Gathan Beaga


I’ve got it in front of me: issue 1.2 of Wired from May 1993. The shadowy black and white crypto-rebels draped in the American flag. The bold statement: “Literacy is Obsolete”. The feeling that I’d found what I didn’t know I was looking for.

Russell Brown reviews a book about those early days at Wired in last week’s Listener. It brings back a lot of memories. Just what the hell was I thinking?

There were other magazines before it, like Mondo 2000, bOING bOING and Future Sex, which all had a similar techno-utopian angle. I used to read all of them. But Wired always had an unashamed commercial focus. I bought into it big time, and kept on buying until I could take no more, sick with excess. A couple years prior to the crash of 2000 the magazine was bloated with ads and as silly as Bob Guccione’s Omni magazine of the 80’s. And that was the end of it for me.

But I’ll keep occasionally re-reading my collection of old Wired magazines, as a kind of humorous archaeological dig through a layer of collective hysteria…