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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Clownocracy

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. -- Hunter S. Thompson

On the one hand, it may be a bit of an overreach for the FBI to classify Juggalos as a gang, in the same sense that violent street/prison/biker gangs comport themselves.

Most crimes committed by Juggalos are sporadic, disorganized, individualistic, and often involve simple assault, personal drug use and possession, petty theft, and vandalism. However, open source reporting suggests that a small number of Juggalos are forming more organized subsets and engaging in more gang-like criminal activity, such as felony assaults, thefts, robberies, and drug sales. Social networking websites are a popular conveyance for Juggalo sub-culture to communicate and expand.

....

Juggalos’ disorganization and lack of structure within their groups, coupled with their transient nature, makes it difficult to classify them and identify their members and migration patterns. Many criminal Juggalo sub-sets are comprised of transient or homeless individuals, according to law enforcement reporting. Most Juggalo criminal groups are not motivated to migrate based upon traditional needs of a gang.


Coverage of the recent Gathering suggests that the majority of these goofballs would have trouble navigating their way out of their parents' basements, much less organize for anything more complicated than a pothead fuckfest in a remote holler:

As I walk through a tent area in the early evening, an excited Juggalo runs up to a group of guys in front of us. He has a can of beer in each hand, a cigarette on his lip, and some news: "We've got three Juggalettes giving free hand jobs in a tent up here!"

....

One Juggalo, an immense man with a red beard and a slightly lazy eye, parks himself on the side of the infamous Drug Bridge (more on that later) with a multipurpose cardboard sign: On one side, he offers "Got Neden?" stickers for sale; on the other, he's written, "Its my birthday show me your tits." In the corner, somebody has penned, "Baby mama Approved."


On the other hand, as collapse proceeds apace, gangs -- yes, even the hydrocephalic mouth-breathing Juggalo set -- constitute perhaps the purest and most original form of tribal loyalty. They know that the government has nothing for them. They know that what education they did get didn't prepare them for much, and to pursue it further would simply cost them far more money and time than they have, with no guarantees other than onerous debt.

The Dow is temporarily back "up", the Euros have bought themselves just a bit more time, like a doomed drowning victim trapped in a sinking car, instinctively sucking precious last gulps of air as the water rises inexorably, buying one more second, bargaining with inevitability.

Of course, nothing is truly inevitable, history does not have to be as deterministic as we make it out to be. It all comes down to what we decide to accept as our lot in life, if a system that quite literally depends upon and encourages eternal debt peonage for the masses, and a perverse socialized-risk gambling scheme for the very top, is mathematically sustainable.

It's human nature to confuse the ability to prolong with the ability to genuinely sustain, and that is where we are now. People still think things will right themselves, that something will come along and turn it all around, because something always does. As a planet of increasingly finite resources becomes more and more overpopulated, the futility of this sort of thinking still might not become apparent to its strongest adherents.

Providentiary thinking is magical in scope, and relieves its practitioners of the burden of empirical verification. A nation of Rick Perrys praying for rain does not a plan make. For now, the smart set of the commentariat is content to poke fun at the DFH protesting The Man, and to encourage us to self-actualize through the entertainment choices of following the exploits of celebritards and whores.

I think the effectiveness of that strategy is going to dwindle, as the economic corpses pile up in the parks and free speech zones worldwide. When even Friedman is coming around -- as if the globalization agenda he's been pimping for the last fifteen years had nothing to do with the philosophical underpinnings of the transnational merchant princes running our lives -- you know it's the real deal.

The Oakland OWS protest violence was just the beginning. Some catalyzing "black swan" event is on the near horizon, but really, unless the system itself is forced to tectonically change, it's all rearranging deck chairs on a sinking economy. For the masses, anyway; as ever, the wealthy will take it with them.

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