Skepticism

Jon Ronson Meets Insane Clown Posse

You may recall that back in April I wrote about Insane Clown Posse’s ridiculous, science-hating secretly-Christian song Miracles. Well, my super best friend, journalist Jon Ronson, heard me talking about it and immediately decided he had to meet Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope. He flew to the US, and the results of the fateful meeting have now been published in the Guardian. My favorite part:

[Violent J:] “A giraffe is a fucking miracle. It has a dinosaur-like neck. It’s yellow. Yeah, technically an elephant is not a miracle. Technically. They’ve been here for hundreds of years…”

“Thousands,” murmurs Shaggy.

I lolled.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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31 Comments

  1. What a sad pair of guys! Clueless, depressed, on meds, don’t understand why people don’t think they are geniuses….

    They got this whole “riddlebox” thing going on like a fixation; they think that they have discovered the key and don’t get why something so simple is so hard for others to see.

    But, of course, if Alanis Morrisette had written “Riddlebox” then everyone would be saved.

  2. How sure are we that they are really this stupid? What if they aren’t idiots, but instead just reasonably good at marketing themselves? Let’s see, they’ve managed to manufacture controversy for decades now, which keeps them known, selling music and shows, and turning a profit…

    I try not to assume a conspiracy when stupidity & ignorance will suffice. But here, the levels of stupidity and ignorance start challenging my suspension of disbelief.

  3. I think “The question is, how big is your ringmaster?” is a fantastic line. That, and the whole bizarre comparison with scientists to “F- the mother!” WTF?

    Do they use lead-based makeup? Or were they just stupid to begin with? Obviously, religion hasn’t helped them.

    I wonder if, in a short time, they will release another message saying they aren’t really christians, they did that to mess with people, they’re really…scientologists!

  4. I find myself hoping that this is all an elaborate double bluff – they’re not talentless gangster rappers or moronic evangelical Christians, but are some sort of long term satirical project. In other words – the rap Glen Beck.

  5. I think we need a new corollary to Poe’s Law:

    If you’ve said something so mindbogglingly stupid that Jon Ronson feels compelled to fly thousands of miles to interview you, it must be among the stupidest statements uttered in the history of sentient creation. Congratulations.

    -S

  6. “Obviously, religion hasn’t helped them. “

    Oh I think it has helped them a great deal. There is an underclass in America that is deeply poor, ignorant, afraid and violent. Elitist snobbery only serves to reinforce their profound alienation from society.

    These are people who have been rejected as trash by everyone else, even though we created them. At the very least religion gives them a way of coping with that.

    I mean, it isn’t like YOU will ever do anything for them… will you.

  7. I find myself agreeing with them on a certain level though. Elephants are amazing, life is incredible and beautiful and wonderful, but I don’t need to be ignorant of science to do it. I can look at a star and know it’s a ball of fiery gas, but still find it beautiful.

  8. Mike Haubrich:

    But, of course, if Alanis Morrisette had written “Riddlebox” then everyone would be saved.

    She doesn’t get a free pass, especially when saying “Isn’t it ironic” when they are not ironic, but just unfortunate. My daughter, the Linguist, actually challenged a student teacher in 9th grade who tried to say those things were ironic.

    noen, the ICP are not poor, nor are they afraid. They are just ignorant. They now have the resources to correct that ignorance, it is up to them to understand the criticism and do something about it. Religion is not an excuse when there are several parochial schools and church run colleges that teach real science.

    I recently listened to Ice T on NPR’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me. He also had a rocky start, but he is certainly much brighter than the ICP. (Sir Mix-A-Lot’s visit to that show was also entertaining, there is real intelligence behind the wit).

  9. Noen – most of my students come from that type of group, so, yeah, I am helping them get an education so they can get out of those conditions, hopefully.

    Other than that, religion gives them a way of coping? So, it’s ok to lie to them, to get them to believe falsehoods, if it gives them a false hope, and let’s them accept the conditions they are in instead of working to change them? Are they really following something good if they are juggalos and listen (and believe) in songs like that Whack stuff? Seriously?

    Ignorance is curable, but not if people are fed the idea that ignorance is a virtue. Religion does that.

    Besides, I was referring to the ICP morons. Their religion, assuming it is real and not a stunt (at this time we have to accept that it is real, having no evidence to the contrary), hasn’t helped them by curing their ignorance of reality, nor has it helped their intelligence. Dumber than a sack of hammers, as the saying goes. Maybe it needs to be Dumber than ICP, if such a thing is possible.

  10. “I am helping them get an education so they can get out of those conditions, hopefully. ”

    Talk about lying to people and getting them to believe falsehoods. They aren’t getting out of there. YOU are going to join them. So will your children. America is headed full steam for third world status. Just the very very rich in their protected green zones surrounded by slums. Guess where you won’t be living? Guess how much love they’ll have for those who sneered at them?

    “Are they really following something good”?

    Good? No, but at least it’s something and that is better than the alternative. Atheism by definition has nothing to offer but Nihilism.

    Say what you will about ICP, at least it’s an ethos. ;)

    “Dumber than a sack of hammers”

    Don’t you recognize a peasant when you see one? Maybe they’re dumb, but a dumb sack of hammers will beat a toothpick every time.

  11. @Chris_H:

    “She doesn’t get a free pass, especially when saying “Isn’t it ironic” when they are not ironic, but just unfortunate.”

    I always gave her the benefit of the doubt and assumed that the ironic thing about the song was that nothing in it was ironic.

  12. She doesn’t get a free pass, especially when saying “Isn’t it ironic” when they are not ironic, but just unfortunate. My daughter, the Linguist, actually challenged a student teacher in 9th grade who tried to say those things were ironic.

    I am not really a fan, I only mentioned her because ICP had said that if she had done “Miracle” then it wouldn’t have been been a stupid song.

  13. Oh my god. I couldn’t stop laughing at this. I think one of my favorite parts is when the ICP boys look at Jon Ronson a little suspiciously, and he states, sort of defensively, “I don’t know how magnets work” to reassure them he isn’t a “Fuckin’ scientist” It’s sad, but too god damn funny.

  14. Skept-artist
    “So you are anti-education?”

    No of course not. The middle class is being destroyed. Education isn’t going to be a way out of poverty for people because there just aren’t going to be any jobs for any price.

    “I don’t know how magnets work”

    He’s right, we don’t know how magnets work just like we don’t know what gravity is.

    Imagine that I have a hunk of metal. I’ll call it a Zagnet. You ask me how it works. I say it works by means of a zagnetic force. Every zagnet has inside of it zagnetic mono-poles and lines of zagnetic force extend beyond it. You can even see the zagnetic lines of force if you sprinkle iron filings around it.

    Have I sufficiently explained how zagnets work?

  15. True that Buzz. Science is a tool for understanding the universe. That’s why I’m happier than I’ve ever been in my life right now working my ass off 24/7 to understand physics when I could just be making money and getting drunk with friends.

  16. Now I want Alanis Morrisette to do a cover of Miracles. Come on, she did My Humps, surely she could do this?
    (And although I’d never been a fan of her before, I immediately started liking her when I saw her My Humps video)

    @noen:
    “Good? No, but at least it’s something and that is better than the alternative. Atheism by definition has nothing to offer but Nihilism. ”

    That is not actually the definition of atheism.
    And we do know how magnets work. Wikipedia has a great deal of information on it if you’re curious. We only “don’t know how magnets work” if we can’t be arsed to look it up. So it’s only really a “miracle” to the lazy and the ignorant.

  17. That’s awesome, Carl, thanks for sharing. I didn’t bother to click on the link in the article, but apparently should have! Cheer to ZJ both for the original video and that response, which is hilarious.

  18. I can’t help but be a little skeptical that he was really representing what they said in a straight-forward way. He might be… but man, I think all that is pretty much exactly what I would come up with if I wanted to make a satirical fake interview with ICP.

  19. @noen you realise they haven’t found magnetic monopoles? And we pretty much know how magnetic fields work, they’re relativistic electric fields produced by moving electric charges (e.g. electrons). One of my physics lecturers told us when he thought he’d found a magnetic monopole and he was going to be on Tomorrow’s World, they asked if he could bring it with him.

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