Not just for kids anymore, pranks are the focus of this weekend’s Re/Search Books “Pranksfest L.A.,” celebrating the publication of Pranks 2, the hotly anticipated sequel to 1988’s Pranks. Re/Search publisher V. Vale promises rare video clips and audiovisual presentations of actual stunts, and will be moderating a panel with local maniacs Rev. Al Ridenour, Feederz founder Frank Discussion, and Jerry Casale of Devo (operating lately under the nom de guerre “Jihad Jerry”). Featured in Pranks 2 are monkey-wrenchers The Yes Men — whose website, gwbush.com, inspired the president to say, “There should be limits to freedom” — and billboard liberator Ron English, who parodied Apple’s “Think Different” advertising campaign. Reverend Al’s latest project, “The Art of Bleeding,” a cabaret act that comes on like Benny Hill’s Grand Guignol, presents talking apes, robots and legions of nurses prancing around in their scanties. Yes, protest, riot and vote to your heart’s content, but these are perfunctory things. The prank represents an escape from the modern trinity of failure, servitude and prostitution. Because giving a skinned sheep’s head to Betty Ford, as ur-prankster Boyd Rice once did, doesn’t make the wheels of authority turn so much as it shuts off the machine entirely, if only for a little while. Beyond Baroque, 681 Venice Blvd., Venice, Saturday, Nov. 18, 7:30 p.m. (doors open 6:30 p.m.); $10 (includes $5 coupon toward purchase of an autographed copy of Pranks 2). (310) 822-3006.
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