Exploiting the Archives: the Juggalo Files/March on Washington Prequel
Well, folks, if you are me, you are about to embark on what promises to be one of the most memorable weekends of your life when you march alongside your fellow Juggalos at the big Juggalo March on Washington this Saturday, which I will be covering both for this here site and also High Times.
If you’re me, you’ve devoted much of the past seven years to writing about Insane Clown Posse, Juggalos and the Gathering of the Juggalos. My first piece on Insane Clown Posse is the product of my very first night in Juggalo World, when I had the surreal experience of watching Tila Tequila’s infamous performance, one that was cut short by Juggalos hurling projectiles at her.
I was in a much different place in my life when I wrote that piece. I’d never really listened to Insane Clown Posse’s music beyond the “Miracles” video and I still viewed them with skepticism, condescension and no small amount of classism. I sure as shit didn’t identify as a Juggalo back then, and I suspect the dude who wrote that piece would be shocked at what a huge role Insane Clown Posse would play in his professional future. Y’all can read my “When Juggalos Attack” blog for The A.V Club here.
I returned to the Gathering the next year for the book that became You Don’t Know Me But You Don’t Like Me and again in 2012 for my final full year as head writer of The A.V Club, for an epic article entitled Strange Times at the 2012 Gathering of the Juggalos
I skipped the 2013 and 2014 Gatherings because I was working for Pitchfork/The Dissolve, which sure as shit wasn’t going to send me to the Gathering of the Juggalos but also wasn’t too keen on me writing for anyone else, or for them either, as it turns out.
In 2015 I returned to freelancing for The A.V Club and the Gathering for another epic exploration, in this case entitled Children, a Wedding and Juggalos for Jesus. I followed it up the next year with a piece entitled “The RNC, the Gathering of the Juggalos, My Long Lost Little Brother and Me”, a condensed version of what would become 7 Days in Ohio.
That doesn’t even include either of the two interviews that I have done with Violent J for The A.V Club, one for their Set List feature (I’m kind of bummed that I did this interview before I actually got into ICP’s music; I think I’d get a lot more out of it now) and one, more recently, for their 11 Questions feature.
But that’s not all! I also covered the first annual Canadian Juggalo Weekend for the respectable folks over at The Globe and Mail and of course wrote about the similarities between Trump and ICP’s appeals to poor acolytes for a much-read article in Cracked.
I went to see Insane Clown Posse perform in a Rob Zombie-designed haunted house for GQ and in my role as a leftist Juggalo wrote an editorial about the March for Psychopathic’s website.
Looking back at the hundreds upon thousands of words I’ve written about Insane Clown Posse in book, magazine, newspaper and online form I wondered what on earth could have compelled me to pursue such a strange path. Is it coincidental that since I got into Insane Clown Posse, I became unemployable, got fired from my last full-time job with benefits, could no longer afford to live in my house, spent over a year living in my in-laws’ basement and have struggled to hold onto my career via self-publishing and begging strangers for money on the internet while my former colleagues write for places like Rolling Stone, The New York Times and have their own little media empires? I dunno. Maybe.
I’m not done writing about ICP. Not by a long shot. In some ways, it feels like everything I’ve ever written about Insane Clown Posse has just been a warm-up for what’s ahead of this weekend.
Wish a ninja luck and I sure wouldn’t mind if you chipped in a dollar at https://www.patreon.com/nathanrabinshappyplace to honor 20 years of periodic excellence in pop-culture writing and more articles and books about Juggalos than it makes sense for anyone to write, no matter how professionally self-destructive or obsessed.