Mondo 2000 in the Late 20th Century Cyberculture

by jonl

Mondo #8

Former Mondo 2000 editor RU Sirius has been working many moons on a history of the magazine and its predecessors (High Frontiers, Reality Hackers). I was privileged to help a bit with infrastructure for gathering stories as well as contributions on the Texas and WELL perspectives on Mondo.

RU’s published the preface at Acceler8tor…

Called MONDO 2000 — the magazine took the just-then-emerging future of digital culture, dangerous hacking and new medias; tossed them in the blender along with overdoses of hallucinogenic drugs, hypersex and the more outrageous edges of rock and roll; added irreverent attitudes stolen from 20th Century countercultures from the beats to the punks, the literary and art avant gardes, anarchism, surrealism, and the new electronic dance culture— and then, it deceptively spilled that crazy Frappe all out across really slick, vaguely commercial looking multicolored printed pages with content that was Gonzo meets Glam meets Cyberpunk meets something else that has never been seen before or since… but which those of us who were there simply called MONDO — as in, “Yes, the article you submitted is definitely MONDO.” Or, “No. This isn’t MONDO. Why don’t you try Atlantic Monthly?”

We called it “a beribboned letterbomb to the core address of consensus reality.” Briefly, and, in retrospect, unbelievably, it became the flagship of the new culture; the new world that was being created by the onrush of the new technologies.

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