"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 9 May 1996. Updated every WEEKDAY.

Hit & Run XXXIII



Faithful readers of Suck will no

doubt recall our 6 October

piece, "How To Read Wired

Magazine," a useful if somewhat

contrived filtering methodology

to purge the bane of advertising

from your Wired skimming

experience. Sadly, demutilating

websites is exponentially more

difficult than applying the rip

to pulp, and for the loyal Suck

reader, never before has the

exercise been in higher demand.

But while cool heads may prevail

in the real world, online

hotheads can be damned

ingenious, indeed. For your

consideration, a few options

we've had suggested for the

die-hard anti-commercialists

that gleefully punctuate any

crowd worth its weight in



Option #1: The simplest technique

is essentially camouflage...via

Post-it notes. A big thick pad

of one-inch square stickies will

serve the dual purpose of keeping

offending areas non-ambulatory

while leaving a small portion of

one's screen preternaturally

dust-free. Option #2: Easy but

demanding of dexterity, simply

positioning roughly 1/8 of one's

browser window off-screen may be

quite satisfactory for the

freestyle browsing disinclined.

Option #3: Surf Suck via the

archive page. A day late, but

commercially sedate, acceptable

to all but the purists and

obsessively curious. Option #4:

Install FrameFree. This will

de-frame the menu and ads,

enabling a convenient scrolling

sayonara to both. For gonzogeeks




Amid all the talk of the

alternative becoming mainstream,

we sometimes forget that the

mainstream is still that much

more mainstream. As though to

rub that in, the new album from

good-old golfers Hootie and the

Blowfish recently sold 411,000

copies in its first week, to

debut on the charts at number

one with a mullet. Still,

Blowfish-loving pundits who pin

the band's success on its

Americana appeal might want to

hold off on any planned promises

to put a Hootie in every home,

as the band's album titles

(Cracked Rear View, Fairweather

Johnson) could be deemed

suggestive. Here at Suck, we'd

never even think of reeling in

the masses by choosing a name

that would make Beavis and

Butt-head chuckle.



"Computer=Woman. Man uses and

dominates computer. Therefore,

man uses and dominates woman."

Logic like that can get you

into graduate school... it won't

get you very far into grad

school, of course, 'cause

eventually they'll make you

learn the difference between

using a metaphor and imposing

one. But hey, Brillo's no

thesis, it's a webzine. Its

beautiful design and imaginative

icon-pilfering somehow mitigate

the strident yet half-baked

politics, which makes assertions such

as "Men receive their rewards by

'jacking in' to their computers"

endearing rather than laughable.

Which is not to say the

editorial slant is completely

misdirected. Though their

stated goal is to


tools and strategies," an

interview with the Barbie

Liberation Front indicates a

slightly different methodology:

"Represent yourself in ways that

are beneficial to your story...

Acknowledge your multiple

positions in society and utilize

those when its best suited to

the fight that you're involved

in." Talk about using the

master's tools - Brillo is

political activism for the

disinformation age.



This week's Ken Auletta-penned

piece in the New Yorker on Micro

Kinsley trots out more than

enough conventional wisdom on

Web publishing: that nobody

makes money, that nobody reads

anything longer than 700 words

on screen (Hit & Run's mantra to

be sure), and that online

editors are basically

"intellectual bartenders,"

greasing conversational wheels

so patrons spend more time and

money in their establishment

before going to bed with a

spinning head. Slipped into

paragraph number 98

(no one reads anything longer

than 70,000 words anymore),

though, is this subtly

unconventional bit of implicit


"The favored buzzwords at

communications companies like

Microsoft and Disney and Viacom

and Time Warner and AT&T and

News Corporation are 'synergy'

and 'leverage'."

The astute might note that Mr.

Kinsley left out "stock option."

More importantly, Microsoft's a

communications company the way

Burger King's a green plastic

pickle whistle company - it's

what they promote, but not at

all where they make their money.

Of course, Microsoft is

positioning itself as a media

company in order to build the

belief that there's something

more for the company to do than

to install OSs on the remaining

ten percent of non-Windows

desktops. Auletta, friend to

captains of industry everywhere,

is, as usual, quite happy to buy

and sell LargeCo spin.

courtesy of the Sucksters