Juggalos On Washington Avenue: What's the Worst That Could...Oh, Right. (NSFW)
To say that a Juggalo Gathering would go smoothly or as planned is a massive understatement. Saturday night's Juggalo Gathering at Walter's showed everything that is right with the Insane Clown Posse apostles' movement, and also everything that could possibly go wrong.
What hath God wrought?
The scene couldn't have been more perfect. You had the heat of the night, alcohol, the sturm und drang of Washington Avenue on a prime night, melding with the "Woop Woop" rallying cry from the assembled Juggalos and Juggalettes in the front lot of Walter's. Rocks Off showed up late, around 9:30 p.m., only to be informed that he had missed the Faygo drinking contest, but we were actually right on time to see the Faygo Wet T-Shirt Contest (NSFW pictures after the jump).
It had local ICP-centric rap cliques performing, mild nudity, Faygo soda being sloshed everywhere, petty to heated fighting, and about six dozen other things that would bowl over anyone else who isn't used to Juggalo Culture.
2010 has been a big year for ICP so far, maybe the biggest since the record label dispute in 1997. This year, there was the guest spot on Aqua Teen Hunger Force, the Saturday Night Live spoofs, the video for the track "Miracles", which made magnets and scientists buzzwords for everyone. All the sport and comedy that can be made of them doesn't faze the Juggalos. For the Juggalo family, it seems that any press is good press, and you can't deny that on an entertainment level. Fuckin' social media how does that work?
Rocks Off has had a torrid and strange relationship with Juggalo culture that borders less on irony-laden amusement and falls something closer to anthropology. For close to the past year we have studied them, and laughed at them, and somehow grown to understand them.
We are wont to invoke Jane Goodall, but not even our own genetic family members the chimps and apes in the trees have the same amount of devotion, love, and frustration towards one another. Somewhere during the Insane Clown Posse show back in October at Warehouse Live we finally "got" what was going on. After the third Faygo shower from the stage, it clicked.
For these brothers and sisters, it's family. They even chant the word at odd intervals when either a fight breaks out or one Juggalo decides to holler it in the ether. Speaking of family, it really was a family event. We saw a handful mothers and fathers, and even one honest-to-God infant at the Gathering.
It's not just a group of folks who all like the same beats and rhymes; it's actually this big dysfunctionally functional brood that takes care of its own. On the same token they will weed out and beat down anyone in their midst who crosses them. The Juggalos we have met and shook hands with aren't like the ones we see in the media killing people and doing all other sorts of awful acts. They are just vulnerable as anyone else, but they congregate together to protect themselves from this cruel and weird world. Behind the crude culture, they are all lost kids, and some adults, who found each other.
From the time Rocks Off landed on the Gathering and till it was unceremoniously cut short, we saw 18 wet and topless Juggalette boobies during the wet t-shirt contest, smeared clown face paint everywhere, and enough fights to count on both hands, the last of which would help end the night early. The trajectory of the night went down fast after an underage Juggalette tried to put out a cigarette in bartender Modi Ramos' eye after Ramos asked her to put it out inside the venue. The smoking girl's mother (well, adopted mother) was there further quickening the ugliness of the situation.
The fight that shut the show down was actually one out-of-line Juggalo and several others from what we could tell. What started as standard mosh pit rough-housing turned into a full-on brawl that ended up outside close to the street with men and women screaming at one another and fighting on the ground. For future reference, remember that Juggalettes will fight too, and even dirtier than their male counterparts.
The whole shebang was shuttered by 11:30 p.m. by the Walter's staff, leaving a few disappointed Juggalos outside, and the organizers from the Houston Juggalos group that put on the event cleaning up the spilled Faygo and apologizing for the others behavior. It wasn't the mass wooping uber-Kumbaya that the October ICP show was at all. If anything it just showcased how a few bad Juggalos can ruin the whole bunch.
For more photos (and boobies) from the night, check out our slideshow.