Juggalos and Juggalettes may be more familiar with the Dark Carnival than the average person. This carnival is a rock-n-roll tour, a contemporary rendition of the Grateful Dead, or perhaps more the pantheon of invented myths of Kiss (or is that KISS?) mixed with late empire and tied up with glittering glam rock and green McShakes in time for St. Patty’s Day. To some, this carnival, and other gatherings from Burning Man to Bonnaroo is but an outlet for the average 32 oz. beverage butt chugger on the street who missed out on Woodstock and can’t fit into the fads at Hot Topic. Juggalos and Lettes worship two clown-faced (literally) song men who dance and yell at fans dressed in similar manner, a franchise of a sort we see in every generation since Handel rocked that S&M get up and light show at the Christ Messiah World Tour MDCCXLI. Perhaps this act is Gwar with less need for vinyl sewing machines? Elvis minus the pelvis? Popular culture is about inventing and disposing to make way for the new, different invention, waste and haste and sundry other sour notes. And that while these fans follow the Carnival, it was with some humorous consideration that these two boobs profess to follow another Hippie, none other than JC Himself and that they are both devout Born Again Christians…. As if the stranger aspects of Revelations indeed were also, in this world, possible.
Whatever the ethos or homage, Clownish Christian or not, inspiration or rip-off, there has always existed counter cultures of music, dance, and Bacon Cool Ranch Crisps for those borderline personalities to cling to, aspire to be, or drift towards. While many of these obsessions are lost with the Age of Reason II, that is, adulthood of some kind, there are those who continue to dress in black face paint and rock Hard Core shows long after they’re older than everyone in the room, staff included. The Dark Carnival, an entertainment vehicle of musical Dungons & Dragons™, is but a more obvious part of our contemporary culture. It is easy to identify the Juggalo by their fan-boy/girl clothes and face paint. It is less simple to identify the CrayCray among us when we do not see those most obvious signs and symptoms, when we forget that part of the word “culture” is “cult.”
And to one degree or another, we are all in this cult, whether it is a Dark Carnival of Clowns or just members of society who believe in our continued expansion of rights, technology, financial growth, and energy independence. In a way, is our participation in the voting sham any different than tossing a six sided dice and expecting our Elf of Power to increase his strike hits? We may not dress up in paint and silly hoddies, yet, at times we do. Just not in a uniquely Juggalish manner. Not so identifiable in costume, and less between the ages of 14 – 23…. The cult about us is indeed so pervasive that we cannot even see the boundaries, nor identify the singular leader. There is no gate, no Old Man of the Mountains, no signifier that we are made to expect from so many tales – long hours (non-union labor), low carb diet (Palio diet?), control of thought and emotions (TeeVee and SSRI Inhibitors), conformity of dress (Walmart). To this, we need not shave our head and join, take the talking stick, drink the Kool Aid, no we need do no more than continue to believe in Hope and Change, Believe in America, Fixodent and Forget It, Don’t Squeeze the Charmin, Coke is It, Relief is Spelled R-O-L-A-I-D-S, or mattress leaves off the last ‘s’ for savings. Our cult is one of pervasive belief in the material world, and that this world is neutered and kind to us, gives up Her Bounty and supple resources because we ask nicely and not that we rip, tear, claw, and rend our way through the environment to translate millions of years (or nine thousand) into the tyres on our cars and French ticklers on our… appendages. It is a hard cult to get out of this one of ours, since on the other side, if there is one geographically, is not a Garden of Eden where we can think freely from our cult masters and invented rituals, not a place where we can become “who we really are” and rid ourselves of all vestiges of this cult’s pervasive mind control, but that escape is to a land of The Fall, that space where Adam and Eve (or Steve) were banished. That Garden, we are in it now, with soft feet and tan asses, our greatest worry that we have far too much to eat, too little physical activity since we travel without moving, eat without harvesting, and press a button or turn a switch to escape whatever the climate outside may be. We feel no cold, heat, hunger, and unlike the garden, we are those sinful creatures of want and wane who spill lasting grief despite our full bellies and atrophied muscles.
To leave this cult of plenty is to venture to those nations where death is a daily ritual. To travel to those lands where people still feel hunger, thirst, heat and cold. To leave the cult is to grow old early, to see your hands gnarl and twist as your back curves under the weight of sacks of potatoes, bales of hay, hunching to pick berries in the summer gloaming. Hard work makes you old. Fresh air makes you sick. Nature sends insects to eat your harvest, animals to scrounge your store houses, pestilence to smite your seed from the earth. Without DDT the Bible starts to take on real meaning, and to describe the veil of tears that life is, or has been for so long, and for so many.
To this world of thorns it is hard to want to leave this cult. Hard to believe this time of Skin so Soft solutions and hot water on demand can end, or otherwise become again that domain of the few who separate themselves from the Greater Unwashed Lupen Prols. The Clowns of ICP sing a ballad about believing in miracles. It was the song that outted them as not-gay-devil-worshiping-homosexuals. We may laugh as these marauding hopping entertainers jesting with a subculture of the nation’s youth, as we chuckle at those Thetan worshiping (fearing, in awe, seeking? I can’t remember) Scientologist dicksticks or chide and chafe in the presence of Jehovah Witnesses as we puke a little into our mouths at the thought of the Church of Latter Day Saints in the Oval Office or a Mohammadian Kenyan for that matter…. These are the obvious cults. The ones we don’t belong to.
A flaming sword that moves in all directions guards the Tree of Life, and entrance to Eden. For us, it is billions of dollars invested in the machinery of death, and the soldiers needed to control those drones. Today, I flew at 20,000 feet in the air for two hours, and as I did so I did not move except to pour myself a glass of wine.
I believe in Miracles. I was flying in space, compliment of algae that had died 100,000,000 years before I was born.
Pure motherfucking magic
Right? This shit’ll blow your fucking mind – The Insane Clown Posse