|Musiquarium||Aug 23 2010|
Every once in a while we go through a period of fascination with the seven-hundred-fifty-million car pile-up that is American popular culture. Of all the crashes we’ve seen, this is just about the most bizarre. Reality television star Tila Tequila was pelted with debris—including a beer can that opened a cut on her face—after she flashed her breasts in an attempt to control an unruly audience at the Gathering of the Juggalos music festival last week. The first anyone heard of this disaster was when she sold photos of her bandaged face to TMZ. The comment strings indicated that everyone thought it was a publicity stunt. Well, turns out she really did get hit with a beer can, and here's the evidence, from thewebsite Driven by Boredom. Apparently, the crowd became enraged due to the utter ineptness of her performance. We don’t know about that, because we didn’t hear it, and you couldn’t pay us to. What we wonder is if maybe the crowd became enraged due to the fact that they’re simply sick and tired of these forays into music by untalented professional celebrity types (Jessica Simpson, Paris Hilton, et.al.). We’re not condoning the mob behavior of these apes—they staged an impromptu public stoning. Yet the whole catastrophe is impossible to look away from. We think of the circus scene in Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian where the drunk cowboy shoots the dancing bear. The bear is mortally wounded, but all it knows is to keep dancing, so it dances faster and fasterand roars its dying pain as chaos erupts all around it. Tequila's attempt to keep performing even as her lifeblood was gushing out of her forehead is a sad echo of McCarthy's prose—and truly the stuff of nightmares. There was Bosch’s Garden of Earthy Delights, Picasso’s Guernica, and McCarthy’s Blood Meridian—and now we have Tequila’s Gathering of the Juggalos. We don't know if it qualifies as the sort of real-world pulp we're always looking for, but we do know we may never sleep again.