St. Jude Beautified

Jude Milhon, a.k.a. St. Jude, one of the founders of Mondo 2000 magazine has died of cancer. St. Jude was a legend in SF and the hacker community, a trailblazer in the chicks-with-modems world and in the world of cyberculture publishing. She was a chaotic attractor, whip-smart, talented, funny, and deeply weird.

A few random reminiscences:

* She came to visit me in DC (in 1991?) and walked into my home office and saw two non-color monitors. She freaked. “Ack!, what are you doing?! The world’s not in black and white, why would you want your computers to be?” She seemed genuinely disturbed that a Mondo editor would still be living in a B&W version of cyberspace.

* She came to DC to be on a panel I moderated for Filmfest DC on the influence of cyberpunk lit on film. She was having terrible stage fright. At one point, somebody in the audience asked the panel (Jude, Mark Dery, Mark Pauline, D.A. Therrien and me) if we were more comfortable in “the real world” or would we rather be in cyberspace? We all began to say “the real world,” except Jude who blurted out: “CYBERSPACE! I *really* want to be in cyberspace!” And you could tell she really meant it.

* I have this hysterical image in my mind of the party after the Filmfest talk of Patch Adams chasing Jude around trying to give her a hug. She was WAY not into it. She didn’t strike me as the touchy-feely type, and especially didn’t want a hug from a big, dirty hippie/doctor/clown. They ran out of the front door of the house, Jude yelling and flailing her arms, Patch with a big pucker on his lips, cackling maniacally. It was such a bizarre, Fellini-esque moment.

* My last thought is more an RU Sirius story, but involves Jude. I’d been sending and resending an article to both of them via email and they kept losing it. Finally I called RU to complain: “How can you guys be so f-ing spacey? I thought you all take smart drugs.” Without skipping a beat, he said: “Yeah, but you don’t know what we were like BEFORE we started on the smart drugs.”

Street Tech Webmaster Tim Tate wrote this morning to say: “If it weren’t for Mondo 2000, I’d never have heard of you.” So thanks Jude. You were always good at connecting the dots. You’ll definitely live on in the heavenly 1s and 0s.