Has the good Reverend Al reformed his ways?
Let me first of all make it clear, that when we say
Al we don't mean this
Reverend Al or this
one. No, not this
one, either. We mean the one who has led the LA
Cacophony Society for a decade and now calls himself Alan Ridenour,
mild-mannered correspondent on strange
culture for various publications in the LA metro area.
As Grand Instigator of Cacophony's Los Angeles lodge, Reverend Al has distributed cement-filled teddy bears to needy children, served as head curator for the Museum of Mental Decay, and masterminded the fiery destruction of an exacting replica of Disney's "It's a Small World" ride at Burning Man 1999. In all, he was responsible for about 400 events during his tenure with the Society. Deposed last April for spreading death-dealing rumors and maintaining an inappropriate relationship to the Russian Orthodox Church, the society saw him off with a proper roasting followed by a proper burning. Getting crucified, however, only served to make Al stronger.
How does the post-cacophonistic Al spend his time?
Ridenour currently writes about cultural curiosities for publications like New Times Los Angeles and LAtimes.com. He is also a licensed minister, former computer animator and poet, and obsessive collector and fabricator of gaudy trinkets and mummified remains. He lives in a hilltop cabin once owned by bad-girl evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson.
In his second life, Rev. Al remains preoccupied with many of the same interests that ruined his first. His discerning taste for the bizarre recently manifested in the book Offbeat Food: Adventures in an Omnivorous World. Reviews have called it a must-graze, an eclectic whirlwind and truly quixotic and provocative. In addition to strange food, Al's freelance writing draws from his extensive knowledge of the City of Angels' exotic, spacey, and monsterish past (not to mention its noble Shriners).
For his Tentacle Session Al gave a confessional retrospective of cacophonistic capers and held forth on unusual comestibles and obscure foodlore with live onsite snacks. Copies of his limited edition coloring book and the commercially abundant Offbeat Food book were offered up for sale.