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Twisted Times

By R. Seth Friedman

When Stuart Mangrum's not concocting fun activities for the Cacophony Society, he's usually making homebrewed beer. While all that beer is aging in his basement, Stuart scans the local press for weird news and sifts through the Internet, looking for the most twisted things for reprinting. Some of my favorite bits gleaned by Stuart, and printed in the Times include the illustrated instructions for becoming a part of the Barbie Liberation Organization (the group that switches the sound modules between Barbie and G. I. Joe dolls), Peter Kuper's cartoon report on the Mike Diana trial, a program schedule showing what would happen if the GOP took over PBS, a communiqué from the Green Panthers (a militant marijuana legalization group), and the absolutely hilarious "What if People Bought Cars like They Buy Computers?"

Sometimes a weird sense of humor is the only way to deal with horrible events. The darkest article in this darkly humored zine is the cover story reporting on how a fully armed police battalion led a raid on Stuart's next door neighbor. After storming the house and putting seven bullet holes in the man, the police didn't find any traces of the meth lab supposedly set up in the house.

Because Stuart is quite active in the San Francisco Cacophony Society he often reports on their many actions in Twisted Times. Recently, for instance, after the 997th jumper, the California Highway Patrol announced that it would no longer assign numbers to Golden Gate Bridge suicides, hoping to prevent "people lining up to be number 1,000." The Cacophony Society reacted to this bit of news by hosting a 2-K "Race of Doom" across the bridge. The hook - all runners would be sporting the number 1,000 on their vests. This hilarious prank seemed to turn dark when someone took advantage of the opportunity and leapt to his death during the race. Or maybe he didn't.

Twisted Times
Stuart Mangrum
PO Box 271222
Concord, California 94527 1222

US$3 per issue; US$10 for four issues.


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