Dark Carnival of the Soul: Gathering of the Juggalos 2009

Artist Derek Erdman, whose "Teens Party with Morrissey" painting was blogged on BB, is as fascinated as we are with the animal species known as the Greater North American Juggalo.

He took it a bit further than we have, though, and attended the 2009 Gathering of the Juggalos, shot lots of photo and video, and published it for your enjoyment.

Here are Erdman's photos from the event. And embedded above, and here: video. (very Heavy Metal Parking Lot).

(via Dangerous Minds, thanks, Richard Metzger, and it looks like The Gathering of the Juggalos has a more lenient fair use policy on photography and videos than Burning Man. Interesting.)


  1. Dear video makers… please learn how to normalize the soundtracks of your videos… having several scenes of someone mumbling into a mike held several feet away followed by someone screaming directly into the mike is a great way to annoy viewers (and those around them).

  2. This is going to be interesting: Can boingboing’s enthusiasm for happy mutants overcome its distaste for white trash?

  3. @phisrow, I was born white trash, and many of my friends were, too. So, the snobbery you’re alluding to is a projection, not based in my reality or reflected in my body of work.


  4. Clarification: there is a difference between “white trash” and “Juggalo.” Juggalo involves more of a lifestyle choice. They can overlap.

  5. @Xeni: I wasn’t refering to your post, I was thinking back to the comments on the last thread that mentioned the gathering of the juggalos(the one about typography), it got pretty unpleasant.

  6. Wow, how nuanced are the subtle shades of white (trash). Keen observation Xeni. Are there also hints as to ethnic origins in the gang signs thrown by these creatures of the white? Seems both tribes suffer from a prevalent form of douchbaggery though? Necrophilia, rape and knob gobbling references, I take it these are all part of the unique and colorful flavor of this wonderful and diverse subculture? Please tell us more!

  7. been waiting for a “Heavy Metal Parking Lot” style documentary to come out about these bozos.

  8. I live within easy driving distance of Cave-in-Rock. So IL is white-trash heaven (I’m a native, so chill out.)

    There’s no way in hell I’d drive there.

    On the subject of Southern Illinois being white trash heaven, and some area trivia: I work in Marion, IL, and the movie Poor White Trash was filmed in this area. I wish I were kidding. One of the towns, Christopher, is John Malkovich’s home town, and if you’ve seen Being John Malkovich, you’ve seen pix of him in his Benton Rangers football uniform.


    Most the filming locations for In The Heat Of The Night were within easy driving distance, too. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0061811/locations

  9. Looks like a bunch of people having a good time together. My aesthetic choices might be different (more straight ahead punk) but my enjoyment of them is similar. The only real difference is I like to spend the night in my own bed after a show. If I’m camping, I like to be way out in the middle of nowhere. Oh, that and the Faygo thing.

  10. The only difference between the respectable middle class and trailer trash is the ability to keep the drug addiction, alcoholism and sexual abuse secret. And, of course, the money to buy your way out of trouble. My first vocabulary word was ‘discretion’.

  11. MIRROR. Please? I saw a few of the pics, pretty good shooting.

    Also liked the food sign offering free drink to those who flash d* or t*. At least some of them have gender equality on their minds.

  12. I’m all good with the drinking, drug use, profanity, style, etc, etc. I came from ‘white trash’ too — but, good grief, seeing a pregnant woman smoking (at 6 months!) never fails to disappoint me.

  13. #3 and #26,
    So you want to intensify breeding of Juggalos? You want to create a kwisatz haderach of rap-metal fans?

  14. Oh my god. This has made it’s way all over the interwebs. The Juggalos are the collective joke of the world. But something tells me they like it that way. Solidifies the cultiness of the whole thing. But really, can we be done with it? Please?

  15. I would get beat down in about 10 minutes at this thing. I’d mistakenly use some 10cent word, get accused of having a “smart mouth”, and get pounded into the mud by these goons. There’s just no way I couldn’t roll my eyes at every person I met. Yes, I understand that’s my problem.

  16. Hating on people because of their socio-economic background. Way to stay classy, Boingboing commenters.

  17. You know, aside from the misogyny, that was cool. Sounds like it’s a real peak experience thing for many of them: all of the people in that video were having a great time; they got together for a few days, enjoyed each other’s company, and a sense of community and belonging, and some music they all love. I bet many of them went home feeling energized and excited, and maybe even changed their lives a little with that energy. And that’s awesome.

  18. Unlike Burning Man, I don’t think there’s a huge risk of these images winding up in any car commercials…

  19. I don’t think I’ll ever understand the appeal of ICP and the whole Juggalo subculture.

    I used to ride around with a friend of mine who’s boyfriend used to play shotgun DJ and blast The Great Malinko. All. The Fucking. Time.
    It was nauseatingly annoying.

    That’s when ICP was popular in the mainstream. I thought they were a hip hop Weird Al Yankovic for people who love B-Horror flicks and low brow humor and would fade away as a novelty act.

    But then they inexplicably go underground and develop a cult following. I don’t get it. And I also don’t get why someone would want to join said cult following. Every Juggalo I’ve come across is just an annoying dick in clown makeup.

    Let’s listen to crappy music and act like dicks! Some cult. But then, I guess there have always been sub cultures like that…

    1. @Aneurysm, I know, right?

      The earlier subculture you’re thinking of is probably the classic “Clowns Who Act Like Dicks.”

      I never understood it either. Me, I was always more into Reasonably Well-Adjusted Clown Posse. They drink wheatgrass, hold pilates classes, and go to therapy.

  20. My co-worker has gone to this nearly every year with her husband and claims that it’s tons of fun. She is not what I would consider white trash. Not even close. She just likes this sort of music. Whatever works.

  21. I thought the people interviewed in the video were sweet souls. It actually looked like a fun place to be!

  22. @Mark F, I will probably not go back to Burning Man any time soon, but I totally want to go to this next year. And not to sneer at people, but to just dig it and check it out.

  23. In my limited experience with ICP and their “fans” the entire scene reminds me of my grandfather telling me:

    There is no bottom.

    The lyric sensibility of what few ICP compositions I had read was vile. I read them because a friend’s daughter had been begging to go to an ICP show. I found their so-called “music” merely a carrier wave for hatred of women. And society. I have an average person’s tolerance for parody, sarcasm etc but what I read from ICP’s semantic intent is grimly evil. In a fashion evocative of George Sodini.

  24. You might not think it but i bet a lot of these people are taking taking mushrooms to get “fucked up” along with the usual alcohol and pot (I know that hyped up kid was). I think its good nature fun, I just can’t hang with the belligerent psychedelic crowd.

  25. #32 posted by Brother Provisional

    its ok to hate and discriminate against people whom no one would notice should they suddenly disappear.

  26. @Hawley #45

    Do you know them? How are you sure that no one would notice their disappearance? Do you know, somehow, that they have no friends or family?

    Or are you assuming that their friends and family would suddenly disappear along with them, and that they don’t interact with anyone outside their socio-economic bracket, so this little disappearance is all self-contained?

    That’s a loathsome opinion: that it’s okay to hate and discriminate against the socially invisible. That, as long as no one’s looking, it’s okay to be cruel to people.

    I sincerely hope that you didn’t think any of this through before you posted that, and that you might reconsider your stated opinion.

  27. I see no redeeming qualities in ICP or any of their filthy brood. The sooner they are left alone to rot the better. I would have expected BB – even Xeni – to have had better taste than to tout the dubiousness of anything ‘jugaloo’ related. This ‘phenomenon’ deserves benign neglect, followed by quick and thorough euthanasia.

    I was quite repulsed by any association with ICP in 2000 when an old roommate would insist on blasting their atrocious beats and lyrics in his filthy underwear. I have no desire to be witness to anything resembling that ever again. Please stop.

    In short, this sucks, and I am a snob, and am proud of a taste sufficiently refined as to be repulsed by such vile trash.

  28. @32
    Ok, maybe I’m hatin’ on the ICP and the Juggawhatevers. But it’s not cause they’re poor, for christ sake. Yes, these kids are typically uneducated, working class folks.

    But do you have any idea how terribly these guys talk about women? gays? Anyone who is a bit different? I won’t bring any copypasta here, but I’m sure you know how to google lyrics. The ICP is just capitalizing on these poor kids who have been fucked by the system.

    I mean, these kids have a right to be angry. They *have* been generally screwed. I get it. But the ICP is cashing in on their alienation and channeling this hate against women, gays, ect. That is what grosses me out. If the ICP really wanted to do some good, they’d run a “get out and vote” campaign, or something like that. Then I’d feel better about the whole thing.

  29. Quite tragic, really. These kids were the rightful heirs to the Sixties…they should be tuning in, turning on, and dropping acid…or raving, at least.

    Instead, they got sold an ersatz hip-hop lampoon of Woodstock, and they don’t even know the difference…

  30. Anyone able to offer an educated guess as to what kind of drugs would be prevalent at an ICP gathering? Same or different from the typical outdoor rock/hippity-hoppity festival?

  31. Ok- in the interest of fairness. Research the ICP lyrics. Think about the messages in them. Be Very Afraid. As any one NOT concerned about the messages in those lyrics becoming acceptable conduct scares me. The 1st magic concept here is “normative.”

    The second is repetition. We have a tendency as humans to learn by repetition. If that’s an accepted concept too? And their verbatim messages are what they are at face value? Maybe we’re not afraid enough. Freedom of speech is not an excuse for advocating sheer evil. And the majority of those lyrics speak evils most of us might wish we would not ever hear. Let alone have as popular culture. But before disemvowelment of me- read the lyrics and ask if you’d let them be posted here… Or want to live in a world where they were the accepted reality. They’d however be a nice set of episodes for an American remake of A Clockwork Orange.

  32. I see this and I cannot help but think that the phenomenon comes from a lack of faith in one’s self.

  33. It ain’t my cup of tea – the music, primarily – but I reckon I could kick my feet up with a beer and have some fun at a festival like this.

    As for lyrics, their messages etc… unfortunately people confuse theatre and performance with real life. Both fans and appalled onlookers.

    I mean – I don’t think PJ Harvey is an insane, man hating crone who wails on whilst cutting herself everyday. Do you? Sure, the messages are different, but I’m sure there is some form of entertainment everyone enjoys that holds ideals and morals that are dodgy. I don’t think it’s fair to assume the audience doesn’t get it.

    @27 Anonymous.
    Oh fuck off, already. Centuries of men and women have reproduced while ingesting a lot more horrible things. It’s her bloody choice, and may be the first ciggie she’s has since falling pregnant, since she’s having a bit of a weekend of it. You just don’t know.

    We do know you’re a judgmental twat, but, alas… right at home in half of this thread.

  34. @52 Anon / “L”

    “I see this and I cannot help but think that the phenomenon comes from a lack of faith in one’s self.”

    As opposed to what happens when one (or a group) gets a little too much faith in itself? That always turns out dandy, doesn’t it?

    I’ll take this any day. Cause, y’know, they’re just having some fun.

  35. The ICP lyrics I excerpt below suggest that not everything about these Clowns is as vile and hateful as the posters above would like them to be. Granted a lot of the lyrics are violent and some of them are quite misogynistic, but some maybe point in other directions. For example, to the endemic violence of lower class life in the U.S. (example 1), to the power of friendship and the sense of belonging that some kids find among their fellow Juggalos (example 2), and to the possibility that the suffering of this life is transitory and that there might be comfort for the poor in the afterlife (example 3). I don’t necessarily agree with all these stances, nor would I say that these are the most masterful lyrics ever written, but I can see where they might be appealing to the disenfranchised. If they find some sense of community in this context, good for them. At least they aren’t using their leisure time to role-play fascist militarism like these guys: http://www.501st.com/

    “Hall of Illusions” 1997
    You walk in and see two kids on the floor
    They playin Nintendo and he’s got tha high score
    And sittin behind them chillin in a chair
    Is your wife, when ya look, oh, you ain’t there
    It’s some other man in the hand in hand
    Now she looks so happy you don’t understand
    See this is an illusion, it never came true
    All because of you!
    Back to reality and what you’re about
    Your wife can’t smile cuz ya knocked her teeth out
    And she can’t see straight from gettin hit
    Cuz you’re a fat fuckin drunk piece of shit

    “Juggalo Homies” 2002
    Let me ask you this about this life we live
    And let me try to swerve some of this attention you give
    To them distant ass relatives over ham dinner
    If they really missed you so much
    Why don’t they just call a (Muthafucka) ?
    If you wasn’t blood, would you still have love?
    Or infact does the blood make you think you have to love?
    Look, I probably love my family more than anybody here
    But my homies are family too, 3rd cousins’ get outta here
    Who was you with when you got tattooed?
    And who was you trippin’ with when you did them mushrooms?
    And who the fuck threw up all over your car?
    And then felt worse than you about that shit in the morning? (Friends ya’ll)

    “Pass Me By” 1997
    I got shot, ah!, the murder was heinous
    The bullet went in my eyeball and out my anus
    And I was hit, that was it, on the spot
    Flash, I woke up in a parking lot
    And I’m sittin in a ’64 Reinkeys
    With Shaggy Dope written on the car keys
    I look around I can’t believe that it’s possible
    I’m dead, and I made it to the carnival
    I walk in, it’s everything I dreamed of
    Everybody and they momma got clown luv
    Japanese, Lebanese, and Chinese,
    Portuguese, and southwest ghetto g’s. (woowoo)
    Hangin’ out with redneck truck drivers
    Instead of always givin’ each other piledrivers

    “Ninja” 1994
    I remember these kids from the playground
    everybody’d hang around, we were all down
    but then we grew up, and everybody turned away
    and now they dissin’ me, yellin’, “fuck Nerdy-J”
    I sit and think at how it changed as I got older
    as I think I draw a ninja on my folder

  36. @48

    I was thinking more of the rampant use of the term “white trash” in some of the early comments. There’s nothing wrong with hating on someone because they have shitty taste in music, or are vulgar, sexist, macho, etc. etc. Its when there’s discrimination against someone because of the circumstances of their birth or because their culture has had to adapt to the challenges of poverty that I take offense.

  37. 2 weeks ago, I never would have thought I’d be saying what I’m about to…

    I actually had the chance to observe the north american juggalo at this very gathering. Purely for business reasons. I design licensed merchandise for bands that are sold at major retailers, and let’s just say that these guys pay my rent…and then some.

    A lot of these kids come from broken homes, abusive families or unfortunate adoptions. Under different conditions, these kids might have ended up goth, but for one simple factor: The juggalos will accept ANYONE into their “family”. In fact, family is a very important concept to them. Most subcultures are just as judgmental as they claim the rest of the world to be, if not more so. Not once did I or my coworker get called out as poseurs after talking to hundreds of juggalos over the weekend.

    I can’t stand their music. Not that it’s rap, but that it’s bad rap. And yes, I have used the words “white trash” to describe them. But I did learn a little something about being a victim of circumstance, and just finding something to get you through it.

    Fuck…I sound like a PSA.

  38. addendum:

    And yes, I actually did have fun. Well, aside from the camping, heat and insanely long uphill walk from the main fest to my camp.

    Ice Cube actually rocked it old-school, even for a sellout.

  39. @Sinsect
    Thanks for the personal experience story coming from a non Juggayouknowwhat. I can’t bring myself to even type the word. yuck.

    I have the same impression of the situation. Although I can’t get on board with the full serving of general hate they dish out at everyone (esp. women.) If they could direct that hate/anger at the proper source, the system that has fucked them in the first place, the entire working class group they represent could make some real changes.

    I blame ICP and their idiocy/greed for that.

  40. I’ve never seen so many obese people in my life – Is ICP sponsored by Faygo? The faygo aspect of this sub culture is probably the most interesting part of this video me. WTF is up with that? Why not RC cola, or Squirt?!?! It’s pretty funny and ridiculous.

    Otherwise go to any fest and it’s pretty much the same crap, a bunch of kids trying to be cooler, drunker, higher,etc. than the next. It’s been the same for years. They arent doing anything new- just a different choice of music, and a different, but collectively adopted style. It’s the same ole, same ole.
    Let ’em have fun now, because it appears that most will have type 2 diabetes very soon.

  41. @ J. France –

    What’s man-hating about PJ Harvey? She’s got a much more complex attitude toward men and love and sex than that.

  42. @#58 Brother Provisional:

    Circumstance is one thing, but it’s hardly the only determinant in one’s life. I come from a long line of lower-class white people, and I don’t act like that. Never did. I was repeatedly disenfranchised, bullied, and terrorized during most of my school years, and though I went through my alcohol-gulping phase like most others of that tender age I didn’t act like those kids in that video. Never did. I’ve lived below the poverty line for most of my adult life, and I don’t act like that. Never did.

    Why? I don’t enjoy being stupid. When I perceive a deficiency in my knowledge, I haul ass to the nearest source of information to fix the situation.

    These kids are proud of being and/or acting stupid – and yes, binge drinking, drug use, and sexual metagaming are demonstrably stupid – thus I can’t support the little bastards. Hell, I find ’em so obnoxious that I wouldn’t make it five minutes at such a festival without an altercation. Yes, I get belligerent from time to time – the knowledge that one’s been getting buttsurfed by someone more or less every day of one’s life doesn’t leave one with the sunniest of dispositions – but I’ve learned to direct that anger at the people who caused it rather than taking the bait offered by people who want to promote xenophobia.

    If the ICP was teaching these kids to use their belligerence to their own advantage, it’d be one thing. But the sheer amount of misdirection being employed tells me that ICP is part of the problem rather than the solution. The constant message of “be stupid, get drunk, slap your bitch, we’re your only family” is palpable even in this video, and has made ICP a very comfortable living for a number of years now.

    Yes, in that video you see kids having fun. In other videos and photos I’ve seen sexual harassment, “backyard wrestling” matches ending in contusions and lacerations, dangerous levels of substance abuse, and enough obesity to make an army of Richard Simmonses reach for the nearest bag of Fritos in despair. Kids having fun, indeed.

    Maybe I’m just turning into my parents or something, but the ridiculous amount of nihilism on display reminds me of what mainstream society thought punk rock was about back in the 80s. I look at most of these kids and I see John Matuszak in plaid pants and a purple mohawk wig in the film One Crazy Summer – a caricature of a cartoon of a satire whose real meaning was diluted years ago.

    TL:DR – Dumbasses are dumbasses, regardless of socio-economic conditions. It’s stupid when “poor white trash” get wasted at Juggapalooza, and it’s equally stupid when middle-class kids do it at Burning Man. They’re free to do it if they please, and likewise am I free to cast my scorn upon them from a great height.

    1. I come from a long line of lower-class white people, and I don’t act like that.

      Hell, I find ’em so obnoxious that I wouldn’t make it five minutes at such a festival without an altercation.

      It appears that, in fact, you do act quite a bit like them. If you don’t think that getting into a public altercation with strangers mirrors their behavior, you seem to have experienced a failure of observation.

  43. Whenever my fandom (which will go unnamed) makes it necessary for me to feel ashamed of it, I try to remember that there are always worse. Exhibit A: Juggalos.

    (Sadly, I know of some who are both. I pity them.)

  44. I’ve never heard of this movement/subculture – I thought it was an article on circus skills!

    way to be surprise entertained! Great post and interesting to see such a glut of elitist comments here on good old BB…

    As someone who attends a lot of quite different festivals and squat parties here in the uk, I can totally see how this is appealing and empowering for a lot of these people – as to the ‘hate’ in the music, I’m a thorough bread middle class pacifist alternative hippy type, who loved rocking out to Rage against the machine/henry rollins/nwa/cypress hill etc – It can be about the energy and parts of the lyric as opposed to the whole crazy thing.

    I think people are maybe taking things a little to literally, and should maybe try and experience something like this with an open mind before calling down their judgment on it.

    Having said that, and with my experience, I aint goin. nuh uh. I like fluffy happy to much.

  45. #67 Woopantz

    Because when it comes to snobbery and hatred of the working class, we lead the world.

  46. #68 Piers W:

    I come from a working class family, originally from Wopping in London and now live in Essex. My family still managed to drag themselves a couple of notches above the poverty line and bring me up with a bit of common decency. While not exactly a saint – in my younger years I used to smoke skunk and take ecstasy and am still partial to the odd binge drinking session – I can safely say that I have never mugged an oap or beaten a woman. I’ve never sold hard drugs to school children or burgled homes. However there is a sub-culture of idiots that think its okay to do these things in our country and I drew a parallel with these juggalo-idiots. Just a different flavor of transatlantic white trash in my opinion. I abhor these people. If that makes me a snob them so be it.

  47. I istened to ICP when I was younger, the music was different and fun (and a little twisted, but if you take such things seriously, well you have bigger problems than you realize).

    Eventually I grew out of the music itself – but still believe some of the messages they attempt to portray are noble. the parts about family, friends and dealing with the shitty hand you get dealt all resonate within me still.

    People that get hung on on the lyrical content, are in my opinion being ridiculous. Besides the necrophilia, nothing they sing or write about has not been already done by any genre of music.

    I find most rap and hip hop in general talks about woman in some derogatory fashion. implying that ICP has a monopoly on the degrading woman in music market is crazy at best.

  48. First of all, #46? Spot on. It’s exploitation surrounded by people who find it easier to make friends and be happy because they share a common subculture.

    Second of all, what a seriously elitist crowd here. I don’t like the music, and it’s a little light on the brain stimulation for me, but I can’t object to how other people live their lives as long as they’re not hurting anyone. I’ve heard of several examples of ‘the family’ being incredibly nice and helpful. This is not what I would have expected from the lyrical content of the songs, and I can’t help but smile at a subculture that values kindness and friendship. Not everyone has the support, impetus, knowledge, opportunity, or necessity to pull themselves up by their bootstraps (up to where?). Some people are happy where they are, and that is a hugely awesome thing that is incredibly rare.

    I’m suspecting that the music’s become the backdrop for the gathering. Somewhat like hippie festivals all over. It’s not really about the lyrical content, but the fact that everyone knows the lyrics.

    What I do not like: the lyrical content does seem to condone violence and ignorance, and it can be used to justify abhorrent behavior. It also reinforces negative and damaging stereotypes.However, this music somehow has paradoxically generated a place where people can hang out and have a really good time for a couple days.

    Oh, and the smoking pregnant woman. Sure, people have been smoking for an ungodly amount of time while pregnant, but that’s no justification for what we now know about how it can effect the fetus (and the mom). That made me cringe.

  49. @47/IANM: In ’97, the roommate I had blasted every single episode of various wrestling, 90210, and Saved By the Bell he could find, which was always plentiful at that time. I would’ve been more than happy to trade you.

    Re: Gang Signs
    Many are flashing “WC” or “CL” would I assume would be “Wicked Clown” or “Clown Love”.

  50. Wow. I’m impressed. The sheer amount of ill will towards these kids from a lot of you posters is astonishing. So they don’t share your values. So they dress funny. So they’re heavier than the your typical skinny, liberal, internet hipster. So their taste in music skews to the loud and obnoxious side….

    They’re no different than the hippies at Bonnaroo. Probably smell just as bad and are just as wasted. Looks like they were having just as much fun, too.

  51. #46 posted by Anonymous,

    perhaps if you didn’t post as anonymous you wouldnt feel so threatened by my opinion?

  52. @62

    Faygo is the drink because the band in from one of the poorest areas of Detroit, Ecorse. Faygo was the name of the off-brand soda that poor people drank. Therefor, it’s a representation of where they come from, and kids latched on to that. I lived in that same area of MI, so when I see kids thinking that they are cool by drinking Faygo, I just laugh. Because it tastes like shit.

  53. #71 Woopantz,

    Fair enough. I’ve usually heard ‘chav’ on the lips of the privileged, as shorthand for ‘working class trash’ as in ‘they’re working class, ergo trash’

    Also ‘these people’ tends to raise my hackles.

  54. I used to hang around a few self proclaimed ‘juggalows’ when I was a bit younger.

    To me they were just a weird crossover of goths and wrestling freaks.

    Most of them were nice and freindly, however insane they were (a lot of them did some pretty brutal backyard wrestling).

    I only ever found one of the kids to be honestly sexist/discriminatory against anyone. However he really was just a shit-head kid, once thought it would be funny to pull a knife and hold it against my throat for no good reason whatsoever. That said he was one poor reflection on what otherwise was a decent enough group of people even if some of them were ‘stupid-white-trash’.

    Certainly I know a lot stupider/trashier people that don’t fit into the juggalow category. Some of them are my best friends and I’m quite O.K. with that.

  55. Xeni Jardin “@phisrow, I was born white trash, and many of my friends were, too.”
    So…it’s genetic? (/me looks in mirror) Suddenly I’m terribly depressed.

    “Me, I was always more into Reasonably Well-Adjusted Clown Posse. They drink wheatgrass, hold pilates classes, and go to therapy.”
    Naw. Hippie Clown Collective was where it was at. Acoustic guitar, free brownies and nobody could remember if you’d already pitched in for pizza or not.

    Antinous / Moderator “The only difference between the respectable middle class and trailer trash is the ability to keep the drug addiction, alcoholism and sexual abuse secret.”
    Oh. What if we have an ability to not keep secrets?

    Brother Provisional “Hating on people because of their socio-economic background. Way to stay classy, Boingboing commenters.”
    Consider it vigorously shaking our own family tree.

    ianm “I was quite repulsed by any association with ICP in 2000 when an old roommate would insist on blasting their atrocious beats and lyrics in his filthy underwear.”
    I didn’t mind them back when they were in the WWF (they were good with the crowd). Yes, I am white trash. Jeez. Get over it.
    Their music, however is terrible. Good beats, vile lyrics. That said, I’ve never understood the kids these days and their music. Back in my day we respected our elders (note: lie), we dressed appropriately (note: lie), we didn’t curse up a storm (note: lie) and we didn’t do stupid things for fun (note: lie).

    Boba Fett Diop “Maybe this America needs a remake of A Clockwork Orange right now.”
    No way! Bay would direct it, giving me a pain in my gulliver.

  56. I’m trying to think of a capsule summary for it. So far, it’s either “Burning Man for rednecks”, “The Church of the SubGenius minus the hipster irony” or “Idiocracy-era Goth”.

  57. I was unaware of this Juggalo subculture and its association with professional wrestling, but since I paradoxically know both nothing and everything about contemporary pro wrestling I feel obligated to speak out.

    I know nothing because, except for TV last night, I haven’t watched professional wrestling in fifty years. I know “everything” because I am probably the only regular BB commenter to ever train as a professional wrestler (having been plucked from the broken ranks of a long-ago Olympic team try-out), so let me say that one of the first things I was told was beware of the fans — and that I was absolutely obligated to protect my *opponent* and the sanctity of the ring from their reckless intrusions. “Do not hesitate,” my instructor/coach insisted, “to toss the bastards as far out of the ring as you can.”

    Today’s professional wrestling fans might know that every match is a dance and not a fight, although I very much doubt it. Why would anyone watch such a faked exhibition? The credulity of such people is hard to credit, yet there are thousands, perhaps millions!, who can’t tell the difference between wrestlers “shooting” or “working.” ALL professional bouts are “working” bouts. There hasn’t been a legitimate shooting match for at least seventy years; it just isn’t done.

    “Working” is a soft-touch technique similar to ballroom dancing. There are numerous holds and maneuvers that are part of every grunt ‘n groaner’s repertoire, plus a few gags that are idiosyncratic or specialized but are not unknown or unexpectedly sprung on an opponent. Pro wrestlers are naturally conservative and do not like surprises. It’s the way they make their living, after all, so no one really gets hurt.

    For some strange reason it is easier to make a factual movie about the Mafia than about professional wrestling. I know the brotherhood is honor-bound to keep up the pretense of legitimacy, but Hollywood’s cooperation in this farce is ridiculous. Wrestlers usually do some shooting in the gym, privately, and they know who is for real and who is a juiced-up sissy, but under the lights it’s just a sweaty version of Dancing With The Stars.

    Look: any adult who believes pro wrestling is real is either blind or too dumb to school. Maybe the Juggalos are in on the joke, I don’t know, but they seem awfully goddamn dumb to me. Less amusingly, there is the occasional news story about some kid really hurting another kid with a wrestling hold or move he’s seen on television. Somebody’s got to tell the kids it’s just a goddamn dance!

    As for my career as a professional Baby Face wrestler, I took my *certificate of training* and retired undefeated. The whole thing seemed absurd. Six months later I broke my knee — irreparably — as a college amateur.

    Never saw a paycheck. But I learned how to dance.

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