|Sea-Monkeys, a real man-modified miracle of nature!|
(note: link includes embedded auto-playing video)
- Normal (neophobic sixpackus), folks concerned about "fitting in" and stability. But give 'em a good shock and behold! Mutation!
- Unhappy Mutant (neophilic pessimisticus), seek new experiences of a dark sort, miserable folks who reinforce their miserable attitudes. If they crash and burn, they might swing back and become 'born again normals'.
- Happy Mutant (neophilic optimisticus), also seek out new experiences but of the opposite end of the spectrum, desiring novelty of the gleeful sort. But without sufficient infusions of new, their grey goo could turn dull and normal.
|Happy Mutant||Normal||Unhappy Mutant|
|Brazil||Sleepless in Seattle||Faces of Death|
|bOING bOING||People||ANSWER Me!|
|They Might be Giants||Janet Jackson||GG Allin|
|The Happy Mutant Handbook||The Bridges of Madison County||Apocalypse Culture|
|Silly Putty||Golf balls||Nunchakus|
|Basil Wolverton||Leroy Neiman||Joe Coleman|
|Church of the SubGenius||Church of Elvis||Church of Satan|
|Sea Monkey||Irish Setter||Scorpion|
|Archie McPhee||Lillian Vernon||Amok|
|"Why Be Normal?"||"I'm with Stupid"||"Charlie Don't Surf"|
|Pranks||White Collar Crime||Scams|
How have these examples of Happy Mutant hijinks aged? In 1996, when this review of the Happy Mutant Handbook was written, the review might have seemed like some zesty breadcrumbs on an exciting trail into a great unknown, with the Handbook itself serving as a collection of teaser trailers for the even larger mysteries of the wider, weirder world out there. But with the ever-expanding internet, as seen in the links above, more of this kooky kind of novelty is just a click away!
Some of this is still fresh, with Brazil retaining it's place as a cult classic, while some have ebbed and flowed, like the comeback of They Might Be Giants as a "nerd-rock institution." According to the current overview on Wikipedia, bOING bOING had a maximum circulation of 17,500 copies, then transitioned from zine to website in 1995, dropping the zine all together in 1996, and it has grown and changed since then. The Church of the SubGenius also lives on, like an endless supply of sea monkeys, which oddly aren't available from Archie McPhee, the thriving internet store of weird and wonderful items.