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're>Wired' bytes back

By Richard von Busack

Everybody's favorite puce-and-magenta magazine gets taken for a virtual long walk off a short pier in re>Wired ($12.50; HarperPerennial) by Tom Connor and Jim Downey, the same jesters who did the Is Martha Stewart Living? parody. re>Wired apes Wired, complete with what looks like a paid-for ad by the Tanqueray peddlers on the back. (How I've longed to see one captioned "Mr. Jenkins apologizes politely for his gin droop.")

It's an uneven satire, the best joke being aimed at the easiest target: the 3D-without-the-glasses layout of the mag (summed up by an aggravated intern in a burnt-orange postscript: "The creative director here has a flaming anal compulsion to compress sentences to unreadable sizes, and then obfuscate them behind hurl-green and pink rectangles."

re>Wired mocks the computer image of Bill Gates, a.k.a. Alfred E. Newman 2000--strange that Gates hasn't copyrighted that ugly mug of his yet. In pinching Gates, re>Wired also tweaks something even more annoying than Wired's blinding design: namely, its sycophantic tendencies (as an imaginary letter to the editor has it, its penchant for "licking the testicles of corporate dickheads"), which are summed up by a worshipful interview with a 16-year-old vaporware millionaire Ricky Neilsen of Pubescape, another success story of this "fast-paced, dog-eat-dog, cat-run-up-a-tree, jacked-in, wired-to-the-hilt, goldrush-techno time."

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