“It sucks to be white and uneducated and underemployed in America.”
The release of the Insane Clown Posse’s sixth joker card album, The Wraith: Shangri La, did not mark the end of the world, but for many Juggalos, it may as well have. On the album’s final track, “Thy Unveiling,” the duo revealed that their mission as musicians had always been to serve a higher power: “When we speak of Shangri-La, what you think we mean? Truth is we follow God! We’ve always been behind Him! The Carnival is God. And may all Juggalos find Him!” (more…)
“They’re the sonic equivalent of a low-budget horror movie”
ICP is funny, it’s just that most of us are too old to get the joke.
If Internet memes are in fact like viruses, a certain unhealthy fascination with the Insane Clown Posse seems to be one bug that our collective body has at last overcome. Rewind eight months, when most of us contracted (or re-contracted) Shaggy 2 Dope and Violent J on YouTube, that great incubator of digital contagion. There we discovered, with mingled joy and revulsion, that around these two scary clowns had sprung up not just a school of rap, but an entire subculture of angry-looking men and women, or “Juggalos” and “Juggalettes.” It felt wrong to mock these people, but, like the delicious scratching of rashy flesh, we delighted ourselves in it nonetheless. (more…)
“Gay-rights groups sound as conservative as the religious right”
I have to start this piece with a sort of humbling retraction. A few months ago, I wrote an essay for this blog about the recall of three Iowa Supreme Court justices due to their having ruled in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage in that state. I also remarked on the fact that, despite a red tide giving Republicans majorities in state legislatures across the country, Democrats in my adoptive home state of Illinois kept their grip on power in Springfield: (more…)
“The drunken American exchange students you are bound to run into are as real as anybody else”
Men sporting galoshes and long un-ashed cigarettes zip by me on their turret trucks and I half sit on a ledge to make room. As it turns out, I also half sit on a cutting board used to slaughter fish, leaving a perfect line of blood on the butt of my new khakis. I duck into a footpath to catch a glimpse of huge frozen tunas being cut with electric saws and almost knock over a Styrofoam box of unidentifiable, but presumably edible, inky sludge. (more…)
“The character of death itself may become more virtual.”
In the past couple of years, two of my closest friends, both in their twenties, have died. They were both people whom I saw on an almost daily basis, and both left behind various physical reminders of themselves scattered about my apartment: a length of prayer flags, articles of clothing, books, handwritten letters, photographs, a rusting bike still locked to my front porch. Sometimes I look to these things for comfort. Sometimes I’d rather not look at them at all. (more…)
“What does the printed word still have left to offer us?”
For those of us who love the printed word, and tend to view each new sign of its decline in apocalyptic terms, Penelope Green’s article in the New York Times last month had a real Book of Revelations vibe.
“The real problem is, The Daily Show can’t de-Munn”
Olivia Munn is still working for The Daily Show, and I’m outraged.
I’m not outraged for the same reasons that girl-power blog Jezebel was when they wrote about Munn’s having been hired last July. The blog alleged that Munn—former Attack of the Show host and inspirer of ejaculate the internet around—was obviously only hired as eye candy, because The Daily Show thinks that’s all that women are. Their argument that the program has a gender “double standard” was supported by mostly off-the-record comments from female ex-employees who blamed their terminations on their lack of Y-chromosomes. (more…)
What kind of truth nonfiction really tells.
“James Frey is an asshole,” someone said to me recently during a discussion about Frey’s most recent endeavors. I don’t disagree.
Four years after The Smoking Gun revealed that Frey had exaggerated parts of his memoir A Million Little Pieces, about triumphing over addiction, he’s back in the news with his own fiction company Full Fathom Five. Frey’s been doling out miserable contracts to young MFA students for practically no pay to write commercial works they won’t own the rights to in order to create high-profit, low-overhead literary franchises. Right: asshole. (more…)
“the abomination of Obama’s nation…”
Barack Obama doesn’t care about black people.
That’s the position taken by Toby Harnden of the Daily Telegraph – Britain’s highest-circulation daily – who believes that Obama has neglected the well-being of his own minority group: “It will take [a new voice] to break down the racial barriers in America that the first black president has been content to leave in place.” (more…)