Yeah, Juggalos read books. They actually probably read more than you do, whoever you are reading this. Juggalos, as we all know, are a strange people who defend themselves from reality by listening to two lardboys sing about weed or beating people’s asses or whatever, which means it shouldn’t be as surprising as it is that they also spend time staring at made up shit printed on paper. They tend to have very specific tastes. I spent a while the other day going through Juggalo profiles on Myspace, OKCupid, and Wicked Nation (the terrifying Juggalo-only Myspace knock off) to drum up this sweet top ten most recommended Juggalo summer reading list. Whoop whoop!
10. On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
For real. The very first book I found listed on a Juggalo’s Myspace page as I began my exploration was Darwin’s edict on evolution, a work that seemed previously to have completely swung wide of the Juggalo fanbase. Makes sense in the way that people in jail end up reading the Bible as a kind of way of asking its contents to come into their lives. I was sad to not find any other los or lettes embarking on the quest for evolution, but it’s nice to know that at least one of them out there is giving it a whirl.
9. Macbeth by William Shakespeare
I’m sure it’s not a coincidence that the only Shakespeare play ridiculous enough to have witches in it is the same one that pops up on more than a few lady ICP fan profiles. Definitely a nod toward the ren faire/D&D subset of the Juggalo base, who might actually listen to the clowns in hopes of fitting in with someone outside the drama department. This one even appeared on a Juggalette’s reading list that included David Foster Wallace and Lynda Barry, spelled out in clear prose that FoR 0NCe DiDN’T TYpES OUT Da SenTENC3S L1K3 ThI5. So, you know, give these guys a break.
8. Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler
Or not. I fully realize the urge one might have to read Hitler’s autobiography from a historical standpoint, but I don’t think any of the handful of Juggalos who listed this as their favorite book had that motivation. Judging from their profiles, it seems much more likely that these men hadn’t bothered to read it for any longer than the minutes between ejaculating into their black dress socks and passing out on their beds in a pile of Taco Bell wrappers and weed crumbs.
7. Playboy, Hustler, Penthouse
I was very happy to see these publications listed on a number of profiles, as they are most likely being used to cull semen into inert receptacles instead of women, where it might produce an offspring. Listing pornography in your social profile is actually about as common among Juggalos as things like “fuck that shit” or “hell nah.”
6. Garfield, Calvin & Hobbes, The Crow graphic novel
Mega-points awarded here to the Juggalos’ dedication to the literary canon they adore, in that I’d bet for every person who listed one of these comics as their favorite book, more than half of them have the protagonist tattooed somewhere on their body. That’s more than I can say for fans of Donald Barthelme or Italo Calvino (though to be fair, a tattoo of one of their main characters would just be a white dude dressed in slacks). I have to admit, I miss the days when the “book store” was the same place where I could buy Magic: The Gathering packs and the clerks knew me by name for the several thousands of dollars I shat out on poly-bags and cardboard backs and all those comics you can get on eBay now for less than a bag of Doritos.
5. Books about weed; e.g. The Pot Cookbook, Pot Stories for the Soul
I think you accomplished your mission of letting potential Myspace mates know that you are 420-friendly with the neon 3D gif of a unicorn riding a winged bong over a bushel of pot leaves you chose for your avatar, but I do appreciate you letting me know that the Chicken Soup series has stretched itself so thin it’s now targeting stoners. Nice.
4. Books about serial killers
That’s actually how they list it in these profiles: “Books about serial killers.” Which makes me assume that they don’t own or even know of any books about serial killers, but just think it’s cool that those kinds of books exist, which is still more consideration for books than your average bro gives, so that’s cool with me. I can’t remember anything about 80 percent of what I’ve read either, so next time I fill out one of my own social profiles I should probably just put: “Books about pretty much absolutely nothing.”
3. Twilight, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter
If you’re older than 16 and you read these, you are automatically a Juggalo in my mind, even if you listen to Bruce Springsteen exclusively and work at a bank. I’m not hating, just don’t be surprised when I spray you and your copy of New Moon with strawberry Faygo while screaming “Yeahhhh biiitttccchchh.”
2. Anne Rice, Stephen King, Wes Craven, Dean Koontz, Orson Scott Card
I know it’s cheating to lump all these people into the same category and call them the second most popular, but I really do look at all of these writers the same. Sometimes I feel pretty certain that they actually are all the same person, sitting in a wicker chair somewhere with black feathers petting cats and smoking cloves while dictating novel after novel to their chunky interns typing high on Mountain Dew. Either way, whatever formula this set of grocery store aisle horror uses to conjure their tales of robots and vampires, it’s totally floating the Juggalo fantasy boner, almost as widely as listing, simply, “doggy” as your favorite sex position.
1. Violent J, Behind the Paint - The ICP Autobiography
Unsurprisingly far and away the most commonly listed favorite book among Juggalos is the autobiography of Joseph Bruce, AKA Violent J (AKA the fat one), who Wikipedia lists as a “hip-hop artist.” This tome is apparently nearly 600 pages long and currently has a 4.42 rating on Goodreads, which is almost a full point higher than Ulysses. I don’t really know what else to say about this one since I haven’t read or even seen it, so I’ll digress to the description offered by user “BallsMahoney” on OKCupid: “This is my favorite fuckin’ book of all time. Much thanks to Violent J for writing a true masterpiece. I bought this the day it came out and even if you hate ICP like herpes on your nutbag, you would enjoy reading how they really came to be. This book shows the meaning of hard work to make it to the top. Read it, it will bitch slap your world.”