"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 15 August 1996. Updated every WEEKDAY.

Hit & Run XLVII



Amid all the hoopla of

Microsoft's release this week of

Internet Explorer 3.0, and

Netscape's chest-pounding

response, we wouldn't want to

lose sight of the cads down in

Cupertino. A week ago, Apple

proudly announced they had

shipped their 25 millionth

Macintosh, making the dubious

claim that "since Macs are

shared by several users on

average, there are now more than

60 million Mac users in the

world." We doubt people are

lining up at the Salvation Army

to get their mitts on that

slothful old Mac Classic.

Apple's claim is a little like

the beery logic we exercised in

college: if you get enough

people to share the cost of the

keg, it'll eventually be free

for everyone. "Depreciation" is

the technical term for it. Apple

may want to let whoever does

their taxes know about that one.


[All Hail Cheesus]

It used to be that people with

too much time and too much money

would thoughtfully hide

themselves away from the rest of

us, raising horses or supporting

wrestling or snorting cocaine

like Hoovers stuck in overdrive.

But the web has set them free

and now they're parading their

predilections with abandon, to

the point of spamming every

email address on our staff page.

Which is worse: having enough

free time to waste building

something like "Cheeses of

Nazareth" or having the $100

InterNIC domain registration fee

with nothing better to spend it

on than cheesesofnazareth.com?

We could even forgive the whole

mess had the perpetrator gotten,

say - a book deal out of it. But

all spam and no pork? Now

that's cheesy.



It was novel a year ago when

sites out to promote themselves

started passing out awards, the

prize being the opportunity to

promote someone else's site.

Having won more than our share

of these "awards" we were

impressed when someone turned

the table on the presenters and

issued a press release without

the obligatory link. A month

later when they added Internet

Phone and announced their

impending IPO, we were eager to

get a piece of the action. Now

that we find that their product

may hold the cure for AIDS and

cancer, it's time to let our

readers in on the magic. No,

it's not a Genentech - Netscape

partnership, it's Ostriches On

Line. We can't say much more

than "just one more way that

Ostriches will be featured much

more in the daily vocabulary."



Details has never been cagey

about its mission: it's Cosmo

for boys. Lifestyle accessories

and pseudoadventures safely

categorized and sorted by price

range/ease of use/fear factor

(it takes a certain kind of man

to really get away with rubber

if that's not all he's wearing).

Still, it was a blast of

refreshing blatancy to find the

"Crib Notes" guide in the

September issue, which laid out

in, er, detail exactly what to

have on hand in your swinging

bachelor pad to make it even

more "swinging," we suppose. No

real surprises (martini glass,

snowboard, PowerBook) but one:

"The Baffler: Impress guests

with appreciation of elitist

rants." At least they had the

good sense to put Being Digital

under the sofa, next to Hustler

where it belongs.



The late sixties were an

excellent era for social

deviants, punch-drunk

pseudoartists and irresponsible

self-publishers. The sicko cadre

who devised Zap Comix - R.

Crumb, Victor Moscoso, Spain

Rodriguez, Rick Griffin and

Robert Williams - exemplified

the state of the art of all

three categories, a cabal of

sociopathic fuckups whose

collective scrawlpower was

transcended only by their

ability to inspire legitimate

terror in the hearts of

concerned parents and defenders

of morality. The last perp,

Robert Williams, was the group's

Walt Disney of smut, a cunning

ink-and-paint technician who

crafted the sort of glorious

nirvana that never failed to

resonate with the average

15-year-old youth offender, an

active bong in one hand and his

not-yet-manhood in the other.

One of the last great moments of

his comix days was a cover he

designed for a one-shot

mini-comic entitled "Felch," a

project which set an Olympic

standard for offensiveness and

was, in fact, created with the

explicit intent of provoking a

legal decision for the limits of

self-expression (and

self-debasement) in comicdom.



They had their day in court and

won, and while some may claim it

to have been a Pyrrhic victory,

we can't deny that we'd be

pleased to see a modern digital

equivalent - something that

transgressed every dictum of

taste while flaunting almost

effortless creativity and, even,

dare we say it, artistry.

Whoever might be responsible for

such a feat, it won't be Mr.

Williams. His perversions,

consistently juvenile though

still occasionally brilliant,

have leaped from the comic book

page and onto the walls of SoHo

galleries and boho drug dens.

But maybe Razorfish's new online

gallery of his paintings will

provide inspiration for a

budding pubescent delinquent


courtesy of the Sucksters