Juggalos: 21st Century Hippies?

This video was posted last year after Sean Dunne attended the 2011 “Gathering of the Juggalos”.  Somehow I missed it until I saw it posted on Gawker.

It is a 22 minute peek into a sub-culture that I personally can’t wrap my head around.  15,000 attendees, all fans, maybe more of the scene than the act, and all of them appear to be bound by the “fam-uh-lee”.  It looks like this family is a little different from how I think most of us define the word.  I’m pretty sure there wasn’t a single person that wasn’t drunk or high, and that includes the “straight-edged” Juggalos (but maybe they just look stoned).  There is something admirable that the group seems committed to being nonjudgmental of one another and so communal – but it’s just scary and sad that all of that is wrapped up in a giant flag of booze, drug abuse and the committed love of the ‘music’ of Insane Clown Posse’.

After watching the doc, I suddenly had the realization that my reaction is probably not far off from the reactions of 40 something white guys back in 1969 when they saw footage of what was going on at Woodstock.  I’m guessing those that attended that famed music festival would be offended at the comparisons, but when you really get to the bottom of it what hippies from then talked about and what these Juggalos are all talking about in the doc – are frighteningly similar.  I do wonder what the future holds for all of these people who are so obviously abusing the living crap out of their bodies, but I am sure old man 1969 probably wondered the same thing about people who today are productive parents and community leaders.  This ultimately is a terribly small slice of Americana, but it’s America nonetheless. It certainly reminds me there are all sorts of pieces of the American puzzle that I can’t identify with, comprehend and/or scares the shit out of my sheltered middle class world.

Warning, this is NSFW.  Mostly for an uncountable number uses and variations of the word, “fuck”.  But there is a lot of very uncomely nudity (Juggalos are not a beautiful lot) and other stuff you probably wouldn’t want your boss or nosy co-worker catching you viewing while on the gig.  I would also suggest that while you can watch it below, you may most enjoy it if you use this link to the original Vimeo posting simply because the player is bigger, and you need to watch this in HD and in its full glory.