High Weirdness By Mail
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High Weirdness By Mail

4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  98 ratings  ·  12 reviews
This hysterical hobbyist's guide belongs in every hip library. Coot cat Reverend Ivan Stang, high holy of the Church of the SubGenius, has compiled a bestiary of American creeps and crazies so that you can write to them and receive mail that is weird, horrible, wonderfully absurd, or a combination of all three. Each entry has a paragraph or two and the last known mailing a...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published May 15th 1988 by Fireside
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Nov 25, 2013 Xenomantid rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people looking for brief overviews of outsider art and fringe groups
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: I wrote this review long before I knew the horrible truth about Ivan Stang and what he did to Bob Black. Since then, I have decided to remove this book from my favorites and "positive influence" shelves. The review itself will remain as it was when I wrote it. Just bear in mind that this book should be taken as pure disposable entertainment and nothing else.

Today, the World Wide Web provides a veritable all-you-can-eat buffet of groups dedicated to virtually anything and ev...more
This book is sort of an artifact from a time before the internet became a mass phenomenon.

In those days, individuals or organizations disseminated their fringe ideas by old fashioned post.
This book gives the name, mailing address, and synopsis of fringe publications. Some of the publications are vile, some are silly; they are all whacked out. The editor of this volume, the Rev. Ivan Stang of the Church of the SubGenius, makes witty comments about each publication. Actually I had fun, skipping a...more
Ed Selkow
This was one of the most fun books to read and reread back then. Wish I knew what happened to my copy. I made notes in the book when I wrote away for numerous highly weird things. Ivan Stang is on YouTube now.
if i had to pick a book that had the biggest impact on my life, this would be it. at 15, i had absolutely no idea who the rev. ivan stang, the church of the subgenius, or even what the hell "mail art" was. it is absolutely responsible for me discovering the magnificent world of small self-published zines and ultimately the continually published bible of mail art, factsheet 5. i started self-publishing my own work for the next 5 years and made me realize you can have a voice (even if it is a tiny...more
Glenn Davis
I always thought the actual Subgenius materials produced by Stang & Co. somewhat failed to live up to the promise of their fantastic concept. But this compilation of ACTUAL cultic weirdness is absolutely delicious and laugh-out-loud hilarious. I still can't recommend it highly enough, if you can find it, although as another reviewer points out, sadly the snail-mail world of which HWBM is an artefact has largely faded away.
obviously of historical interest only, but glad my local library has kept 2(!) copies of this around, as it's a good way of showing folks who don't remember a time before the WWW how we used to have to find our cranks and weirdos. it's also good proof that some stuff didn't get invented by those crazy kids on Tumblr.
This can't be appreciated in this day of instant gratification, unfortunately. But still a great collection of neat stuff.
Jun 28, 2007 Joseph added it
Not as relevant now that there's the internets and all, but still a great cross-section of american weirdos...
Essential artifact of pre-internet weirdness.
Pat Fitzgerald
Changed my life, pre-Internet high-octane America
How you did it before the internet...
Classic universal WEIRDNESS!
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“If you sincerely desire a truly well-rounded education, you must study the extremists, the obscure and "nutty." You need the balance! Your poor brain is already being impregnated with middle-of-the-road crap, twenty-four hours a day, no matter what. Network TV, newspapers, radio, magazines at the supermarket... even if you never watch, read, listen, or leave your house, even if you are deaf and blind, the telepathic pressure alone of the uncountable normals surrounding you will insure that you are automatically well-grounded in consensus reality.” 4 likes
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