S U C K

"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 17 August 2000. Updated every WEEKDAY.
 
 


Hit & Run CCXL

 
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Here at Suck, we weren't particularly surprised when Down Syndrome poster-girl Windy Smith addressed the Republican National Convention. As the sort of Nascar fans who go for the food but stay for the crashes, we knew Al Gore would respond in kind to the challenge of a mental cripple endorsing George Bush for president. Indeed, remembering paralytic actor Chrisopher Reeve's breathtaking presentation at the 1996 Democratic National Convention, we would have been disappointed had Gore's embrace of the handicapped simply stopped with the naming of Sen. Joseph Lieberman as his running mate. Given Lieberman's monomania regarding what he insists is the "glut of sex and violence on prime time TV," "Vinegar Joe" (as his therapy group calls him) is clearly an obsessive-compulsive who sees "crud" everywhere he looks. So we're happy to report that the Gore campaign has solicited an endorsement from wheelchair-bound super-genius Stephen Hawking, who says Gore is "more prepared than any other world figure...to meet the challenges of the future." Hawking, who often complains that his synthesized voice sounds too American, will haltingly but unequivocally announce his support for Gore at the Democrats' convention via videotape. But the astrophysicist endorsement doesn't mean Gore is conceding the moron vote. Hoping to connect with the dummy set, Gore recently bragged to an audience that he only "pretended to read his [Hawking's] book." And, adopting the syntax of a 5-year-old, Al dubbed the British scientist "the smartest man in the whole world."

 
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Speaking of bragging and pretending, it's about time we gave equal time regarding historic firsts in Campaign 2000. We feel kind of bad for the relative neglect visited upon Dick Cheney when it comes to the breaking of political barriers. Don't get us wrong: We're proud as a peacock that Vinegar Joe has made history as the first vice-presidential candidate to acknowledge that it is not simply messy but actually sinful to have sex during menstruation. But Cheney deserves some plaudits of his own, too: Not only is the former Congressman and Secretary of Defense the first triple-heart attack survivor to stand for the nation's second-highest office, he's also the first to have a spouse flip out when asked about their openly gay or lesbian child. Previously, our favorite Lynne Cheney moment came in her asinine book Telling the Truth: Why Our Culture and Our Country Have Stopped Making Sense — and What We Can Do About It, in which she claims a murdered ice cream vendor in Philadelphia was actually a victim of postmodernism. But her bitch-slapping of Cokie Roberts vis-a-vis the daughter question — and her husband's well-past-its-warranty ticker — gives us hope that as campaign tensions mount, this election will provide more than its share of eminently watchable Maalox Moments.

 

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While it may be tempting to see the Cheney family as a synecdoche for American politics — less a compromise of party platforms than a marriage of defectives — perhaps it's more like a pointed reminder of the battle of the sexes. That particular battle was updated last week for the info age, thanks to a study by Media Metrix and Jupiter Communications, who pooled their formidable resources to discover that women and girls now constitute a very slight majority of online consumers. According to their study, 50.4 percent of everyone online is now female. Of course, we welcome the news — as long as it doesn't upset the delicate balance at RaverPorn.net. On the other hand, a recent study by Suck.com suggests that there are far too many self-important internet research firms publishing far too many meaningless, self-serving studies without even citing the most basic of scientific appurtenances — a margin of error. The Media Metrix/Jupiter study does not once publish an MOE in 20 pages of detailed analysis and methodology — possibly because a nominal margin would have meant conceding the only sensational and newsworthy facet of their survey. Anyway, our extensive analysis of all the leading indicators leads us to predict that by Q1 2002, Forrester, Yankee, Jupiter, Media Metrix, Web Wizards, and Michael Wolff will merge into one mammoth, over-capitalized think-tank called BlowHardGroup.

 

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So where are all the men and boys? Well, it's a good bet they've all logged off, at least for the day. Today marks the commencement of the 6th annual X-Games, founded, sponsored, and televised by ESPN — who, for the next six days have asked to be referred to as EXPN. While we don't feel compelled to argue the merits of such convoluted "sports" as street luge and sky surfing, at least it ain't golf. Still, any sport that makes it to prime time is much more than a sport; it's an advertisement. As such, the X-games have gone where almost nobody else has gone, capturing the holy grail of demographics — males aged 16-24. It's no surprise that this rag-tag demo is especially hard to reach through traditional programming, given their general lack of attentiveness to anything but catching big air and getting laid. Still, it's surprising how little thought it actually takes, once you put your mind to it. Where's Larry Flynt when you need him?

 

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We admit we stopped paying attention to the whole "extreme" phenomenon after Boston Market restaurants introduced their line of "extreme Boston Carvers" sandwiches back in 1997. But not before we solicited this long-lost interview with Jeff Beckman, PR flack for Boston Market (or,as we like to refer to it around the Suck home office, "the Big B.M."):

So what makes these sandwiches, you know, extreme?

Well, they have it all. The ingredients are very indulgent. Cheese sauce, bacon, that kind of thing.

So you're saying they're extreme because they're not very healthy?

Well, compared to other trends in the food service industry, this is kind of counter to that health-consciousness.

And who are you hoping to attract to Boston Market with this campaign?

Well, actually we've discontinued the campaign. We felt it kind of alientated our core customers.

You mean like older homeowners and heads of household and people over the age of 30?

Yeah, I guess you could say that. But males, age 16-24 are very expensive to go after. They require a lot of advertising, and they need lots of incentives like discounts and deals.

Still, with or without mashed potatoes, life imitates sport. Thanks to Firestone Tires, for example, every soccer mom in a Ford Explorer just became a competitor in a broadbased new extreme sport. A spin-off of street luge, it's called "Survive the Commute."

 
courtesy of theSucksters