"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 12 December 1996. Updated every WEEKDAY.

Hit & Run LXIV



Ever since Texas passed its law

permitting citizens to carry

concealed handguns, we've been

expecting a string of amusing,

if untidy, news items recalling

the state's outlaw past - or at

least some sort of Texas-sized

one-upsmanship in the

heartwarmingly ghoulish trend of

employees "going postal."

Imagine our disappointment when

we learned that the best the

Lone Star State can come up with

these days is virtual

vituperation and

cybersolicitation. The Austin

American-Statesman reported last

Sunday that a child-abuse

caseworker, after learning she

would be pink-slipped for

misconduct, broadcast a "long,

rambling email" to more than

1200 employees statewide. And to

think she could have had a Glock

9mm! Instead, recipients of the

email learned about the hem

length of her dresses, her brand

of pantyhose (Hanes), and the

peccadillos of her colleagues.

And as for sex, well, the notion

of a virtual Chicken Ranch seems

merely silly. Though charged

with "organized crime -

aggravated promotion of

prostitution," the male

prostitution ring allegedly led

by one William Bloss seems like

a pretty dull lot. No doubt the

most interesting part of the

whole affair will involve the

disclosure of a long list of

johns - from San Antonio,

Dallas, and Houston - who sought

male "companionship" via the

Nitelife USA home page. Given

the probable affluence of these

cybersupplicants, is it too much

to hope for that we'll soon be

learning how many oil barons it

takes to lick a ...sigh...yes,

it probably is.



Say you make a product that less

than 20 percent of Americans

need on a regular basis. Would

you be satisfied with such

meager market share? Of course

not. And neither are the makers

of Viractin Cold Sore & Fever

Blister Treatment, apparently.

Indeed, why else would they

create a website that so

incongruously celebrates the

most effective means of

spreading the herpes simplex

virus that leads to those itchy,

irruptive emblems of drunk and

careless stranger-licking?

"Ah... your first kiss,"

Viractin's copywriter coos,

fever-blistered tongue planted

firmly in pustulous cheek.

"Remember how it felt? How it

lingered on your lips for days?"

Tell them all about it and you

could win a Viractin Vanity

pack. And that rash slip of the

tongue at Club Med with that

sleazy real estate broker from

St. Louis - the kiss that really

lingered? For that they've got a

free sample.



Seems that plans are afoot to

adapt Neal Stephenson's

cyberpunk-meets-VR classic Snow

Crash for the silver screen. As

Stephenson originally wrote the

book as a graphic novel, he must

be hoping that the third

medium's the charm. Who will

star in this repurposed roman?

We can only hope it's

anyone but that dullard

Johnny-Mnemonic-come-lately. We

know someone who fits the role

of the Asian-African-American

hero of the Metaverse perfectly:

an accomplished media hacker and

budding actor - well, he's

starred in a few Nike ads,

anyway. If he can be persuaded

to take time off from his PGA

career, prepare to see posters

screaming "Tiger Woods IS Hiro

Protagonist" at a theater near



[Wired Staff]

It's one thing to call something

a media circus, quite another to

be in the center ring. So when

we heard the latest rumor to

latch itself, remora-like, to

Wired Ventures, we were less

surprised than spooked: A Disney

buyout would have the lyrically

devious justice of a Faulkner

tale. But we hardly had time to

dust off the mouse ears before

someone debabble-ized our

dyslexia and pointed out that

anyone who would state that

"most of the essential Wired  
staff would be maintained,    
but... in conjunction with    
Disney's special effects      
department [some] would       
gradually be replaced by      
animatronic and somewhat      
physically enhanced replicas" 


obviously hasn't seen the Netizen

TV show, where such a switch has

already taken place. Ah, well.

The New Times York is not The New

York Times, though with

reporting like this -

"At that point, actual writing   
would be done by random text     
generators, written in           
JavaScript, while graphics would 
be chosen at random from random  
Corel clip-art disks, much as    
things are done at present."     


- one might argue that they have

better tech coverage.

courtesy of the Sucksters