The funny thing is, the whole American UFO cultural phenomenon came and went since I did this list. The 1997 Roswell 50th anniversary bash was the going-away party for the Zeta Greys since I guess we didn't need them anymore. Anyway, we have Enron and the IMF now.


BLACK/PARFREY. RANTS! The howls of history.

BRUNVAND, JAN HAROLD (urban legends)

BURTON, SIR RICHARD FRANCIS. PERSONAL NARRATIVE OF A PILGRIMAGE TO AL-MADINAH AND MECCAH VOL 1 & 2. And you though it was impossible for an infidel to sneak into the most holy of Muslim shrines. Burton did, in 1853. Um, and so did P. J. O'Rourke, in 1990. Oh, well.

CHOMSKY, NOAM. At the risk of sounding heretical, I think Chomsky is a sort of Johnny One-Note, like Gore Vidal. Between the two I feel beaten from the start.

CIPOLLA, CARLO M. THE BASIC LAWS OF OF HUMAN STUPIDITY. WHOLE EARTH REVIEW #54 SPRING 1987. Beautifully simple. Blofeld and Moriarty cannot exist because their stupid minions would bring them down.

COHN, NORMAN. PURSUIT OF THE MILLENNIUM. Thorough account of millennial movements, including the infamous Anabaptists of Muenster in 1520. (Nov. 2000: The Millennium is almost upon us, and the only vaguely apocalyptic event was the U.S. election. It will prove a Pyrrhic victory for Bush and the Republican Party because they'll have no mandate.)

CROWLEY, ALEISTER. THE BOOK OF LIES. Shows how there's a sucker born every minute. Smart and likable guy, but don't lend him money. (Nov. 2000: The Occultists really needed someone like him.

DUNDES, ALAN AND PAGTER, CARL. WORK HARD AND YOU SHALL BE REWARDED: URBAN FOLKLORE FROM THE PAPERWORK EMPIRE. Traces the history of all the stupid flyers you see circulating in an office. (Nov. 2000: And the stupid emails.)


FRAZER, JAMES G. THE GOLDEN BOUGH. Catalogue of beliefs among primitive societies. There's a paperback called THE NEW GOLDEN BOUGH, which updates Frazer by a hundred years. Apparently, a lot of his assumptions about primitive tribal behavior were just plain wrong.

FRIEDRICH, OTTO. THE END OF THE WORLD: A HISTORY. Apocalypse Now and Then. (Nov. 2000: Not counting the Solar Temple and Heaven's Gate suicide cults.)

THE FRINGES OF REASON - A WHOLE EARTH CATALOGUE. 1986. edited by Ivan Stang. How to find out about hardcore weirdos and contact them. This later became High Weirdness By Mail.

FROMM, ERICH. DREAMS: THE FORGOTTEN LANGUAGE. Jungian dream analysis minus the Collective Unconsciousness part. HARRIS, MARVIN.

JAYNES, JULIAN. THE ORIGIN OF CONSCIOUSNESS IN THE BREAKDOWN OF THE BICAMERAL MIND. Weak scientifically but includes good characterization of modern society. Houston artist Perry Webb/Mark Flood used the ideas therein to hilarious effect, aided by gullible local TV reporters. Possible tie-in with Walter Ong (q.v.).

JUNG, CARL G. MAN AND HIS SYMBOLS. Universal archetypes. Are there new ones? How can they be exploited?

MACKAY, DR. CHARLES. EXTRAORDINARY POPULAR DELUSIONS AND THE MADNESS OF CROWDS. 1845. Compendium of mass movements/panics/stupid ideas throughout history.

MANNIX, DANIEL P. THOSE ABOUT TO DIE. History of the Roman Games, in all their evil glory. Way out of print. (Nov. 2000: Mostly cribbed from Suetonius and Tacitus, written as popular anthropology.


MORRIS, DESMOND. THE NAKED APE. Popular anthropology, which was big in the U.S. in the '50s. You could see or read about naked breasts if you put an academic gloss on them.

POUNDSTONE, WILLIAM. SECRETS and BIGGER SECRETS. Cool stuff, like how Doug Henning made the Statue of Liberty disappear. Hint: he did it on TV. Magic tricks on TV are like venriloquists on the radio.

RE/SEARCH #6/7. INDUSTRIAL CULTURE HANDBOOK. Cool interviews with Throbbing Gristle, Cabaret Voltaire, SPK, Boyd Rice, Mark Pauline of SRL and MORE. Includes monumental reading lists compiled by the interviewees. Vaguely Foucaultian view of humanity as molded by machine culture, if you stretch it to include mass media and cybernetic control. A little dated, at least the "mass" part.

SAKOLSKY & KOEHNLINE GONE TO CROATAN: THE ORIGINS OF NORTH AMERICAN DROPOUT CULTURE. Autonomedia. The real Americans were the Roanoke colonists who ran off to join the Indians. They could have founded a funky, multiethnic society, Instead we got a lot of white Europeans.

SEMIOTEXT(E) - USA. (Autonomedia. 1988?) Collection of articles illustrating the balls-to-the-wall weirdness that is America. I wouldn't have it any other way.

THOMPSON, HUNTER S. Truly a god, but fallen on creative hard times lately. (Nov. 2000: But he wrote an excellent, chilling column about the election. Perhaps the magic will return?)

VERMOREL, FRED AND JUDY. STARLUST: THE SECRET FANTASIES OF FANS. A compilation of fan letters. (Nov. 2000: Not as disturbing as "Stan," by Eminem, though.)


BANGS, LESTER. PSYCHOTIC REACTIONS AND CARBURETOR DUNG. Great rock 'n' roll reviews by an Ascended Master.

BELSITO, RICHARD. NOTES FROM THE POP UNDERGROUND. 1983. Interviews with Jello Biafra, Mark Pauline, Paul Mavrides, Michael Peppe, Diamanda Galas, Robert Anton Wilson, Spalding Gray, Jim Jarmusch, and a couple of others.

BUGLIOSI, VINCENT. HELTER SKELTER. So-so account of Manson murders, written by the prosecutor. A yawner, but has photos and was the basis for entertaining TV movie starring Steve Railsback as Manson.

CHICK, JACK T. THE COLLECTED WORKS. Yes, all those comics grubby Christians hand out in the street. CREATOR or LIAR?.

CRITIQUE MAGAZINE. Gunfight at the Consensus Reality Corral. Wide range of viewpoints and sources of more. #51 examines the problem of evil and #52 is the End o' the World Forum). Defunct.

FILM THREAT! Ex-punk rocker/film student Chris Gore has his way with the film industry and film school students in particular. The filmic equivalent of a drive-by shooting. Update-The August/September 1993 (Fantastic Four cover) issue sucked, though. He started paying more attention to major studio releases aimed at his audience. Also, Troma flooded the market with knowingly shitty movies.

PARFREY, ADAM. APOCALYPSE CULTURE. Essays about things and people you'd rather not think about. (Nov. 2000: For example, when the Nazis began sterilizing people, that kind of thing was still in the judicial mainstream in the U.S., endorsed by no less a personage than Supreme Court Chief Justice Oliver Wendell Homes, Jr.)

PHILLIPS, PHIL. TURMOIL IN THE TOYBOX. 1980s Saturday morning shows were satanic, and that went double for Smurfs. Christians took this stuff seriously until after the Satanic Ritual Child Abuse panic of the early '90s, after which it trailed off. Look in the Christian sections of a used bookstore.

PSYCHOTRONIC VIDEO MAGAZINE. It is your duty as a good American to dive deep into the swirling pool of American culture in all its shitkickingly cheesy glory. It ain't art, but it's alive and it's all true. Which is more than you can say for Europe and Lower Manhattan. (Nov. 2000: Jesus, I really said that? This stuff is so mainstream that the really bad stuff is just a waste of time now. On the other hand, it's no less "true" for it.)

SANDERS, ED. THE FAMILY. Delves deep into the Manson Family, with a side trip to the Beach Boys and Robert de Grimston's The Process Church. More cultural context than "Helter Skelter."