The Insane Clown Posse, long known for lyrics encouraging rape and murder, and whose violent, hedonistic fans are known for carrying out the lyrics’ suggestions (most recently pelting Tila Tequila with their own feces like so many monkeys at the zoo), have all along been trying to lead people to Christ.
Hard to believe? But why? With lyrics like this:
I’m hating sluts
Shoot them in the face, step back and itch my nuts
Unless I’m in the sack
Cos I fuck so hard it’ll break their back.
Twenty years of this filth, and the pair have built a following of “juggalos” who are implicated in murders, rapes, and gang violence. The pair has been banned from a number of cities in the US as a result.
ICP have a fearsome reputation, fostered by news reports showing teenagers in juggalo T-shirts arrested for stabbing strangers and lyrics like “Barrels in your mouth/bullets to your head/The back of your neck’s all over the shed/Boomshacka boom chop chop bang.”
All of which made Violent J’s announcement a few years ago really quite astonishing: Insane Clown Posse have this entire time secretly been evangelical Christians. They’ve only been pretending to be brutal and sadistic to trick their fans into believing in God. They released a song, Thy Unveiling, that spelt out the revelation beyond all doubt:
Fuck it, we got to tell.
All secrets will now be told
No more hidden messages
…Truth is we follow GOD!!!
We’ve always been behind him
The carnival is GOD
And may all juggalos find him
We’re not sorry if we tricked you.
The news shook the juggalo community to its core. While some fans claimed they’d actually had an inkling, having deciphered some of the hidden messages in several songs, others said they felt deeply betrayed and outraged: they’d been innocently enjoying all those songs about chopping people up and shooting women, and it was Christian rock?
Oddly enough, many “juggalos” still deny that ICP is promoting Christianity, and focus their energies on the lyrics promoting rape, murder, and other sorts of violence. Just Google “juggalo violence” for thousands of examples.
ICP does deserve credit, however, for their 2009 number, “Miracles”. Unlike much of their previous work, “Miracles” does in fact demonstrate a Christian evangelical attitude toward science. First, everything on Earth is a creation of their favored deity; second, scientists are liars trying to destroy God’s mysteries.
The happy stuff:
Hot lava, snow, rain and fog,
Long neck giraffes, and pet cats and dogs
Fuckin’ rainbows after it rains
There’s enough miracles here to
blow your brains.
And now the anti-intellectual stuff:
Fuckin’ magnets, how do they work?
And I don’t wanna talk to a scientist
Y’all motherfuckers lying and
getting me pissed.
That’s right! Scientists are liars, making stuff up so people will not appreciate the wonder of God’s Creation!
The Posse are now learning what it means to be evangelical Christians: Persecution for their anti-science, anti-intellectual beliefs.
But they also seem melancholy and preoccupied with the negative critical response to Miracles. Saturday Night Live just parodied it (“Fuckin’ blankets, how do they work?”) and the internet is filled with amused and sometimes outraged science bloggers dissecting the lyrics. Violent J and Shaggy have been watching them, they tell me, feeling increasingly saddened and irate.
“A college professor took two days out of her fucking life to specifically attack us,” says Violent J. “Oh yeah, she had it all figured out.”
One of the ICP road crew locates the video on his iPhone, and it is indeed withering: “The [Miracles] video is not only dumb, but enthusiastically dumb, endorsing a ferocious breed of ignorance that can only be described as militant. The entire song is practically a tribute to not knowing things.”
“Fuck you, man,” says Violent J. “Shut the fuck up.”
“Did you anticipate this kind of reaction?” I ask them.
“No,” sighs Violent J. “I figured most people would say, ‘Wow, I didn’t know Insane Clown Posse could be deep like that.’ But instead it’s, ‘ICP said a giraffe is a miracle. Ha ha ha! What a bunch of idiots.’” He pauses, then adds defiantly, “A giraffe is a fucking miracle. It has a dinosaur-like neck. It’s yellow. Yeah, technically an elephant is not a miracle. Technically. They’ve been here for hundreds of years…”
“Thousands,” murmurs Shaggy.
That’s right, Shaggy. Elephants have been on Earth for thousands of years, not hundreds! (When did 21-year-old Zinnia Jones become a college professor, anyway?)
We watch the video for another few seconds: “It becomes apparent that Shaggy and J consider any understanding of the actual workings of these ‘miracles’ to be corrosive. To them, knowledge is seen as a threat… For ICP a true understanding of ‘fucking rainbows’ would reduce them to, as Keats put it, ‘the dull catalogue of common things’.”
Violent J shakes his head sorrowfully. “Who looks at the stars at night and says, ‘Oh, those are gaseous forms of plutonium’?” he says. “No! You look at the stars and you think, ‘Those are beautiful.’”
Suddenly he glances at me. The woman in the video is bespectacled and nerdy. I am bespectacled and nerdy. Might I have a similar motive?
“I don’t know how magnets work,” I say, to put him at his ease.
“Nobody does, man!” he replies, relieved. “Magnetic force, man. What else is similar to that on this Earth? Nothing! Magnetic force is fascinating to us. It’s right there, in your fucking face. You can feel them pulling. You can’t see it. You can’t smell it. You can’t touch it. But there’s a fucking force there. That’s cool!”
And don’t you dare try to explain it, scientists. The juggalos know you’re lying.
How long have Shaggy and Violent J been tools of the Religious Right? Twenty years, they claim. How effective has their message been?