IF YOU WATCH THIS video on mute, it will probably look like a living comic book of stereotypical white trash do-no-gooders. And if you watch it with sound, there’s a good chance it will still look exactly the same. But it’s worth listening a bit closer.
The Gathering of the Juggalos is basically the Burning Man of the counter-counter-subculture, Juggaloism (please, any Juggalos/lettes out there, correct my uninitiated parlance). Every year, dedicated fans of the Insane Clown Posse turn out to a pop-up festival of ininhibited hedonism in a nameless Midwestern camping spot. In general, the premise is pretty simple:
“What do you guys like most about being a juggalo”
“The family!” We’re home. We can get fucked up and dont have to worry about it!
You’ll likely see nudity, drugs, graffiti everywhere, and kids pouring FayGo on their heads while wearing clown masks that would scare the hell out of even the most seasoned carnie. But they insist that it’s not just a one-time deal, and it’s not even about the music–a Juggalo is a state of mind, a lifestyle.
“I’ve been here since Friday night, I’ve probably done 1000 whippits. the whippits don’t stop. You know what, the gathering don’t stop. You do.”
As he says this, his friend on the lawn chair next to him vigorously inhales a full balloon of nitrous oxide while leaning back quietly, slowly closing his eyes as if savoring the taste like a meditating cigar aficionado.
Certainly, the notions of family, brotherhood, and togetherness amidst the anarchy are central tenets of Juggalodom. The Juggalos were Bros before being a Bro was cool.
“It’s about true, straightworthy ninjahood.”
“Control and anarchy, that’s what we’re all about. We can party and still maintain ourselves appropriately.”
“It’s all about the family!”
It should be noted that the last quote about family is by far the most recurring theme of Juggalo philosophy made clear in this video. The people being interviewed continuously go out of their way to make it clear that the Gathering of the Juggalos, in their minds, is the most liberated, free-spirit, most welcoming place on Earth.
“I heard an old man tell me that there was nothing good left in the world and I actually believed it until I came here and saw all the titties, all the weed, all the fast food, I mean, this shit’s bomb…!”
And while those unfamiliar to the Gathering/Juggalo lifestyle would likely be quick to call them out for their immature and illegal acts of freedom, by and large it seems that, much as in childhood, the bond that’s formed through being mischievous together is a strong one.
“I’ll tell you for real about being a Juggalo man, that shit made me the motherfucker I am today. I don’t even wanna think about the motherfucker I’d be [without juggalos]. I grew up to be a fuckin’ decent, good-hearted motherfucker. I’m a fuckin nice person. I can cook. Like a motherfucker. I can make some fuckin’ straight up fuckin grub, fuckin chicken fried steak, fuckin collard greens, fuckin mashed potatoes…I wanna find a skinny bitch, make her fat, and then we’ll lose weight together. And then we’ll bond.”
Regardless of what anyone thinks, I’m sure we can all agree on the following quote, voiced by a drunken dialysis patient explaining his own Juggalo philosophy:
“Life is something special that you can only have one time. Enjoy the shit out of it.”