Aye caramba! Juggalos in action.
Juggalos present an interesting cultural problem, the same problem presented by other various subcultures-- how to hate them critically without ultimately validating their cause?
But to hell with those tertiary concerns. We here at Gimme Noise could care less if today's installment of Misanthropology ultimately results in some rat's nest of juggalos exchanging vainglorious high fives between sips of Faygo. Our job, as self-certified misanthropes, is to call bullshit on the bullshit. And, as we gaze upon seas of greasepaint and Hatchetman bling, we calmly raise a hand and, firmly and calmly, pronounce "Bullshit."
Avert your ears. Homies don't let homies become juggalos.
1. The logo. We don't necessarily object to wanton violence, drug abuse, or casual sex. We object to terrible graphic design. The streaming cornrows, the bagged pants, the Cro-Magnon profile-- it's funny how 300 pixels squared manages to encapsulate everything deplorable about white culture.
2. The sense of faux kinship. Hey, we've seen those ghoulish hordes flowing through downtown after a Shaggy tribute show at Epic. Based on the fistfights, angry jugalettes, and screaming jags, it would appear that, despite ICP's loud insistence, juggalos hate themselves as much as everyone else does. It seems that juggalos are united by nothing more than a shared fashion sense and a taste for cheap soda. If this is a family, someone should alert social services.
3. The merchandising. Kiss invented it, ICP perfected it, and it's been a revolting effront to decency and artistic ethics the whole way. The lunchboxes, the posters, the jewellry, the child coffins (see inlaid photo), the shoes, the pants, the jerseys, the bandanas, the do rags, the wristbands, the iPod cozies, the rings, the socks, the boxers, the thongs, the shades... it's nothing more than a roundabout, expensive way to spell "crutch."
4. The music. It's almost the least of their offenses. ICP, Blaze Ya Dead Homie, Twiztid (who are, fortuitously enough, playing the Main Room tonight)... there isn't a stand-up note in a dozen discographies.
5. The cultural significance. Violent Jay and Shaggy 2 Dope are millionaires, and by the letter of their biographies, they're actually the exact sorts of people that this country means to celebrate. They're high school drop-outs who made their name and their fortunes by business sense and a devotion to self-creation.
And yet their entire message is one that grossly perverts the inborn sense towards substance and meaning. The merchandising push, the invention of a false sense of family among the fans, a celebration of everything intellectually valueless... It's a magnificent 180 that preys on the weak of spirit, the outcast, the disenfranchised.
It's a trick rock and roll has always pulled, a vital function the genre has served ever since it first crawled out of the swamps. But the previous generations benefited from having the Beatles, the Stones, the Stooges, the Ramones, Metallica, Nirvana, the Pixies, Public Enemy and the Cure as their spirital guides. Juggalos have the terrible misfortune of being led down an aisle that leads ICP to their investment banker and their bretheren toward complete social derision.
So do us all a favor, gang. Put on a Misfits album. The devil lock and some fishnets we can deal with. At least the music passed muster.