Durk & Sandy & Skye & Natalee

As you know because I keep saying it, before anyone had heard of the internet, your humble host wrote and read 'zines' — handmade and photocopied magazines. One of the first zines I wrote for was called The Connection, and all about politics and philosophy.

It was wingnut stuff, in an era when wingnuts could be charming eccentrics instead of tedious numbskulls, as they are now. I tried to be a charming wingnut. Still try.

The Connection had been started by two libertarian wingnuts named Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw, under the non de plumes Skye d'Aureous & Natalee Hall. They sold health supplements, especially antioxidants, and wrote mostly about life extension and cryonics, the sorta-science of freezing yourself after death, and then remaining frozen for however long it takes — years, or centuries — until future-science cures what killed you, and then future-scientists thaw you and restart your life

It was from Skye & Natalee that I first heard the word 'cryonics', but I never believed.

The most obvious problem is described in an article titled What ever happened to the first cryogenically frozen humans? Keeping your body or brain on ice serves no purpose except for you, but you're dead. So when the company that's monitoring your freezer goes bankrupt, or your great-great-granddaughter needs to tighten her budget, one way or t'other your plug will be pulled eventually.

If I'm wrong, and somehow you make it to a marvelous high tech future, would they even bring you back?

If you're Ted Williams and baseball still exists, maybe. If you're a nobody like me and probably you, they're not even going to bother reheating us. Best scenario, we end up on display at Madame Tussauds.

Anyway, the first article got me Googling to the second article, and pretty soon I was thinking and wondering about Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw. Many years have passed. Are they dead? And if so, are they frozen?

Well, they're not dead. They had low-level fame, so there'd be an obituary online if either had croaked, which means they're alive, hopefully well, and around 80 years old.

Is that old enough to say they were 'right' about life extension and antioxidants? Philosophically, doing what you choose is always right, so long as you're not hurting others. By that definition, they'd have been right about life extension even if they'd died at 35. 

Looking for their obituaries led me to their business, which is still there if you need antioxidants and life extension supplements.

Soon it took me to this 1980s talk show clip, where Durk & Sandy seem stuck in an unfunny parody (but I say that with affection). They had Clint Eastwood as a client, and you can't argue with that.

I enjoyed adding my wingnut writing to The Connection, so I wish Durk and Sandy longer and longer lives, followed by a brief frozen afterlife and the second and third best resurrections ever.

None of that's for me, though. Even when I had a very tenuous connection with Durk & Sandy via Skye & Natalee, my thinking was — I'd rather have a short life and a good time, than an extended life spent swallowing antioxidants and supplements, and talking, thinking, and writing about life extension and cryonics.


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