"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 15 May 1997. Updated every WEEKDAY.

Hit & Run LXXXIV



More proof that Hollywood is out

of touch with American values:

In the upcoming Sony Pictures release

Air Force One, the "president of

the United States" is kidnapped

by "terrorists." Great concept,

but since the prez is played by

Harrison Ford (in some inspired

casting, smirking apparatchik

Glenn Close has the Walter

Mondale role), it's unlikely

we'll get the payoff we want -

namely, seeing a terrorist bust

a cap in the commander in

chief's ass. Really, what's the

point of putting the chief exec

in danger if you're not going to

kill him? Doesn't Sony realize

that Americans flocked to see

Independence Day in the mistaken

belief that the president is in

the White House when it

explodes? Twenty years ago, the

nukes-gone-wild classic

Twilight's Last Gleaming treated

us to the shooting of a movie

president, but since then,

Hollywood has gone soft

(Absolute Power fudged its term

limitation scene; JFK merely

rehashed the Zapruder film; Mars

Attacks copped out by casting

the already dead Jack Nicholson

as the leader of the free

world). Nobody (well, almost

nobody) wants to see the real

president assassinated - we

can't afford the TV time. But a

celluloid celebration of

executive disposability is as

American as apple pie. It

reminds us that - Reagan aside -

we've never needed a king.


[Pure Breath]

While the spectacle of an

in-your-face George Kennedy

bragging about his fresh breath

was once enough to shock even

the sleepiest late night TV

viewer into a state of buy-now

agitation, apparently that's no

longer the case. Thus, the

makers of BreathAsure have

launched a new product,

PureBreath, and a new TV

campaign to go with it. Instead

of aging B-movie arm-wavers,

PureBreath is aimed at German

shepherds, poodles, and other

pets. The commercial features a

series of women making out with

their frisky, fresh-breathed

loyal companions, and gushing

like Barbara DeAngelis acolytes

about the new levels of intimacy

they've been able to achieve

because of PureBreath. Hmmmm.

But even if you're not looking

for a closer relationship with

that no-good, lazy spaniel of

yours, PureBreath might still be

for you. Save for a few

inconsequential extra

ingredients, PureBreath and

BreathAsure are the same product

- except that PureBreath gives

you 250 capsules for US$19.95

while BreathAsure gives you only




While we're fully willing to

admit to a shameless obsession

with business culture and a

penchant for journalistic

omphaloskepsis, you have to

grant us in return that it's a

lot more fun to quack about Ted

Turner's latest manic episode

than it is to discuss the policy

ramifications of endangered

salamanders. Imagine our

delight, therefore, when Peter

Montague and the folks at

Rachel's Enviroment and Health

Weekly recently devoted an

earnest, multi-issue series to a

discussion of lead poisoning,

yet still had the courtesy to

hand us a punch line on a silver

platter. The history of leaded

gasoline, Montague writes, is a

textbook case of corporations -

in this case GM, Standard Oil,

and Du Pont - strong-arming

government by means of

bought-and-paid-for scientific

"truths." During the period 1945

to 1971, in fact, up to 275,000

tons of lead dust belched forth

from automobiles every year,

while the potential effect on

humans remained obscured in a

near-criminal conspiracy. The

result, quips Montague, is that

"the generation of

decision-makers in power today -

in government and in

corporations - is made up of

people who are suffering mental

irritability and disfunction

[sic] as a result of severe

chronic lead insult." When seen

is this light, both Nike ads and

Crossfire now seem touchingly

pathetic, and we may now have to

devise a new editorial mission:

Pity the poor poisoned bastards,

for they know not what they do.



Our repeated disavowals of

pornographic content have done

little to prevent New York types

from treating Suck any

differently than a stroke mag:

Those who know us seem to depend

on us, but admitting it within

the pages of a family

publication ... well, it's

easier to pretend you use the

Web to, you know, read up on

what's going on in print media.

It's a kind of self-abuse we

have no hope of competing with,

and so whether you measure

success according to notoriety

or notability, Suck's awkward

position in relation to old

media is evidence that elitism

is overrated. But did we need

Salon (of all places) to remind

us of that? This week brought

the second in what looks to be a

series in celebration of the

second-rate. Two months after

David Futrelle's March apologia

for alright is this week's

exoneration of excreta. In and

of itself, we find this kind of

obvious auto-errata-cism kind of

cute (even flattering - "Trash

Lit 101" speaks of the swipes

that intellectuals take at pop

culture as akin to "shooting

dead, bloated fish in a barrel"

and admits a "good cheap shot

can sometimes really make your

morning"). And hey, pandering is

what made America great. More

surprising, then, than Salon's

unwillingness to write over

their readers' heads is the

editors' fascination with the

area below the belt. An article

by William Powers in this week's

New Republic finds Salon editors

Gary Kamiya and David Talbot

confessing that "the word 'sex'

in the title of an article has a

dramatic effect on readership,"

and Powers noting that "regular

readers of Salon cannot have

missed the increasing frequency

of what Kamiya calls 'the magic

word.'" Gee, wish we'd thought

of that.

courtesy of the Sucksters

Fish Image
The Fish

[Netscape Inbox Direct]

Barrel Image

The Barrel
[Predictions by Suck]

Gun Image
The Gun

Fish Teaser

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Other Work By
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