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READ 10 Fictional Events Similar to the Gathering of the Juggalos  

Randolph Strauss
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Ah, Juggalos. You remember the Insane Clown Posse, right? They're the most popular band you make it a specific point not to listen to, the ones who wear clown make-up because it makes them look MORE like John Wayne Gacy, and who did that whole song a few years back about their ignorance of the principles of magnetism. Yeah, those guys.

Well, it might surprise (and terrify!) you to learn that each year, fans of ICP (or, if you prefer, the InClowPos) collect in the small hamlet of Cave-In-Rock, Illinois, for a festival known as the "Gathering of the Juggalos." ("Juggalo" is the name ICP fans have given to themselves. Try to keep up.)

The long-standing event (which has now been going strong for over a decade) includes not only performances from ICP and their Psychopathic Records labelmates, but also wrestling matches, karaoke, games and contests. And drunks ordering you to show them your t**s. Mostly that last one. Also, the website says that they hold "seminars." Hopefully on how to clean and care for an infected piercing. I somehow sense that's going to come up a lot.

But this is all just a description. Mere words! To really get a feel for what it's like to ATTEND the Gathering of the Juggalos - a four-day celebration of drinking, taking drugs, being out in the woods, slamming a strange Midwestern soda called Faygo, putting on clown make-up, taking some more drugs, vomiting, getting tattooed, giving birth, then drinking and being out in the woods some more - you sort of have to be there. Or imagine a mash-up of the "Pink Elephants on Parade" sequence from "Dumbo" and Tim Curry's highlights from the TV-movie version of "It." That should pretty much do the trick.

No, rather than merely describe what goes down at the Gathering of the Juggalos - about which we're pretty sure the attendees are sworn to secrecy, or just serious about protecting their Fifth Amendment rights - I thought it might be best to compare it to something else. Perhaps scenes from some popular films and TV shows, that provide a visceral feel for the chaotic, psychedelic, mind-bending atmosphere you can find at the GOTJ. These are the fictitious events that most closely resemble the Gathering of the Juggalos, either in form, style, personality or appearance.

Think you've come up with a great one that isn't listed here? Who asked you anyway, loser!

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The Gremlins screen 'Snow White'

Seriously, this one is almost eerie. It's like Joe Dante predicted the Gathering decades before it would actually come to pass. It's all there - the comically over-the-top outfits, the troll-type creatures looking to cause havoc, the tearing apart of the very entertainment venue the Gremlins went out of their way to visit. (Even the Gremlins destruction of the "Snow White" print mirrors the tendency among Juggalos to attack and assault the very musical and celebrity guests they have come to see, from Tila Tequila to Charlie Sheen.)

The only difference is that ICP doesn't have any songs near as catchy or professional as "Hi Ho, It's Off to Work We Go." OK, and based on the average waistline in the crowd, I'm guessing Juggalos can, in fact, eat after midnight.

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The Muppets arrive at the Happiness Hotel

While visiting London, the Muppets find themselves staying at the run-down Happiness Hotel, a site that can't help but remind an astute viewer of good ol' Cave-in-Rock. The lyrics immediately bring to mind images of the Gathering - a cheerful but dilapidated, even dangerous, place, full of friends but also vermin, wanton criminality and an overpowering animal stench.

The place even has its own house band, made up in this case by Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem, as well as beloved Muppet favorite Rowlf the Dog. He also doesn't know how magnets work, but in fairness... he's a dog.

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Kali Thuggee cult ceremony

Am I implying that Juggalos are mindless drones in the sway of their charismatic leaders, ICP founding members Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope? Well, I wouldn't necessarily call those two "charismatic." Compared to the great Mola Ram in "Temple of Doom," they're not really much to speak of. Kind of like those two unattractive kids who are always hanging out with Draco Malfoy.

And I suppose Juggalos haven't exactly been brainwashed. They actually do seem to like that music. Still, the Thuggees do nicely depict the Juggalos love of fire, spectacle, playing dress-up and watching other people experiencing physical pain. And even if I make fun of them a lot, I'm sure the Juggalos, the Thuggees and the rest of humanity can find common ground in being kind of irritated by Kate Capshaw.

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Cage Match between Max and Master Blaster

Thunderdome is what the Gathering of the Juggalos would be if ICP were as big as U2. Bono likes to fill up the Rose Bowl, sing "Where the Streets Have No Name," tell people about how much he loves them and ask them to help out Africans. Violent J would just set up a steel cage and get two people (or three people, provided one was a duo of a midget and a really strong guy) to fight to the death.

Also of note: At least one person within the Thunderdome here has been known to exhibit misogynist, violent, anti-social and, yes, even racist behavior of late. So... you know... there's that.

[Oh, and if you thought I was going to go for the "Juggalos like to talk about beating up women"/Tina Turner connection... you disgust me.]

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