"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 7 December 1995. Updated every WEEKDAY.

Hit & Run XII



If you listen very closely you

may hear the soft sound of lips

on ass - but don't get the idea

that maneuvering yourself on to

Suck's good side is an easy

task. Paul Haeberli, whose

SGI-sponsored code has earned

him a spot in the graphics

hackers' hall of fame (I've seen

folks line up for autographs.

Scary.), has been collaborating

with Suck from the early days,

and can lay claim, amongst other

dubious honors, to playing a key

role in the creation of our

far-too-notorious "How To Read

Wired Magazine" piece. As an

even more grievous burden, he

has to live with the knowledge

that he was directly responsible

for encouraging the Duke's first

awkward babysteps on the Web.

Don't all rush to thank him at



Paul's talents as a general

madman are often eclipsed by his

programming predilections. It's

been almost two weeks since he

first started playing with Java

and he's already started showing

off. His first hack, The

Impressionist, is a port of an

'88 paint programming experiment

later adapted by the original

Photoshop team. We've taken him

up on the liner-note repurposing

instructions in order to

invite you to a little session

of Painting With Suck if you have

a Java-capable browser. Take

note: extended bouts of digital

stroking may neither convince

you that you've found the Web's

holy grail nor likely imbue a

sense of historical appreciation

for the works of Cézanne and

Monet, but, for our money, it's

at least as fun as anything ever

included in a Happy Meal. We'll

let you know when Paul gets

around to delivering the burgers

and fries.



Life is Hell, Continued: We must

have been tooting our magical

crack hookah while writing last

Friday's litigation lowdown when

we failed to mention the

heavy-handed hijinks of Toys 'R'

Us, who've been applying their

steel-toed boot to the heads of

Roadkills-R-Us since last April.

The charges are fairly standard -

they're claiming that the name

of the satiric Web site, which

has existed on the net in one

form or another since 88,

might confuse shoppers, and are

demanding the usual changes.

To the credit of the Roadkill

squad, they have no intention

of buckling under the legal

pressure (yet). It's hard to

imagine anybody confusing a

blacktop pancake with Toys for

Tots, but our guess is that

Geoffrey and Co. saw red when

they got wind of the crushed

critter crusade at RRU and

decided to fight back with a

rather messy Monster Truck rally

of their own.


[Talking Painting]

It's not exactly surprising that

GenX pundits are wont to eat

their philosophers for lunch -

we're more surprised that they

haven't been emblazoned on

lunchboxes, like the Dukes of

Hazzard (the original dukes!) of

yesteryear. Still, it takes a

rare combination of oblique wit

and schizoid elan to perform

stand-up poetry to a crowd of

professional hecklers. Even if

John S. Hall has seemingly seen

his heyday with the now-defunct

King Missile and his days of

basking in the MTV brand poetry

slam limelight may now be a

passé pseudocultural

footnote, it's nice to know he's

still, er...committed. And

congratulations are in order to

Word for marrying the

sputtering, disjointed Real

Audio technology with a

spokesperson equally tweaked. As

they say, hours of enjoyment are

yours to be had...



We may not be world-renowned for

our social conscience, but we do

recognize that each and every

time we're approached on the

street by a luckless beggar (or

confronted with a straight-faced

Jerry Lewis on PBS) we're faced

with a test of personal

politics. The reasons that drive

a person to swallow their pride

and extend the hat are almost as

varied as those employed by

those asked to spare a dime to

explain their reactions. It

would be fairly useless, and

beside the point, to offer

advice on what to do in

situations such as these - we'll

just note that as the online

world opens to the masses,

hiding yourself indoors with

your net connection may not

shield you from the harsh

realities of the Outside World

for much longer.



Just a few notes on the recent

Suck write-up in our favorite

East Coast literary zine, FEED.

First of all, we'll admit to

being in the dark over the exact

meaning of the term trahison de

suck - though we're fairly

certain it's a good thing.

Second, we'd like to thank them

for their valuable suggestion of

contacting Nike for some neo-hip

corporate sponsorship. It's

inspired some novel marketing

concepts at Suck central -

Java-jazzed Nike ads, "Just Suck

It" bus billboards, and the

odds-on favorite of replacing

the period in the Suck logo with

the trademarked Nike swoop. Just

a reminder: the revolution may

not be digitized, unless you're

talking consumer revolt - in

which case we'd like to take

this opportunity to direct you

to HotWired's lovely

recently-refurbished Shop

section. Only 17 more shopping

days 'til Christmas! Buy-buy!

courtesy of the Duke of URL