People have been stealing Spencer Ackerman’s report: that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has added fans of Insane Clown Posse to their gang watch list left right and center. But it seems to me they’re missing a crucial detail given that the Juggalos have a massive and massively-publicized gathering every year, isn’t this the world’s most easily-resolved gang sting?
I really shouldn’t be flip about this. There’s no question that bad things have happened at the Gathering of the Juggalos — you may not like Tila Tequila, and you may think she’s a phony invading your safe space, but you don’t get to assault her on stage. And it seems like a pretty sexist culture. But none of that makes ICP fans on the same spectrum as Mexican drug cartels. The group is, after all, theoretically supposed to be a stealth evangelical Christian outreach project, though I’d be curious about Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope’s conversion rates. And nothing suggests to me that there needs to be a systemic investigation and response to the existence of the Juggalos, whose crimes seem minor enough to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
Culture doesn’t make people commit crimes. I have no idea why we can’t absorb that fact, but apparently, it’s a challenging concept for law and order and family values worriers. It’s easy to displace responsibility onto video games, onto 2 Live Crew, onto rock and roll. It’s much harder to face up to changing norms, poverty, and social alienation.