Michael's Reviews > Apocalypse Culture

Apocalypse Culture by Adam Parfrey
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Jun 11, 12

bookshelves: conspiracy-theory, left-hand-path, philosophy, politics
Recommended to Michael by: Tom Jennings
Recommended for: Teenage satanists, students of 90s subcultures, consumers of extremism
Read in January, 1990, read count: 1

This book was, somewhat inexplicably, a “big deal” in the punk and rebel subcultures of my youth. I suppose that this is because there weren’t a lot of books at the time detailing the extremes of culture in a “Mondo Cane” fashion, and those that did usually had a tone of moralist finger-wagging (which this didn’t). Much of what is in here would be or already had been covered in the RE/Search book releases, but those were somewhat less well-distributed, as I recall. It wasn’t until Modern Primitives: An Investigation of Contemporary Adornment and Ritual came out that everyone suddenly knew about RE/Search.

I read the book, and was probably as fascinated as anyone else, but I scarcely remember it now. Looking it over again, what stands out to me is the article on GG Allin, which I’m pretty sure was the first I’d read about him (aside from occasional nastygrams to zines), and the article by Anton Szandor LaVey, “The Invisible War,” which Parfrey used as the title for half of the volume. In “The Invisible War,” LaVey critiques consumer culture in terms of being a war against freedom and personal sovereignty, in a clever satirical fashion. It may be one of the best of his later writings, retrospectively. Again, though, I don’t really recall reading it. Pretty much anything else in here you’re interested in can be found somewhere else.
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