S U C K

"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 27 March 1997. Updated every WEEKDAY.
 
 
 
 
 

Hit & Run LXXVII

 

[BONK]

Perhaps you have been wondering

to yourself: How much would

45,600 Hostess Cupcakes and

Sno-Balls weigh if I stacked

them one upon another into a

10-foot snack ziggurat? The

answer - duly provided by Jack

Scheffler, intrepid

found-sculpture artist and art

history professor at the

University of Pittsburgh at

Bradford - is 3 tons. Wow, 10

feet, 3 tons of pop-art

sculpture! It's more Warhol than

Warhol! That's some statement

about ... what, exactly,

Professor Scheffler? Things that

Americans eat? Things that

Americans buy? Things that

Americans bake? "Well," he

replies, "I'm really into the

mutual relationship of artist

and patron. This is like the

relationship between Pope Julian

the Second and Michaelangelo."

Oh, of course. The Hostess

Corporation seems very pious.

Does that mean you are devoted

to the company? "I am an avid

supporter of Hostess ... so long

as they support me." Oh, I get

it, ha ha. You know what side

the bread's buttered on, eh? So

have you eaten a lot of Hostess

snack products then?

"Occasionally, if we stepped on

one, we ate it." Oh right, waste

not, want not. By the way, what

are you going to do with 3 tons

of snack-cake products when

you're done with the

installation? "We're going to

give them to charity." Oh.

That's very gracious of you. I'm

sure the local indigents are

thoroughly malnourished and in

dire need of snack products.

What's next, Professor? "Hostess

has a plant in Egypt. I'd like

to recreate the Great Pyramids

at Giza." Oh. Of course.

 

[Pogo]

In a rare reversal of the old

"violent media leads to

real-life violence" argument,

Jack Kevorkian has taken up the

arts. Of course, some would

argue that "real-life violence"

is an unfair description of the

plug-pulling pathologist's

penchant for gentle potassium

chloride injections - but,

really, with his body count in

the mid-40s now, you have to

wonder. Not even Gacy or Bundy

was that productive. And in a

move that can only add fuel to

such speculations, Kevorkian has

taken up the popular serial-

killer pastime of painting.

Unlike Gacy's famous clowns,

Kevorkian's oil paintings are

undeniably gruesome. According

to The New York Times, they

feature "severed heads,

moldering skulls, and rotting

corpses." Kevorkian's also

planning to release a compact

disc of jazz tunes called A Very

Still Life: The Kevorkian

Suite. Such diversity is

impressive, but we have to

wonder if it might eventually

lead to the good doctor's

undoing. Stretching bandwidth

too thin, and across too many

media, has certainly euthanized

a career or two. It may yet kill

more.

 

[Welcome Home]

In an age when there are more

magazines dedicated to

particular lifestyles than

readers who have the time to

pursue them, it only makes sense

that someone would launch a

publication dedicated to helping

the proletariat make the most of

the hours between work and

sleep. Those unconvinced by Fast

Company's intimations that such

spare time is a prelude to

economic irrelevance can now

enjoy - well, read -

Entertainment@Home, the first

magazine aimed exclusively at

cocooners. Exploring in-home fun

with the same childlike glee

that Outside brings to the

not-so-great outdoors, the new

glossy posits expensive

home-theater equipment as the

answer to premillennium blahs,

in probing pieces about digital

video disc, satellite

television, and - improbably -

ordering food by phone (how

could they sound a death-knell

for nightclubbing with a

Cocktail Editor on the

masthead?). Those who can't

shake the feeling that online

chats and cybersex are no

substitute for the real thing

will doubtless be reassured by

the magazine's cover story on

Sharon Stone, who apparently

likes nothing better than

curling up with a good film and

several thousand dollars' worth

of audio-video equipment. Wonder

if any of them run on

batteries....

 

[Kramer Head]

It's easy to doubt the existence

of a real Jerry Seinfeld, but

Cosmo Kramer's real-world

incarnation is so tangible - so

clickable - we can almost smell

his stogie. With his

inspirational impact on modern

media rapidly devolving in a

spiral of diminishing returns,

Kenny Kramer has taken to the

Web, affixing a modest price tag

to the online world's scarcest

resource: reality. And why not?

Michael Richards and Co. are

about as likely to be sharing

those US$1 mil per-episode

salaries with their real-world

counterparts as they'd be to

time-share their Emmy with Al,

the real Soup Nazi. Kramer's

Reality Tour is, of course, a

no-brainer, and the press

response has been predictably

enthusiastic. The only question

is whether the "real" George and

the "real" Elaine will follow

Kenny into the refracted

limelight? Bobby Allan Brooks,

the purported progenitor of

Larry David's Castanza, is

taking the money but staying

mum. As he told the publicist at

Nabisco, who recruited him and

Kenny for a series of Banana Nut

Cereal commercials: "'I may be a

Yankees fan, and I may look like

George, but just because I've

hung out with these guys for

years doesn't make me George,'

Bobby Allan says emphatically.

'I'm the spokesman for Banana

Nut Bread Instant Multigrain Hot

Cereal and that's it!'"



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