Halt And Catch Fire, A Transrealist Triumph

Joe (Lee Pace) and Gordon (Scoot McNairy) from Halt And Catch Fire both looking intently at someone in the Cardiff office.

(I wrote what’s below in response to be very heartfelt post about HACF on Reddit. Obviously, I can’t repost someone else’s words. But it was lovely.)

Your post is beautiful.

I was born in ’66 so I thankfully grew up with no net, no social media on which to display my kid stupidity and have it preserved forever in packetised amber. I first went online in ’94 at Uni and then at home. My then gf (now ex-wife) and I hooked up the 14.4 modem and dialled into Compu$erve and the whole world changed. We discovered being online together and it was an amazing time of feeling freed, of strangers a continent away becoming daily friends to chat with. We left Comp and joined an ISP run by local geeks, a pretty Mutiny operation, looking back.

It was the opposite of the Hellscape of current Twitter and the walled gardens that swallowed BBSes, fora and Usenet.

Just writing this now and remembering eps of HACF and parallels to my own life then is making me tear up. This fucking programme just skewers me so much! I know some of that is nostalgia for lost love and lost dreams but it’s also anger at myself for not being a better person and for ending up in the Cursed Timeline we’re in now where the actual real world looks like a trailer clip for Villeneuve’s Blade Runner.

HACF isn’t a tv programme for me anymore. As much as Kraftwerk’s Computer World isn’t an album. They’re both too real. Maybe transreal in the sense Rudy Rucker meant it? Everything is real, the characters are people, not ciphers but there’s another level going on. A vastness beyond the surface tension of the ostensible narrative.

I’m waiting for my perfect re-watch time and perfect re-watch partner. I might be waiting forever.

Well, at least I’ll get to marvel at Lee again soon in Foundation S2…


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