Jon Lebkowsky: MONDO 2000 Bridge to the Future

Culture, Knowledge
Jon Lebkowsky

Mondo 2000 in the Late 20th Century Cyberculture

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?”

Click on Image to Enlarge

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.

Phi Beta Iota:  The Panarchy cycle DEMANDS resistance to the prevailing mores as a means to testing them, diminishing those that are not working, and introducing new mores that move from outside to inside over the course of a quarter century (cultural change is not rapid — many people have to die first, most of natural means).  That leads to rebirth, revitalization IF the mainstream is not in moral and intellectual grid-lock.  If the mainstream is  “closed” it leads to secession or emigration, the launching of a “cultural lifeboat.”  The Pilgrims to the USA are one example; the new enclave for US survivalists, on 20,000 acres in the south of Chile, is another.

See Also:

Definition of Counterculture

Counterculture of the Sixties

2011 Thinking About Revolution in the USA and Elsewhere (Full Text Online for Google Translate)

Review: Counterculture Through the Ages–From Abraham to Acid House

Review: The Genius of the Beast–A Radical Re-Vision of Capitalism

Worth a Look: Book Review Lists (Positive)