How DO those magnets work?

You know, I never really wanted to talk about this ever again. I really didn’t. Okay, well maybe during happy hour where it’d make for a decent bar story that no one would really believe anyway. I’d like to talk about it at that moment. Then, a few days ago, all of my dear friends sent me a link to a video claiming that “my people” came out with another video. An awesome video.

They were all lying and I hope they die in a fire.

Here is that video that brought back a bunch of terrible memories. WARNING: NSFW (Language).

Since then, it’s exploded into the ranks of an internet meme. It’s everywhere, forcing me to remember that I worked for them. (Well, I interned anyway.) Some people seem surprized by the whole thing. I mean hell, ICP’s songs are often about having sex with dead bodies and violence. What’s up with this one being kinda spiritual? Well, honestly, I could go ahead and explain that. For research, I read Violent J’s autobiography before I started working for them.  Through that, as well as my encounters with their employees and fans, I learned alot about the whole Juggalo culture-way more than I think anyone not associated with them knows. Actually considering that most of them don’t make it through high school, I’m pretty sure I have a deeper grasp than most of them. (Though I will admit I’ve met some rather sharp Juggalos who are really nice guys).

So yes, I could explain how that song makes perfect sense considering their beliefs and worldview, and I could even tell you about their beliefs and how it’s akin to a very strange Christianity, but I doubt anyone would find it interesting.

So instead, I’ll tell you the strangeness that was working for them! (That and I feel like copy-pasting the whole report on my internship for my Intern Practum class would be cheating).

It began around the time I realized I was about to graduate from college with an English degree. Since I didn’t want to go into teaching at the time, I realized I needed experience in something. I had heard about Wayne State’s English Department’s internship program and jumped at it. The director of the program, and one of my favorite professors, M.L. Leibler suggested a rather odd place to work: Psychopathic Records. My intial responce was asking if it was a joke, but it wasn’t. After looking at my other choices it seemed the most interesting and I jumped at it.

My boss’s name was Nathan, and at the interview he was quick to explain just what kind of people I was going to be dealing with. “They are degenerates, juvenile delinquents, high school dropouts, and outcasts… pretty much white trash.” One of the first questions he asked me during my interview was if I knew who ICP was and if I was a fan. Of course I knew who they were, but I was honest and told him I wasn’t a fan. He actually breathed a sigh of relief; they hate hiring fans and avoid it at all costs, even for small intern positions. He went on to show me the entire studio and warehouse and told me that only two types of people work for Psychopathic Records: “Thugs and Nerds.” Nathan was one of the nerds, and the Marvel action figures scattered around his office told me that he wasn’t just kidding. Actually, in the office where their secretary works are a bunch of posters, but the two that stand out the most are the Fall Out Boy poster and the World of Warcraft poster. Your Undead Shaman just might be a man in clown make up.

I had a few jobs working for Psychopathic Records. The two main jobs were call screening for their online radio show and taking care of all aspects of their Myspace pages. I got to write news posts for their radio station which was a bit difficult at first, since I had to think and talk like a Juggalo, but I eventually got the hang of it. For your (dis)pleasure here are a few examples of what I wrote, some of which ended up being copy-pasted from the main site onto fan sites.

All work and no play makes you a stale ass juggalo. So what the fuck you supposed to do? Don’t worry ninjas, WFUCKOFF has you covered like tight ass spandex.  Violent J and Corporal Robinson will be layin the smack down on your speakers and internets with The Main Event.  They’ll be throwin you across the ring and close lining you with devastating contests, twisted games, and maybe even some fresh ass interviews or insider info! So homies, unless you wanna be feelin like you got a steel chair to the balls for missin this shit, you gotta tune in tonight at 9pm EST. And once your done putting on bandaids and shit from Violent J’s steel cage beat down, The Super Deluxe Fun Time Variety Hour will keep you laughing until you run out of breath and pass the fuck out. The Wolfpac teams up and gives you the flavor needed to end the night with humor, music, girls, and contests. That’s right, if you haven’t passed out you can even win some free shit.

My personal favorite:

Juggalos, has your week been stale like an opened box of crackers? Need some fresh ass saltines? Well   WFUCKOFF   has something better than crackers, it’s the   Funhouse   at   9 PM EST   with Upchuck the Clown.  With jokes so devastating, you’ll forget the shitty joke at the beginning of this post.

Then at   11 PM EST   the   Wolfpac   come in like a pack of psychos with hatchets of pure flavor.  With the   Super Deluxe Fun Time Variety Hour   these fuckers will get your wig on the back of milk cartons until you find it next week in your mother’s dirty ass panties. But with all the freshness they’re infecting your ears with, you won’t even care.

There was two of us in the beginning, but after a few weeks the other guy booked and I found myself being the only one taking care of all of the pages. You see, Psychopathic Records isn’t just ICP. It’s ICP, Twiztd, Anybody Killa (ABK), Blaze Ya Dead Homie, Boondox (their Dirty South Rap guy), Dark Lotus (their supergroup), Axe Murder Boyz, Motown Rage, and whoever else is on at the moment. The ICP page usually got an average of 130 messages and 70 some comments a day, and it was my job to scan and read all of these. Since Psychopathic Records actually does most of their marketing via Myspace, I actually had to read all of those messages (there were 1,000 of them when the guy booked) and address whatever I could prompting a sale when possible. This part of the job alone created some rather strange situations that made me think a lot about the “Juggalo culture” as well as culture as a whole.

My first few weeks working on the MySpace pages, I encountered a heartfelt and well written, thank you message from a young fan. She was clearly an intelligent young girl, realizing that the artists probably don’t read all the messages, or even check the pages, but hoped that it would reach them anyway. First she began to explain how she was going through a very rough point in her life when she encountered the music. She explained that she was very suicidal because she felt extremely alone. When she found the music, everything seemed to click for her. The concept behind the Juggalo family is that no matter who you are, as long as you’re “down with the clown” you’ll always have a huge family where ever you go, ready to have your back. This comforted her and put her at ease. She even found a group of young Juggalettes in her area that she said became her closest and most loyal friends. The violence in the lyrics helped her vent, and let her express her anger without committing any violence herself. This was a very long message that was extremely intimate and even had a cute picture at the end where she was posing with her friends.

Since then I didn’t get that many well written messages, but I did received countless ones thanking the artists for their music saying that it helped them through very difficult times. Some talked about being thrown out on the street, others spoke of the death of friends and family. Reading these messages, I felt I was doing something right. That something about these face paint-wearing, vulgar mouthed, lunatic clowns was actually helping people. I was getting warm and fuzzy feelings whenever I opened the Myspace page.

Then one day I found something I don’t think I was supposed to see. While looking for an old message in the trash I saw one that had a very striking title that I knew I hadn’t seen before. It was a very angry message from a man claiming that some Juggalos raped his wife and attacked him with his 3 year old child present. He claimed he was being harassed by members of the Juggalo community for trying to bring the one man responsible to court. I realized right away that this message might not be true, but what shocked me more, is that I understood that from my knowledge of the Juggalos, this event was totally possible. Many Juggalos have been or are in prison. The have formed legit gangs over their love for the music (despite the fact that Violent J has told people to stop doing it). The music doesn’t always attract people who need to vent; it sometimes attracts those who like violence. I am a firm believer that violent lyrics don’t make you violent, but that violent people are attracted to violent lyrics. But that didn’t really stop me about feeling bad about the situation I put myself in.

Maybe this was due to the fact that in one of my classes at the time, we were talking about the Holocaust and how people were considered responsible, even though they never actually killed anyone. Adolf Eichmann was the one who constructed the working of the death camps, and claimed to not be an Anti-Semite, but he was still convicted and hung. I began to wonder, I was facilitating the culture and trying to do things to promote it; in a sense I promoting the violence in the lyrics, and I felt that I was somewhat responsible for the actions of fans if they took the message the wrong way. I was troubled about this for awhile and had to stop my work for a bit.

After awhile, it stopped bothering me as much and I was able to continue my work without problem. Now, of course, it doesn’t really bug me; I stopped working there long after putting in 150%-I did work my ass off for them after the semester ended, hoping my boss Nathan would help get me a job. However, as the days went on he seemed to have less and less time and more and more apathy for me.

A few months later I graduated from college and filled out an application at a department store, smirking as I put down Psychopathic Records as my former employer.


One Comment to “How DO those magnets work?”

  1. good stuff. i always find myself reading through your blogs for shits and giggles.

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