"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 6 June 1996. Updated every WEEKDAY.

Hit & Run XXXVII



It's hard to forge a successful

career as a drug guru. There's

big-time upside potential, sure,

but the living casualty rate is

vicious. Many would protest that

Tim Leary was more than a vocal

acid-gobbler, but we're generous

enough to forgive his

late-period blatherings on

digitalia, multimedia

brain-poking, and fractal abuse.

We suspect all that cavorting

with digital stooges like

Genesis P-Orridge and the Mondo

crowd tanked his

already-overtaxed neurons -

clearly projects such as "How To

Operate Your Brain" appeal only

to the most despondently addled.

But whether or not his last few

decades were fairly googly,

there's no denying the superior

skill he demonstrated circling

the occasional sixties-era

square. Before he launched his

tactical LSD PR campaign, he was

already anywhere from 300-600

tabs in the hole, making his

often articulate pronouncements

and improbably sharp humor all

the more miraculous. And when

one considers how many deep,

deep, deeply-gone lotus eaters

clutched to his words at their

most psychologically fragile, we

choose to remember him as not

only a wonderfully sinister

scholar and suspicious

gentleman, but also an

improbable Samaritan.



Prime-time infomercials don't

come cheap, but prodigal

advertiser IBM has found a

crafty way to slide its latest

promotions vehicle into pole

position. The spectrum of NBC's

peacock shifted toward blue

Monday when its cable channel

announced "Scan." The technology

show will be owned and

controlled by IBM, although

Marianne Caponnetto, IBM's

Director of Media Strategy and

Operations, explained that of

course "this is not going to be

an IBM program." Who better to

introduce the couch potatoes of

America to technology than the

company that scoffed at its own

so-called "Personal Computer" in

1981 and kept its corporate

emphasis on the mainframe

market? As a special bonus,

IBM's current advertising

campaign, with its global and

multicultural themes, will serve

to promote the show, since,

coincidentally, "Scan" will have

the same subject matter.



Aside from the dissemination of

party invitations through email,

the so-called Digital Revolution

definitely hasn't improved any

social lives (from the depths of

our wallets, those Suck condoms

silently mock us). Still,

rapid-fire e-invitations just

got a little more sophisticated,

thanks to the birth of a

service that creates a

personalized map of any

location, even the pit (or

gulch) of hell. Or, of your

neighborhood. Kinda geeky, but,

more importantly, kinda creepy.

Consider the unfortunate effects

of having an email enemy with

two things: a detailed map to

your house, and a gripe as big

as the one behind The Great

Neiman-Marcus Cookie Recipe

Heist. Giving out directions is

cool and all, but so's starting

your own webzine. We don't

advise either.



Father's Day is just around the

bend and for those undecided on

what to get Pops this year, we

suggest you thumb and click on

over kerouac.com - an inventory

of mail-orderable Beatnalia.

When you get there, be sure not

to get stuck on superficial

ironies like bleak, sad,

blue-eyed Jack Kerouac, avatar

of spontaneous prose, becoming

the object of an impulse buy.

Let's face it: ever since Howard

Gossage put Beethoven on a

sweatshirt 30 years ago,

wash-and-wear celebs and

anti-celeb coffee mugs have been

de rigeur, and why should the

fabulous Beat boys be denied

their silk-screen half-lives?

There's something for

everyone: to passive-aggressive

sons and daughters of deadbeat

dads, we recommend giving the

Kerouac Seiko Watch. For teen

dads (or soon to be teen dads),

dig an XL Jack Kerouac T.

Nothing like some new, ironic

apparel when you're going on the

road in a hurry.



It took us a while to figure out

the hubbub surround the opening

of downtown San Francisco's

latest mall, but then someone

pointed out that the $137

million glass and concrete

structure is the new library.

Still, our confusion was perhaps

prescient, as it turns out that

the "New Main," this "Library

for the 21st Century," (as it's

being called) is about as

reverent of the pursuit of

knowledge as a Waldenbooks

outlet. And, if essayist

Nicholson Baker is right, it

might have even fewer books. In

a speech given last week, Baker

asserted that City Librarian Ken

Dowlin has "committed a crime

against knowledge" by ridding

the library of at least two

hundred thousand books - a fifth

of the old library's collection.

Dowlin's motivation? To make

room for, among other things, a

"state of the art" online

catalog. Some might dismiss

Baker's concerns as reactionary

neo-Luddism, but we feel that

even the most wired among us

should take note. You might even -

dare we say it - take up a pen

and request, under California's

Public Records Act, to take a

look at the old catalog

yourself. The card catalog is

the only complete record of what

the library once contained, and

with 50% of the new library's

stacks closed to the public, it

seems that digitized media isn't

the only kind of information

that wants to be free.

courtesy of the Sucksters