[Predator: image lifted from here…]
Every now and then I remember Predator.
Today, I visited Jill.txt, a blog by Jill Walker Rettberg I’ve been following for a few years now, which explores blogging as a form of research and fiction. In this post, Jill discusses disease blogging.
She writes, “blogging about your illness is to take back control over your body and your life by owning it, by expressing it yourself, on your terms”, and she linked to a few key examples of folks blogging about their struggles with cancer.
I felt moved to reply with the following:
One of the most powerful disease blogs I have ever been priveleged to read, is by an old friend known as Predator, who died in late 2003, early 2004, which tracks the progress of his cancer.
He did not believe in fancy mysql platforms underlying blogs – he published .txt files directly via ftp.
Predator did not make it – his last blog entry is particularly poignant.
Sadly, it seems his blog is no longer hosted, but I found a copy on the internet archive, here.
For someone like Predator, who had a fiercely scientific mind, coming to grips with his own impending death was something he needed a regular, public / private forum to think through. It just did not make rational sense to him that his body would soon give up on him, and this is something he grapples with throughout the blog.
Some years ago, I was lucky enough to download from somewhere a PDF copy of Predator’s blog, combined with a whole lot of his other writings. It’s called “pred.txt: The selected rants of Michael
It no longer seems to be hosted online anywhere, so I’m going to post it up again here (about 11mb).
Long Live Predator.
For me, you will forever be visiting our squat in Pyrmont late in the night, with an unfeasibly large hot water system strapped to the back of your motorbike. And installing it. And making it function. In a building without (legal) power.
Long live Pred!
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I also found this: Predators manifesto on drain exploration, which is exhaustively detailed and riotously funny. It’s worth scrolling down to the end for the legal disclaimers. What a hoot.