One of the best aspects of modern culture is that we are exposed to so many other people’s weird beliefs. Plenty of people in our daily lives hold different opinions and even core values from ours, but rarely are these ideas arranged into whole systems. To encounter an entirely alien worldview, you used to have to travel. But now you only need the internet, which will happily ship stories and images of Earth’s totalizing theories directly to your house. Today is Friday, and the world is a patchwork of non-overlapping magisteria. Won’t you deride the unfamiliar with me?
Yesterday afternoon, gentleman of leisure Aaron Galbraith sent me a link to this post on TabooJive.com,* in which Mike Thurau considers an odd phenomenon of the iPhone’s autocorrect feature. I was familiar with the name Mike Thurau from our own Combat! blog Comments section; I was also familiar with the post, since I wrote it. The beauty of the internet is that you can copy an entire piece of writing, paste it into a text document with your name at the top, and send that text document to some editor without even having to type anything. Okay, you have to type the query email—“attached is a short piece about an amusing iPhone function my friend discovered”—but there are a lot of templates out there. I initially thought that the Norberto King thing was the only piece of my writing Mike Thurau had plagiarized. Then I found this select-all copy of a Combat! blog post about unboxing videos. Then I found a whole bunch more.
“If magic is all we’ve ever known / then it’s easy to miss what really goes on.” So begins the Insane Clown Posse’s music-poem “Miracles,” a meditation on man’s lamentable darkness in a blindingly bright world. Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope see miracles all around them, yet their sense of the sublime is continually undercut by the suspicion that it is all a product of forces beyond their understanding. That seems likely, considering how little Shaggy and Violent understand. “Miracles” is a catalog of the phenomena that we take for granted every day, probably because our senses of wonderment have become dulled by the postindustrial world. Of course, it could also be because we have successfully completed Earth Science. The same cannot be said of Insane Clown Posse and their fans, whose childlike sense of amazement remains intact because A) they are actual children or B) they have devoted too much of their attention to big money hustlin’/rustlin’ to keep up with developments in contemporary physics and biology. Thus are Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope made the Pagliaccis of the modern world. A source of joy and laughter to the rest of us, they sit silent—their smiles painted on, mute witnesses to a joke that they don’t get. As a public service to juggalos everywhere, we’d like to take a moment to address some of the seemingly unanswerable questions put forward in “Miracles.”