"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 23 May 1996. Updated every WEEKDAY.

Hit & Run XXXV



Rats to Katz: On the Web, there

are good hair days, and bad Katz

daze, and this week HotWired

served up a series of the

latter. Jon Katz, erstwhile

media critic for Wired and

Mutant Power Ranger for

HotWired, decided to shake up

his virtual officemates by

pumping out three tired columns

on Wired's adolescent attitude,

overheated rhetoric, and

editorial ruts. Then, to wrap it

up, he concluded that,

all in all, Wired "may be the

most essential publication in

America today." While it seems

unlikely that auto-fellatio

would ever go unnoticed, Katz's

suck session seems to have

blinded him to the habit in

others. Indeed, Katz's warm

tongue-tug at the end is the

real reason why Wired irks:

Wired is the story of those who

get to have their cake, eat it,

and then ask for a bite of

yours. Spoof CEOs, but hang with

them. Dis print media, but get

great press from them. Blast

Wired, and write for it too

just like, well, Jon Katz... and,

er, some other people we know.



Add this groundbreaking event to

an ever-growing list of Internet

firsts: the Internet

"Synchro-Meal," in which "people

all over the world will prepare

the exact same meal and sit down

'together,' linked by Internet

Relay Chat." Given our sordid

CU-SeeMe experiences, we're

quite certain that many

participants will be eager to

comply with organizers' urges to

"[l]et everyone see what

[they're] up to," though

everyone's digestion certainly

won't benefit. And the total

prep time - over 4 hours - makes

us wonder why they don't just

throw back a simultaneous Coke

and call it a day. But the

choice of raw salmon as the main

course is the real corker here -

while the many inconvenienced

netizens will scoff at

suggestions that "[a]ny fine

local fish, very fresh, may be

substituted for the salmon,"

those who do take a gamble on

not-so-fresh fish can

participate in what's sure to be

even more fascinating than the

main event: the Synchro-Spew.


[The Onion]

Must be something in the water,

or, considering the climate,

perhaps it's the ice of the

still-frozen Midwest that

facilitates the kind of deadpan

humor found in Madison,

Wisconsin's The Onion. (Or

maybe it's the cheese.) A

straightfaced, if not exactly

straight, weekly publication,

The Onion is a newspaper equal

parts Borges and Coen Brothers -

a kind of Library of Fargo.

Those who might doubt The

Onion's commitment to being

"number one in news" should look

no farther than the Onion

On-Line, which reprints such

local scoops as "Area Students

Prepare Breasts for Increased

Springtime Display" and "Area

Bassist Fellated." International

policy is addressed in a

hard-hitting report on our

neighbor to the north: "Perky

'Canada' Has Own Government,

Laws." We haven't laughed this

much since that ludicrous story

about "Mad Cow Disease."



Songs mean a lot when songs are

bought, especially if it's part

of a new ad campaign designed

to target that "twenty-something"

crowd we keep hearing

so much about. Thus, it

makes a certain kind of sense

that an ad agency has been

sniffing around various indie

labels, looking for the perfect

soundtrack for a new, less

sweet, Jell-O campaign. Hey,

with burgers for adults (the

Arch Deluxe) and cigarettes for

kids (Camels), why not a gelatin

for post-adolescents? That's

right: Black Cherry Jell-O.

Taking the lifestyle accessory

meme to a culinary extreme, one

proposed ad features a "Gen X

Woman" voice-over which lauds

the dessert as being "deeper

than other Jell-Os," as well as

speculating on its ability to

"refresh... the soul." But if

that's too subtle for you, we're

also told how the product's more

superficial properties fit into

the scheme - it's a food that

matches "My jeans - black" and

"My jacket - black." Funny, we

always knew you are what you

eat, and, further, that clothes

make the man, but we never

thought to color-code our

snacks. And with such chromatic

emphasis, one wonders why Bill

Cosby isn't pitching this

variety in particular. But we

know a good hook when we see

one, and so we'd like to help -

may we suggest that the

structurally amorphous treat

seems to scream for "Two


courtesy of the Sucksters