Saturday, October 09, 2010

In which Insane Clown Posse reveal themselves to be, in fact, insane clowns

So by now most of you who get around on these here intarweebs know that we've all been having fun with this on Facebook and elsewhere all day. There is some amusement value to be had that Insane Clown Posse, a group of shitty hip-hip poseurs, have thrown back the curtain to reveal that they are actually shitty Christian hip-hop poseurs, and it was all part of a cunning plan. Surely this takes both the realms of Christian pop culture and hip-hop culture to all new levels of metashittiness.

But what I have to thank frontman Violent J for (did the "J" stand for Jesus all this time — who knew?) is his instant creation of a new online meme, the likes of which 4chan would die for. It all comes from these hilarious lyrics to their song "Miracles"...

Fuckin' magnets, how do they work?
And I don't wanna talk to a scientist
Y'all motherfuckers lying and
getting me pissed.

Pure gold. "Fuckin' [insert any noun you can think of], how do they work?" And atheists now have a new meme with which we can mock fundamentalists for pretty much the rest of our lives. "Fuckin' flagellum, how does it work?" "Fuckin' trees, how do they work?" See? This shit practically writes itself, yo.


  1. Fuckin' trees!
    In the infancy of my atheism, I asked a christian if he considered trees to be alive. His answer? "According to the bible, no."

    Also, clowns! LOL!

  2. This is a favorite between my fiancé and I now. Whenever something frustrates or confuses us, this is our go-to. "Fuckin' chihuahuas, how do they work?"

  3. I just realized there is yet a second one. From the part in the interview where Violent J dribbles, "Gravity's cool, but not as cool as magnets."

    See? "[Insert noun] is cool, but not as cool as MAGNETS!" It's like the man is a memetic engineer or something.

  4. I've heard the song, and I'm not sure what's Christian about it. It seems to be more along the lines of a pseudo-pantheistic sense of wonder. Or did one of the band members reveal something in an interview?

    Also: although I'm not an ICP fan, I have to say they're far from hip-hop poseurs. Whatever they are, they're not poseurs at it.

  5. Fuckin' memes, how do they work?

    I'm not a fan by any stretch, but I've listened to radio interviews with the Insane Clown Posse in the past, and I think it's a bit misleading to paint this as a curtain getting "thrown back" to reveal the "actual" ICP as being Christian.

    They've always been highly religious, and Violent J in particular has always found some way to work it into his interviews in regards to his upbringing and family life. Almost obnoxiously so.

    Maybe it seems backwards, considering their fuckin' swearing and face paint. To me, however, this isn't news at all.

  6. What gets me about the "Fuckin' X's how do they work?" meme is that he chose something we've understood for over 140 years, since Maxwell wrote down his equations. He could have picked something more recently sussed, like, say, viruses (first one sequenced in 1955).

  7. You're a little behind the times, Martin. Like Kayla, Lynnea have long since absorbed the meme "Fuckin' X, how does that work?" as part of casual conversation. And if you're just now catching up on this video, then odds are you haven't yet seen the Saturday Night Live parody version, which is brilliant.


    That's how fucking magnets work, by the way.

  9. This is why the skeptical/atheist movement is somewhat defeatist. There is brilliant debunking of apologetic logic but barely anything to debunk the methods of evangelizing/proselytizing. Using song to push a religious belief works at a much higher rate than debunking the message's logical premise.
    Doctorates are awarded for evangelizing methods in respectable universities: "This work has shown a novel and effective way to expand and retain believers of [nonsense]. And here are the results to prove it". That is valid research because it get's practical results. Through this type of methodology research, religion is seen as a mainstream alternative to secular psychology. Psychology is to religion as creationism is to biology. But where is the equivalent to NCSE for psychology? Debunking bogus psychology is much harder because of the subjective nature of it's research rather than the objective physical evidence.

  10. Saw it today. Anyway, we can't all be as cool as you, Russell! So I thought I'd spread the word so the rest of the atheist world could catch up.

  11. I've never heard the song (though if it's anything like the other trash they put out it's... well... trash) but those comments don't really make them seem christian :P. I'm more inclined to believe that they're just a bunch of mouth-breathing, gasoline-huffing, red-necks that lack the intellectual capacity to understand basic physics.

    While I'm happy to mock theists, I'd like to think that we're above engaging people who think that "rapping" (I don't have anything against real hip-hop or even rap, but I*T*P is... something else.) about chickens and clowns is actually music. :P

    Sidenote: I find myself respecting you guys more for making fun of Insane Trash Posse :P.

  12. Oh, great, now I've watched the offending "song," and will likely never get it out of my head.

  13. Er what? They've been out as Christian for years.

    Since 2002's The Wraith:Shangri-La at least.

  14. The interview makes it sound like they've set vague references to the worst parts of Christianity to bad music, while being oblivious to the, you know, handful of reasonable moral guidelines that other Christians take out of it.

    It's sadly oblivious

  15. I saw this in my google reader, and dashed over here to tell you how sadly behind the times you are, Martin, but Russell beat me to it. :(

    This has been around for a while. A few months in intarnetz time is like several decades. It's like someone coming up to you and saying, "Have you seen Cher? She's this new singer I just heard about."

    It's a little unfair though, since most people have, like, jobs and families and lives and aren't glued to their computer screen (I call mine my 'Square-Headed Spouse'.)

    For those people, there's Know Your Meme. Hereya go, gramps. :D

  16. Fuckin' fuckin', how does it work?

    Kazim - it's not often that a parody makes more sense than an original, but that one did!

  17. This meme has been around a long time but ICP have been fairly overtly christian since at least 2002 to my knowledge.

    My favourite version of this meme so far though was the wondeful slip up I saw on a blog TV last month

    "Fucking Vaginas, how does that work?"

  18. I heard some of the interview attempting to explain this nonsense. It was something about how they hate scientists because they think they destroy the "wonder" and amazement in the world. Which is not particularly astute, because what he's trying to get to is that they put a wet blanket on "magic", because anyone with three brain cells to rub together realizes how much wonder and amazement is out there to be found without needing to be an uneducated ignoramous.

    A separate issue is their religion. It seems they are. I don't think it's a far stretch to see how you can get from such scientific ineptitude to believing certain magical mythology. But it's not the main focus of "magnets, they make my little brain hurt".

    I wish this attitude of determined ignorance was more rare. Certain people are actually proud of their ignorance and wear it as a badge of some sort. I know a 20 something who bragged to me that he had never read a book. Somehow he thought it was a great accomplishment that he managed to graduate HS without actually reading any book, ever. As a parent it made me incredibly sad that people are raising children with a palpable disdain for knowledge.

  19. Holy cannoli, that "college professor" who Violent J is so irate about, that's ZJ (a prolific atheist YouTuber)!

    (Specifically, they're watching and sharing it with a reporter, ha!)

  20. Well Robbie:

    When a man and woman love each other very much, or just drunk...

  21. In the name of the lloyd, science does NOT negate beauty!

  22. In cases like this, I must admit it is my sad fate to lag behind the times. I blame it in part on my actually having musical taste, which means the ravings of the likes of ICP tend to escape my notice.

  23. It always makes me laugh when people pull the "knowledge makes shit boring" card.
    When I was a kid I was interested in the aurorae, but I was all "Fuckin' Aurorae, how do they work?" Now I have a much better idea of how they work (solar wind + magnetic field = ionized gasses = pretty emissions) and my reaction is less "oh, an aurora, that's quite pretty," and more, "holy fucking hell, that's beautiful!"

    Knowledge: It makes shit beautiful.

  24. Fuckin' morons, how (and why) do they work?

  25. Yeah, "Fuckin magnets" entered the memosphere some time ago. But my favorite part of the interview is where they take it to the next level by saying, in effect, that it's the deepest lyric they've ever written.

    That makes it funny all over again, IMO.

  26. I think it was over at Pharyngula that someone stated that they were going to make a t-shirt with "I Know How Magnets Work" written on it.

    Still, there's a part in the interview where Violent J talks about explaining to his kid about fog. Despite this, he claims to believe that explaining how something works makes it less wonderful or beautiful. So does he tell his kid how fog actually happens or does he tell it's magic? Ronson politely calls him on this which leads to the idiotic "fuck the mom" diatribe.

  27. "Fuckin' knowledge; how does it work?" :-P

    On a more serious note, the meme's been floating around for quite a while, in Internet-time; it may seem vaguely innocent at first, and that's what I originally took away from it, but the comparison to much better Romantic poets (Keats, Poe, etc.) shows me that it's just a sad, even less intellectual revival of the Romantic ideal -- the "Numbskullian" ideal, you might say...

  28. I actually have a friend who's a juaggalo and as a result I'm at least passingly knowledgable about ICP's lyrics. The only thing sadder than them claiming this as their deepest song is that it's true.

  29. Regarding the "knowledge lessens the mystery" ideal, I think there are several analogies outside of science that can be made.

    I used to love video games. When the Sega Genesis came out, I could tell you about the processor, ram, storage capacity, and could explain that the reason it looked "kinda, sorta 3d" was because of parallax scrolling.

    Would it have been a better experience if I had thought it was a magic box? Possibly, but the technical details added another dimension to the experience, and have improved my life in ways that ignorant bliss never could*.

    To make another analogy, car lovers do not try to stay ignorant of how cars work. To them, an understanding of how the engine works, which parts are interchangeable, and how you can "soup up" your existing car adds to the experience in (what might be) the same way.

    I'd be willing to bet that most human beings have some subject in which they can relate to this sentiment, and if you could find it for the person you are talking to, that they might come closer to understanding why knowledge does not destroy beauty.

    * It is the attitude of "I love this, so I want to tear it apart and see how it ticks" has enriched my life, not the trivial details of a 20 year old game system.

  30. It is a put on, just show business. They are inflaming to garner a little publicity. Not unlike the Phelps family, without the Supreme Court.

  31. Fans of the ICP have been known to throw human excrement at people on stage.

    That they don't understand magnets or skeptical thinking does not come as too much of a surprise.

  32. I don't know what makes me more upset? The prospect that they might be serious, or my cynical belief that they're just saying this to raise record sales. Or, door number 3: I just got Poe'd

  33. Fuckin' face make up, how does it work?

    Personally, I love how TAE points out the poor quality of representation theists get on your show. And then this is the publicity they get nationally/internationally just by having a few goons as believers. Brilliant!

  34. @Thomas

    That's a great approach to the mystery defense. I'll add it to my repertoire.

  35. Perhaps I'm just too naive or optimistic here, but I think there is common ground between most of us and ICP, namely the awe and interest in what's going on around us. Sadly we quickly diverge when it comes to the role knowledge plays. For me knowledge only increases the appreciation, both on an emotional and intellectual level.

    @Thomas: Another analogy might be sports. Have anyone watch a game that they're not familiar with, and they might be mildly interested. Perhaps some of us might enjoy trying to figure out the rules on our own, but most people will turn off the game after a short while, because they're missing the details, the information, that makes it more interesting. People want to know more about it, because it enhances their appreciation of it. Why else are sports so ubiquitous on tv, in newspapers, magazines, etc. You never hear anyone claim that actually knowing something about [insert favorite sport here] takes away from the enjoyment of watching or playing it, do you? How come it's supposedly so different when it comes to nature?

  36. Fuckin blogs, how do they work?

    Silly clowns...

  37. "Fuckin' magnets, how do they work?
    And I don't wanna talk to a scientist"

    At the risk of giving too much weight to this, isn't it typical that a Xian will challenge a layman on a scientific theory then shy away from asking someone who can actually answer the question? They never really want to know, they want to feel smug watching a non-scientist stumble over the facts, and thus reinforce their worldview.

    It's like debates of Evo vs. Creation--they never really want to learn anything, they just want an excuse to feel right without knowing anything.

  38. @ Plain Simple: You're right. Most of us do share the wonders and mystery of the universe with ICP. Fuckin' magnets ain't one of those mysteries, though.

  39. @Me: I think you missed my point. Even though fucking magnets are well understood (you know, when two magnets are really really attracted to each other .... birds... bees.... etc.) we can still appreciate them, enjoy them not only for what they are on the surface, but enjoy them even more for all the awesomeness we know is going on to make them work. Something doesn't need to be a complete "mystery" to invoke wonder and awe. Knowledge enhances the experience, it doesn't diminish it.

    And no, I'm not walking around in a constant high of awe and wonder for the world around me, but I do enjoy it more having some knowledge about it.

  40. I'm also 95% sure Zinnia Jones is not actually a woman and also would guess (s)he's probably not a professor. Just sayin'.

  41. ICP


  42. Fuckin' Resurrection. How does that work?

  43. Life is a journey
    What you have gone through can help others
    Please share


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