Life is for the living. You have to do things for the sake of learning, and for the story to tell for the rest of your life. Those are two of the reasons why I participated in “National Take A Juggalo To Red Lobster Day.”
Yes, there really is no way to beat around the bush. I treated a clown comrade of mine to some cheddar biscuits, shrimp scampi, and in exchange got my first interview for my budding youtube channel. The conversation was both fun and enlightening. I have always enjoyed the fun of shock value and the hidden tension to serving a juggalo or sitting next to one by the staff and the customers was beyond hilarious to us. The blunt in the parking lot also helped. If you haven’t smoked weed in a Red Lobster parking lot with a guy in clown make up, don’t talk to me about living. We discussed the realities of being a juggalo and labeled a gang by the FBI. We discussed racism and class war. We engaged in topics relating to our favorite socialist organizations such as PSL, IWW, and my organization the DSA.
There is little I can write here about what my comrade said that you couldn’t just get from directly watching the video. What I can tell you is about my own introspection from this meeting, my own epiphanies.
Those who follow my other social medias know that I have taken the final steps to recognizing what it means to be a true radical, I.E. my renouncement of liberalism and embracing of the label “Communist.” I often think back to the days where I thought “leftist,” “liberal,” and “radical,” were all one or interchangeable. Needless to say I was more than wrong. What is honestly cringe worthy about these memories though is the inherent condescension that I perpetuated which comes attached to being a liberal.
Liberals think they are better than other people because they usually have some sort of identity attached to being a democrat, “I’m a dem because of my trans daughter.” Or “I’m a dem because I support a woman’s choice.” Both of which are nearsighted reasonings considering the DNC’s failure to recoginze the lgbtq community until 2012 and the fact that Hillary Clinton and her running mate said they were both willing to “compromise” on abortion. Liberals will also resort to the level of toeing the party line when it comes to defense of problematic leadership. As we speak Al Franken is being vindicated for his sexual harassment because liberals think it’s more important to focus on Roy Moore. This is no way a defense of the GOP who are no better for electing a rapist president and defending a pedophile. It is simply a reminder that the right of center fake capitalist oligarchical left also defends elected rapists like Bill Clinton.
When I was a liberal, I perpetuated all of this, victim blaming the opposition, putting my identity as a brother and son as a vital reason to be a feminist, and always detracting to Trump whenever I had to face an evil truth about Hillary, despite the fact I didn’t want to vote for her anyway but was in fact guilted into it by my family, something I will never forgive them for and something that as further validated my belief that liberalism is a joke and a false presentation of the left. And yes, I realized all of this from lunch with a juggalo.
In my liberal teenage days, I gladly mocked the juggalos. Despite thinking I was some sort of forward thinking progressive, I still in a classist manner condescended and mocked who I saw as an other. This was wrong. I am glad I reached out to my clown comrade not only to further the solidarity between DSA and the Juggalo culture but to grow as a person myself. As the year has passed the radical in me that was dying to be freed as been beyond liberated. I am no longer afraid to wear the label “communist.” If a juggalo can still wear their clown makeup after being labeled a gang, I can say I am a communist without fear.
My lunch with a juggalo was just another lesson in this year long experience of learning what it truly means to be a socialist, to believe in the march of history, to believe in autonomy, to believe in solidarity. Yes dear reader, all of this I gained from a simple meal with a comrade in clown face. Like I said before, life is for the living.