–but I will slog on, pointlessly:
When I first encountered the Insane Clown Posse video for “Miracles,” I couldn’t help but think of it in terms of the concessions that subcultures must often make in favor of art that caters specifically to the subculture in question. I’m talking about Stryper. Smaller niche = smaller talent, usually. But “Miracles” is a song that many people insist is a parody on the first listen. Almost everything about it is what you might call ‘deliciously bad’—that perfect overlap of earnest and horrible that somehow manages to create a kind of pleasure for the aging & rapidly curdling sensibilities of Generations X and later. “Camp” is a sort of cultural Stockholm Syndrome that manifests itself in generations that are exposed to crappy, witless entertainment during their formative years.
I was curious: “Exactly how much quality must one sacrifice to satisfy a desire for content that is exclusively geared for insanity/circus training/outlaw status?” –But I totally missed it. The laughably stupid rhymes in Miracles are not an example of the best that crazy outlaw clowndome has to offer. It’s really more like when Michael Jordan tried out for the 1996 US Olympics Women’s Figure Skating Team. Or when GWAR made an entire album of ballads. Or when Sting rapped. Miracles exists in that garish space that is created when someone takes confident, blundering steps outside of their artistic wheelhouse. Another example is, “any song by Meatloaf.”
Insane Clown Posse’s forehand is syncopated descriptions of violence. They could give you 100 rhymes for “eviscerate” in under a minute, but the seemingly naive way that Violent J and Shaggy get mystical about perplexing natural phenomena—that they stubbornly insist are “miracles”—is genuine naivite to the forces at work in the world around us. Their sense of lobotomized-Thoreauean wonder at even the elemental aspects of nature is pure animism.
We live in a cyclone of information. It’s damn near impossible to get to your late 30’s with this kind of “innocence”— if you will—to the kinds of knowledge that most people accidentally build up like ear wax. Shaggy 2 Dope is a living, breathing, Cargo Cult walking around under Brooklyn’s LaGuardia flightpath. He’s a miracle.