TABLE OF CONTENTS

PRINT October 1995

TOP TEN

R. U. Sirius’s Real Life Rock

Greil Marcus is taking a sabbatical from his regular Artforum page to work on a book. During his absence, a different writer each month will count down his or her own Top Ten.

  1. ARTHUR KROKER AND MICHAEL A. WEINSTEIN

    Data Trash: The Theory of the Virtual Class (St. Martin’s Press). The most important book in the last few years, Data Trash gets underneath the arrogant, speciecidal nihilism of the new techno ruling class and its rush to virtuality-without-ethics under late capitalism. Kroker’s love/hate relationship with the cold (a)sexuality of speed culture comes across in his staccato style, but the critique is the most devastating since Mike Davis’ City of Quartz. Read this as the antidote to Wired magazine.

  2. JOE SPARKS

    Total Distortion (CD-ROM published by Electronic Arts). Reasonable people have given up on the CD-ROM. I mean, what’s the point? Sound is better on the stereo, video is better on the VCR, and text is more enjoyable on soft paper, curled up in bed under the reading light. Well, Total Distortion may be the first commercially released CD-ROM that’s worth it. The game is to make your own music video while dealing with the sadistic surrealism of the rock media industry. But the real fun is in Joe Sparks’s superhip wit and the incredible eyeball kicks in the package.

  3. NASALLY INGESTABLE DMT

    DMT is the crack of psychedelic drugs. Smoke 25–40 mgs and all the information in the universe seems to be mainlined into your central nervous system for about ten minutes. You might talk to the hyperdimensional elves or experience infinitely layered machine-flesh thingies and notice every cell in your body is having its own version of the vision.

    Sadly, the only way to do DMT until now was by injecting or smoking it—which is chemical warfare on your lungs. But recently, some genius chemist tweaked a few molecules and made DMT nasally active. Lasts about a half hour. Stranger than anything you’re capable of imagining.

  4. KATHY ACKER

    Pussy, King of the Pirates (forthcoming, Grove Press, January 1996). Burroughs’ “Wild Boys” have turned out to be wild girls (grrrls?). And who better to capture the energy of the girl zeitgeist than Kathy Acker. Acker’s voice, with its peculiar mix of expansiveness and abruptness, grows more sophisticated and certain with each novel. Pussy is the literary analogue to the girl energy that now dominates rock ‘n’ roll—which, in fact, is keeping rock’s carcass from rotting completely. What else can we celebrate in these sickening times?

  5. NEW SCHOOL DAP WEB SITE

    (www.agit.com/~nsdap/). “The ends justify the memes.” So says NSDAP, the New School of Design Art and Performance, a multiracial gang of provocateurs who enjoy mimicking the sartorial style and design sense that was, shall we say, de rigueur in Germany in the late 1930s and early ’40s. It’s the most impressive web site on the Net. Funny, punny, colorful, beautiful, architecturally designed, and—of course—upsetting. Still, if you’ve never been able to find the humor in artists toying with fascist semiotics, this good-natured and well-wrought attempt might change your mind. And if you have any doubt where their hearts actually are, there’s one of the best compendiums on the web providing links to pages of a generally civil libertarian and Left nature. Go on. Check into the Wilhelm Reichstag. It’ll be OK.

  6. TIMOTHY LEARY’S LAST TRIP

    To most of you, he’s some acid-addled old dude you may have witnessed criss-crossing America spewing non sequiturs about personal freedom and techno-culture. But for those of us paying closer attention, Dr. Tim is our frontier scout and gracious host of the world party. Now, at 75, he has advanced prostate cancer. As with everything else that happens to him, he’ll talk about it—even enthuse about it as another mind-expanding learning experience. And in the Japanese magazine Cape X he uses his condition as a context to once again mock the authoritarian gods and advocate pleasure and kindness. Nevermind the bollocks. Understand the man’s message.

  7. BOING BOING ISSUE #14

    bOING bOING has been thought of as the junior member of the cybermagazine publishing league, winning far less recognition and a much smaller readership than Wired and Mondo 2000. Wisely, they’ve shifted emphasis and become more of a mutant pop-culture and media magazine. With the current issue they hit stride and—if published regularly—threaten to succeed in a serious way. I mean, “THE BARBI TWINS ON METABOLISM HACKING.” It doesn’t get much better.

  8. THE RETURN OF MICHAEL JACKSON

    The remarkable man, “Wacko Jacko” is no longer the king or queen of pop, he’s the legitimate signature of the age and, as such, he’s become less popular. Mutant, pretty vacant, changeable, radical, conservative, plastic . . . totally in control of his image but totally out of control. Unsexed, unisexed, or trisexed, we can now enjoy the spectacle of barely suppressed bodily perversities bubbling to the surface. The public life of Jacko is the mutant biological horror film we’ve all been wanting IRL (In Real Life). And Lisa Marie, white-trash daughter of the king as tough trailer-park momma, is even scarier than Jacko. And, oh yeah . . . the Riefenstahlian film trailer and the “Scream” video with fellow cyborg sister Janet are pretty fucking cool.

  9. SIMONE 3RD ARM

    COLONIC COMICS (self-published, Simone 3rd Arm, 1072 Folsom St. #296, S.F. CA 95112). This is the decade of the tight asshole. But if Simone 3rd Arm—a.k.a. the Cyber Piss Goddess of Annihilating Feces—has her way, we’ll all be letting loose. This little comic is the opening salvo in a campaign to give the virtual age an enema. Smells good so far.