September 24, 2016

FEARS OF A CLOWN:

What One Man Learned Attending Both The RNC And Gathering Of The Juggalos In One Week : "Two sets of clowns, two divergent worldviews." Author Nathan Rabin crosses societal screams with his new book, 7 Days in Ohio. (JOE BERKOWITZ 09.23.16, Fast Company)

"Both events felt very influenced by wrestling. Insane Clown Posse used to be involved with the WWE, and there's a wrestling ring at the Gathering of the Juggalos, but also don't forget that Trump is a Hall of Famer at the WWE. He's a performer," Rabin says. "Both events kind of had the vibe of cult meetings, too. There's a lot of chanting, but the chanting is very different. At the Gathering, people will be chanting 'Fam-i-ly! Fam-i-ly!' or 'Magic magic ninja what!' It's about community, and there's affection there. People were chanting to affirm themselves and their experience and just be generally positive. At the RNC, when people would chant things, it was terrifying. It made me feel scared--it played to this hatred of women, more than anything. 'Lock her up!' There's this hatred that kind of goes beyond the pale and becomes frightening. 'Build a wall!' These are all just incredibly negative things. When people were chanting at the RNC, they wanted to hurt or punish somebody."

"I wouldn't say Insane Clown Posse are totally Christian, but they do promote a Judeo-Christian theology. It's almost like AA, where you just have to have faith in something bigger than yourself. The form of Christianity at the Republican National Convention just took the form of flat-out hate. The Westboro Baptist Church--the God Hates [****] people--were there, but they kind of lost some of their mojo because everybody was saying horrible things about homosexuals. There were a lot of signs like 'Sodomites roast in hell.' I think Trump's a fake-Christian. I think he is obviously a debauched sinner who realized that in 2016, if you wanna get elected as a Republican, you better start talking about how much you love Jesus and your favorite book is the Bible."

"These events are funhouse mirror reflections of each other--they're spectacles, very vulgar, populist, and they're about appealing directly to the base, but in different ways," Rabin says. "Here we have the party of the establishment, one of these two giant parties who have dominated American politics, and it has sort of compressed itself into the fringe. To say you support the Republican presidential nominee this year is to make a kind of extreme and radical statement and that's crazy. While this party is descending into madness, the Juggalos are starting to get at least a little more activist-minded and respectable. They've never been more political, working together on this case to counter the FBI."

Posted by at September 24, 2016 9:49 AM

  

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