By Joe McAdam
2017s been weird so far, right? Kind of like living in hell, honestly. I won’t even bother with listing the stuff, we all get it. Sometimes, I just look at the world and I think, “Wow, what a stupid, piece of shit, awful, hateful world.” Why is it like this? Well, after a quick check online, a lot of folks have a lot of theories! Boy oh boy, some people think it’s the Republicans. But what if it’s the Democrats? Oh wow, it could be! But I think we can all agree one group that gets off looking pretty clean these days are Juggalos.
Weird, right? If you would have seen a Juggalo in the wild any time before the Trump presidency, you’d probably hold your child a little closer, or at least snicker to a friend. It’s understandable if you think they’re a joke. Remember the “Miracles” song? That was real silly! The average person’s most generous critique of the Insane Clown Posse’s music would be “not for me.” At worst people harbor some pretty mean spirited prejudices against them and their fans because they’re typically “white trash” crude and potentially violent (their logo is a dude with a hatchet! He means business!).
That’s the crazy thing about living in our new hell world; things are being exposed for what they are. The truth is coming out in all directions. Our president is saying the hateful shit that has been at the center of the GOP for decades that no one wanted to explicitly confirm. That’s exposing truths elsewhere as well. Truths like, Insane Clown Posse is just a band. They’re certainly more like you or me than they are like the real enemy (the president, duh). If nothing else, our awful president has given us a reason to unite! It’s the Independence Day scenario, like how in that movie the world unites to defeat aliens. So now the aliens are the president and Bill Pullman is a Juggalo. It’s a perfect metaphor with no flaws.
I understand that it may be hard to accept our new world where a Juggalo is on your team. Five years ago I went to the Gathering of the Juggalos. It’s the Insane Clown Posse’s annual party in the woods where they invite their favorite acts to play for their die hard fans. It’s a perfect place for barfing or seeing people barf. I thought for sure it’s comedy gold. So I went there with a couple friends and a camera to make a funny video. Here’s the deal though: I ended up being more like the Juggalos than I expected. Sure it’s easy to laugh that I saw a dog taking a dump in “Hepatitis Lake” while Juggalos gleefully swam in it. And I obviously draw a personal line at swimming in a dog shit lake, but despite that, we had a lot in common. More so than I expected at least. We love drinking, the outdoors, seeing live music. It didn’t matter that I didn’t really like the music, or that I have no affection for carnival rides or clowns, because with that comes big turkey drumsticks and corndogs and meeting Danny Brown. You take the bad with the good.
At a time when everyone is talking about bubbles and echo chambers, be they liberal or conservative, it seems important to try and break through one every once in awhile. And yes I broke through a little bubble of mine with a purely ironic curiosity. Which, sure isn’t ideal. Maybe it was a bit mean spirited. But I’ll tell you this: Leaving the seclusion of the Internet, and entering a big gross campground (I saw a turd in a urinal) made all the difference in the world. I was mortified (because of the turd in the urinal) but at the end of the day, I met some folks who couldn’t be more different from me, and we ended up on the same page about something (most of them didn’t like the idea of turds in urinals either).
I don’t even know the general politics of most Juggalos but that’s not important. What’s important is that now the Juggalos need us. They’re fighting for their free speech because the FBI has classified them as a gang which would now make it legal to profile them. Imagine if you could be stopped by the police at an airport because you had a Bob Seger T-shirt on. Just because Bob and the Silver Bullet Band happens to be the best live act in the world doesn’t mean they get special treatment. No band’s fans, no matter how bad their music is, deserve to be legally profiled. Right now, what’s important is that they are trying to fight the power, and if you can’t get behind that, you’re some kind of loser narc.
There’s a lot of blaming going on on the Internet. It’s kind of the whole deal with it. Which is cool, I get it, there’s definitely a strong temptation to look at our hell-world and say it’s someone’s fault (and it is!) But that’s not productive, and it sure as hell isn’t going to help out our Juggalo brothers and sisters. If the government goes after Juggalos unchallenged, that’s probably fine for most people, but what happens when they come after fans of Thin Lizzy, or Steely Dan or other bands that 32-year-old balding men like me like? Well, god damn it, I’m not going to wait and find out. That’s why I’m marching with the Juggalos this weekend, and that’s why you should too. Go ironically! Who gives a shit! Just leave yourself open to the clowns, because you could learn something you never expected.
PS: If something horrible happens at this rally please change the byline on this piece to Ted Cruz.