You can buy this on Amazon right now, without reading any further, if you want. Just wanted to include that option upfront.
Not convinced? Fine, here is a quick description. This book looks at a wide array of absurd topics that fall under what might be called “pop culture.” No, I’m not talking about a book that looks at reality TV stars or Snuggies or whatever. For me, “pop culture” includes things like anti-drug video games made in the 1980s, bizarre songs made by professional athletes, completely insane books written in the 1960s by “psychics”, creepy pastors who burn Harry Potter books and think Satan created My Little Pony, and things like that. In other words, I take a long, critical look at completely ridiculous things that might not, at first glance, deserve a long, critical look. But so what if they don’t? The main purpose here is to be funny and entertaining; making you think lags behind in third place.
Here’s the blurb from the back cover:
If you’ve ever wondered whether or not Hulk Hogan’s rap album is any good, or if the anti-drug song recorded by the 1987 LA Lakers helped prevent kids from trying PCP, or if an obscure text called The Miracle of Psycho-Command Power can, as it claims, make you a new car out of bubbles, then you’ve found the right book. Way to go.
Indeed, the answers to those burning unknowns and many others can be found inside of You Idiot: The First Book. Collecting the first four issues of the fanzine You Idiot, one issue of the fanzine Whiskey Plus, and a previously unreleased issue of each, the book tackles a slew of bewildering subjects in a brave, take-minimal-prisoners approach that will blow you away or at least cause you to shrug. Anti-drug video games, cartoons, pencils, rap songs, and comic books receive a critical look. Bizarre religious people who think that Satan is behind things like My Little Pony and DC Talk are examined at length. Vital topics such as cat astrology, drunken karaoke singers, and preachers who burn Journey albums are studied. Psychic predictions made in the 1970s are graded for accuracy. A message board devoted to He-Man toys is infiltrated. Bands rehearsing in a practice space are reviewed. Stuff like that.
Nothing here is particularly groundbreaking, but it should make you think, or laugh, or at least think about laughing before deciding not to.
As noted above, the best place to buy the book is Amazon. But you can also pick it up at places like Microcosm, Razorcake, Interpunk, Powell’s Books, REV, and more. I can’t guarantee it’ll always be in stock at all of those places, but they all carry it on and off.
Here’s a few reviews, either of the book itself or of the original fanzines that are included in it:
This is a highly amusing zine that had me laughing from the first article in which Nate plays three old anti-drug video games to determine their effectiveness in the War on Drugs. Nate’s sharp wit keeps up through the Science of Cat Astrology and his piece about preachers burning Journey albums. I highly recommend everyone get a copy. (Review of You Idiot #1, which is included in this book) –Zine World
This zine makes me nostalgic for humor zines—a dying breed indeed. Once upon a time you could actually bust a gut reading a fanzine, or at least chuckle and be entertained. This zine carries the torch of that proud tradition. By the author of Pick Your Poison, this zine is dedicated to debating the obvious-editor Nate plays bad christian video games, and then spends multiple pages brutally reviewing them. Recommended. (Review of the zines that are included in this book) –Slug and Lettuce
You Idiot is put together by Nate from the band Rivethead, and I can honestly say that it is my favorite zine. I picked up #2 and liked it so much I had to go back and buy the others. I have never laughed so much at anything in print. This is hilarious. The writing is witty and sarcastic, and the content is perfect for ridicule. Check these out for a good laugh. Multiple laughs actually. (Review of the zines that are included in this book) –Swimmer’s Ear
Any questions about the book, head on over to the Contact page.