"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 24 August 2000. Updated every WEEKDAY.

Hit & Run CCXLI


Not since DotComGuy has the Internet spawned so heinous a namesake. In July, the Internet Underground Music Archive or IUMA announced it would award a lifetime of free music or $5000 to couples who named their baby IUMA. Thus far, the promotion has yielded at least four bouncing baby billboards, with names like Iuma Rose Carter and Iuma Dara Lewis. Presumably, the two will simply go by their middle names, following in the footsteps of such great Americans as H. Ross Perot and W. Axl Rose, but in order to keep the five grand the child's name cannot be legally changed. Of course, the parents are free to call their child anything they like — perhaps a more common moniker could be arranged, like Coca-Cola or IndependenceDay2TheMovie.com.


In the aren't-we-kooky world of fashion, black may be the new black, but in the oh-so-serious world of magazine publishing, five is the new four. With the death of Life and the rise of five-letter entitled start-ups like Maxim, Dwell, Nerve, and Lucky, magazines with once-sharp sounding four-letter titles don't snap the way they used to. Time, Vibe, Talk, Mode, Spin, Code — now, all those four-letter words just sound like Mall. Yuck! The five-letter title, where a middle letter acts like a fulcrum on which the other four letters turn to create a world-moving lever seems more dignified and 21st century. It's a fist where Paper beats Rock by giving it the finger. Maxim's recipe for success may be ripped off by other men's magazines likeFHM, but they have another knuckle-sandwich in spin-off Stuff. Dwell, because it's an entire magazine devoted to pictures of people with their shoes off sitting on couches, won't just be a success because it reflects its demographic perfectly; it needed that five-letter push to help it over the humidity hump in the hardwood floor. Lucky may pride itself on the fact that it's a women's fashion magazine without any text, but lucky for them they kept a five-letter logo on the cover. We've always preferred Plotz and Bitch to Bust and Jane, and the reason Sassy survived its brother pub Dirt is suddenly pretty obvious. Brill might have worked; Brill's Content is doomed. If Oprah had really wanted O to succeed she would've gone with the less pretentious Oprah, which we know was her first inclination anyway. Wired is in it for the long haul, but Real Simple skipped right over the number five and sandwiched their breathing space with a four-letter word and a six-letter one. What were they thinking? Empty would've been fine, and would've flown off the shelves. Vanity Fair's name faces a similar problems as it ages. May we suggest Snobs? Sony Style wants it both ways, but it doesn't work like that. It's not too late to change the name to Cheap. What about Elle? Maybe Tramp would work. Goodbye Gear, hello Loser. Figuring out the difference between magazines like Self and Shape used to be hard. Now it's easy. The difference is one letter. As for Suck? We made our bed, now we intend to lie in it. We only ask one thing: No matter what you call us from now on, please think of us as Sucky.



During last week's Democratic National Convention, presidential nominee and compulsive Fred Gwynne impersonator Al Gore Jr. shamelessly pimped his daughters, Karenna and Kristin, as a sign that he's a responsible father and, hence, fit to be president of the United States. While the rest of the nation may have been dazzled by the Pepsodent smiles and Summer's Eve freshness of the Gore Girls (not to be confused with the far more appealing Gore Gore Girls) we were wondering what had happened to the nominee's 17-year-old namesake, Albert Gore III, best known for being run over by a car at age 6 and for getting caught smoking pot at his elite prep school a few years back. While Karenna and Kristin did Leno and delivered convention speeches, the dauphin of this fine Southern clan seems to have been locked in a closet somewhere, away from public view. The precise reason for the Boo Radley treatment only became clear after the last biodegradable convention balloon had been burst: On August 12, just days before Big Daddy's turn in the spotlight, Prince Albert was pulled over in North Carolina for driving 97 mph in a 55 mph zone. (That the violation only came to light after the convention prompted Matt Drudge to speculate that the "A-list" press sat on the story.) According to the police, "He said he was on his way back to Washington and he was in a hurry." Ironically, we have it on good authority that mini-Gore was rushing back to D.C. to tell his father about a bold new entitlement program every bit as appealing and necessary as the universal preschool, universal daycare, and universal college his father would propose in his nominating speech: universal driver's education.



Lest we be accused of partisanship, we rush to point out that George W. Bush has an auto-related skeleton in his closet as well: In 1963, his future wife Laura Bush (nee Welch) ran into and killed her former football-hero boyfriend in what can only be termed a pretty fucking curious coincidence. And in the interests of full disclosure, Dubya also has a not-ready-for-prime-time family member as well. No, not his lovely twin daughters (whose names we thankfully don't know) but his older brother Neil, whose starring role in the '80s S&L scandal continues to fire the white-hot imagination of conspiracy freaks — er, truth-tellers — everywhere.



It was a simple matter of donning livery and a powdered wig, and holding Tom Shales' coattails as if we were his flunky. That's how we got into the network junkets this past weekend, for a semi-exclusive flash-forward into next season's TV schedule.

Here Comes the Chump(ABC) Stand up comedian Biff Goldsboro — son of songwriting legend Bobby — makes his TV debut as a divorced, alcoholic, Gulf-War-flashback ridden, morbidly obese, asthmatic, bankrupt janitor at a sewage treatment plant. Amy Thanatogenes plays his perky, large-breasted blonde girlfriend Mindi.

The World According to Dave (NBC)
After writing a best selling book, Dave Eggers (himself) has to deal with wealth, fame and rude questions about selling out. Rose McGowan co-stars as Sarah Vowell; Chris Elliot guests as David Foster Wallace

Butt Doctor (Fox)
Uncensored, behind-the-scenes cam at a proctologist's clinic. Hosted by Richard Gehr. Theme song by Juvenile, "Back That Thang Up."

Whassup! (NBC)
The Budweiser commercial makes the transition to prime time. Special guest Skeet Ulrich stars as Tom Green's Escaped Testicle.

Who Wants to Marry a Who Wants to Be a Millionaire Contestant? (ABC)
Players compete for a chance to win a chance to marry a contestant on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.

Stu In Your Juices (HBO)
Alternative newspaper sex columnist Stu Williams (Tige Andrews III) has a secret: He's been voluntarily celibate for years! Peter Fonda co-stars as the Seattle Needler's Native American publisher, Gray Ponytail.

Artie (Army Surplice) is a virile stud with a crank like a baseball bat; his housemate Wilbert (Finchley Whimppe) is hung like a hamster - until a crazy genie switches their genitals. Janeane Garafolo guests stars as Alakazam the Ancient.

Who Watches the Watchers? (Court-TV)
Hidden cameras follow the adventures of a group of people watching CBS's Big Brother. Hosted by Steve Brill.

We hope all our faithful readers are buying themselves Visine by the quart and popcorn by the 55-gallon drum, because — hoot mon! — what a year of television awaits!

courtesy of the Sucksters