"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 17 October 1996. Updated every WEEKDAY.

Hit & Run LVI



Snapple may have taken a bath in

guava juice, but that doesn't

mean that the novelty beverage

market isn't still awash in

worthy competition. Seems like

every quarter brings a new

stream of sweetened water - no

matter that all possible

variations on flavor fall on a

limited sweet-to-even-sweeter

axis. Lava-lamp-filler-


Orbitz is the latest entry into

the waterfight; it looks much

like kibble suspended in

gelatinous goo, and has a

consistency strongly resembling

curdled milk. While some might

argue that their targeting of

cyberlescents turns repulsion

into a selling point (these are

the kids who grew up on

Goosebumps, after all), we're

picking up a case only for

posterity's sake - it'll look

great next to the Lyke exhibit

in the pop cultural

dustbin/museum of marketing




Another fascinating prediction on

the future of the Internet, this

time from the publication with

the last word on the web,

Entertainment Weekly: "[I]t's

apparent that we will not know

what this medium is and how it

will entwine itself into our

daily lives for at least 10

years." Those words lead off the

magazine's hopeful special

section on "Interactive

Entertainment," which features

such rewarmed classics as

cyberpranks, enhanced CDs, and a

list of who's most "popular"

online. We did learn that our

old friend Carla Sinclair is one

of "multimedia's most

influential, forward-thinking

folk," (presumably due to her

groundbreaking reference book,

Net Chick, and not to her Playboy

spread), and that she's working on a

cyberthriller, "Looking for

Douglas Coupland." If our

interactive fantasies are to be

fulfilled, we can only hope it's

a murder mystery.



Once upon a time, it was enough

for us to admit it. Now

everyone's gotten on the

bandwagon. From the primeval

self-aware sucksters to those

who would machine-gun fish in a

barrel, that giant sucking sound

you hear is a meme grown out of

control. If ever there was a

time to rein in the outbreak,

it's arrived. In the latest

smear campaign to hit the web,

Vincent Flanders has grabbed the

naughty puppy we call web design

and rubbed its nose in the poopy

mess. While the less said about

Flanders' "instant website -

just add Photoshop" approach,

the better, we've got a rub of

our own: The man has a hit

counter on his bio page. But hey -

we all know that you don't

have to know the first thing

about design to tell everyone

how to do it.



The gaggle of aging, overpainted

women gathered around the

Clinique display in a Santa

Monica mall last week was only

made unique by the fact that

they were waiting for their turn

on the computers. At two dozen

machines, white-coated

saleswomen were running

"Cyberface" software - to mix

and match makeup - and hawking

"Moisture On-Line" skin cream.

According to a Clinique

spokeswoman, "The web is a new

way to communicate, and

[Moisture On-Line] is a new way

to communicate with the skin."

Now, we've heard about mirror

sites and vanity pages, but this

is real inter-face redesign.

courtesy of the Sucksters