"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 3 February 2000. Updated every WEEKDAY.
Hit & Run CCXIII



Nowhere can the obsolescence of

men be traced more surely

than in the demise of men's

magazines. A mere year ago, the

market for "Ten Reasons Why We

Love Virginie Ledoyen" cover

stories seemed to be unlimited.

Now, it's looking increasingly

like you may have to come up

with your own ideas for gear to

put in your crib. The

relentlessly awful P.O.V. met its

fiery demise recently, followed

closely by the widely unread

(albeit unreadable) Bikini. This

week sees the end of a more

worthy competitor: David

Getson's Icon. While the writing

style frequently showed signs of

indifferent breeding, the

magazine was frequently ahead of

the pack: early takes on Max

Hardcore, the current revival of

the WWF, a profile of Evan

Metropoulos, Bumblebee Tuna's

teenage executive. Various

eggheads have offered various

explanations for the magazine's

failure: The jugular success of

Maxim has chased all the small

fish out of the pond; the

Internet makes it impossible for

magazines to compete (given that

P.O.V. may try to live on at its

online incarnation, Live Large,

we tend to favor this second

version). But the real culprit

may have been Icon's Orwellian

subtitle: "Thoughtstyle." Even

college professors weren't able

to figure out what that meant.

And the rest of the readers

weren't really looking to the

boob mags for deep thoughts.

Witness this letter from the

October 1998 issue:


I appreciate that you guys are
a men's magazine without fluffy
stories for a change, but even
serious guys like some tits and
ass with their bathroom reading.
At least you have tits in your
Lycos ad, ass in your Grolsch ad
(a voluptuous one at that!), and
even a nipple in your Tag Heuer
ad. I'm glad that your
advertisers aren't as prudish as
you are.

Warren Osso
Washington, PA



Would that the Super Bowl itself

were as predictable as the inane

water-cooler chatter that dogs

the big game without mercy. If

you think there's nothing left

to say about the game, the hype,

the commercials and the

directors' cuts of the

commercials, you're right. For

your convenience, we offer a

multiple-choice primer for the

Bowl. Use these phrases and you

can safely avoid the work of

keeping up with the NFL Joneses:


The funny thing about the Super Bowl is

But this year,

I'm willing to predict

I can't even

I don't give a shit anyway because

Next year



There's a damn good reason why

people should stick with the

names their parents gave them.

If kids named themselves, we'd

all be walking around with names

like Princess Barbie van

Stylebottom and Milo Mobutu,

Satanic Lord of the 4th

Demention. And Suck, sad to say,

is a case in point. Readers who

savored Jonathan Van Decimeter's

recent take on the fates of

online and offline gay

journalism may have found

something vaguely familiar in

the author's name. As partially

explained in an earlier story,

"Van Decimeter" is a sly tribute

to the once, future, and actual

Jonathan Van Meter, whose

freelance work and editorship of

Vibe we've long admired.

MediaGossip.com gave the story a

welcome plug but unfortunately

attributed it incorrectly to the

actual Van Meter. We apologize

for any confusion, and we can

assure the real Van Meter that

he's 10 times the man Van

Decimeter is.



The Old Media Diaspora continued

apace this week, with

announcements that Tim Burton,

Larry David, and dozens of other

Hollywood luminaries have agreed

— like Trey Parker, Matt

Stone, and Stan Lee before them

— to start creating

exclusive content for the Web.

This content will take the form

of Shockwave animation. Our only

hope is that the results will be

as imaginative as the press

releases hyping these deals,

which have, without exception,

included all the usual

boilerplate pieties about

"artistic control," "unfiltered

content," and "creative

freedom." Noble sentiments

indeed, but as anyone who has

actually dabbled in online

animation can tell you,

"creative freedom" only goes so

far when you're trying to

produce attention-span-friendly

Shockwave files that 28.8-Kbps

modems can tolerate. Guys, you

get three characters, two

minutes, and a 480-by-360-pixel

screen — go nuts!

courtesy of theSucksters