Monday, November 09, 2009


Here's an interesting reality check.

If you offered it right now, I bet more people would take classes about the Juggalos than Lao or Hmong literature.

When I look at how many thousands of people happily come, of their own free will, dressed in the defiant regalia of the Juggalo, and have whole songs memorized, compared to the work of Lao writers and musicians, it makes me pause.

REALLY pause.

To its credit, on paper, if in somewhat dubious practice, Juggalos, have a very progressive membership in many ways. Juggalos are typically fans of the band Insane Clown Posse or the other hip hop bands attached to Psychopathic Records. You can find a number of quotes online that state there's no one definition of a Juggalo. In a press release, the band has declared: "there are no requirements to being a Juggalo. We don't care if you spend a dime on merch, or if you know the words to every song. If this music touches you, and you get some positive experience from it, we would be honored to have you consider yourself a Juggalo."

One 2005 interview has a band member explaining: "you could be a Juggalo and not even listen to ICP. A Juggalo is a frame of mind and what not." and "Juggalos are Juggalos." Which oddly reminds me of the great Wole Soyinka quote: "Un tigre ne proclâme pas sa tigritude, il saute sur sa proie" or, "A tiger doesn't talk about its tigerness, it pounces on its prey!"

Overall, the openness with which people can enter, to their own particular level of contentment, within Juggalo culture, may be something other societies should consider. Especially those that are emerging as post-geographic, post-national cultures, where more members exist outside of any one nation than within it. Just an idle thought for the day.

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