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American Juggalo (Kindle Single)

American Juggalo (Kindle Single) [Kindle Edition]

Kent Russell

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Product Description

Product Description

Every summer, thousands of people congregate in Cave-in-Rock, Illinois, for the Gathering of the Juggalos, a famously outrageous music festival that has developed a distinctive subculture around it. In this single, from n+1 (Issue 12), Kent Russell gives a remarkable (and very funny) report on the festival and a sympathetic account of the situation of the white poor in the US.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 117 KB
  • Print Length: 34 pages
  • Publisher: n+1 Foundation, Inc. (3 Aug 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005FYHO8W
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #157,349 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.7 out of 5 stars  23 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars And I thought I had heard of every music festival around... 9 Aug 2011
By Heath H. - Published on
Verified Purchase
What a great story!! Even more so because it's true. I like my music. It's not ICP's music, but I was certainly able to relate to the Juggalos' frustration at being misunderstood. Until two nights ago, I was blissfully ignorant of the existence of Juggalos. The title and synopsis intrigued me, so I bought it, but didn't have time to read it. The next morning, I pulled into a Super 1 Grocery parking lot on my way to work, and would you believe I parked next to a suburban that was bound for The Gathering? Yes, it was written all over the windows with glass chalk and proudly proclaimed "WHOOP!WHOOP!" Well, I didn't fully understand the whoops, because I hadn't read the whole story yet. But I was able to quickly pick out the Juggalo in the store. Coincidence? perhaps.
Yeah, the language was a bit rough and some of the descriptions of the goings-on are a bit disturbing. I guess I have a strong stomach, though, because I had no trouble reading it. I don't see this story as any more unsettling than the crimes we see on detective shows or the violence in movies. It certainly piqued my interest in reading more human interest and essay-type writing.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling subject matter deftly rendered 7 Aug 2011
By Bart Motes - Published on
Juggalos provoke strong emotions, which is why a reviewer below admitted this essay made for "compelling reading" but then bizarrely gave it two stars. Kent Russell has done as deft and sympathetic a job chronicling the Juggalos as Hunter Thompson did writing about the Hell's Angels many moons ago. Then as now, some reviewers reacted hostilely to the unveiling of a strange and sometimes unsettling subculture.

My advice: take a deep breath and allow yourself to be carried away by this compelling narrative of a weird subspecies of Homo Americanus.

Highly Recommended.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Coastal Snob Goes Slumming, Wins Award for It 31 Oct 2012
By Olive Bazzle - Published on
I would recommend you read this piece not on its own, but as a part of the the Pushcart Prize anthology (2013 edition) that it appears in. And though I have a lot of criticisms about this essay, I think it's worth reading (despite the author's clear biases) partly because the author does a couple of things to redeem himself: 1) He purposefully exposes his own positionality and (some but not all) of his mistakes along the way, as well as his own complete lack of cool, 2) he makes a genuine attempt to be fair and objective to the juggalo community, to report on the insightful as well as the grotesque, 3) it's a short, entertaining piece that is easy to read and yet impressive enough that it won a major literary award.

That said, the piece did make me hot around the collar, not as a juggalo/juggalette (which I'm not), but as a Southern Illinoisan. I knew most of the local people he described, and he did not describe them in flattering terms, even though it sounded like he was treated humanely by all the townies he encountered. Nevertheless, he made it clear from beginning to end that he did not like the area he was in, and he went out of his way to describe everything and everyone he encountered in negative terms. (The people were either downright unsightly or "attractive in a midwestern way." The cave was not a geographical wonder to him, but a dank and smelly hole. No references at all to the sheer beauty of the place, and no cultural knowledge of the area whatsoever (besides a little cursory historical knowledge, which again, only served to highlight the negative: bandits, outlaws, and so on). He was not aware that he was as much in the South as he was in the Midwest. (Take a look at a map. Cave-in-Rock is further south than most of Kentucky, and as culturally southern as any Kentucky town.)

I kept waiting for him to have his big epiphany, to realize that he wasn't "getting it" because he was looking at the entire location (not just The Gathering, but the whole region and everyone in it) as ugly and alien. In the end he came off like a guy who went slumming and wrote a long journal entry about it, or, like a friend of mine said, "He's like one of those old-school anthropologists who goes to Tahiti and writes about the natives like they're creatures from another planet."

The sad thing is, you can tell by his writing that he really wants to be fair and objective, he is just so lacking in self-knowledge that he's not even aware of his own biases (namely, his profound coastal/regional snobbery). I recognized that he knows a thing or two about writing, but his perspective was shallow and off-putting. In the end I thought, "Wow. He'll be a really good writer someday, if he ever grows up."
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Weird and Bizarre World of Juggalo's 9 Sep 2011
By William Capodanno - Published on
Verified Purchase
About a 12-18 months ago, I saw segment on Nightline about Juggalo's along with an interview with ICP. Up until that time I had no idea what either of them were and watched in bit of stunned silence for I'll admit I found it all bizarre and weird. When I saw this Kindle Single, I bought it figuring it would provide a fresh perspective and some insight that would better inform my view and understand this "movement" more. "American Juggalo" is Kent Russell's exploration of the Juggalo's culture through his first-hand experience attending their festival, The Gathering, in Michigan. After reading this single, I remained just as puzzled and dumbfounded about the odd and bizarre nature of this music and their followers.

Russell does a solid job of capturing the gestalt of the Juggalo's in this short work, however, I thought the overall writing was uneven at best and certainly did not approach the quality and substance of other Kindle Singles I've read. There were a few places where Russell took abrupt detours from the festival to provide family background. While this was relevant to the story, especially the stark contrast of him and the Juggalo's he encountered at the festival, the way he did it felt so disruptive to the flow. It would have been quite easy to lay this out at the beginning of the story, although I felt he implicitly covered it so it was clear enough he was not a prototypical Juggalo follower --- working class, Rust Belt, marginalized youth, etc. -- that it would have been sufficient to not go any deeper on his backstory. It also felt like he spent the whole festival alone, except for some brief encounters, which was a miss in my view. The lack of accounts based on deeper interactions with the attendees, rather than just obversations, prevented a deeper exploration into this sub-culture and its inhabitants. Maybe this was unrealistic because he stood out like such a sore thumb and there was little chance any Juggalo would either be sober or willing to engage with him. However, it kept me from getting as much out of the story and his experience as I anticipated when I bought the Single.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative, Entertaining 9 Sep 2011
By Penny Dreadful - Published on
Verified Purchase
This is a great snapshot of the juggalos. What stands out most though, is the excellent writing. I would love to see a full length book from this author.
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Popular Highlights

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“White trash” nowadays is a contemptuous term, because it implies that one had all the privileges of whiteness and squandered them; one’s poverty is one’s own fault. &quote;
Highlighted by 20 Kindle users
You can be a juggalo, or you can be white trash—the first term is yours, the second is somebody else’s. &quote;
Highlighted by 18 Kindle users
Police in Utah, Arizona, Pennsylvania, and California consider juggalos a criminal gang. &quote;
Highlighted by 9 Kindle users

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