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MONDO 2000 was the coolest thing in the world for six months
September 7, 2013 7:40 AM   Subscribe

The Mondo Moment. R. U. Sirius has published an excerpt of his upcoming book, Use Your Hallucinations: MONDO 2000 in Late 20th Century Cyberculture.
posted by zabuni (65 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
The excerpt is a solid slab of self-aggrandizing name-dropping that doesn't actually provide any of the mind-blowing insights or amusing anecdotes it hints at. It's like a little capsule Mondo 2000 in itself!
posted by phooky at 8:11 AM on September 7, 2013 [26 favorites]


The excerpt is a solid slab of self-aggrandizing name-dropping that doesn't actually provide any of the mind-blowing insights or amusing anecdotes it hints at. It's like a little capsule Mondo 2000 in itself!

That's what got me when I went out and bought MONDO 2000: A User’s Guide to The New Edge, from reading about it in a previous thread. How little there was there. I expected a early 90's cookbook of smart drugs, phreaking, and hacking. I got a bunch of fairly non-technical ravings and descriptions of how awesome being in the "in" group in 90's NorCal was.
posted by zabuni at 8:24 AM on September 7, 2013 [7 favorites]


The Douglass Rushkoff quote is a golden example of what made Mondo 2000 so vacuous (other than that they printed stuff by Douglas Rushkoff, which is really all the evidence you need):

MONDO was the last scene of the last era. It’s the last sort of Algonquin group or whatever. I mean, physical reality isn’t what it used to be. Now you create a Facebook group to do what MONDO did.
posted by Cookiebastard at 8:34 AM on September 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm named after this sort of stuff. It does for bullshit what Stonehenge did for rocks.
posted by codswallop at 8:37 AM on September 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


Basically this is like all the people who just went to burning man in my facebook feed.
posted by empath at 8:39 AM on September 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


I haven't seen an issue of Mondo for years, so I don't know how well it holds up (not well, I suspect). But it was the coolest thing to a 15-year-old kid who had grown up immersed in computers and BBS culture, who loved industrial music and was beginning to discover rave, who dabbled in drugs and phreaking and software piracy...in other words, me, at the time. You mean there's a world out there where the stuff that happens in cyberpunk RPGs is real? Awesome!

I kind of want to buy some back issues. I also kind of don't, because I'm afraid I would see how dumb it was.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 8:44 AM on September 7, 2013 [8 favorites]


I'm sitting on a throne painstakingly etched from a single block of aerospace grade polycarbonate. I adjust my top hat goggles and and make sure my snakeskin vest is displaying my engorged pectorals to their full effect. It is the same chair where earlier that day I first tried XJ255, a research chemical made from the pineal glands of Pygmy shrews.

William Gibson, Rudy Rucker, and Rufus, Jim Morrions Valet, are shooting me daggers as my writing partner and sometimes lover, St. Vitus Dance, holds forth about a race of faeries that live in her hair. Unbeknownst to most scholars, they had written the complete works of Shakespeare, the Doors, as well as every paper by that faker Einstein.

The meeting had produced the usual mix. A spread on underground top hat googles. An interview with a Swedish counterculture post human known only as X55. A spread on CAT 5 cables as underground counterculture fashion accessory, and several centerfolds of me in my snakeskin vest. To my knowledge we were the first counterculture magazine to feature more than one centerfold.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:53 AM on September 7, 2013 [20 favorites]


Back at their peak, Ken and his band of merry idiots invited me and well-respected artist friend to spend a day hanging out with them at the Berkeley Hills house they were all living in, to give them a brain dump about our interests and knowledge in digital media, music and art. The lasting impression they made on me was something less than positive, the one thing that came across was how absolutely clueless they all were, and relatively recent interactions with Ken remind me that some people never learn, because they are incapable of actually listening to anything but the sound of their own egos. R. U. Sirius, indeed - Ken is the poster boy for the fact that some people are deeply damaged by their drug use.
posted by dbiedny at 8:58 AM on September 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


I own this book, probably because, every time, over the last dozen years or so, that I've downsized my book collection, I've said to myself, 'but it's so small--I might as well keep it.'
posted by box at 9:01 AM on September 7, 2013


So I RTFA'ed, and dear Lord, is that excerpt insufferable.

I remember the "R.U. a Cyberpunk?" spread, though. Even as a joke, it's kind of cringeworthy. I guess you had to be there.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 9:04 AM on September 7, 2013


I remember a letter to the editor in a late 90's Wired extolling the writer's good fortune in choosing a subscription to Wired over a subscription to Mondo 2000 four years earlier, because now he was a dot-com hopeful in Santa Clara instead of a burnt-out raver in Mendocino. It's, like, the most consise and apt description of the readership of two magazines I'll ever see.
posted by infinitewindow at 9:18 AM on September 7, 2013 [9 favorites]


> MONDO 2000: A User’s Guide to The New Edge... a bunch of fairly non-technical ravings

Hey now, Rudy Rucker don't rant, he raves!

His introduction talks about blocking an intersection in Santa Cruz (Mission & Chestnut?) in a giant station wagon from North Carolina. Other drivers go absolutely bonkers because Californians have to have the absolute best at all times and if they aren't getting it, it blows their weensy minds. My Safeway has pretty good produce, but tru-Californians head to Whole Foods for the best

Fortunately, Moxie Marlinspike has the antidote: The Worst
posted by morganw at 9:20 AM on September 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


> I expected a early 90's cookbook of smart drugs, phreaking, and hacking.

While I see where people are coming from with the egos getting in the way, the details of hacking like you might find in today's Make are really the trees. Mondo 2000 was trying to show us the forest.
posted by morganw at 9:23 AM on September 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


morganw: "> MONDO 2000: A User’s Guide to The New Edge... a bunch of fairly non-technical ravings

Hey now, Rudy Rucker don't rant, he raves!

His introduction talks about blocking an intersection in Santa Cruz (Mission & Chestnut?) in a giant station wagon from North Carolina. Other drivers go absolutely bonkers because Californians have to have the absolute best at all times and if they aren't getting it, it blows their weensy minds. My Safeway has pretty good produce, but tru-Californians head to Whole Foods for the best

Fortunately, Moxie Marlinspike has the antidote: The Worst
"

TRUtru-Californians know all the seriously kickass produce stands. Stores are for tourists.
posted by Samizdata at 9:28 AM on September 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


oh god.

so I grew up nerdy surrounded by extremely smart technology-and-philosophy types. I was in the early years of high school in the mid-90s when this cyberdelic psychetronic teledildonic transhumanist smart drinks Wired magazine Bay Aryan stuff was still an active ongoing concern. And I hated it intensely, even though by all accounts it was marketed exactly at me. But inevitably all of R.U. Sirius's* desperate attempts to seem like the Cool Older Brother who Blows Your Mind by introducing you to all the Cool Stuff he's seen and heard made him seem more and more pathetic and stupid and missing-the-point-altogether to me. I did not want to be R.U. Sirius, or follow R.U. Sirius, or do anything that he did. I wanted to be RMS. I wanted to be Linus Torvalds. I wanted to be (and I have to admit it, still kind of want to be) Douglas Hofstadter. Put next to the real work of actual smart people, all that froth out of norcal seemed, and still seems, like an utter waste of time and ego.

When I read (for example) How to Mutate and Take Over The World, I was basically gobsmacked that someone could take all the weird stuff I loved/still love about machines and math and code and cognition and turn it so stupid and lame, with all the sense-of-wonder stripped out and replaced with self-importance and in-jokes. Gross.

Though really, now that I think about it, Mondo 2000 did in fact serve as a major influence on me: it was a warning, a warning against falling deeply in love with myself and thereby wasting everyone's time.

*: Oh god that was the best he could do for a pen name?
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 9:30 AM on September 7, 2013 [16 favorites]


also I wanted to be Martin Gardner or Don Knuth.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 9:35 AM on September 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


You know, I became a geek because I wasn't cool (or at least I didn't think I was).

So, people like R.U. Sirius pissed me right off since they were all "We're geeks who think we're cool" which sort of struck me as a futile pasttime.

Look, the argument makes sense to ME, okay?
posted by Samizdata at 9:36 AM on September 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Looking back, it's easy to diss MONDO, to show off how sophisticated we've become.

In the piss-ant nowhere, pre-WWW town where I grew up, I found MONDO in the magazine rack of the hippy-newage bookstore (along with BOING-BOING and later Wired) at it tore the top of my skull off.

At the time NCSA Mosaic only ran on real, hot shit UNIX workstations( not PCs, not Macs), the best internet access available to me was a 2400 BPS shell account thatIi had to get my Dad to sign a note that it was OK for me to get access to from the university (I was 13). I was just barely getting a grasp on the larger, outside rural Oregon world (Usenet helped immensely with this). MONDO was a siren song about the future that I would read and re-read, dreaming about San Francisco and THE FUTURE.

Computers! Smart Drugs! Weirdness! I was hooked and I wanted that "Cyberpunk" future so bad I could taste it. I bit later someone gave me a copy of slackware linux and and I forgot about MONDO and it's Delicious promises of the future for the better part of a year.

I still pull out my old tattered issues and look at them and remember being so exited about the world that never was.
posted by Dr. Twist at 9:39 AM on September 7, 2013 [12 favorites]


You guys were a lot nicer to the Monkees yesterday than you are to Mondo 2000 today. Think about that. The Monkees.
posted by bukvich at 9:41 AM on September 7, 2013 [15 favorites]


> That's what got me when I went out and bought MONDO 2000: A User’s Guide to The New Edge, from reading about it in a previous thread. How little there was there.

It's refreshing to see I'm not alone. I too bought the Mondo 2000 book (also some mirrorshades; Amazon knows what's up) and was left disappointed.

The only book to best Mondo 2000 for the title of "Most Disappointing Book I Bought On The Advice Of Internet People I Respect" was The Cluetrain Manifesto.
posted by Monochrome at 9:41 AM on September 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


That's because the Monkees are awesome people who gave a shit (even when it wasn't their turn to give a shit — giving a shit kind of wrecked their careers) and Mondo 2000 was just positively chock full of the opposite of that.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 9:42 AM on September 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


I know I'm being harsh and I know I'm talking from a position of privilege. I grew up in a major west coast city and was tracked into one of those socially questionable sort-out-all-the-smart-kids-and-put-them-in-classes-together advanced programs, and as an upshot of that I was positively soaking in early Internet culture and didn't need self-loving libertarianish ravers from San Francisco to tip me off to what was up. But nevertheless: man, that crap was so much worse than it needed to be. I wish everyone who got their first taste of the wired world from Mondo 2000 could have gotten it from something less... irredeemably dumb...
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 9:48 AM on September 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


I remember how the magazine's editors thought "nature is boring." I immediately knew these people were dingdongs and dumb heads.
posted by uraniumwilly at 9:54 AM on September 7, 2013 [1 favorite]



In the piss-ant nowhere, pre-WWW town where I grew up, I found MONDO in the magazine rack of the hippy-newage bookstore (along with BOING-BOING and later Wired) at it tore the top of my skull off.


When I first stumbled onto Mondo mag (it would've been around summer 1991), it wasn't really a revelation as I'd already heard of and/or read most of the people and themes they were raving about. But I'd be lying if I didn't admit to being somewhat astonished: just to find it all this hyper cool and strange and hopeful stuff in one place, all glossy and euphoric and yeah, positively dripping with various feel good chemicals and additives. And more to the point, I liked that there was now this magazine that I could point some of my younger friends and acquaintances at, in hopes of aiding and abetting in the broadening of their minds etc ... because this was still the dregs of the coke and greed fueled Reagan era (George Bush Sr in the White House, the aftermath of the first Gulf War still pumping foul vapors and visions our way). There wasn't much light anywhere in the culture, certainly not penetrating to my corner of the crumbling civilization.

But yeah, like the title of the FPP says, it was only good for about six months. Things quickly got annoying in (as has already been noted here) much the same way that the whole Burning Man thing has become annoying. Something about individual moments of breakthrough and epiphany -- they just don't translate that well beyond the subjective sphere. Indeed, like a cherished photo from Burning Man. Yeah, man, I heard you the first time. That's you at a peak moment in your life, but the fact remains, you're not wearing any pants, you've got mud or something on your knees and that face paint just makes you look the wrong kind of clown.

Mondo 2000 is/was just like that. Which doesn't mean I'm not glad it happened.
posted by philip-random at 10:05 AM on September 7, 2013 [11 favorites]


Indeed, like a cherished photo from Burning Man. Yeah, man, I heard you the first time. That's you at a peak moment in your life, but the fact remains, you're not wearing any pants, you've got mud or something on your knees and that face paint just makes you look the wrong kind of clown.

Mondo 2000 is/was just like that. Which doesn't mean I'm not glad it happened.


You articulated the second set of feelings I have regarding MONDO much better than I could, which is why I didn't include it in my comment.

Impressing a 1991 pre-teen hick isn't a big accomplishment, but I think I took the best parts of it and made it my own.
posted by Dr. Twist at 10:17 AM on September 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Was it full of wankery? Sure. Looking at it now with my jaded adult eyes it's all full of ego and California "Look At Me" culture, but to my early-teen self it was an intro to whole new levels of coolness. Gibson and Sterling had already wedged all sorts of cracks in my mind open and Mondo filled them with a shiny, shiny technophilia. That magazine will always have a place in my collection and a permanent home somewhere deep in my psyche.
posted by Lighthammer at 10:41 AM on September 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Mondo and Wired were the jumping-off point for the New Age people who were never really comfortable with the level of woo in that world. A few people like Timothy Leary and Robert Anton Wilson managed to keep a foot in both worlds but for the most part the far-out people who favored technology over mysticism drifted toward the Singularity, and then the rest of what had been the New Age got obsessed by angels.

Fortunately by that time our gemstone collection was pretty complete and then Mississippi legalized gambling, which took my life in a different interesting direction.
posted by localroger at 10:56 AM on September 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


I still have a few issues of Mondo 2000; I think I sold some of the rarer(?) ones on eBay a few years back. What I find most striking in them are the full-page and back-cover ads for Quarterdeck.
posted by Slothrup at 11:35 AM on September 7, 2013


On reflection, I think I prefer Mondo 2000's uninformed, vague and drug-influenced notions of our digital future to today's reality of Facebook, Google, Amazon and the NSA.
posted by Slothrup at 11:40 AM on September 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


Slothrup: "I still have a few issues of Mondo 2000; I think I sold some of the rarer(?) ones on eBay a few years back. What I find most striking in them are the full-page and back-cover ads for Quarterdeck."

I used to run a WWIV BBS under DesqView. I was an official Phrack distributor.
posted by Samizdata at 12:14 PM on September 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Good lord that's still some borderline-unreadable crap. R.U. got one thing about tech culture right- hype and self-promotion FTW!

It is weird though, Mondo took a whole lotta stuff I thought (and probably still do think) was cool- cyberpunk, drugs, technology, scantily-clad interesting-haired raver chicks- and somehow made it all seem stupider than it had before.

I mean, I lived in SF in the early 90's, though nowhere near SOMA or any of these people apparently. But I did know a buncha ravers, and there were no amount of 'smart drugs' that were going to change the fact that they were dumber than bags of hammers. But who knows, probably those kids are all tech zillionaires by now.

My point, if I have one, is that for all the goofiness involved, that vision of the future still appeals to me a little more than what's actually happened. It was all like, let's take an assload of drugs and figure out a cool, visionary, rebellious future! Jaron Lanier is the new Doug Englebart!

Whereas now it's more, hey lets take a reasonable amount of drugs and envision the next killer iphone app so we can be RICH!

did the 90's revival happen yet? I can't remember...
posted by hap_hazard at 12:18 PM on September 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


hap_hazard, the transition you describe which took place from the mid 90's through the early teens is remarkably similar to the one which took place from the mid 60's through the early 80's.
posted by localroger at 12:23 PM on September 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


I . . . did not expect the hating in here. Huh. M2K was a very welcome monthly-ish respite from football soaked Jesus truck and meat culture. Fuckin' yay for it.
posted by petebest at 12:29 PM on September 7, 2013


oh, somehow I missed that I was echoing Slothrup's more-eloquent statement up there. Probably I took too many GABA-blockers and entered a time-loop, man, the future sure is futuristic!


localroger-

Right! I was a teenager for most of the 80s but it did feel that way. And there was a definite sense at least to me in the whole Mondo aesthetic, of 'check it out! The 60's never went away, they just mutated!' So maybe that will happen again, though for example Burner culture feels to me more like a safety-valve than a vector of actual zeitgeist-change. But what the hell, cyber-punk revival! I'm down. But I'm still not gonna roller-blade.
posted by hap_hazard at 12:30 PM on September 7, 2013


petebest- aw, you know, we kid hate because we love.

/dons CyberVizor2013, hacks the Gibson
posted by hap_hazard at 1:09 PM on September 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


R U Sirius responds to metafilter:
https://twitter.com/stealthissingul/status/376442952559497216
posted by Bwithh at 1:34 PM on September 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


R U Sirius: still, and always, the MC Hammer of futurism.
posted by hap_hazard at 1:45 PM on September 7, 2013 [6 favorites]


I just want to echo everyone here who's noting that the currently dominant viciously mercenary Silicon Valley nastiness is related to, and isn't even that different from, the wannabe-hip briefly dominant Mondo 2000 stuff. The only saving grace of computer technology is that under all the gross exploitative froth there's always been a bunch of very smart people working away, doing new clever things with machines and legitimately expanding the boundaries of what we can think and do. For the most part these people aren't as flashy as Sirius or as rich as Mark Zuckerberg, but thank [insert your favorite prime mover here] that they're around.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 1:45 PM on September 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm a little surprised by the amount of retroactive scorn here. Mondo 2000 had a lot of interesting and fun stuff in it. But it also seemed obvious, even at the time, that like any glossy lifestyle or fashion magazine, a lot of what it was pushing was pure fantasy. I bet you could find a lot of silly stuff in 20-year-old copies of Vogue, Motor Trend, or House Beautiful, too.
posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner at 2:19 PM on September 7, 2013


Seconding petebest. I found MONDO 2000 in '91, around the time I found the first issue of Wired. At the time, they weren't worlds apart. Wired's monthly moment of McLuhan and its list of substances that helped produce the issue made it the more-grounded counterpart to the RAW love and smart drug guides over at MONDO, but both spoke to a sense of possibility and a new kind of thinking regarding the future and one's role in shaping it. As a relatively recent convert to Gibsonia and all matters cyberpunk even as I toiled for the USG, this all seemed very exciting and new and fun.

But, hey, your favorite band magazine isn't as edgy, hip or cool as some teenagers.
posted by the sobsister at 2:22 PM on September 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Edgy, hip, and cool lose to substance every time. I say this as someone who is painfully aware of his own insubstantiality.

Maybe I've always reacted badly to the Mondo/Wired scene(s) because, as someone who loves the brilliant weirdness of new technologies and ideas, but who doesn't quite have the chops to do interesting work with computers, I'm mortally afraid of letting myself turn into Sirius.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 2:48 PM on September 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


R U Sirius responds to metafilter

"Hating" isn't what's really going on here. I appreciated Mondo 2000 for being the fun thing it was, but I'm not going to pretend it was more than that. We mock because we love!
posted by phooky at 3:20 PM on September 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


This is all very remniscent of the bathroom confession in Patrick Farley's comic The Guy I Almost Was, which I'd link except that there's something wrong with his site and I can't get it to load. Which might indicate something something.
posted by localroger at 3:22 PM on September 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Aww, I wasn't hating on R. U. Sirius, I was burnishing his legend.

The person who told me about mondo 2000 was actually a journalist who tried to ask me questions about it during an interview. WTF kind of "hacker" was I if I didn't even know about Mondo 2000? Let me tell you, I spent every dime in my pocket to buy an issue, it was like $15 a pop or something, and soon knew all about smart drinks and technologically advanced black clothing.

Mondo certainly was a thing though.
posted by Ad hominem at 3:42 PM on September 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


My Mondo 2000 moment: seeing a picture of Kirk and Spock fucking. When I was 12.
posted by unmake at 3:52 PM on September 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


I never subscribed to Mondo 2000. When I had time to kill and I would stand at a newsstand rack I would always at least look over the Mondo 2000. To me it was very close to the same thing as Omni. Very similar content and quality. It consistently was more interesting to me than Rolling Stone. Wired was about the same for awhile but now it is Conde Nast and establishment media. The most interesting thing to me in perusing these links is that R U Sirius ain't nym'd on google+. That makes me a little sad. :(
posted by bukvich at 4:06 PM on September 7, 2013


Also the Time magazine article on cyberpunk is paywalled at the site but a google search brings up a pirate text file around result 5 or 6 on the first page.
posted by bukvich at 4:10 PM on September 7, 2013


Also the Time magazine article on cyberpunk is paywalled at the site but

Everything you ever needed to know about Cyberpunk
posted by philip-random at 4:31 PM on September 7, 2013


I just loved having the bookstore chashier ask if I was buying porn, and then asking if I had even hit puberty yet. It was hilarious. The mag was like that though. In a small town in the midst of agricultural areas, people just weren't ready for it. It wasn't long after the explanation though that they started stocking Levy's Hackers, and had Microserfs years later. I started middle school as that nerd on "the Internet" who thought about 3d printers and VR, but by HS graduation the balance had shifted. 2600 was readily available, and Poe was even singing to MOD. Six years on the bubble burst and everyone thought it was over.

But was it? My weekly chores include robot maintance (roomba). We use 3d printers at work, and are having a national debate over what should be printed and what shouldn't. A private space effort is bringing space to us finally. War is waged by drones and IED bots that soldiers develop feelings for. Hacker spaces and 'makers' are getting more and more common. Shoot, our cellphones are nearly tricorders.

What Mondo didn't get right was the atmosphere, and we all had to know that on some level. Yes Virginia, there are children and the elderly in the future, and some of the advances are badly misused. What reaches the average consumer is also domesticated, just like everything else. Our bots do housework, and the only home market for 3d printers has been to replace what we buy for our homes. How many toothbrush holders do we need? Private space efforts seem to revolve around tourism. The most comon tasks for our tricorders isn't measuring alien environments, it's communicating with people. And games.

Mondo filled a niche, just like Wired. I backed Sirius' Kickstarter project for that reason. It's a story worth telling, even if it is just so we can all place it in context. I'm just looking forward to reminiscing about how weird everything was back then, Mondo and otherwise.
posted by jwells at 6:24 PM on September 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


What did you guys read in 1991 that was so edgy and better than Mondo? It sure wasn't Wired. Maybe it was Factsheet Five?

If you took anything in Mondo seriously, I think you missed the point. That said, it was a hell of lot more interesting to read and look at than anything else in print at the time. The only thing that could have made it better was having Sergio Aragonés scribble drawings in the margins when there wasn't text wandering there.
posted by BYiro at 7:23 PM on September 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


I just loved having the bookstore chashier ask if I was buying porn

I was all worried but the cashier at the university bookstore sold me my copy of Story of O without comment when I was 16.
posted by localroger at 8:04 PM on September 7, 2013


I don't know that the degree of um 'seriousness' is the issue, you can be kidding and still be ridiculous. But I'd like to think I'm making a slightly different haterade I mean critique, it's not a new story, like-
California 'The Future' is a Garden of Eden
A paradise to live in or to see
But believe it or not you won't find it so hot
If you ain't got the do-re-mi
On the other hand, as far as I know pure molly now is mostly cheaper than shitty raver X was then, so that's a win for the good guys... or the CIA, or something...
posted by hap_hazard at 8:07 PM on September 7, 2013


It was better than Ray Gun. Well, as good as.
posted by Cookiebastard at 9:10 PM on September 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


I mean, I lived in SF in the early 90's, though nowhere near SOMA or any of these people apparently. But I did know a buncha ravers, and there were no amount of 'smart drugs' that were going to change the fact that they were dumber than bags of hammers.

Hey do I know you? We knew the same people, apparently.

I have a few issues of Mondo 2000, apparently it will soon be time to put them on eBay. I remember reading it and thinking, "is that all they've got?" It was kind of like meeting those cool raver friends with the smart drugs that your friends were all saying you should meet. The friends all wanted your validation that they were cool because they knew someone who is cool.
posted by charlie don't surf at 9:21 PM on September 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


come to think of it i've never seen r.u.sirius and ray kurzweil in the same place at the same time
posted by LogicalDash at 10:02 PM on September 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hm. It appears that Mondo 2000 was more appreciated in middle, small-town America than in the more tech-savvy and sophisticated big cities. In fact, maybe that was the root of it's appeal; promising frustrated kids in small towns that the future could be cool and awesome, like a techno version of Dorothy and Oz.
posted by happyroach at 11:11 PM on September 7, 2013 [6 favorites]


"Aliens don't exist. They were made up by Gene Roddenberry so indoor kids could have something to live for." - Kate Mulgrew as Kove on NTSF::SD::SUV

so I mean who says the future doesn't do what it said on the packaging


charlie don't surf- I wish! We could argue about hip-hop in person! But in the sense that we're probably both 'mutants' then yes, most likely, yes you do.

y'all memail me if you're ever in Austin!
posted by hap_hazard at 12:02 AM on September 8, 2013


I was able to read half of that before I could take no more.
posted by codacorolla at 8:04 AM on September 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


You misspelled suck.com.
posted by sydnius at 9:05 AM on September 8, 2013


Metafilter: I'm a little surprised by the amount of retroactive scorn here.
posted by mecran01 at 9:53 AM on September 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


You Can't Tip a Buick : When I read (for example) How to Mutate and Take Over The World, I was basically gobsmacked that someone could take all the weird stuff I loved/still love about machines and math and code and cognition and turn it so stupid and lame

Dear god, I bought this book in my early days of fascination with computer culture, knowing only that R.U. Sirius had something to do with the cool-kid magazine Mondo 2000 and his name popped up in Usenet cyberpunk newsgroups a lot. So I picked up this book at a cheapo remainder bookstore for a couple bucks, and I was somewhat embarrassed that I didn't get it, any of it, it bills itself as some sort of postmodern novel and maybe I wasn't supposed to get it. Your comment makes me feel good that I really wasn't missing anything.
posted by AzraelBrown at 8:47 PM on September 8, 2013


Incredibly accurate thread title.
posted by Theta States at 6:56 AM on September 9, 2013


Hahahaha, dude thinks criticism of his legacy is the product of "pinched minds". Wow.
posted by Theta States at 8:15 AM on September 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wired lovers, back then Wired was just as lacking in substance. I stopped my subscription after multiple issues that had less than 10 pages of content, and half of those in like a 48pt font. Nothing but ads and badly done graphics.

It was the 90's.

That said, yah, there was some cool Mondo2000 content, but a lot of it was the product of some artist's majorly inflated egos.

Definitely a California rag.
posted by malrimple at 2:18 PM on September 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Aliens don't exist. They were made up by Gene Roddenberry so indoor kids could have something to live for."

"Nothing ages more quickly than our conception of the future."
-Gene Roddenberry
posted by charlie don't surf at 6:48 PM on September 9, 2013


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