by Jaime Lees
It was only a matter of time. Insane Clown Posse fans have their own language, style of dress, food / drink, tattoos, rituals and culture -- why wouldn't they have their own Facebook?
Fans of ICP call themselves "Juggalos" (or "Juggalettes" for the ladies) and they have now been supplied with their own social network, Juggalobook. We poked around on Juggalobook for a few hours. And then we pondered the very existence of the Juggalo. Here's what we thought:
The design and style on Juggalobook is very similar to Facebook, it's just suckier. Over the course of a couple of frustrating hours, we found that everything on there is just a little bit wonky. The pages take forever to load and the advertisements are both obnoxious and omnipresent. Still, it's a design that is easy to navigate, especially if one is already familiar with Facebook. And, of course, access to ICP merchandise is always only a few clicks away. (The money-making geniuses sell every kind of merch possible, and it's all way expensive.)
The direct rips of Facebook were everywhere, but they were all Juggalo'd. For example, instead of clicking "like" on a picture or a post, one clicks "Whoop whoop!" instead. (FYI: "Whoop whoop!" is Juggalo-speak for "yay" or "holla.") And "add friend" is "add homie," etc.
The move to launch Juggalobook seems a little late for a group that has always had such a strong Internet presence. Juggalos consider each other family, even if they have never met in person. Frequently ICP fans will "meet" online long before they meet in person at a concert or the Gathering of the Juggalos. (Yes, they have their own yearly festival. Terrifying pictures of it are here.)
As far as American subcultures go, there are few that are more fascinating and easily observable than the Juggalos. Though the FBI has recently classified Juggalos as a gang, most outsiders just see them as disaffected, fat, possibly scary white trash. It is clearly a group for those who identify as outsiders.
There's actually something kind of sweet there in the way that these (usually) twenty-somethings find and support each other. ICP fans come together from all over the country and get together just to have a good time. That's not to say that I don't find their habits to be a little scary- binge drinking, heavy drugs and a misogynistic atmosphere are a given in Juggalo culture, but there is a sort-of all-for-one camaraderie amongst the crew. (And, for what it's worth, some friends and I went to the ICP show last summer at Pop's as a goof -- pretty much just to make fun of Juggalos -- and all of the people that we met that day were super friendly and eager to pass their flask or their joint to us to try to make us feel included in their good times. We went to the show to be jerks and we left feeling like jerks.) Of course, there are bad apples. These are the ones that I'm scared of running into, and these are the ones that are the most entertaining on Juggalobook. There are dudes who just get way too into it. Going into Juggalo territory is not like entering another country, it's like landing on another planet. Juggalobook is an extension of this other invented life. Most of the people have their faces painted in a way that completely obscures all facial social cues. Someone in full face paint could be happy or angry and it might be hard to tell how they are feeling. But, hey, you'd encourage painting your face, too, if you looked like Ed Rooney. In keeping with ICP tradition- one uses one's Juggalo name as a screen name. The screen names are spelled in Juggalo-style and frequently include the words "twizted," "wykyd," and "gurl."
I think the most interesting thing about Juggalo subculture is Juggalettes. How they behave and how they are treated is unique to the group. First of all, rarely does a Juggalette meet average American beauty standards. Stretch marks, C-sections scars, lumpy thighs and saggy tits are the normal in ICP land, not the exception. And these women are seen as pieces of meat. They are frequently groped, put on display and encouraged to engage in public sex acts by their male counterparts. And most of them seem to volunteer for this treatment. It's interesting because these are women who would never, ever be considered sex objects by conventional standards. With a Juggalette, it doesn't matter that she's obese or that her hair is terrible, in this culture even the most busted female can be considered attractive, as long as she is DTF. It's fascinating and this phenomenon should be something that future anthropologists study in graduate school. (I'm looking at you, Webster University.)
What do you think of Juggalos and Juggalobook? It's easy to sign up and one is instantly rewarded with shenanigans from a foreign culture. Remember how much fun we all had making fun of the "Miracles" video? (Nearly 10 million views!) You can have that much fun on Juggalobook, but watch out for AdultJuggalos.net. It's NSFW for life.