"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 30 January 1996. Updated every WEEKDAY.

Wired For Dummies


[Spiv Quote]

The cover page of Spiv begins,

"There's music you hear about

for so long that when you

finally hear it, you feel like a

schmuck for not liking it.

Wagner was like this for me.

Really bummed me out." Spiv was

like that for us. We heard about

it for so long that when we

finally saw it, we knew we'd

feel like schmucks for not

maligning it. Really bummed us




But they make it so easy for us.

Designed by Turner Entertainment

to appeal to the highly-coveted

18- to 24-year-old city-dweller

market, this maze of

slippery-hip drivel left us

reeling like we'd taken a trip

through a Details theme park.

And though the Spiv TV ads

warmed us up, nothing adequately

prepared us for the

schizophrenic design swimming

with dumb Photoshop tricks and

color combinations more dizzying

than a late-60s suburban




Nor had we braced ourselves for

offenses ranging from quips

like, "It's hard to believe that

a fashion designer as

plugged-in, fresh and modern as

Kelly Sparks grew up in

Cincinnati, Ohio." to sections

with unfathomable names like

"Shiitake: Daily enlightenment &

brainsnacks." And we thought we

were the only ones to take a

shit every day and try to pass

it off as enlightenment...



The section title "Zooey:

Fashion, Urbanism, Attitude,"

takes the proverbial cake - and

you can inject it, too (although

it might make you retch). While

the value of partaking of the

"urban" remains unclear, we were

drooling over the prospect of

fashion and attitude advice

galore. Better than fashion

tips, though, are Zooey's

philosophies on fashion, roughly

as compelling as our

philosophies on the refried

beans in tomorrow's burrito:

"Fashion is ahead of the fact of

its existence." Whoa, heavy.



Then there's "Trip Out," "an

educational tool for the

sartorially curious," with its

fashionably fascist global

slant: "You wanna do the study

abroad thing. But you don't

wanna commit before you see if

the denizens of the potential

city meet your style standards."

When consumer choices like

whether or not "RedRed lipstick"

is "crucial" are elevated to the

status of standards by which the

international masses can (and

should) be judged, it's clear

the wheels of capitalism are

spinning smoothly.



Including a "scene report" in the

music section was clearly the

brainchild of some addled

groupie on Spiv's advisory

board. As fascinated as we are

by the details of Milwaukee's

New Rock 102 Christmas Party, naming

the best club in Southern

California spells subjectivity

to the point of irrelevance -

even if we lived there we

wouldn't give a shit.



The overblown imagery found in

"ranarium" (wha?) moves past bad

and lands firmly in the realm of

the absurd: "The tubador is your

uncle, the notes he plays are

the steaks from his shop, fat

and choice, saved just for

you.... The room inflates with

spiced air." Next time forget

writing and just grab a burger,

guy. And of course insider

ass-kissing litters every page:

"He is the librarian of things

you should know." Introduce us

to the pharmacist of potions we

should imbibe and maybe we'll

take note...



Finally we find the section

titled "Nrrrd." Newsflash:

Grrrls will be girls, and we're

living proof that nrrrds are

still just nerds. And if the

media mouthpieces are correct in

their portrayal of a species of

fumbling, maggot-pale jokers

like ourselves as the next

masters of the universe, you can

be sure that humankind has

finally dodged the dictates of



[Ways & Memes]

As "Zooey" seems a dull,

watered-down Sassy, "Nrrrd"

reads like Wired For Dummies,

replete with back-issue leftovers

reheated and spiced up with some

wacky designs from ex-Wired and

Mondo folk. For those who know

better, these synopses won't warrant

even a brief skim; for those who

don't, nanotechnology sure will

seem dull.



But then, entertainment execs

will always attempt to piece

together bits of the past,

figuring their bricolage of

yesterday's success stories

will translate into payola

today. Unfortunately,

sophistry seldom yields synergy,

and the sum of the parts often

amounts to appreciating the

Monkees by listening to the

Muzak versions of their songs.

After all is said and done,

Turner's fully-staffed piece of

fluff ranks just below David

Lauren's pathetic Swing Magazine

on the flaccidity scale.


[I hate mirrors.]

But maybe the people at Spiv are

just aching to be the Chef

Boyardees of the net. Ted Turner

knows better than anyone that

quantity knocks quality on its

ass - and for every yupster

dining on prosciutto and melon

in the finest of Italian

restaurants there are fifty more

shoving down mouthfuls of canned

ravioli in front of Baywatch


courtesy of Polly Esther