BEHIND THE DESK #16: Insane Clown Stripes
BYT at large | Sep 2, 2011 | 12:30PM |

Words of comedic wisdom by Brandon Wetherbee

Brandon Wetherbee hosts the talk show/podcast You, Me, Them, Everybody the first two Friday’s of the month at the Wonderland Ballroom and in Brooklyn and Chicago once a month. Subscribe to it online at youmethemeverybody.com. He’ll be at the Wonderland Ballroom on September 2 with guests Mab, Just Mab, stand up comedian Sampson McCormick and a special set from Dan Scheuerman of Deleted Scenes.


So now there’s no such thing as cool. The idea of being hip to things that only the underground deems as worthy has gone away. It’s been happening for a while now. The first day you were able to download songs that were only released in 7-inch form in a small Cleveland suburb signaled the end. That was over ten years ago. Now, even the arbiters cool have given up. This is a good thing. It’s no longer fun to deny liking things that make you happy, even if they’re processed, manufactured and marketed by folks that don’t care about art.

Leck Mich Im Arsch from Third Man Records on Vimeo.

Today, 8/31/11 will mark the end of the garage rock revival that began a little over a decade ago in Detroit. Today marks the end of irony. We’re in a new age. A time that industry approved ‘underground’ stars will collaborate with groups that are considered jokes, groups that are dismissed due to face paint and utterly insane lyrics. Now that the Insane Clown Posse and Jack White collaboration on the Mozart gem “Leck Mich Im Arsch”” exists, the world suddenly makes sense.

This has been coming for quite some time. Sooner or later, the three Detroit natives were bound to work together. ICP has been slowly gaining some sort of weird, hipster approved status while Jack White has been slowly losing some sort of weird, hipster disapproval due to mainstream success. White is trying to be a modern day Phil Spector/Bob Dylan/Michael Jackson and in order for him to create something unique, he can no longer go back to what made him successful. Like all great, dumb artists, he’s decided to work with a group that is the polar opposite of him. Spector worked with the Ramones, Dylan had that really bad religious period and the last 20 years of Jackson’s career showed us exactly what not to do.  After working with Loretta Lynn, there wasn’t much White couldn’t do. He’s busied himself with really great collaborations but once the Alicia Keys/Jack White Bond theme came along, the end was finally in sight.

It’s all about miracles. Ignoring things like reason and common sense to be amazed. Proud of denying knowledge. It’s the basis for the most mainstream successful ICP song and it’s been mocked by everyone that thinks they’re better than ICP, which is everyone that knows of ICP but isn’t down with the clown.

The song “Miracles” is the most dangerous thing about the ICP and their army of Juggalos. Their songs about brutal murder are fine; no one gets hurt because it’s fantasy and whatever. “Miracles,” on the other hand, approves of ignorance. The ignorance is supposed to be what rock and roll is against. This is getting off track. ICP is awful and doesn’t warrant pseudo intellectual defense. They’re shit. Moving on.

In the grand tradition of Wu Tang Clan and Limp Bizkit, Letterman and Leno and Louis C.K. and Dane Cook, the Jack White and Insane Clown Posse meeting has changed everything. Never again can a magical world of candy canes, Coca Cola and girls in red and white summer dresses inspire teenagers to play cheap guitars. Never again can kids wearing medallions with a clown wielding an axe claim to hate absolutely everything. The world is eating itself. Dogs marrying cats, hurricanes in Washington D.C. and, now, classical music eaten, shit out, re-eaten, re-shit out and now some sort of two girls/one cup phenomenon can’t be stopped. Oh well. I don’t think it’s that bad.

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful night.