Pop Rocks: Send In the Clowns
Long an in-joke among connoisseurs of bad music and trailer park culture, even as they've enjoyed extensive significant success without the benefit of radio or MTV airplay, Insane Clown Posse are enjoying unexpected popularity thanks to a couple of recent developments.
The first of which was this week's Nightline story about the band's fans (known as "Juggalos") committing murder, because no other musical group has a similar demographic that perpetuates violence, apparently.
It's to host Martin Bashir's discredit that two dudes with the names "Violent J" and "Shaggy 2 Dope" could so ably school him on the subject of causation vs. correlation.
I can't be the only one who remembers when Nightline actually offered incisive commentary on current world events. Now, every time I see the loathsome Bashir trotting out this tabloid crap I pray for Ted Koppel to burst into the studio like the Kurgan from Highlander, only instead of driving Bashir around the city listening to Queen, Koppel just beheads him outright and steals his Quickening energy, which allows him to resume his position as host for another 20 years.
Bashir's argument for Insane Clown Posse's negative influence (the attackers wore ICP t-shirts) could be picked apart by a first year philosophy student, and Violent J actually does a decent job deflecting this attack...when Bashir lets him get a word in edgewise, that is.
But the goodwill doesn't end here. ICP is apparently turning over a new leaf, and has decided to make serious scientific inquiries into the naturalistic wonders surrounding us all. To wit:
Watch it all. Watch it twice. I'm almost ashamed to say I resisted sitting through this for as long as I could, and now I can't stop watching it. There are so many high points here: "Fucking magnets; how do they work?", "I don't want to talk to a scientist," "Magic everywhere in this bitch," I don't want to waste time focusing on just one.
For me, I think the most transcendent moment is at 1:30, when Violent J -- perhaps overwhelmed by the sheer tonnage of science being dropped -- shudders with the same kind of existential realization as Keanu Reeves after he made his "butt-reaming asshole" speech in Parenthood.
The sad truth is, ICP is never going to be accepted as a mainstream act. It's to their credit they've achieved the success they have, but...they're just not good. I'm not being mean, it's just the way it is.
So what's next? I suggest a reality show blitz. Maybe Keeping Up with the Klownz, or For the Love of Violent J.
...I should probably go to bed now.