"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 6 February 1997. Updated every WEEKDAY.

Hit & Run LXX



Wags who speculated on Martha

Stewart's plan for world

domination will probably not be

comforted by the formation of

her new company, which bears the

daunting designation of Martha

Stewart Living Omnimedia LLC.

This portentously named creation

results from Stewart's

successful buyout of her

magazine and other ventures from

her erstwhile sugar daddy turned

Ike Turner, Time Warner. Neither

side will comment on the

monetary terms of the buyout,

which gives the Decor Dominatrix

final say over the TV, book, and

magazine franchise already

bearing her name, but Stewart's

frequent complaints about her

need for "autonomy" mean that it

has been a long time coming.

It's been coming long enough, in

fact, for someone else to make

the joke that seems obvious,

speculating on what kind of

precedent this revolt of a

trademarked persona might set:

Citing working conditions that   
do not meet the standards of the 
UFE, the United Federation of    
Elves, 2,000 altitudinally-      
challenged Keebler workers       
marched off the assembly         
line today. "Input means more    
than filling chocolate wafers    
with marshmallow creme,"         
declared a spokes-elf for the    
group. "We've had it up to here  
with the predatory attitude of   

We wouldn't worry, though. The

kind of media magic worked this

week by Stewart couldn't be

accomplished by just any living

brand. While her monthly

calendar has always hinted at

the work of preternatural powers

(or, coincidentally, an army of

invisible elves), on Tuesday

rumors of Martha Stewart's

metaphysical talents were

confirmed: She finally succeeded

in transcending Time.



If Stewart slipped out of Time's

grasp, perhaps it was because

their hands were occupied with

more pressing concerns, as the

rich, unmistakable aroma of

well-pulled pud is still

emanating from a certain

someone's desk at Time this

week, proving that one hand is

all it takes to be gainfully

employed in the news business.

(And that five imaginary women

are better than one.) How else

to explain the concupiscence of

Christopher John Farley's recent

mash note to the Spice Girls?

Though he fully admits their

music is derivative and

undistinguished, Mr. Farley

nevertheless finds the Spice

Girls to be "toned, enegetic,

and attractive... Mel B., with

her curly hair and pierced

tongue; cool, unsmiling

Victoria; Mel C., with her dark

locks and sassy nose stud;

red-haired Geri... and blond

'Baby Spice' Emma." Egad, C.J.!

Keep it in your pants! Or are

you just popping a woodie for

their politics? In the February

issue of the British magazine

Loaded, the pert young fascists

are quoted as saying,

"[S]ocialism is bad... We Spice

Girls are true Thatcherites...

She was the first Spice Girl,

the pioneer of our ideology."

Memo to Norman Pearlstine:

First, dose the coffee with

saltpeter, then keep an eye out

for errant pinups of naked




Twenty-two years after Umberto

Eco visited America's wax

musuems, historical theme parks,

and political memorials and

pointed out that in American

culture "the real thing" is

often its most convincing

facsimile, we've graduated from

wax to pixels to flesh. Not that

we begrudge "It Girl" Allegra

Coleman, aka Ali Larter, her big

break. In fact, career

counselors would do well to

study her approach. Like Los

Angeles billboard queen

Angelyne, Larter has become

famous without accomplishing a

damn thing - famous, you might

say, for being nobody. ("But

what a body!" We hear Farley's

review already.) Now look: She's

to star in a Hollywood movie as

herself; in other words, she's

in an excellent position to

leverage her faux celebrities to

become real. And if you thought

synthespians were

computer-generated actors, think

again. Coleman/Larter will

portray one. The fact that this

"high-concept romantic-comedy

project" about an "editor who

creates a computer-generated

woman to grace the cover of his

magazine, and then has to find a

real woman to fill the part" is

itself a clone of Meet John Doe

incubated in the body of Weird

Science only adds to the

delicious aroma of media vertigo

that first wafted from the scent

strips of last November's Esquire.

Our only hope is that Larter's

enough of a success that she can

pay her therapist should she

ever wake up one morning and

just not feel herself.



The Coleman news only proves a

theory we've held for some time

now: Successful marketing

in the '90s requires either

postmodern metabackflips or

modern-primitive megaheadbutts -

ploys so obvious they hurt. So

it's no surprise that the

Marine's latest conscription

campaign takes as sensational a

form as CNN scandal. Indeed, the

Camp Lejeune piercing parties

are the Marines' best propaganda

efforts since Marine Doom, an

official product of the Marine

Corps that's designed to get

joystick Rambos thinking about

the possibilities of truly 3-D

carnage. Sure, in the wake of

the now-notorious

"blood-winging" incidents,

wherein gung-ho paratroopers

pounded the "sharp posts of

metal insignias" into the chests

of their obedient charges,

high-ranking mouthpieces issued

all the usual soundbite

condemnations - "disturbed and

disgusted," said Defense

Secretary William Cohen. But

wasn't that the, uh, point? What

better way to prove to today's

alt.culture youth that the

leathernecks truly are

hard corps?

courtesy of the Sucksters


The Sucksters