Wednesday, October 21, 2009

What to Do With the Juggalos

I have a few suggestions for "fixing" the problem of the Juggalos in downtown Oshkosh. For those of you not familiar with the group--it's basically a bunch of kids who hang out, skate and sometimes harass people in Opera House Square. They take their name from fans of quite possibly the worst rap group of all time The Insane Clown Posse. Downtown business owners want the group gone--saying they scare off customers.

My first suggestion is to adopt an approach used in Europe and Australia when local governments wanted to disperse the riff-raff--pipe in music nobody can stand. In England they used classical music. In Australia, one town blasted Barry Manilow into high crime areas. Given that the kids hang out in OPERA House Square--that would be the obvious choice for Oshkosh. But I think some of the worst oldies and country songs of all time would be better. We could start by repeating "Loving You" by Minnie Ripperton and following that up with an hour's worth of "Achy Breaky Heart" by Miley Cyrus' dad.

If that doesn't work, we'll make Opera House Square the "Popular Place to Hang Out". The Juggalos like to pass themselves off as the "social misfits" who don't do what the "cool kids" do. So let's infiltrate their ranks with the very people they want to avoid. Create a wi-fi hotspot in Opera House Square so kids with laptops and Blackberries can log on for free and tweet each other from three feet away. Set up sidewalk espresso carts. Host skateboarding contests with temporary half-pipes set up in the Square. Of put out Nintendo Wii Systems for people to use for free on Tuesday nights.

Or we could have Oshkosh Police find out who these kids are and call their parents. You know, just ask them "Hey, do you know where your kids are and what they are doing right now?" How many parents will say "Yeah, hanging out downtown and harassing people"? Let's be honest, that is where the Juggalos problem starts--and where it needs to be solved. The Business Improvement District can complain all it wants--and the Common Council can pass all the ordinances it wants--but until parents give a darn about what their teenagers are doing, it won't fix a thing.

21 comments:

  1. I am not sure there is anything to fix. Are they a nuisance? Yep. Are they breaking any laws? Not that I can see.

    These kids congregate before a curfew. They are in a public place. What's the difference between that and kids meeting at a ball diamond to play a game of baseball?

    Just because they don't fit Jon's category of 'normal' doesn't mean they need to be dealt with. For the few that are creating problems, charge them with disorderly conduct or underage smoking. But this idea that these people are infecting the downtown and we have to get rid of them? Please.

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  2. I'd have to say, that I agree with Jonathan. Until parents start acting like parents, there will continue to be children who become adults all the while never really growing up.

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  3. I well remember, forty years ago, being the kids -- long-haired, sloppily dressed, listening to sign-of-the-Apocalypse music like Alice Cooper -- who were "intimidating" to oldsters by my very existence. I didn't understand it then, and I was vaguely hurt by it. My friends and I even concocted (in our minds) a documentary film to parody the attitudes of oldsters about us.

    Opening shot: idyllic Norman-Rockwell-esque Main St. USA. The sun is starting to set. We become aware of a flurry of activity: shops closing, doors and windows being shuttered, people dashing to cars and leaving. A fellow looks around, puzzled, at all the people scrambling about fearfully. A man takes him by the arm and hurries him along. "You're not from around here, are you? You don't know! We must hurry! Soon, they'll be out!" We become aware of a growing menacing sound, a marching thumping tattoo. Suddenly, the sun sets. A woman screams, and the opening chords of "Johnny B. Goode" blare out at 150 decidels. (roll title & credits) The street is now alive with snarling, roaring, NHRA funny cars pulling burn outs and racing; the sidewalks are lined with stereotyped hippies, openly smoking reefer, popping pills, shooting up heroin, and generally behaving licentiously. A mob taunts and harasses a minister; Ward and June Cleaver are chased down the street, in fear of their lives. Shop windows shatter, etc. etc. etc., all to a thumping rock beat.

    Yeah, we thought that pretty well summarized how our elders viewed us. Our newspaper was filled with pleas to "do something" about those "filthy hippies" hanging out downtown, scaring business away and "intimidating" God-fearing respectable people. But we were just kids, doing what kids do. Our parents knew where we were and in general what we wwere doing. Heck, it's what THEY did when THEY were young, back in the dayts of jitterbug. And no doubt grandpop did to, in the days of 23-skidoo. Nothing new under the sun.

    I would suggest to the juggalos what more sensible adults suggested to us then: have your fun, but police up the loose cannons and troublemakers among you so they don't frighten the old folks. We also discovered there was a lot of fun in bursting their stereotypes: by being courteous, helpful, pleasant, whatever. A whole carload of us stopped and helped an old couple replace a flat-tire in the city park once. You could see they were scared as hell as this "gang of hippies" approached their car, but after a couple "sirs" and "ma'ams" and nice smiles they really warmed to us. You know how to do it; give it a try.

    Just remember, us oldsters get scared of LOTS of things: change, sudden noises, personal electronics. It's not easy seeing your youth slip away.

    To my fellow oldsters: don't be intimidated. They're just kids, doing what kids do. If any of them do anything REALLY wrong, the police will be on them like ducks on a June bug. If they're just hanging out, laughing too loud and horsing around ... well, didn't YOU when you were that age?

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  4. Still in love with ya, Nemesis! (And yes, I'm a girl) Old, but still a girl! :) Great comments. The only thing we have to fear is fear itself, you know.

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  5. Aw, thanyee kindly, 8:17, that's sweet!
    :-)

    So, were you a "hippie chick" who was going to be part of the fall of civilization? (I'm picturing fringed suede jacket and headband.)

    I think about so many of those "hoodlums" and "troublemakers" I hung out with downtown back then. All gainfully employed respectable family guys today.

    Folks just naturally need something to get riled up over, I guess.

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  6. Was a little too young to be a hippie chick, by about 4 years, but it's definitely my generation!

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  7. Anyone see today's Northwestern article that outlined an Administrator who collected 90 sick days and worked for 6 months and paid to be off for about 7 more?

    And to think the Northwestern has endorsed Karen Bowen and Tom Mcdermot, the defenders of the 90 sick days! And they just passed a budget that funds this fleecing benefit.

    I can't wait til' next election so I can NOT vote for Karen Bowen and can't wait til' following election to NOT vote for Tom Mcdermot....

    Enough is a enough!!

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  8. 1216, I didn't realize the school board was the topic for today.

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  9. I guess it is now.

    When isn't the school board and Karen Bowen not a good topic for discussion.

    She's been in charge for the past 20 years or however long she's been on that board and she still is rollin' her eyes at people.

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  10. Probably also worth pointing out that some goodly number of these juggalos are twenty-somethings, legally adults, and thus the comment about parents is irrelevant.

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  11. 1:34, it's not your blog. If you wanna bitch about the school board, start your own site.

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  12. 12:16 thinks the Juggalos should run for the school board.

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  13. Some people are so ignorant. Karen Bowen has already said she's not running again and it's been discussed on the blogs awhile back. Plenty of opportunity for 12:16 or 1:34 to step up to the plate and show their high level of intelligencve. Though I don't have too high of hopes since they can't even follow the simplest of news or stay on topic on blogs. But then again, amybe electing them to office is the surest way to shut them up. Michelle Monte has certainly changed her tune about how things are run. She and hubby have been pretty quiet too.

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  14. Karen Bowen's not running again? She shows everyone the problem of socialism. Eventually, you run out of other people's money. Karen Bowen has run things so far into the ground and since their is no more money for her pet courses (pun intended) like Horse and Companion Animals she is now calling it quits. Time to find another host Karen Bowen.

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  15. So, 12:57. When are YOU going to run for school board? You seem to have some pretty solid ideas about how things should be run. Put your money where your mouth is.

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  16. I bet Karen Bowen and Tom Mcdermot voted for Jim Doyle AND Gordon Hintz. The same people who drastically cut state aid for our schools.

    Interesting how they both ran the district into the ground and then send representation to Madison that does the same!

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  17. Nothing like an uninformed curmudgeon posting to start off everyone's day. Get a clue before blogging 7:56.

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  18. So you don't think that Tom Mcdermot and Karen Bowen voted for Gordon Hintz and Jim Doyle?

    I see they will raise my taxes 7% while at the same time, offering Administrators 90 sick days! How do they sleep at night?

    And to think Tom Mcdermot first got elected by telling people he was fiscally responsible. Oh, how a few years in office changes people.

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  19. Curmudgeon...lol.

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  20. The poster is right. Bowen and Mcdermott both royally messed up this district with their "leadership".

    So did the other liberals on the board for all those years. Remember, they were in charge and they have NO one to blame but themselves. I just hope in future elections, these liberals don't win again.

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  21. Like conservatives have done such a bang-up job. YIKES!! Thanks for the laugh, curmudgeon.

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