to the "community" that accepts them. That definitely pushes a button for me.

The classism in this thread is blowing my mind, especially coming from such normally cool people.

Am I being an asshole? I'm willing to accept that I'm the putz for believing the FAMILY! FAMILY! FAMILY! tone of the video and the vibe I'm getting from Juggalo fan sites, the Vice article, and what I'm seeing online, the MySpace pages and etc. from my brief forays into trying to get behind the Juggalo thing.

There's a huge grey area for me between somebody being socially inept and emotionally vulnerable and winding up giving all their money to a hypocritical minister; somebody being socially inept and emotionally vulnerable and blowing all their money on Japanese cartoon sex pillow covers; somebody being socially inept and emotionally vulnerable and winding up blowing all their money on Dodgers merchandise.

In all three cases, it's about feeling like you belong to something or that something is giving you emotional satisfaction and resonance. I have a decreasing order of distress for all three of those examples, and I think it has to do with how dependent the person involved is on the financial benefactor for their emotional and social well-being.

"Somebody being socially inept and emotionally vulnerable and winding up giving all their money to ICP" fits somewhere in that continuity, and I'm not sure where.

I am, though, pretty sure that "poverty" and "class" don't enter into it except that this seems to be a common thread among ICP fandom, and one that makes the consequences of spending $200 on a concert more life-altering than if you have three houses and a cottage in the Hamptons.
posted by Shepherd at 12:54 PM on July 24, 2009 [3 favorites]


In all three cases, it's about feeling like you belong to something or that something is giving you emotional satisfaction and resonance. I have a decreasing order of distress for all three of those examples, and I think it has to do with how dependent the person involved is on the financial benefactor for their emotional and social well-being.

"Somebody being socially inept and emotionally vulnerable and winding up giving all their money to ICP" fits somewhere in that continuity, and I'm not sure where.


And that's fair, but I think two things are being blown wildly out of proportion here: The messianic aura of ICP in the eyes of their fans, and the extreme poverty of said fans. I am sure that -- as with any other pop culture dilly-o -- there are Super!Fans who would happy sell their children for ICP tickets. I am equally sure this is not the average listener, and that (the scary part) no band can lay exclusive claim to deranged acolytes. I don't think we're looking at a potential riot if these ignoble savages can't afford to go to this show. I also strongly suspect that most of them can afford to go to this show (at least in the same way that most of us can afford to buy any kind of too-expensive item we don't need; i.e., by not paying for something we DO need). These are, for the most part, grownups.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 1:08 PM on July 24, 2009


Sorry, got the reference wrong for the ICP song mentioned earlier. I don't really know their stuff that well ...
posted by krinklyfig at 1:32 PM on July 24, 2009


I am, though, pretty sure that "poverty" and "class" don't enter into it except that this seems to be a common thread among ICP fandom, and one that makes the consequences of spending $200 on a concert more life-altering than if you have three houses and a cottage in the Hamptons.

How much were the Rolling Stones charging on their last tour? Are all their fans rich?

Uh ... Look, there is not a problem. This is just a band and its devoted fans. You ever go to a Grateful Dead show when Jerry was still alive? Their fans would sometimes quit their jobs and go on tour, some of them semi-permanently. They would beg for tickets and/or create a business to have the money to tour and buy tickets. The tours eventually got so big that they would do three dates in many cities at the same stop, and the tickets were usually $30-60 for each night. You could easily spend $180-200 or more for the shows at one stop, and the tour-heads liked to compare how many dates they'd seen, so the idea was you saw every show if you could. And of course there's a lot of psychedelics and other drugs around.
posted by krinklyfig at 1:38 PM on July 24, 2009


Anyone here old enough to remember what die-hard KISS fans were like in the 70s?

Same song, second verse. And most of those KISS fans turned out OK.

I suspect that I would have much more fun at this event than at a Phish show, but that's largely due to my propensity to kill and eat hippies. Also: cheeseburger and waterslides are awesome.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 1:38 PM on July 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


I have the sinking feeling that I started out just wanting to make the point that there's a not-so-hot side to this being positioned as a 100% awesome empowerment-for-the-underprivileged thing, worked myself into a lather, took that ball and ran with it.
posted by Shepherd at 1:55 PM on July 24, 2009


I suspect that I would have much more fun at this event than at a Phish show

It's hard to beat Phish when it comes to festivals.
posted by Sailormom at 1:56 PM on July 24, 2009


sparkletone: Burgers grilled by ANGRY CLOWN RAPPERS

The KFC thread was okay, but NOW I'm REALLY hungry!
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:58 PM on July 24, 2009


"Fuck the World" is a GREAT workout song. Don't believe me? Put it on your Ipod. You'll bench press eight hundred pounds. Six times.
posted by vito90 at 2:14 PM on July 24, 2009


I'm a lot younger than a lot of people in this thread, apparently, since I actually went to high school with a bunch of these people. At first I was just dismissive of them, because the music, really, is pretty terrible. Then I was more tolerant, because they actually are pretty nice, in a lap-dog kind of way. Then I was just sad.

This was a good sized high school, so there were a huge number of different social groups. There were some social groups mostly based around being of Latin decent, which was re-enforced with the fact that a decent chunk of those kids were in English as a Second Language. There were all kinds of groups based on what kids were in to, whether it was smoking pot or drinking beer, or drama club, or playing trombone, or whatever. Almost all of them were a group of people who had at least one similar interest and hung out together, mainly ignoring their differences of opinion and taste. Except for two groups, in which membership was highly monitored and noticed, and highly il-liquid. Two groups in which, to be a part, you had to buy the products, and buy enough to wear them every day. And buy them often enough not to be out of date. The richest kids in the school, in whatever Abercrombie shit, and some of the poorest kids in the school, in clown t-shirts. And neither group talked about anything other than buying more gear, who didn't have enough gear, and how they could be more a part of buying the gear.

The only difference was that the preppy kids all actually planned on going to college, and that they could afford the clothes *and* groceries.

I'm not picking on these kids and their meet-up, or whatever. It isn't in my back yard, so I don't have a dog in this fight. But if you honestly think this "family" is an all inclusive, loving, fair, open thing, then you clearly haven't seen it up close. Ditto if you think the majority of the fans who do this kind of thing are being ironic.
posted by paisley henosis at 2:14 PM on July 24, 2009 [12 favorites]


living in the shadow of more talented acts such as Eminem and Kid Rock

^^ REALLY?! ^^

I never thought I'd say this, but this really should have just been a SLYT post...

Yes, it should have, but you got the wrong one:

Tsimfuckis: tribute to my juggahoe dragon2307

I was gonna have to post TsimFuckis on the front page, but you saved me, Bookhouse. You saved me!
posted by mrgrimm at 2:30 PM on July 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


Thanks, p-hen. That was pretty similar to my experience (although I was at a large state college at the time), for what it's worth.
posted by box at 2:33 PM on July 24, 2009


Shepherd, I don't think anyone was saying that, though. I got the impression the defense was because a couple of posters were slagging the whole thing as being utterly too white trash and NOKD (not our kind, dear).
posted by palomar at 2:40 PM on July 24, 2009


I want to go to this with my rusted double bit axe, a bottle of Faygo, an overweight Labrador named "Bridget" and a guide to understanding the mysteries of Voodoo and see if I can finally put a stop to all this.
posted by quin at 2:59 PM on July 24, 2009


Many years ago, I worked with and ICP fan. He didn't do the clothes or makeup, but he had a lot of the albums. They had one song with the chorus "Please don't hate me, but I been fuckin your mama lately." That song sometimes comes into my head when I'm mowing the lawn, because near the beginning, he says "I was over there mowin the grass, when I could feel her eyes, all up on my ass. I went inside to make a phone call, and there she was with one titty hangin out her bra. One thing just led to another, and the next thing I know, I'm buttfucking your mother." I didn't care for them, but apparently, that was a memorable song.
posted by Stylus Happenstance at 3:05 PM on July 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


I was gonna have to post TsimFuckis on the front page, but you saved me, Bookhouse. You saved me!

OH GOD OH MY GOD DON'T LOOK DON'T LOOK

I'm pretty sure that's a person who's been, uhh, digitally remastered, but those videos give me creeps and I can't watch any of them for longer than half a second.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:14 PM on July 24, 2009


Um, can we please draw the line at making fun of people with genetic disorders?
posted by nasreddin at 3:21 PM on July 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


So we're talking $200, easily, from kids who are -- if we buy into the "this is a subculture for kids who are economically struggling" argument -- too poor to buy real soda.

as if cedar point was any cheaper - as if meijer's or walmart pop was more expensive
posted by pyramid termite at 3:22 PM on July 24, 2009


As I understand it, the last album reveals the whole ICP mythos to be a parable for Christianity.

This, more than the merchandise-shilling or the quality of the music, is what I find disturbing about the band. Was the whole series of albums a sneaky attempt to proselytize, a sort of religious long con, masquerading as the good dumb shock rock fun pioneered by Kiss and Alice Cooper? Or did they throw the religious aspect in at the end as a cynical attempt to broaden their market share and bring in the Christian punk/metal kids? Either way, it seems pretty disingenuous to me.
posted by infinitywaltz at 3:24 PM on July 24, 2009


maybe the xian thing is a joke, too. they'll let everything they're christians as a set up for their next song, "punch jesus in the dick."
posted by billysumday at 3:29 PM on July 24, 2009


Um, can we please draw the line at making fun of people with genetic disorders?

I may just be oversensitive to the potential for internet hoaxing, but I don't think that's really...real. (If nothing else...I mean, come on, that shirt?) If it is, then I do apologize.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:37 PM on July 24, 2009


One other thing: I think that Juggalo-dom, in its complicated relationship with irony and onion-like layers of kayfabe, has a lot in common with professional wrestling (which is, after all, very popular among the Juggalo set).
posted by box at 4:19 PM on July 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


kittens for breakfast, tsimfuckis [NSFW] is well-known [DITTO], as is his disorder, progeria. (Well, OK, not that well-known, maybe.)
posted by Halloween Jack at 4:34 PM on July 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


I recall a time back around 97' or so, me and a buddy go to get tickets for a Bone Thugs concert in a little, liberal midwestern town(okay, that pretty much narrows it down to Madison, WI), and they were giving out free tickets to some band nobody had ever heard of to promote them. The band was ICP. It's free, so we went. It was hilarious for the lameness factor. Medium sized venue with about 12 people in total there, all high school nerds. And I mean nerds in the bad way.

Me and my buddy just hang back and laugh at indescribable the stupidity of the white people gangsta posturing. Then ICP breaks out a chest full of 2-liter bottles of Fandango grape and red drink and start spraying the crowd. Back when you're an unknown act with zero fans, zero hit singles and just trying to get popular, unexpectedly spraying a tiny crowd of nerdy kids with soda as your signature move does not go over well. The crowd was pissed and moved back from the stage even further, and people left. Which was even more hilarious, as now ICP had to finish playing to basically an empty venue. My friend and I left too, as it went from being comically lame to tragically lame. I never could take ICP seriously in any way, no matter how small after seeing that spectacle.
posted by archae at 4:43 PM on July 24, 2009


I've been to more concerts than I can remember, varying from DIY punk shows held in someone's basement to an audience of 10, to arena rock affairs where the lead singer was smaller than an ant. One of those concerts was an ICP show. I'm not a Juggalo at all, but I liked that 'Chicken Huntin'' song, I had no plans, and I wanted to see what all the hype was about.

Two things stuck out in my head:

1. It was, by far, one of the most heavily merchandised shows I've been to - both in terms of merch available, and merch purchased. This was back in 2003, and they had some 20+ different shirts available for sale. On top of the CDs, hats, hockey jerseys, keychains, etc. I also saw people buy and then lug around multiple shirts. One person looked to have purchased 10 different t-shirts. I've never seen that before, or since. One kid even wanted to buy my ticket stub off of me, as Security didn't give his back. So, I did, for a dollar. I would have given it to him, but he insisted on paying. These people *really* love their merch.

2. It was also one of the most fun shows I've been to. I'd go again. The music, live, was bouncy and catchy, the ICP rappers, dressed up in superhero costumes, clearly had fun on stage strutting around and hamming it up, and the crowd just ate it up. Dancing, moshing, and dousing each other with soda. The highlight was when I somehow ended up in the front row for the encore, and that's when the band brought out the Faygo - and all hell broke loose. More fun with the band throwing bottles in the crowd, and shaking up bottles and spraying it all over folk. I didn't plan on getting soaked with root beer, but that's exactly what happened. One rapper stared at me, saw that I was dry, and rectified that situation. During 'Chicken Huntin', even.

I may not be part of their culture, I may not own a scrap of ICP gear, and I may hate to listen to their music - but damn if they don't know how to put on a really good show.
posted by spinifex23 at 4:51 PM on July 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


And archae, I am now jealous. I was in Madison during that period, and I would have loved to see that!
posted by spinifex23 at 4:52 PM on July 24, 2009


My bad then, Halloween Jack. I'd seen his videos before, but always figured it was some sort of movie magic dreamt up by Harmony Korine fans. Sincere apologies.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:05 PM on July 24, 2009


You know, speaking as a fan of a band that has gone out and traveled to shows in full regalia, as well as in/around halloween...1, dressing up like an idiot and wearing makeup out to see your band perform is just fine by me. It's the lifestylers that make me go WTF. I don't wear my "certain band headgear" every day. I'll wear one of the several T-shirts I have once in a while. When the occasion calls for it, I'll put on a full outfit and go out for an event. But if I'm going to the grocery store? I'll dress like a normal human being.

I'm certain some Juggalos keep their little subculture as a fun diversion. The ones we see the most of, however, make it their whole lifestyle, and that just bugs the crap out of me. Especially since the music sucks.

1I won't mention the band, but a look at some of my MeFi blue posts should tell you.
posted by SansPoint at 5:06 PM on July 24, 2009


Here's a YT clip where one of the ICP guys talks about the business end of it.
posted by box at 6:10 PM on July 24, 2009


In this version of Merchants of Cool, the ICP-related stuff starts at about 42 minutes in.
posted by box at 6:37 PM on July 24, 2009


Sucks to be a Dead Head... oh, wait... what?
posted by sid abotu at 6:54 PM on July 24, 2009


I have the sinking feeling that I started out just wanting to make the point that there's a not-so-hot side to this being positioned as a 100% awesome empowerment-for-the-underprivileged thing, worked myself into a lather, took that ball and ran with it.

Mmm, I see what you're saying about it though. I mean, Rainbow Family gatherings are huge, entirely free, entirely staffed by volunteers, and many many people are fed and housed and taken care of without any ticket fees or anything. There are plenty of runaway kids at these things, as well as life-long traveling types and all sorts of other free spirit people, and a large number consider it "family" and not just entertainment. So I think you have a fair point in that there is a merchandising side to this, and there's spin to make it seem like "we're doing this for you, because we're family", and I think that yeah, a lot of kids in the scene may not recognize that aspect. I do still think that what they charge for this event is pretty small; while hippies will dig their own shitters, pick up their trash, and feed hundreds on quinoa and dumpster gleanings, I don't see most of these people as being self-sufficient in that way. So someone has to be paid to do it for them.

There is an argument to be made for ICP exploiting their fans for money; but they are putting on a show. Some people are probably happy to pay just to see the show, and other people are happy to pay for a safe space to be themselves. It doesn't seem like they are necessarily getting a bad deal. No doubt there's a big push to get them to also buy all sorts of crap, but I think that is still up to the individual to figure out you shouldn't have to spend money to feel a sense of belonging. That's something endemic to many types and classes of Americans, though, and not just ICP fans.
posted by oneirodynia at 7:05 PM on July 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


that tsimfuckis video is all kinds of sad and weird.
posted by billysumday at 7:08 PM on July 24, 2009


Two words: KISS Kasket
posted by MikeMc at 8:20 PM on July 24, 2009


One of the obsessions in Insane Clown Posse lyrics is a strong stance against violence directed towards women.

I was a fan during my teenage years, when I was pretty eager to latch onto any musical recommendation from a friend for whatever reason. I started out with "The Great Milenko" which definitely did include some anti-domestic-abuse messages, but eventually bought some older material. Maybe they felt the need to make amends after lyrics like:
I admit it, I'm quick to hit a woman hey
But that's okay, cuz bitch, I'm Violent J
Love Song
And then there's the atrocious "Bugz on My Nugz..." Yeesh.

I still think The Great Milenko was pretty well-produced and interesting, especially at the time, but I feel a little dirty now...but I'll admit to occasionally listening to a song as a goofy, guilty pleasure. Occasionally they do (did?) a good job of making over-the-top violent imagery absurdly funny, but I'm sure that's something that resonates with specific people, along the same lines as people who laugh at slasher movies vs. people who feel some sort of "no man is an island" dread at seeing the hapless idiot get hacked to death by Jason (I experience both sides of the spectrum to some extent).

Awhile back I lived in a neighborhood in Lakewood, Colorado that was filled with juggalos. It was interesting observing them everywhere, especially since I'd recently been playing a lot of Grand Theft Auto and it was like they'd just spawn in groups out of nowhere like the in-game-gangs...

I didn't have any negative experiences and actually hung out with a couple at a picnic table one day. One of them went by the moniker "Chaos" and hinted as his partially-reptilian genetic ancestry...lulz!
posted by aydeejones at 8:23 PM on July 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


Um, can we please draw the line at making fun of people with genetic disorders?

We're not laughing at his genetic disorder. We might not even be laughing. Can we just not be amazed by his pseudo-gangsta style?
posted by mrgrimm at 8:16 AM on July 25, 2009


Hey, I'm no ICP fan, but I'm not gonna say all the kids that are are worthy of “fuck these guys” until I see more justification than “they're poor! They're white! And they aren't cowering in a corner like they should be!”

I like that people in this thread are attentive to classism. However, isn't possible to dislike these guys because of their lyrics? Have they changed?--it's been asserted above that they have an anti- domestic violence message now? Really? So, like, "I Stuck Her With My Wang" is old ICP then?
posted by flotson at 12:10 PM on July 25, 2009


Based on what I've read in this thread, I've changed my opinion of Juggalos somewhat since my comment upthread. In general, they're like almost any other subculture--you can't really assume anything about any particular Juggalos, or even any particular group, from generalizations or stereotypes. I'm sure that there are groups that are completely into the merch, as paisley henosis describes, just as there are groups that are completely into Morton's List (and, as someone who has just recently gotten into tabletop RPGs after years of nibbling around the scene, let me say that I find the concept of Morton's List to be utterly awesome, even if, as is true with RPGs or games in general, it's sometimes a little shaky in the execution(scroll down to the "History" section of the second entry)). There are probably quite a few Juggalos that are into both. Some defy classification [NSFW].

Which leads me to shepherd's comments, which, although I believe shepherd was sincere in making them, betray a certain very fixed worldview, at least with regards to society's outcasts and which cultures they might benefit from or be exploited by. I get the feeling that shepherd really believes that, if only "they [would] come to a general realization that ICP is there to make money, not be their best buds and spiritual advisors"(as if there wasn't a YouTube video, linked to by box, that discusses exactly that, in great detail), they'd go for something like Punkfest instead, regardless of the fact that, even when it was a going concern(the site hasn't been updated since 2006), it drew about 500 people, despite being within driving distance of both Toronto and Montreal.

And some of them might--it's not as if they're mutually exclusive, after all. Crazy as it might sound, you can live a DIY/freegan/off-the-grid lifestyle for 362 days out of the year and fork over $200 for a weekend of fun, as long as you're not obsessed with maintaining ideological/cultural purity. No matter what purists from any culture believe, it's not a zero-sum game. In fact, one of the worst, counter-productive arguments you can make for your culture--any culture--is to say, "Let's start with this premise: your culture sucks."

As for me, I'm strongly tempted to show Morton's List to some of my RPG group, just to see what they think, although I suspect that some of them will reject it out of hand when they find out that it's associated with Juggalos. We'll see.
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:27 PM on July 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


flotson: Maybe. Two people that I respect a great deal, Bill Hicks and Henry Rollins, both used homophobic insults early in their careers (Rollins called Bono a "butt boy" in one of his spoken word rants, and Hicks used "fag" in a pejorative sense in an early routine), although they both dropped them and Rollins has come around to being a LGBT supporter. People change, sometimes for the better.
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:30 PM on July 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


And then there's the atrocious "Bugz on My Nugz..."

you know, i really shouldn't have searched for that on youtube
posted by pyramid termite at 2:44 PM on July 25, 2009


The Ice Cube song in the promo is 'Wicked' (clean video), which, contrary to my initial thinking on the subject, is not the most ICP-esque song Cube's ever recorded. Sure, it's fast-rap, and it has a ragga chorus, and Korn covered it (and The Predator is the metal kid's favorite Cube album--these are two reasons, I suspect, why the ICP promotional team selected it (The Predator is also the high point of that weird NOI-sociopath pose that Common called out)), but hear me out.

Although there's a soft spot in my heart for 'Now I Gotta Wet Cha,' which features an intro skit teasing Cube's weed carriers' single (clean version (too bad 'Guerrillas in the Mist' isn't a Cube song, by the way, or it would have a chance at this thing)) and has lyrics about white devils and murdering the Rodney King jury, it loses ICP-ness because of a golden-age DJ Muggs backing track which heavily samples Solomon Burke's version of 'Get Out My Life Woman.'

I think the most ICP-stained song Cube ever recorded is 'Natural Born Killers,' which features a phoned-in horror-movie G-funk beat and a highly self-indulgent and cliche-filled video where he and Dre murder Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman (and just a guess, but I strongly suspect Cube wrote Dre's verses). More importantly for our purposes, though, it's as stupid as anything Cube's ever done, and that includes Higher Learning and Are We There Yet?
posted by box at 7:17 PM on July 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Having looked at this subculture some more, the sense it's glorifying violent masculinity, misogyny, and homophobia hasn't really gone away. But my (very) slightly better understanding is perhaps more nuanced.

Like most alternative artists, ICP & co. have to tour extensively and sell merchandise to really profit from their art. Nothing new to see there and good for them building something successful. The Violent J interview box linked to ended with how he stumbled into a mini-gathering (of painted "Juggalos") at some wrestling event. They didn't pay to play, just got together and socialized. He seemed sincerely proud having started something that brought people together. That said, it certainly seems more focused on commerce than subcultures I participate(d) in.

The music's ultra-violent themes is total camp, the gender and sexual equality issues are more problematic. Something you see plenty of in many other hardcore rap scenes of course. Still, it sucks that a subculture born out of such disenfranchisement and in opposition to restricting social norms can't see this more clearly and become more progressive. But I only scraped the surface, they might've evolved into a more inclusive, socially conscious movement and I have simply missed it.

One of my only prior encounters with this subculture was that documentary mentioned upthread, "Merchants of Cool," when it first aired. In it, the (young male) "Juggalos" in line outside the concert were paraphrasing the ICP song "Chicken Huntin'," chanting "Who's going tittie-fucking? We's going tittie-fucking!" That has probably coloured my opinion.

I did find some female artists associated with the subculture, e.g. G-Child, ill.e.gal, and on Hatchetgirlz.net, so it can't be a completely impossible subculture for women. And they make just as shitty music as the male "juggalos."

(Well, I actually liked a few songs, and Twiztid are good(!?) rappers -- and seem like pretty decent and funny(!?) guys.)
posted by Glee at 1:53 AM on July 26, 2009


This thread has not changed my theory that the only people who take ICP more seriously than Juggalos are those who don't like them.
posted by Evilspork at 3:06 AM on July 26, 2009 [4 favorites]


In college, en route to an education minor that I eventually abandoned, I ended up taking a course in which approximately 85 percent of the students were sorority and fraternity members. Of the remaining few of us, one girl happened to be a Juggalo. Although I found myself repulsed a bit by her manner of dress and relative lack of social graces, I immediately appreciated her presence in the class, 'cause she was inherently willing to challenge orthodoxy and the "conventional wisdom" spewed by the other students.

Although she was clearly enmeshed in her own kind of groupthink, it was a wholly different strain than what the rest of the (mostly white, rich, incredibly privileged) group had bought into. To that point, I'd never thought of the Juggalo perspective as particularly "refreshing" in any sense, but in that homogenized, white-bread environment...it kind of was.
posted by limeonaire at 10:21 AM on July 26, 2009


box: (and just a guess, but I strongly suspect Cube wrote Dre's verses)

My understanding is that Dre's verses are commonly written by his co-MC on any given track.

As examples: his verse in G-Thang which might not have sounded ridiculous if Snoop had done it, and California Love, which is clearly a Pac verse, in Dre's voice.
posted by paisley henosis at 12:12 PM on July 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


A bit late to the party, but I'll throw in my $.02:

I've heard such punk luminaries at Mike Ness give rambles about being a 'punk' back in the day, they usually go something like this "if you had blue hair, you couldn't get a job, you had to be ready for a fight walking down the street, everyone hated you, but you had a family." Fast forward to a world where everyone can stare, gawk, listen and examine every nuance of youth culture: today.

It doesn't really matter what the social determinants of Juggalo-ism were/are, they are a bunch of people who find solace in being involved in a community divorced from mainstream culture (e.g. stuff big companies sell you).

While I don't intend to draw the analogy that Violent J:Ian MacKaye - I will say this for Juggalocity: it is it's own thing, you absolutely hate it and it infuriates you and the adherents are having fun and wouldn't have it any other way.
posted by godisdad at 1:21 PM on July 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


paisley: I believe you are generally correct (Snoop and Pac are among the most obvious examples--Eminem's another), but other people were also doing Dre's ghostwriting during this era--the D.O.C. probably foremost among them. And 'Natural Born Killers' was part of the Helter Skelter project, where both D.O.C. and Sam Snead did some of the writing (and, according to Wikipedia, J-Flexx).
posted by box at 6:06 AM on July 27, 2009


I still kind of like them. After a really trying day at work, I went to the bar. They had one of those internet jukeboxes, so I played "Fuck The World," and I shouted along. As I sang the line "Fuck your mom, fuck your mom's mama, fuck the Beastie Boys and the Dalai Lama, a guy I knew casually passed by anmd said "Well, that's not very nice.
posted by jonmc at 6:31 AM on July 27, 2009 [4 favorites]


ICP produced a documentary about The Gathering called "A Family Underground". It's up on YouTube if you search for it.
posted by PenDevil at 3:55 PM on July 27, 2009


MetaFilter: Able to generate more Juggalo sympathy in a person than you'd ever believe possible.
posted by ignignokt at 9:56 AM on August 3, 2009


Photos and a video of last weekend's gathering, via billysumday.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:52 AM on August 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Some of the pics in the first link didn't load for me, but overall it looks like your average music fest, albeit with more itty bitty braids and face paint. And red for a primary clothing color. And exposed boobs, particularly in exchange for money or something else. And Faygo.

OK, so maybe not exactly like your average music fest. If I hadn't had a pretty busy weekend regardless, I might have been tempted to go, just for shits and giggles.
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:30 PM on August 11, 2009


Wow, the people in those pictures look so much like my old high school friends from back home. One of the girls looks exactly like my cousin, circa 1999.
posted by muddgirl at 3:38 PM on August 11, 2009


I came back to post the link to those photos, so thanks, filthy light thief. I hope they all had a grand time under good weather.
posted by sid abotu at 5:35 PM on August 11, 2009


"Guess what bitch, you just got f*cked by a Jew." THAT'S old school.

You're pathetic.
posted by Non Prosequitur at 5:36 PM on August 11, 2009


It's always fun to see folks on the internet talking about ICP. I'm in the Chicken Huntin' video. Thank God for face paint.

I listened to these guys back in high school, mostly on the strength of their Beverly Kills 50187 ep and the single, Dead Body Man. I still giggle when I think of newscaster Mort Crim ("Fuck Mort Crim, he's just one of them, he's always looking at me!").

I gave up around Milenko, you know, when they "sold out." I had friends that stuck with them longer, but by then I was into Morbid Angel, Ministry and, well, Live probably.

As to the mythology, it's kind of amusing to see folks thinking about it from a perspective of intentional narrative; my sense was much more along the lines of good dungeon mastering, leaving a lot of clues that can all be tied back later. That they'd decided that all of this pointed toward an echo of Christian mythology isn't really surprising, given that Christianity is kind of the dominant culture, and they're really not tremendously innovative or interesting song-writers.

Someone mentioned regretting ICP tattoos later on in life: I had a pal who got their jokers card logo tattooed on his arm, then got them to sign it in sharpie, and got that signature tattooed. He later had the whole thing inked over. He also had to have an anti-Nazi tattoo removed from his neck—apparently while you can have visible tattoos in the school district I grew up in, the swastika ist verboten, even with a bar through it.
posted by klangklangston at 5:51 PM on August 11, 2009 [3 favorites]


Wait, ICP has really decided that their whole shtick was a veiled metaphor for Christianity? I thought someone in this thread was just making a crack about the ending to the Chronicles of Narnia series...
posted by muddgirl at 5:37 AM on August 12, 2009


Based on the photos, it looks like the Juggalos had a good time. Not my scene, but I'm happy they enjoyed themselves.
posted by Julnyes at 8:39 AM on August 12, 2009


It looks like they had a much better time there than I did at home. I feel sorry for whoever had to clean up the mess after they left.
posted by double block and bleed at 8:50 PM on August 12, 2009


I am extraordinarily proud of you guys. Metafilter, you changed my mind about these guys. I still don't like the music, I still think the idea of a bad-ass clown is silly, but after seeing the way many people in this thread behaved in terms of showing respect and giving a sense of perspective, where even some of the criticisms were thoughtful, I had to check myself. And it was this comment from librarianamy that really did it for me. Here's why:

I was at Otakon last month. It's an enormous anime/gaming convention held every year, this year attracting about 30,000 alone. The name of the festival itself is derived from the Japanese word otaku; meaning a dedicated fanboy. While I was there, I forgot all about the tentacle rape jokes people make about manga, the presumptions they make about me as a person (basement dweller, virgin and/or sexual deviant) and was just able to enjoy the beauty and joy of being surrounded by thousands of like-minded people who could finally relax because their interests didn't have to be kept under wraps but were instead celebrated. Many of the people there were still in high school. One Touhou fan I spoke to told me he looks forward to Otakon because he can be open about his fandom and won't get bullied for it. So for one weekend a year, this kid is happy.

Seeing the way many of you talked about juggalos - a subculture I previously made casual jokes about - made me think about all the casual jokes people have made about my own passions, how they add up over time, however light-hearted they may seem to the one making the jokes, and can make you feel alienated, that your harmless interests are something to hide. It made me realize, in the form of a sentence I never thought I'd type: as an otaku, I can relate to juggalos.

So in short, thank you, Metafilter, for holding up a mirror to my own prejudices, and mostly for restoring my faith in the open-mindedness of others.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:14 AM on August 14, 2009 [9 favorites]


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