My best friend’s twin brother died of Aids related cancer in 1993. Another close friend of mine was convinced he had something the day after he lost his virginity. He spent eight months in clinics across Toronto getting tested – just to be sure – until it became slightly worrisome and even comical. This zine is somewhere in between those two extremes. This issue of Flashpoint is subtitled “documenting the fact Aids does not exist.” Despite the heavy topic, Flashpoint is an ambitious and insightful zine providing well-ranged and researched points of entry on this very real subject. Demonic cartoons offering pharmaceuticals appear as mere mirages in the confines of the newsprint (I asked myself was this done for comic relief? Should we be laughing at any of this? Does the subject veto any further premise for humour? ) There are warnings for Aspartame, volunteering for medical experiments, to drug related birth defects. If you’re already paranoid about everything in your life I don’t suggest you read this one. There are articles by real doctors such as “living in the 90s with Doctor Frankenstein” which pinpoints the folkloric origin of the HIV monkey theory (“originating in the 1970’s when a green monkey virus somehow jumped the species barrier and infected black (but not white) Africans.”) There are frightening Adbusters type Marlboro ads, but instead of cigarettes they’re “selling” the aids crisis. Under the typical cowboy icon it reads: (“While Bush spends billions playing cowboy, 37 million Americans have no health insurance. One American dies of Aids every eight minutes.”) There’s an Aids time-line that goes back to 1346. This is an in your face zine about an in your face topic, well written and necessary. (NGM)

zine, $3, Shannon Coleband (ed.), PO BOX 5591. Portland, OR 977228, USA

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