|Mac's photo of his own handwriting... found here|
"There are a number of ominous trends within the publishing industry that appear to support Mailer's prediction. Did you know that there's a spin-off of the ghastly Christian Fundamentalist "Left Behind" saga targeted at juveniles? No kidding. It's called, accurately enough, "Left Behind: The Kids." Or something like that. The point of this series -- and the point I'm trying to make about so much of today's "literature" -- is that it's not even remotely intended to provide an aesthetic experience, but to sow ideological seeds. (I find it distinctly amusing that so much of this garbage is co-authored, as if recycled Armageddon fantasies require the combined mental might of two authors -- and I suppose since we're talking about Fundamentalists, they very well might . . .)
Most of the time the ideology being packaged is laughable and harmless, as in the case of Atkins devotees. But then there's the truly detestable stuff: masochistic biblical fantasies masquerading as Tom Clancy-esque thrillers; demeaning supernatural claptrap disguised as "inspiration" or "self-help." Once upon a time, you found cheaply printed gospel tracts in restroom stalls; now you find their elegantly bound and savvily marketed descendents combating for shelf-space in actual stores.
And people can't get enough. Like the "reality TV" craze, spin-offs proliferate with the tenacity of kudzu vine. Any day now, I expect to find "Chicken Soup for the Soul for Dummies" staring back at me from a prominent display. The Wal-Mart-ization of the written word will have triumphed, leaving an embittered subculture to hoard the few remaining works of Kafka and Philip K. Dick and Kurt Vonnegut . . . "
- Mac Tonnies via this 2004 Posthuman Blues post
Happened across the comment section (thanks, Dana) on this page today, so, I thought I'd pass it along.
Personally, I think "Posthuman Blues - The Book" is a wonderful idea. I think Mac himself would've been pleased to see his essays in print. Anyone who has ever read Posthuman Blues or mactonnies.com knows he was enamored with books - the real thing... the "dead-tree" editions...
But, then again, humanity - or, as pop culture would have it - appears to be free falling into a different epoch... And everything pre-2000 must be relegated to "once upon a time"... whereas we must harken back to the days when ancient people wrote words on paper with pens, amassing these words into articles referred to as manuscripts... Then, as history reminds us, there were Publishers... Marvelous entities who transformed the manuscripts into magical artifacts referred to as Books ... and they did so because they admired them, and thought they were "good"... These paper Books could be found in a public place called a Library... where many people often went just to be in the same place with all that priceless illuminated paper.
I digress. Way back in 2004, Mac was worried about the "Walmart-ization of the written word". Eight years later and it seems that just about everything has gone the way of Walmart... capitalistic gain and mass-marketing strategies being the alpha and omega of the new millennium. And nowhere is this more apparent than on the internet...
So, should Mac's Posthuman Blues essay's be published in dead-tree form? Well, kats and kitties, there's always the possibility that one of these days the juice may suddenly, inexplicably, be cut off and all our electronic media will just shut down like a zillion blinded eyes... I imagine the ensuing mass-reaction similar to a disturbed anthill. Happily, some of us will have candles and dead-tree editions to read while the rest of the world goes to hell. ;-)