Part of the appeal of modern pop culture is the identity it gives. And no identity sells better than the outsider shunned by the establishment who plays by his own rules. It was part of what made cowboys so popular, living on a lawless frontier where might makes right and establishment entities were too far away to be effective, enabling them to be the hero. Pirates. Ninjas. And, of course, hip hop culture.
Among the various subcultures, the one that seems to be universally disliked is the Juggalos. These are fans of a rap group called The Insane Clown Posse. Not a fan of theirs, I don't care. And I refuse to goof on their fans. Not only does everyone have their bag (are the people who paint their faces and chant for the ICP any different than the guy who paints his body team colors and screams in the stands at a football game?), but come on. My default image on my blog has me posing with a life-size Pikachu. It's not like I got any room to talk from the, "Let's conduct ourselves with some dignity, hmm?" point of view.
Juggalos get picked on by everybody. And I mean everybody. Even the furries make fun of them, which is really mindboggling. Juggalos want legitimacy, but how can they get it? The band hasn't been shot like 50 Cent. They aren't cultural touchstones like Eminem. What can they do?
Well, they can claim they are outlaws.
The FBI has officially classified Juggalos as a gang. You know, like the Crips and the Bloods.
The FBI just released its 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment Report, and it mentions Juggalos are a "loosely-organized hybrid gang" that are "forming more organized subsets and engaging in more gang-like criminal activity." They cite low grade dealing, thefts, felony assaults, and communicating and expand their numbers with social networking sites. Curiously, there is no mention of Deadheads even though they fit that bill, too.
I'm sorry, but, aren't there, like, REAL gangs and terrorists to worry about? The feds just broke up an Iranian assassination attempt on US soil. And this group that is pretty much the joke of all subcultures gets a write up in a gang threat report?
If you are wondering why people think the feds are completely out of touch with everyday American lives, it's because of stuff like this.
You are now leaving a Lindsay Lohan-free zone.