Alternately titled: That time my friend Molly kindly commanded me to watch first a documentary, and then a Workaholics episode about ICP which led to the development of an unchecked obsession that ultimately compelled me to devote my days to becoming a faithful member of the “family”. Turns out, one day was enough.
<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/29589320″>American Juggalo</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/seandunne”>Sean Dunne</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>
From the outset the whole Insane Clown Posse phenomenon has always struck me as fairly straight-forwardly creepy. That being said, Molly’s interest in the group’s activities was utterly mystifying until she suggested that I become more informed of the organization, and I actually followed through with doing so. At the time I dutifully nodded my head in agreement that I would watch this strange informational video about the Posse, but it took a solid 4 months until one rainy afternoon the opportunity presented itself to actually watch the documentary aptly titled, American Juggalo. Two words can only describe this experience: Mind. Blown.
If you have yet to see the majestic film that is American Juggalo (AJ) I insist that you do yourself a favor and take 23:22 minutes to watch it. The opening scenes really serve to capture the spirit of the crew. Dramatic music a la Star Wars crossed with Explosions in the Sky sets the mood for the slow motion images that follow: A man without pants walks coyly away from the camera toward the fire blazing in the distance, a couple with painted faces canoodle sweetly in the sticky heat, and a gentlemen performs some seriously impressive dance moves for a crowd that does not seem to care.
Some other notable moments:
“Keep it trippy, legalize everything! We can party and still maintain ourselves appropriately,” remarks a Juggalo at the 8:30 mark of the video, while a guy approaches his naked female companion and requests to take a picture with her—his tongue directing itself toward her nipple as the interview continues. Well put sir, you have my attention.
Another Juggalo explains the impact of ICP on his life, “I grew up to be a decent good-hearted mother fu*ker, I am a fu*king nice person.” It seems members of ICP are just like everyone else, they just want love, “I can cook like a mother fu*ker, make some fu*king straight up fu*king grub. Make some chicken fried steak, fu*king collard greens, fu*king mashed potatoes. I wanna find a skinny ass little bit*h, make her fat and then we lose weight together… then we bond.”
Their blatant devotion to this Posse of Insane Clowns interested me. By interested I naturally mean I was one part enthralled, and the other part horrified. Three glasses of wine later that evening I decided I must be experience this bizarre sub-culture for myself; the next morning I would embark on my journey of reflection and self-discovery. My parents would be thrilled, though I’m sure this was not what they had in mind when they urged me to take interest in something other than Ally McBeal reruns and my cats. College is the time for experimentation—is it not? I could see no downside to this idea, and I was right.
What follows is an unnecessarily detailed description of my day, in which nothing really happens.
My house 7:00 am
Feeling: Refreshed and excited for my new lifestyle, albeit afflicted with a rather unpleasant wine-induced headache.
I will from here on out be referred to as Maniac, my namesake being the girl that is “high on life” in the documentary. Two aspirins and some microwaved old coffee later, it dawns upon me that ICP members may not actually drink coffee. A quick Google confirms that while it is not prohibited—despite popular confusion they are not affiliated with the Mormon faith—Red Bull tends to be the caffeinated beverage of choice. Strike one, ICP.
“Welcome to the gathering of the mother fu*king Juggalos. I love you guys… and YOU guys.. and YOU guys! We have alcohol, and we have explosives. Let me show you how great we are!” lights explosive, “I’ll be here all day doing the same sh*t, drinking and blowing stuff up”
-13:20 of AJ
Carlise Walmart 7:56 am
Feeling: Adventurous, confused
I venture to the local neighborhood Walmart, as deemed by the corporation’s sign, to acquire the proper ICP attire. This is one of the places I encounter real life Burque Juggalos, so I figure this is a good place to start my journey. It is my first time at Walmart so early in the morning, and it is quite bizarre. No one is making regular purchases, myself included seeing as my cart consists of spray paint, a case of Red Bull, a bandana, an extra large black shirt, and instant oatmeal. Juggalos get hungry too, after all.
Although I am fully aware of the fact that female ICP members are “Jugalettes”, I decide to defy the gender roles of the crew and proclaim myself a “Juggalo” seeing as it is the twenty-first century and feminism must be present somewhere in this culture.
“This says ‘Titties for a Dollar’. My boyfriend wrote it. I show my titties to everyone—getting money!Gotta get gas money home.”
-19:20 of AJ
The Clown-ge 10: 05 am
Feeling: Proud of the new and TOTALLY clever name for my house (Clown plus Lounge…don’t act unimpressed!)
Following further research, and an iced Americano (I can only give up so many of my needs to adequately embody this role) I realize that not only did I not buy the correct clothing earlier in the morning, but also that it is likely not a good idea to spray paint my face. As shown in American Juggalo they definitely use spray paint on theirs, but I can’t bring myself to subject my face to that. I refuse to be responsible for decisions made at 8 am by myself with minimal coffee ingested. Face paint it is!
“That actually really burns, I’m not going to lie. I don’t think you are supposed to spray your body or your face. Never put spray paint on your face!” They continue to spray paint their faces.
-8:00 of AJ
Ghetto Walmart 11:22am
Feeling: Harassed, stressed to be at Walmart again so soon, and wishing I could spray paint the face of the child screaming in front of me
Because I simply cannot bring myself to return to the same location within a two-hour time frame, and wanting to avoid Walmart employees’ judgmental thoughts I decide to choose another venue. Luckily for me there happen to be four Walmarts within a one-mile radius of one another. The choice to go to ghetto Walmart is questionable at best, as we all know. This time my purchases includes Blow Pops, face paint, bright blue eyeshadow, camo pants that zip off at the knees, and an oversize jersey. I figure a true Juggalo needs wardrobe options for all occasions—I am nothing if not practical. I also purchase a package of mini rubber bands to fasten my hair into a mass of tiny braids shooting off into all directions.
The Clown-ge 12:36 pm
Feeling: Frustrated and strung out on sugar
Two hours and five Blow Pops later I look like a deranged barbie. Turns out ICP style is WAY harder to accomplish than it looks, which makes me wonder if they braid their hair themselves or if there is a special hair stylist devoted to constructing such masterpieces? I once again consult Google which helpfully provides me with instructional videos, though no yellow page listings.
“I heard an old man tell me that there was nothing good in the world, and I actually believed that sh*t until I came here and seen alllllll the titties, and alllllll the weed, and allllll the fast food. I mean this shi*t is bomb!”
-19:05 of AJ
Tiny Walmart by Old Navy 1:17 pm
If nothing else, I am quickly becoming a Walmart connoisseur. Turns out there is a new tiny one by Old Navy and Sketchers, I would personally like to know how Sketchers is still in business but that is a question for another time. This visit I buy whipped cream, for the purpose of performing whip-its. Later I will get hungry and decide to eat it instead. Regardless, the intention was there and I figure that must count for something. I realized I was too sober to enjoy this experience, quickly rectified by the additional purchase of vodka, how had I not already purchased this crucial item I will never know. I realized I was too sober to enjoy this experience.
“Ive been here since Friday and I have probably done a thousand whip-its. The whip-its don’t stop.”
-9:20 of AJ
“Honestly, I haven’t moved from the car because I am fu*ked up on E and vodka”
-5:45 of AJ
The Clown-ge 1:45 pm
Feeling: Invigorated (i.e. Drunk)
Considering all I have consumed today—coffee, blow pops, and whipped cream—is either sugar or caffeine I begin to wonder if drinking vodka mixed with Red Bull by myself at two in the afternoon is the best idea. It seems quite a bit of a Juggalo’s day is taken up by drinking so this calls vodka in a plastic bottle. My high school self is thrilled. It is now in my inebriated state that I discover that there are ICP music videos. An hour or three of intoxicated music video watching commences
“Homies” by ICP
The overall message seems to be something like “Don’t go to school or work, and instead party with your homies.” Mission accomplished.
The video opens with deranged Oompa Loompa’s strolling throughout the neighborhood. A poor future ICP girl gets trash canned at school until her homies rescue her and have a wild party. This party involves grilling a head, having sex while four people watch and film it. Then a guy quits his job at Burger King to join his homies and partake in the same activities with them.
Either I got progressively drunker, or the videos got more disturbing from there. Most likely it was a combination of the two. Some other hits include “Chickin Huntin”, “Boogie Woogie Wu”, “The Mom Song”. Trust me, you don’t want to know the content details of that last one, although I must admit the chorus would be rather catchy if I was a serial killer.
“I’m me man, I’m insane! I like to stab people! You know what I mean?!”
-18:40 of AJ
Backyard of the Clown-ge 11:25 pm
Feeling: Better after puking, twice
Four hours and sixteen videos later I realized I was slowly but surely getting addicted. What had started as an innocent curiosity was in danger of overtaking my life– I can see how easily someone could slip into the ICP way of life. I would much rather go to crazy parties, camp and never bathe, than have a job or go to school! It all makes so much sense.
Their vocabulary is extremely vulgar, which I love obviously. This transition was meant to be! Who knew I was training to be a Juggalo all these years—all the failed New Years resolutions to speak less vulgarly justified in light of this undertaking. Some might go so far as to say an example of serendipity at its finest. My mom was less than appreciative of this fact when she called a few hours into my little experiment and I never broke character during our conversation. I am sure she was less than thrilled but am unsure of what it says about my general character that she made no explicit comment on my vocabulary.
I can see how one could be drawn to the “family” by a sense of community. This collective of misfits finding acceptance with one another and then proceeding to get hopelessly strung out together, and roasting heads at parties.
Not sure I captured that part of it, seeing as I was by myself with face paint on dancing in my living room. My cats have never looked at me the same way again. WOOP WOOP!
“Fu*king six-months pregnant and I’m fu*king rocking it with the Homies. It’s the fu*king next generation, and it’s gonna be fu*king sweet. We are going to keep it going. Woop Woop! It takes a village to raise a child and this is the village I want my child to be raised by.”
-16: 15 of AJ
Backyard of the Clown-ge 3:45 am
I can neither confirm nor deny that I passed out in my backyard.
“I met a brain surgeon here. He was tripping on acid! I’m gonna start going to college and become a doctor and sh*t.”
-17:57 of AJ