Social theorist R.U. Sirius's credits include: editing the late Mondo 2000
; co-authoring Design for Dying
and The Politics of Ecstasy
with Timothy Leary
; running for president as The Revolution Party
's candidate in 1996; and editing of the Thresher
Sirius was born Ken Goffman in Brooklyn around 1953, but grew up in Long Island. His mother was Vice President of the State University of New York at Binghamton and his father was a tax auditor. He attended SUNY and majored in English, but in 1982 he dropped out of grad school and moved to Berkeley with his student loan money and became a telephone salesman.
Sirius published the first issue of his annual psychedelic journal High Frontiers in 1984. It was while distributing copies of the first issue at Stephen Abbot's birthday party that he met Alison Kennedy, who would be later known as Queen Mu. Mu joined Sirius's group the Marin Mutants, who met to assemble the journal in the backroom of Flashback Pizza, and took control of the business end of the publication.
High Frontiers featured interviews with visionaries such as Terence McKenna, Timothy Leary, and Robert Anton Wilson. Sirius gradually began to realize that the future lay in technology and information manipulation, not just psychedelics: "...if for instance, we were able to change ourselves biologically, that would be a more interesting change than a million people dropping acid."
Sirius and company became heavily involved with the Whole Earth Catalog's BBS the WELL and re-launched their magazine as Reality Hackers, which was eventually re-named Mondo 2000. The new magazine heavily focused on technoculture, the intersections between computers and psychedelics, and general weirdness.
After a falling out between Sirius and Mu, who financed the un-profitable enterprise, Mondo collapsed. Its publishing schedule was too erratic; the recently launched Wired paid contributors more; and the energy just wasn’t the same without Sirius. Only one issue, issue 14, was published in his absence.
Sirius went on to write How to Mutate and Take Over the World and The Real Cyberpunk Fake Book and contributed to Wired and other magazines. He later launched his first online zine, the Mutate Project, which was eventually abandoned and replaced with an online tabloid called Revolting.
In 1996 Sirius started his own political party, the Revolution Party, and ran for president. He developed a 20 point party platform which was neither clearly left nor right. “I think that in the 2000 election, the real alternative candidate is Ralph Nader. But I think that Nader and the Greens represent an ideology just as narrow as the Libertarians. I think that if Ralph Nader was president, he would try to micromanage our lives more than George Bush or Bill Clinton has.”
Around 1999 Sirius was hired to edit another online tabloid, Getting It, and the Revolting ceased publication. After Getting It fell victim to the cold dot-com economy, Sirius continued writing books (though none have been published yet) and contributed to assorted publications.
In 2001 Sirius and former High Frontiers co-publisher David Latimer launched the print political journal the Thresher. The Thresher initially set out to, much like the Revolution Party, transcend the boundaries of right and left political theories and discuss and disseminate practical ideas for solving real-world problems.
"R.U. Sirius: cyberculture candidate." Mobiustrip
Boulware, Jack. "RU Sirius about America?" SF Weekly, http://www.scrappi.com/deceit/mondosfw/mondosfd.html