"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 20 February 1997. Updated every WEEKDAY.

Hit & Run LXXII



Net-based media criticism already

has at least one hallowed

tradition: Notices in the "real"

press necessitate a response

relating how deeply

misunderstood and misrepresented

you are, en route to exposing

media-envy or dread mediaphobia.

Not one to lead when we can

follow, we pounce upon our

chance to play metamedia Medea:

A San Francisco Bay Guardian

columnist who imagines we

Sucksters are as "fat" (Not

true!) as the "court" we

satirize, and "rich" (Well...)

and "stupid" (Du-uh.) for

"sneer[ing] at underdogs." At

first, we couldn't help but

applaud the writer's

three-paragraph excuse to allude

to the Duke's ride (nice cars

are just the thing to piss off

alt.weekly readers), but then we

saw the column for the

self-reflexive opportunity it

was. Sarcasm-impaired Eric

Stephan claims he knows "a host

of folks who work long hours for

pay in the 20s - the low 20s,"

"web jockeys" he imagines

toiling in "electronic

sweatshops." Allowing that "in

real sweatshops employees can't

play Marathon during business

hours" (after work or on your

lunch hour is fine), he notes

"that'll get your ass fired in

South Park as well." (Er,

shouldn't it?) Setting aside how

he missed Dr. Dreidel's irony or

that $20K is hardly a sweatshop

wage, we've never actually seen

an "electronic sweatshop" -

outside of the Bay Guardian,

that is.



With the capture and arrest of

the Unabomber nearly a year ago,

America lost its best and

brightest exemplar of the

technophobe; since last April,

in fact, it's been downright

painful to watch us lose face in

the eyes of the world

neo-Luddite cabal. For a while,

our last best hope was Texe

Marrs, who issues screeds from

his home in Austin under the

aegis of Living Truth

Ministries, and who publishes

highly entertaining books like

Project L.U.C.I.D.: The Beast

666 Universal Human Control

System. Alas, the explosive

growth of Silicon Gulch has

taken its toll even on Texe, for

as of last fall he's got his own

website. It feels vaguely

discomfiting to trust a man who

rails against the Lucent/Lucifer

nexus through a modem, especially

when he seems intent on

constructing a few silicon

cages of his own. In any event, it

now appears we may have to cede

world dominance in paranoia to

the Iraqis, whose technology we

pretty much reduced to cuneiform

tablets back in 1991. One sign

of our being outpaced was the

recent editorial in

al-Jumhuriya, which stated that

the Internet "is one of the

American means to enter every

house in the world," and that

Americans want it "to become the

only source for controlling

human beings in the new

electronic village." Actually,

that sounds just about right...



Reduced-calorie bread? Two-ring

circuses? Our favorite

cartilaginous anti-Gilgamesh has

taken a detour on the road to

Dystopia, bless his little

wounded heart. Putative human

and erstwhile muckraker-lite

Geraldo Rivera went and got

himself some ethics, and now he

wants the world to know about

it. The anthropomorphic

personality has "penned" a talk

show "Bill of Rights and

Responsibilities." There are ten

items, just like on that other

Bill of Whatchamacall, including

such noble notions as "Solutions

Over Shock" and "Light Over

Heat." Makes you ache for the

old stone-'n'-chisel days, so

someone could hammer it into the

granite: Look on my works, ye

flighty, and despair! One new

rule is sure to harsh the mellow

of neo-Nazi chair-tossers

everywhere: There will, the

budding bodhisattva declares, be

"No Studio Violence" on the

Geraldo Rivera show. Our plucky

postmodern Plato might want to

take a small hint of warning,

though: If you live in a dark

cave full of methane gas, it

might be better just to curse

the darkness.



This newfound server-side ethical

V-Chip may explain why no one's

rushing to book the Butcher of

Brentwood. Or maybe they just

can't get a hold of him. Still,

after Goldman's Revenge, we

thought for sure he'd fork over

the $149 it takes to purchase a

listing at GuestFinder. Even at,

say, $100 a pop, he's got

250,000 autographs to push until

he's paid off those punitive

damages, and that's not even

counting taxes. Any way you

figure it, it's going to take a

lot of radio and TV talk show

appearances to move that kind of

product - so why hasn't he taken

advantage of "the Media's Finest

Resource for Guests, Experts,

and Story Ideas" yet? Actually,

remarkably few "media guests"

have chosen to use the service

so far - especially when all it

takes to qualify as an "expert"

is that $149 and the ability to

describe one's qualifications

using short snappy sentences and

lots of exclamation points.

Right now, our favorite

"personality" in the GuestFinder

database is Scott Shirai, whose

claim to fame is a knack for

helping people overcome their

fear of singing karaoke. Of

course, what we're really

looking for is someone who can

help us overcome our fear of

karaoke singers; for the moment,

that will just have to wait.


[Depp Tattoo]

While there have been few more

potent advertisements for the

skin trade than Gillian

Anderson's perforated

performance on The X-Files

(swiping the symbol from

Millennium brings a welcome new

meaning to "subliminal

tattoos"), some ink-slingers

seem to think that the fad's

gone too far for its own good.

Monday's New York Times quoted a

Village tat artist: "When people

are young and following trends

and reading Details magazine and

watching MTV, they tend to make

bad decisions." Obviously,

they've already made two, but

Jonathan T. Shaw no longer needs

to worry about "people getting

tattoos who are going to regret

it" - instead, they'll be

regretting their jobs. Last

week's New York Observer

reported that Details is

shifting focus: "Young men can

still lead a life of

independence and rebellion, but

they're doing it through work

rather than noserings and

tattoos." Thus James Truman,

Conde Nast's resident

philosopher-wizard (and, we

wonder, P.O.V. subscriber?) announced

that Details' brainless-yet-jaunty

"downtown" coverage would shift

to include more careers and

uptown work clothes since "sex,

drugs and rock 'n roll" have

started to feel quite

"passé." And if Details'

career advice proves as

lamentably ephemeral as their

fashion tips? At least laser

printing is cheaper than laser


courtesy of the Sucksters


The Sucksters