Wednesday, January 15, 2014


From HuffPo:

Juggalos Are Suing The Government With The ACLU 
For Classifying ICP Fans As A Criminal Gang

The Juggalos, a subculture of fans devoted to the music group Insane Clown Posse, announced Wednesday that they are suing the government for violating their civil liberties.

Speaking at a press conference with the American Civil Liberties Union Wednesday in Detroit, the Juggalos said their constitutional rights to expression and association were violated when the federal government classified the entire Juggalo fan base as a gang. Four Juggalo members, along with ICP rappers Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope, have initiated the lawsuit, which was filed Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

More here.

You know, I don't really like ICP.  I mean, they're okay.  There are some things about them I like.  The clown makeup is cool because I like clowns.  And they have kind of an interesting sound, albeit highly derivative, although there are lots of other highly derivative bands I like.  But in the end, they just don't do it for me.  Their lyrics are too violent for my tastes, and I think they're misogynistic.  And typically, I greatly prefer music that relaxes me these days, while ICP rattles my nerves.

But so what? Different strokes for different folks.  They're artists, and artists go places society doesn't want them to go, because that's what artists are supposed to do.  And they've reached a huge number of people who get something important to them from ICP's music.  So while I'm not a fan, I do believe this band, all bands, have a perfect right to be who they are, and to create the kind of art they want to create.  A necessary corollary of such a belief is that people have a perfect right to listen to whatever kind of music they want, whether other people like it or not.

That's why the FBI classifying ICP's ENTIRE FAN BASE as a criminal gang deeply disturbs me.

Yes, you heard me correctly.  The federal government has declared an entire group of people, over a million the feds say, to be associated with one another for the purposes of committing crimes.  Just because of a band they like.  Indeed, a former student of mine, highly intelligent, a good man, definitely NOT a criminal, is now registered as a gang member with the FBI simply because of a band he he's into.  No, seriously, I'm not making this up.  And this isn't simply some paperwork we're talking about.  Being classified as a gang member makes life more difficult--getting a legitimate job becomes more difficult, for instance.

So okay, with a million fans, it's beyond likely that some of them have committed some crimes, which I assume is the FBI's justification for this action.  I guess I should count myself as lucky that Charles Manson didn't get Beatles fans classified as gang members.  Or that the Rolling Stones' usage of the Hell's Angels for security at their infamous 1969 Altamont concert, which resulted in one of the Angels stabbing a concert-goer to death, would get me into trouble with the law for owning a copy of Tattoo You.  Yes, I'm being facetious, but that's how fucking stupid this is.

ICP is just a band.  You can have your opinions about whether they're any good, but that doesn't change the fact that they're just entertainers.  With a lot of fans.  Declaring these fans, all in one fell swoop, to be part of a criminal enterprise is nothing short of Orwellian: YOU WILL LISTEN ONLY TO APPROVED MUSIC OR YOU WILL BE DECLARED AN ENEMY OF THE STATE.  This is something that ought to frighten everybody.  The government is telling you what music you can and cannot listen to, and there are significant consequences if you ignore their edict.  This is totally fucked up.

And it's Obama's FBI.  Some liberal he is.