"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 19 October 1995. Updated every WEEKDAY.

Hit & Run V


[Utne Lens]

A moment of silence was observed

in mourning for the passing of

the The Utne Lens, which

officially terminated its net

efforts last Tuesday. We choose

to see this not as an example of

the inability of liberal

publications to succeed on the

Web, but instead as an example

of the dire consequences of poor

website conceptual planning. The

Utne Reader, with its arch

selection of obscure small press

essays, is the epitome of

hypertext in print. And therein

lay their downfall: a straight

translation of their print

method to the online arena

would have resulted in the

decidedly unglamorous

proposition of building yet

another cool links site, but

opting for the presentation of

original content proved to be

too much of a strain on both the

concept and the budget. Maybe

this will end up serving as a

valuable (and expensive) lesson:

the Utne Lens is scheduled to

continue as a tight collection

of pointers - if they truly dig

the Web as much as they love

pulp, this new approach just may

be a concept worth pursuing.


[Court TV]

Meanwhile, Wired cover-boy Steven

Brill is showing he knows how to

deliver on his threats and get

away with the damage much richer

for the bargain. In his quest to

opportunistically mine the field

of law for each and every

conceivable entertainment

dollar, circumstance could

hardly conspire more heavily in

his favor. So, only a week after

one monumental legal debacle

comes to an end, a new one finds

life on the Web: CourtTV. As a

Web site, it's perversely

coherent - a feature blurb on

the upcoming Menendez trial,

part two, is sandwiched between

a pitch for OJ videotapes above

and an ad banner for Advil

below. We beg to differ with

CourtTV's blurb for Bosnian Serb

Dusko Tadic war crimes case as

the real trial of the century,

reserving that honor instead for

the issue of CourtTV Online's

viability as Jacoby & Myers writ



[Tangled Web]

Some ploys on the Web guarantee

hits, while some guarantee

server suicide. We suspect the

latter will prove to be true for

Beware of Warnings, a spiffy

site that caters to the net's

voracious appetite for porn and

adds some pseudo-clever

Photoshop wizardry to the

bargain. The steward of the site

has proven himself to be, in

fact, a rather thorough

connoisseur of netporn, as all

of the source images for his

perverse manipulations were

pinched from the Web itself.

It's too bad it won't live. But

then again, what does?


[Dark Side of the Moon]

Alan Wood is on a crusade to

instruct music fans around the

world on the proper technique

necessary to full enjoyment of

Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the

Moon. Nevermind that there are

probably as many copies of Dark

Side of the Moon floating around

as there are Gideon's Bibles,

there's no guarantee that every

single damn one of them is being

truly appreciated by its owner.

The thought of a would-be Floyd

fan not listening to the entire

thing every time, without

distractions, with words

memorized and sung loudly is

sufficient, we imagine, to keep

Al up late into the night

clutching his tie-died pillows

in abject terror and

frustration. Well, Al, we feel

your pain and want to help.

We'll even go so far as to make

the obvious suggestion you

clearly took pains to avoid:

bring along a healthy supply of

hallucinogens, as sober

listening is apt to lead to the

realization that you may just be

voluntarily subjecting yourself

to the the most ponderous,

hokingly over-produced,

over-sold and over-listened

miscreation ever committed to

vinyl. And that would just make

poor Al's job that much more


courtesy of the Duke of URL