Remember life before AOL, the Web, and the Time cover story that
branded the cyber prefix on every tongue between Silicon Valley and

Neither do I.

But bOING bOING helps bring it all back. Established in 1988,
the self-proclaimed ‘world’s greatest neurozine’ was THE sassy Net
punk rag years before Sandra Bullock got snagged in The Net.
Nestled in the rolling hip hills of Boulder, Mark Frauenfelder and
his flock of nerds churned out quarterly issues of inside jokes and
techno-hippie aesthetics. They posted a notice seeking writers
‘skeptical yet open to new ideas’ and ‘positive articles about
using new technologies and paradigms for individual social freedom
and well-being.’ Then the rest of the world got plugged in.

These days, Frauenfelder has a day job as the associate editor
of Wired. But, there’s
still time to kick out issues of his gang’s first love. It’s easy
to tell that bOING bOING now has a San Francisco address. Basically
a slicker, hipper version of its former self, still snickering at
its own dorkiness, the zine’s latest tagline is ‘media culture
brainwash for now people.’

Most of the writers and subjects come from the clique inhabited
by cyberpunk writers like Rudy Rucker and Bruce Sterling, hippie
visionary Terence McKenna, and the effluvious purveyors of Mondo
. But don’t expect a (prefix-)cyber orgy here. bOING bOING
has the attitude of a good zine with stuff you just won’t find in a
publication that’s gotta kiss Absolut’s ass.

A recent issue featured some interesting refugee pieces: A guy
who won a date with Anka, Details’ sex correspondent, dishes
the dirt on the middle-aged, paranoid-obsessive behind the ‘queen
of the, ahem, X generation.’ Judd Winnick, a member from
MTV’s Real World, contributes a
comic that proves having your life taped for TV seriously cuts down
on bathroom reading.

bOING bOING also features interviews from the camp side. The
Barbi twins discuss bulimia, 7 Eleven, and Magnesium Xytrate, one
of their favorite laxatives. Vixens from B-movie king Russ Meyer’s
many films explore ‘sex, drugs, and schlock movies.’ Darby Romeo,
editor of the classic zines Ben Is Dead and the I Hate
Brenda Newsletter
picks her nose and confesses how she once
‘planned a cover where I’d have a gun go off in my mouth.’ If
that’s not enough, there are reviews, weird news, and the
occasional Spam haiku.


Subscriptions: $14/yr. (4 issues) available from 150 4th St.
#650 San Francisco, CA 94103;

In-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.