S U C K

"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 29 January 1997. Updated every WEEKDAY.
 
 
 
 
 

Filler: 01.29.97
 
 

THE V-CHIP'S ELITE TRIP

Are you an elitist swine? Take this quiz and find out!

[Source: "Chip Thrills," by Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker, 1/20/97]

Read each quote and pick the appropriate response.

 

1. "According to one recent study, somewhere between 20 and 27 percent of the parents of four- to six-year-olds never restrict their children's viewing hours, never decide what programs they can watch, never change the channel when something objectionable comes on, and never forbid the watching of certain programs."

a) Shocking! Don't these people know about studies linking violence in society to violence on TV?
b) Heartening! There are some parents who have more to do than police their children's TV viewing.
c) What about "when something objectionable comes on" the floor?
d) This reminds me of that episode of Fantasy Island where Mr. Rourke says, "See, Tattoo, how sad Mr. and Mrs. Wilson look? This is because they have not learned that to love <dramatic pause> is to let go. But I think I can HELP them..."

 

2. "It has apparently never occurred to these parents that television can be a bad influence, and it strains credulity to think that the advent of the V-chip is going to wake them up."

a) Doesn't anything occur to these people, or are they just zombies who believe everything anyone tells them?!!
b) It has apparently never occurred to the remaining 80 percent that without television, their children will turn into awkward little outcasts.
c) It has apparently never occurred to the masses how much they could learn from pointy-nosed intellectuals who write for The New Yorker.
d) That reminds me of this scene in HBO's special Night of the Living Dead Parents in which this kid has to smack his dad over the head with a mallet just to wake him up.

 

3. "Yet their families - mainly lower-income, ill-educated - are the very ones most in need of protection from television violence."

This statement begs the question...

a) What can we do about these lower-class idiots to protect them from television violence? Maybe if they played outside - don't they have some kind of game called "drive-by"?
b) Did the study indicate that this 20 to 27 percent consists of "lower-income, ill-educated" families, or is the author making a higher-income, well-educated guess?
c) Ill-educated? Does that mean educated in how to make upper-crust people ill?
d) Isn't it true that Florida Evans from Good Times never had any problem teaching her kids right from wrong?

 

4. "Watching television for four or five hours a day is a very bad thing for children, even if every minute of what they watch is brilliant educational programming."

a) So cut down on TV - come on, give it a try! It's easier than leaping capital T in a single bound. Count with me, children - ONE hour of television, TWO hours of television...
b) Actually, four out of five doctors recommend public TV for their patients who watch TV.
c) Whatchoo talkin' 'bout, Willis?
d) Aaaaaay! TV is cool! Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale! It's exciting and new! Nanoo-Nanoo! So watch a little longer! Give us any chance, we'll take it! Come and knock on our door! Surprise, surprise, surprise! We've finally got a piece of the pi-hi-hi-hi-hie!

 

If you answered all As, you're elitist swine.

If you answered all Bs or Cs, you're appropriately cynical.

If you answered all Ds, you're a genius who once watched "too much" TV and now watches next to none.

 

 
 

 

HEADLINE O' THE WEEK

"Ebonics: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know but Were Afraid to Ax." [Village Voice, 1/14/97]

 

A SUPPOSEDLY GOOD BOOK I'LL NEVER READ

Title of a new book by David Foster Wallace, author of Infinite Jest: A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again.

 

OTHER GOOD TITLES FOR YOUNG AUTHORS:

A Supposedly Thrilling Thing I Never Wanted to Do in the First Place
A Supposedly Epic Drama I Fell Asleep During
A Supposedly Boring Play I Have Tickets to See Next Week
A Supposedly Friendly Waiter I Didn't Tip
A Supposedly Well-Done Steak I Sent Back to the Kitchen
A Supposedly Fun Place I'll Never Go Because I Don't Speak Spanish
A Supposedly Fun Drug I'm Doing As We Speak

 

 
 

NEED A FRIEND?

Consider the possibilities...

Overused Phrase Du Jour:
"___________ can be your friend!"

Some Examples!

"The trend can be your friend." [Calgary Herald, 3/10/96]

"Rapid change is their friend." [Wall Street Journal, 1/8/97]

"The IRS can be your friend." [ Business Week, 8/21/95]

Title of a brochure for Southwest Airlines: "Hey, Rules and Regulations Can Be Your Friends" [Business Wire, 4/25/96]

 

Other Things That Can Be Your Friend (According to Recently Published Articles):

Stress
Procrastination
Debt
Hitting the bottom
Silence
The golf course
The studio
The media
This sophisticated networking tool
The enemy
Discounts
Volatility
Technology
A stranger
Books
Gravity
Fear
The police
Sport vehicles

 
 

 

FAKE IT TO MAKE IT

Philosopher Alan Watts' advice to author John Brockman: "The secret of life is to be a real phony." [Details, 12/96]

Such simple advice, yet so true. Being in a phony can help you in so many different areas, including:

 

DINNER WITH THE PARENTS!

The Right Way:

 

The Wrong Way:

 

JOB INTERVIEWS!

The Right Way:

 

The Wrong Way:

 

MAKING NEW FRIENDS!

The Right Way:

 

The Wrong Way:

 

ROMANCE!

The Right Way:

 

The Wrong Way:

 

 

words
Polly Esther

pictures
Terry Colon

 

 
 
 





Polly Esther