Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Wish You Were Here

"Perhaps these doors are a passage that does not require a journey from point A to point B, rather all the points are a pixels of a living portrait that in spacetime are simultaneously communicating to one another in a dialog so muted by distortions that they speak in a inaudible frequency below the range of hearing in a internal sense as well as in external perception."

Bruce Duensing, via The Persistance Of Unlocked Doors on Intangible Materiality

Today marks the day of Mac's passing two years ago, but I can't tell if it actually feels like two years ago, two decades ago, or 2 months ago. As it was, the minute October arrived this year, I dreaded writing this post. Whereas I had plenty to say last year at this time, featuring another door, this year I'm drawing a blank. My plans were to put up a video of that old Pink Floyd tune "Wish You Were Here", and leave it at that. But I couldn't find the right video of that tune that didn't have ads popping up on it.

I see Paul Kimball has continued posting more Mac quotes on his blog, most of which I like, but one of which I would've argued with Mac about. Can't argue with him now.
That being said, Paul has written a touching and haunting post commemorating this day which can be found here.

Apart from Paul's Post, there's a bit of Mac-related Tweet activity, notably from Capn Marrrrk and the Daily Grail's Greg Taylor, and a few cyber-space offerings at Triptych 15(UPDATE: "Mad 247" has a also put a remembrance post up on Macbots.)

Then again, 2 nights ago, searching for some inspiration for this post, I wandered over to Posthuman Blues. "Come on Mac, give me a clue", I whispered to myself. Then, for whatever reason, instead of browsing through his posts, I immediately clicked onto his Technorati page, which I'd never looked at before. Nothing much to be found... but this one link posted a few weeks ago.

Lo and behold, what should it be but a memorial to Mac I'd never seen before, dated October 25, 2009, found on a blog I'd also not been familiar with, TransAlchemy.

"R.I.P. Mac Tonnies. I don't know any details, I just heard. Sad to see him go. I knew him briefly. In the short time we knew each other I enjoyed his posts so much that I made this video for him, the pictures and song were of his choosing. Out of all the futurist bloggers on the map he was my favorite, simply because he was different and not scared to mix ufology in with futurism. He explored a great deal of the bizarre topics, and I thoroughly enjoyed that about him. I guess I will simply go through his huge archive and pretend they are all new posts... :("

- via this TransAlchemy page

The "pictures" referred to are those lurid, campy, vintage sci-fi illustrations of "women in tubes" Mac got such a kick out of, and mentioned several times on PHB, notably here. (Even Webomator got into the act with this post mentioning Mac and the "Tubular Belles".)

TransAlchemy's video was posted on YouTube July 26, 2009, and I've decided to feature it here. It begins with a great little mock-up of the PHB banner I created for Mac that last year (a bit of one of the panels is shown at the top of the post), and then after a moment of glitch launches into images of the "Belles". Can't quite recognize the eery background tune (Portishead?), but, all in all, it's a strange little video - see below. I'm also going to add TransAlchemy's memorial to the sidebar. Better late than never.

In the end, there's not much more I can say about this day, except (Mac) wish you were (still) here.

Update -  Sad to say, but the video above is no longer online. Meanwhile, Mike Clelland was inspired by Mac to create his own compilation of Sci-Fi Women in Tubes.


  1. The tune in question is Portishead's "Humming"... a live version which can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7FtYNHtrTA

    Thanks, Moo! :-)

  2. Hi Dia,

    Curiosity compels me to ask: which of the MT quotes would you have disagreed with him on?

    Nice post!


  3. Has it really been 2 years?! Thank you Paul and Dia, for sharing these memories.

  4. Thanks for this reflective post, Dia. I used to follow Mac's blog pretty regularly, and put a link up to one of his last posts on my facebook page, right before the posts stopped. I didn't know him, so I didn't know what had happened. But I definitely noticed immediately when his online presence fell silent.

  5. Yeah, there was a distinct eeriness when PHB grew silent. A sort of "the end to an era" kind of thing. I don't think blogging in our little "corner" of cyberspace was ever the same again.