"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 24 November 1995. Updated every WEEKDAY.

Hit & Run X


[Picture Perfect Turkey]

We're still deciding what was

more upsetting to the faithful

Suck reader - announcing that

we've clamped our feeders onto

the sweaty udder of the HotWired

cash cow or taking Thanksgiving

off. No matter, our commitment

to milking anything for all it's

worth is as unswerving as ever.


[Vegan Action]

Our one-day Thanksgiving

vacation was a purposefully

surreal experience - first

Webster decided to hack turkey,

ignoring my admonitions to check

with the Butterball site to

avoid trouncing us with samonellosis.

Since he was running on a

Suck-inspired schedule (read:

late as usual), he gracelessly

demurred. We're all still alive.

The highlight of the evening,

though, was a trek into Berkeley

in search of an unholy

chicken-wire constructed vegan

"turkey", purported to not only

be expertly crafted to resemble

a real bird, but also featuring

internal organs sculpted from

seitan (wheat gluten). What we

found was far less ambitious:

a vegan pot pie-looking loaf

covered with faux-turkey tofu

skin which evoked nothing if not

the lovely consistency of a

medical-grade dental dam. Next

year, we'll order McChicken

Sandwiches and pen bitter

comparisons between the

imperialist triumphs of 15th

century European settlers and

the late 20th century exploits

of AOL...

[Anti-Imperialist Literature]



If there's anyone who knows the

ins-and-outs of cashing in on

the Web, it's Yahoo!. Smarter

than other would-be swindlers by

an Olympic pisser's distance,

they wisely crawled into bed

with VCs and advertisers long

ago, with an all-too-golden

methodology: let the net do your

work for you, and limit your

surfing to trips from the office

to the bank. We're deeply




But Yang and Filo have apparently

been spending a bit too much

time taking meetings with Yahoo

marketing director Tim Brady and

not enough time hounding their

engineers. One of our friends

sent us a note a few weeks back

pointing out that their fancy

multi-optioned search page

appeared to be yet another local

demo wonder: viewing the source

revealed that those impressive

radio buttons and checkboxes

(for case-sensitive, and/or, and

substring/complete word

searches) seemed to serve

dubiously decorative purposes,

not being actually connected to

the same <form> as the

submit button (it's since been



[Add URL]

Days later, we were forwarded

another titillating bit of

sordid behind-the-scenes intel

in the form of a message

purported to be from Jerry Yang

to the Internet Marketing

mailing list, detailing

step-by-step instructions for

advertising types to cut their

sites to the top of the queue,

via the use of a "special

password" - which basically

amounted to appending "(Yahoo)"

to your email address on the

standard submit form. The most

unintentionally hilarious part of

the letter is where Yang refers

to the list members as "a very

internet savvy group" and

promises to "target [their]

submissions for better

service!", which begs the

question: if they're so damn

net-savvy, why haven't they sent

any payola our way?!!? Little

matter, priority service or not,

we still come up quick in Yahoo

searches on "suck", right under

"Honeysuckle White Turkey,"

which just goes to show -

there's no such thing as




While Yahoo licks its wounds,

they may find solace in knowing

that they've so established

themselves as part of the Web's

cultural currency that they've

engendered inspiring parodies.

Informed more by Cracked or

Crazy than Mad in its heyday,

Yecch!!! (along with its

sister site, Digital Lampoon)

couples 4th-grade playground

witticisms with clever

cartooning to provide the sort

of humor junior-high surfers

(and maturity-stunted

post-adolescents like us) never

fail to find chuckle-worthy. And

so what if their puerile Digital

Digest falls victim to the Web's

notoriously low literacy

conundrum? There's still the

opportunity to find investors in

Yecch!!! - it wouldn't be the

first time a practical joke paid

off in spades.


[Barrel o' Cash]

Of course, from our vantage

point, parodies are

proliferating like scabies on

the body electric. No sooner did

we announce that we'd entered

into carnal negotiations with

HotWired than the peanut gallery

leapt into action. First came

the email, which ranged from

gleeful support ("You folks have

worked HOTWIRED over like a

foul-tempered dog with a fresh

hambone") to pseudo-punk wailing

("Just when I was going to write

you about how hot you made me

everyday, you go and bite the

big carrot. Screw you.") riding

atop a crushing wave of

resumes - of which we invite

more. The mail was quickly

followed by an extended bout of

useless phone calls: varied

types asking for interviews,

attempting to sell us their


services, and mumbling

half-coherent extortion demands.

But the most amusing of

reactions were those of

the Netly News and Media

Central, from which charges of

"sell-out" couldn't be more

absurd. Suckling at the teats of

Time-Warner and Cowles Media

doesn't quite add up to

indie-cred arbiter standing:

compared to those behemoths,

Wired and HotWired combined

don't amount to much more than a

gnat on the ass of new media.

Parody, indeed.

[The Netly News]


[Net Net Weekly]

Speaking of HotWired, we're

bemused by their latest "way

new" effort to grab Internet

marketshare - repackaging

week-old Flux content on (what

else?) Infoseek. While this

experiment may, indeed,

brilliantly bend the envelope of

the repurposing nightmare, we're

afraid they've only got things

half-right: yes, Infoseek and

its ilk will always get twenty

times the hits of HotWired - so

it may not be a bad place to

splooge your outdated

meanderings. But we doubt that

the great masses of Infoseek

searches will be any more likely

to step on their brakes for Ned

Brainard's potshots at the

NYTimes when they're housed on

the most briefly-visited site on

the Web than when they're buried

deep in the bowels of [smart-ass

description of HotWired deleted

by our new bosses]. Why not try

Wired's inaugural trick of

slopping posters up around major

city bus routes, where you're

likely to catch the eyeballs of

a class of consumer even more

indiscriminate than your average

Websurfer - the morning



[Wired Ware]

And one last WiredWatch item: you

couldn't find a more sad-sack

looking bunch of drunks than the

crowd at last week's opening

night presentation of the new

James Bond bomb, Goldeneye.

Spurred by the spurious,

twenty-odd HotWired employees

crammed their distended asses

into a miserable West Portal

theater, desperate to have their

careers as evil geniuses

affirmed by the supposed Wired

t-shirt wearing hacker as touted in

the November issue of the magazine.

Let's just hope that the Wired

marketing department didn't sink

any cash into that dubious

product placement - as the

much-anticipated lifestyle

accoutrement was a no-show. As

further degradation, the

assorted throng only realized

after the flick that they'd been

accompanied by exactly zero of

their comrades from Wired.

Apparently, they were at least

wired enough to know they'd been

had (without having to shell out

20+ times $7 for the bargain).

In related news, we hear that

the recent Wired product

placement on Beverly Hills 90210

(featuring Dylan dissing the

Wired digerati) went off

without a hitch. It's a tried

and true formula: aim for the

stars, settle for the goon...


courtesy of the Duke of URL