"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 10 April 1997. Updated every WEEKDAY.

Hit & Run LXXIX


[Tatooed Dude]

From the gnomes who brought you

David Bowie public comes the

very latest in late capitalism:

the Geek Bond. On its surface,

investment bank Fahnestock &

Co.'s idea to port its celebrity

fund-raising scheme to the

software biz seems like just one

more way to pump cash at Silicon

Valley. But what's really at

stake is the future role of the

industry's star programmers -

Fahnestock wants to treat them

like rock idols. "Any software

component that generates a

licensing revenue or royalties

would be an easy candidate" for

a bond issue, says the wizard.

That software could be music,

books, or movies, but

Fahnestock's specifically

interested in code, or, more

precisely the people who write

it. The point is, anyone who can

generate a decent demo can get a

much better valuation for their

services in the stock market

than in the old-fashioned job

market. We've said it before:

Sell out early and often.


[Sarah vowell]

While Suck has done more than its

share to propagate the notion of

media circle-jerks, it

nonetheless surprises us that so

many in the Spin offices would

take rock criticism's tradition

of glad-handing so literally.

Last week the New York Observer

reported on the sexual

harassment trail against Spin

editor and publisher (as well as

porn magnate fils) Bob Guccione

Jr. In evidence at this point:

Executive editor Mark

Blackwell's admission to one

writer that "I don't want to

fuck with you, I want to fuck

you" (knowing what we do about

Spin's editorial practices, he

probably went ahead and fucked

with her writing, anyway) and a

paper-trail of credit card

receipts and memos tracking

Guccione's preferential

treatment of the female staffers

with whom he was, um, making

beautiful music. The most

galling part of the relatively

tame proceedings? The memos

demanding assignments for

Guccione's latest squeeze

("though editors were not

thrilled with their work")

assume differing levels of

quality among the staffers (If

the women at Spin slept their

way onto the masthead, how do

they explain Eric Weisbard's

tenure there?), as well as

reinforce the idea that chick

rock crits need a helping (or

pawing) hand. As if they didn't

have enough image problems.


According to The New York Times,

Milos Forman's airbrushed

infomercial for Larry Flynt

Publishing has helped

reinvigorate Hustler's newsstand

sales, but the momentary good

publicity may not be enough to

counter increasing competition.

And now that the Web has joined

the VCR and cable as yet another

audience-stealing porn platform,

Hustler's future looks even

shakier than a drunken

amateur-night stripper on 6-inch

heels: What skinflint's going to

pay US$5.99 per issue to see

Flynt's skin when he can get

thousands of far raunchier money

shots on the Web for free? It's

a dilemma that's got Allan

MacDonnell, Hustler's executive

editor, stretching the truth

like it was a spandex G-string:

"You have to give them more than

what they get from a video -

Hustler appeals to the brain as

well as the sexual instincts."

When your table of contents has

included names like Norman

Mailer and Hunter Thompson,

that's the sort of lie you might

be able to pull off. But when

your primary literary claim to

fame is Chester the Molester,

not even the most gullible fluff

girl in Encino would swallow




Pity Fiona Giles, the poor book

editor who thinks packing a

penis is a "hot concept."

Giles' book Dick for a Day may

well be the latest, most

in-your-face version of the sort

of cyborg silliness made popular

by biologist Donna Haraway and

performance artist Rosanne

Stone, but according to our

sources her paean to a

well-stocked codpiece is just a

tad behind the eight ball(s). It's

not so much that the book itself

mightn't be fine entertainment,

or that the Web site's most

interactive feature - the

Throbber 2000 - isn't quaintly

appealing as a historical relic.

It's just that, well, schlepping

a schlong is so gosh-darned

old-fashioned - as, for that

matter, is sporting genitals of

any kind. Just take a gander at

the work of Richard Stouthamer

and Menno Schilthuizen, two

Dutchmen who've discovered that

Wolbachia - a bacterium that

resides in the reproductive

systems of certain insects -

causes parthenogenesis. The

implication, it seems, is that

such asexual reproduction might

actually be contagious. If only

Marshall Applewhite had




Those mired in what Freud called

the oral stage are almost always

on the lookout for items to fill

their "thing" hole - you know,

stuff to fill the void created

by the gestalt of stagflation,

shitty music, overwork, and one

too many caffeine crashes.

Clothing is one obvious pacifier

(though not obvious enough for

some - remember the trend in

sartorial self-abasement a few

years back, when adolescent

girls actually wore pacifiers as

accessories?), and now "fast

food meets fast fashion" is

back, courtesy of cordwainer

Steve Madden. Madden's new

high-concept notion is called

"Ice Tees," and involves

packaging skimpy T-shirts

(wholesale price: $10.50) in a

tin-and-cardboard can which

doubles as piggy bank. Add a

plastic ice-cube ring (the sine

qua non of haute trash,

dontcherknow) and the whole

thing retails for $25.00. In

WWD, Madden justified his 138

percent markup as an example of

the Hydrox-versus-Oreo binary:

"I always wanted to pay more for

Oreos." Let us say we don't

think this way of thinking bodes

too well for the Zeitgeist, and

as your humble fashion advisors

may we suggest the inexpensive Suck

T instead? For $25, we'll even

wear one for you! Feel the


courtesy of the Sucksters

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The Fish

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The Barrel
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The Gun

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