Suck: The AOL Chat


Joey Anuff: Welcome, AOLheads.

Carl Stead: That was good, Joey.

Joey Anuff: You should've seen the first draft.

Joey Anuff: Budum-pum

Carl Stead: Peter Hannan has another panel about the "Internet." That thing really lengthened the life of tired political cartoonists.

Carl Stead: The Internet, that is.

Carl Stead: "When I expressed the desire to establish a presence on the Internet,"

Carl Stead: "I didn't have 'Al's Artsy-Fartsy Home Page of Hilarity' in mind."

Carl Stead: Ha ha.

Joey Anuff: Jeez. That's "not so good."

WIRED MAG: So Carl and Joey started SUCK in their "free time" and have since turned it into one of the most popular sites on the Web. Any questions for them?

Question: Do you have any "free time" now?

Carl Stead: Well, we're on AOL. Though they may have been part of our TOS...

Joey Anuff: We commit Suck at our leisure...

Carl Stead: There will always be Suckage.

Joey Anuff: I'm not sure I really believe in "free time."

Carl Stead: ...since leisure time is a product of modern industrialized production, anyway.

Joey Anuff: That's when you're supposed to "have a life," right?

Joey Anuff: Before Suck, I just hung around HotWired 'til 2am anyways. After Suck, 8am. Not much of a difference

Carl Stead: Just 6 hours or so.

WIRED MAG: So you don't sleep then?

Carl Stead: A WIREDone would equate "sleep" to "leisure."

WIRED MAG: I hate that term, btw.

Joey Anuff: Leisure? Why, because of Scenarios?

Carl Stead: Put me to sleep.

Joey Anuff: Wired must have been smoking the dummy pipe when they said that.

Joey Anuff: We'll have quite a bit of free time if we're all unemployed. But we all knew that.

WIRED MAG: So how did you guys get your Web page underway? Difficult to get the hardware/software?

Carl Stead: A gold card.

Carl Stead: We imagined the possibilities.

Joey Anuff: Of a gold card.

Carl Stead: Well, the other option on the gold card was a trip to Las Vegas.

Carl Stead: Sometimes, I think that may have been the better choice.

WIRED MAG: So you're planning on putting ads on your site then?

Joey Anuff: We sure hope so. The way I see it,

Carl Stead: How do you see it, Joey?

Joey Anuff: unless we have steady revenue, we're like a cute anomaly. With sponsors, we're closer to legit publishers.

Carl Stead: ...and a force to be reckoned with.

Joey Anuff: 'course, it's tough to find sponsors you can live with and who're able to live with you.

Carl Stead: Just like members of the appropriate sex.

Remiles1: (1)what does SUCK stand for Single Unemployed College Kid?

WIRED MAG: So are any advertisers courting you? Can any live with the content you put out?

Carl Stead: Have you seen television lately?

Remiles1: (1)Not my turn to watch it

IceSziber: (1)good one Rem!

Carl Stead: The question is, can we live with the content they put out.

Question: Sometimes there's this attitude in Suck, like "The Web was so cool before all you morons got onto it" Do you think Suck is elitist?

Carl Stead: The Web had more possibilities at one point.

Carl Stead: As it progresses, some of those possibilites are made real. But not all the choices along the way are good ones.

Joey Anuff: I don't find the common nethead to be a moron. It's the folks who just got a $10 mil contract...

Carl Stead: Too many common netheads eat what they're dished out, tho.

ImWebBoy: (1)They're blowing off the elitist question ...

ImWebBoy: (1)Suck is just like ... We're so cool, and you all are so lame.

Joey Anuff: Judging from our mail, most Suck readers are fairly bright and not prone to swallow every steaming

Archanel64: (1)CRAP!!

Joey Anuff: load that comes their way.

Carl Stead: True.

ImWebBoy: (1)I read it 3 or 4 times a week

IceSziber: (1)ha ha

Remiles1: (1)Its not funny

ImWebBoy: (1)But they're snobs.

ImWebBoy: (1)You don't find it funny, Remiles?

Remiles1: (1)NO

Archanel64: (1)it SUCKS!!

Question: Are sucksters "common netheads" too? Do you have _them_ eating out of the palm of your hand?

Carl Stead: I love all the Sucksters, each and every one.

Joey Anuff: We're only uncommon in our obsessive natures.

Carl Stead: Now, the AOL honchos told us AOLers weren't all that interested in the Web...

Carl Stead: Which may be a self-fulfilling prophecy, given the state of the (current) AOL browser.

Carl Stead: Of course, if they really believed that there wouldn't be the talks with Netscape.

Joey Anuff: Does anybody have a site they'd like us to look at?

WIRED MAG: Why don't you explain your basic gig to them first, Joey? What is Suck?

Carl Stead: Yeah, just what is this Suck thing, anyway?

WIRED MAG: In 25 words or less.

Joey Anuff: I'm hoping everybody's got their web browsers popped. Tuned to

Carl Stead:

Joey Anuff: We like to think of the web as a virtual Gong Show.


Joey Anuff: And ourselves as more erudite variants on Beavis and Butthead.

Carl Stead: And we're...oh, damn, those Gong Show characters were so forgettable.

Carl Stead: But maybe that's the point.

Remiles1: (1)Get real you don't compare with B&B

IceSziber: (1)question do you guys get your own show?

Carl Stead: No, more like the Unknown Comic.

Carl Stead: B&B *are* very erudite.

Joey Anuff: At least we were for awhile.

Carl Stead: Unknown? Or erudite?

Carl Stead: I don't think we were ever erudite for more than a few seconds in between jokes.

Joey Anuff: Until someone tore the bags of our heads and scared away all the children.

WIRED MAG: Here's the question we've all been waiting for...

Question: So what is the hottest www site?

WIRED MAG: And why?

Joey Anuff:

Joey Anuff: (The work of an idiot savant - even if it's a hoax.)

Carl Stead: Erm, WIRED online? Doesn't it have something to do with "Hot"?

WIRED MAG: Easy.....

Carl Stead: Heh, heh.

WIRED MAG: We're not quite sure of the difference there yet.

Carl Stead: Neither are we.

WIRED MAG: But.....

WIRED MAG: You will.

Joey Anuff: Walter sure has a way with words.

Joey Anuff: His Yuletide poem is something else.

Carl Stead: Is anyone following along? Ya got Walter's page up?

Carl Stead: Walter? You here?

Joey Anuff: He's like a retarded Douglas Copeland.

Joey Anuff: Typos, aside, though - i prefer his work to Doug's.

Carl Stead: Sort of a "Flowers for Algernon" modern-day Doug.

Joey Anuff: Feed aspires to be the New Yorker of the web - often successfully - they're at

Carl Stead: Wait, I wasn't done reading Walter's pages yet. Y'all taking notes?

Joey Anuff: I knew you never followed my links, Carl!

Carl Stead: I *make* all your links, Joe.

Joey Anuff: Make?

Carl Stead: Had to find a damn CU-SeeMe transcript this morning.

Carl Stead: Well, rediscover.

Joey Anuff: It's good for you, Carl - keeps you up on our subjects.

Carl Stead: I could just be lying when I say I don't read Wired.

Remiles1: (1)Joey we have had e nuff not anuff

WIRED MAG: Remiles1 asks:....

Question: Who the heck are you poor excuses for talent?

Joey Anuff: Good question. We answer it daily.

Carl Stead: At

Carl Stead: What a glorious URL that is.

Carl Stead: Fit for kings.

Carl Stead: And fools alike.

Joey Anuff: Besides, who said anything about "talent," anyways. It's overrated, in my book.

Joey Anuff: Thanks for the encouragement, tho!

Carl Stead: Yeah, what is 'talent'? An outmoded notion if there ever was one.

Question: What exactly _is_ your take on D. Coupland? Voice of a generation or passive receptor of air-born media viruses?

Carl Stead: See my last remark.

Joey Anuff: Coupland set the standard for opportunistic self-promotion a few years back. We're trying to reinvent it.

Carl Stead: We see Douglas as a good vehicle to start out pieces

Joey Anuff: Or, as the gentleman said, "Who are you poor excuses..."

Carl Stead: that don't have an obvious beginning. A deus ex machina for beginnings, if you will.

IceSziber: (1)oh please

SSchae4619: (1)No, I liked it. The deus thing.

Carl Stead: Now, make sure to call all your AOL pals and tell them about this hot & happenin' chat with the Sucksters...

Joey Anuff: What are you prattling on about, Carl!?!

WIRED MAG: Carl doesn't prattle.

Remiles1: (1)dudes or dunces?

Carl Stead: live, now!

IceSziber: (1)dudes

Remiles1: (1)DIE NOW

Question: It appears to me that your site SUCK describes your personalities and talent. Is that where you got the name?

Remiles1: (1)Finally

IceSziber: (1)tuff one

Joey Anuff: Well, our foremost talent _is_ honesty.

Carl Stead: Yeah, we Suck. (Butthead laugh.) We wanted *uck, but the Internic wouldn't give it to us.

Remiles1: (1)Interneck?

CKelley998: (1)no, more like pencilneck

Joey Anuff: Suck describes our daily routine. Plop down at desk; bust browser; suck content.

Carl Stead: And that would have forestalled the possibility of an AOL chat.

Carl Stead: We were thinking ahead.

Carl Stead: Everything, to be here, with you, today.

Joey Anuff: We would've never made it here with a name like *uck.

Carl Stead: Yeah, that asterisk is too hard to type.

Question: You all talk alot about what's OVERrated about the web...what's _underrated_ about it?

Carl Stead: AOL member home pages are vastly underrated.

Joey Anuff: Too true. Got any good ones for us, Carl?

Carl Stead: will give you a taste of what you're missing.

Question: iz suck like a by-product of wired or what?.

Joey Anuff: Ever heard the term "bottom-feeder?"

Joey Anuff: That's us.

Joey Anuff: Wired strays towards Fruitopianism at times.

Joey Anuff: We're dispeptic.

Joey Anuff: They gave us 4 months to live.

Joey Anuff: Which we'd like to believe is dead-on accurate.

Carl Stead: When you look at the evidence, it might appear as if they don't really appreciate us.

WIRED MAG: Wired doesn't appreciate anybody.

Joey Anuff: They think we're hURLers.

Carl Stead: Well, Nicholas seems to be in the in-crowd.

Joey Anuff: St. Nick

Carl Stead: Talk about prattling on.

Question: Is your goal to be "appreciated" by wired?

Carl Stead: No, just to be "understood."

Joey Anuff: We dare not even dream.

Carl Stead: Isn't that what everyone wants? To be understood?

Joey Anuff: We want a cover feature.

WIRED MAG: Well, sure. Everybody wants that.

Carl Stead: So how much does a cover story cost? There's still room on the card.

Joey Anuff: I want a cover story in DogFancy.

Carl Stead: Not CatFancy? They post on Usenet.

Carl Stead: You are. Don't worry, I just typed "Usenet," which certainly left a bad taste in some mouths.

WIRED MAG: OK. Here's a darn fine question...

Question: You all _have_ taken down (figuratively) many corporate sites, but your stance is hardly you think your readers sometimes assume you all are more "radical" or "anti-establishment" than you really are?

Joey Anuff: We're not so much anti-corporate as anti-inept.

Carl Stead: In the same way Barthes was accused of consuming culture in order to critique it.

WIRED MAG: Oh God. When Carl starts bringing out the Barthes, we're all in trouble.

Joey Anuff: It just so happens that most of the sites worth torching have deep wallets.

Carl Stead: Oh. I just got a private message. "Don't reference anybody. This is AOL."

WIRED MAG: A question from one of your biggest fans in the audience, Remiles1....

Question: Do you think everybody visits your site because they think it is PORN?

Joey Anuff: We _are_ porn. Geekporn.

Carl Stead: I try to convince myself of that (of the site being PORN) every day. It would keep me interested in my work, certainly.

Carl Stead: Yeah, that crazy URL -, for those that don't recall - sure does get us in trouble.

Question: why do some web search programs do a better job then others?

WIRED MAG: That was kind of a geeky question for y'all.

Joey Anuff: They pay more Netscape for placement on the search page?

Carl Stead: I love the PR for the search engines.

Carl Stead: "We index xxx pages, and the other engines' xxx pages aren't really xxx pages..."

Carl Stead: As long as I can find appropriate links for Joey's brilliant prose.

Joey Anuff: Infoseek even has a query line on Netscape's search page. Wonder how they're doin'

Carl Stead: Well, in a way, they lost, when Netscape determines who wins.

Joey Anuff: Speed doesn't hurt a search engine, either.

WIRED MAG: And here's a little postmodern snack for the folks at home....

Question: were all wondering if this is for real or are you guys some kinda prerecored message?

Joey Anuff: The latter.

Carl Stead: It's real time, but it's scripted.

Carl Stead: Even *your* question.

Joey Anuff: We haven't come very far since 'Eliza', have we?

Carl Stead: Eliza was my friend.

Joey Anuff: Eliza's still your only friend.

WIRED MAG: Ok. I know who Eliza is, but many out there havn't reached the geek peaks that you have... so explain.

Joey Anuff: Eliza was our therapist when we were 12.

Carl Stead: A primitive AI program. And my only friend.

Question: There have been alot of Suck rip-offs (Netly News, Blow...), and there are sure to be more. How will you keep from becoming indistinguishable?

Joey Anuff: The jokers do an adequate job of distinguishing themselves.

Carl Stead: Well, we're a franchise, like McDonald's or Burger King so, you see, we keep raking in the bucks, regardless.

Joey Anuff: Mmmm. Burger King. My favorite enlightened despot!

Mayf 1: (1)im the only one talkin'!!!

Carl Stead: It's all a big pyramid scheme, after all. We aim to be TOPs.

Joey Anuff: Tautology-Oriented professionals?

Carl Stead: Something like that.

Joey Anuff: Technology-Obsessed Peons?

Carl Stead: Ba da dum.

Question: so when are the big wigs going to shut the web down

Joey Anuff: The day after tomorrow, I think.

Carl Stead: They already did, didn't you hear? Why do you think we're on AOL?

Joey Anuff: Like Wally World. The Web will be closed for the weekend.

WIRED MAG: Ok. Well, if I could remember how to run the copyright file, I would. But let this suffice....

WIRED MAG: Don't even think of copying this text and selling it for millions and not letting us in on our cut.

Carl Stead: Our words are worth that, too.

WIRED MAG: If you do, we'll come over to your house and stay on your sofa for a couplea weeks, or more.

WIRED MAG: Your words are worth gold, Carl.

Carl Stead: And bring our Web servers with us.

WIRED MAG: Yeah. So don't do it.

Joey Anuff: Remember kids - if you're getting run out of town, make it look like a parade!

WIRED MAG: You think that one up yourself, Joey?

Joey Anuff: No comment.

Joey Anuff: Sayonara!

Carl Stead: See more glass.