S U C K

"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 5 June 1997. Updated every WEEKDAY.
 
 
 
 
 

Hit & Run LXXXVII

 

[Zines, Zines are cool, this is a zine, and it's cool.]

Saturday's The Great Sellout:

Zine Books panel at the

Printer's Row book fair in

Chicago invoked some crucial

issues (it would have been cool

if it had actually addressed

them): Was the balding Playboy

advisor Chip Rowe querying the

all-female panel about white-

male-corporate-oppression going

to blow our irony circuits

before anyone even opened their

mouths? Was Pagan Kennedy really

starting to crack up when, after

warning of destructive trends in

the publishing industry, she

answered a question about her

participation in those trends

with a resounding, broken-voiced

"Does that make me a BAD

PERSON?" Did the fact that these

veteran zinesters self-published

long before they dreamed of

merely publishing matter more or

less than that all they wanted

to talk about was pop culture

and sex? Was any of this as

compelling as Darby Romeo's

nutty socks? When it's hard to

distinguish someone's

self-revelation from a column in

the Chicago Tribune's Tempo

section with a few swear

words thrown in, it's hard

to get worked up about them

selling out, and it'll be

even harder to worry if the

books tank and the publishers

move on. One somehow imagines

that, back before the personal

was the political, nobody was

smart enough to nail that fat

phoney Marx about his book deal.

Then, as now, it's hardly the

point.

 

[Time magazine.  It's a pretty good read, about the same as NewsWeek, though.]

We thought Tim McVeigh had

already laid to rest the idea of

twentysomethings as a bunch of

do-nothing layabouts. But Time,

which scored a hit with its 1965

cover story on "Today's Young

People," can't stop rerunning

its archives. Generation X -

miraculously still in its 20s

after nearly a decade - is also

still ironic ("No icon and

certainly no commercial is safe

from their irony, their sarcasm,

or their remote control."),

still politically mature ("Every

time we hear of a new scandal,

we're like 'Yup!' she says with

a shrug."), and - in a howling

self-reference worthy of Sterne -

"Wary of packaged news." For

those of us who learned in

school that a generation is

about 20-25 years, it's jarring

to see American ages divided

into "matures" (born anytime

from Plymouth Rock to 1946),

"boomers" (1946-1964), "Gen

Xers" ('65-'76), and "others"

(post-bicentennial, and there's

a dismaying 72.4 million of

those). The "matures" alone have

a range of "formative

experiences" broad enough to

include both The Grapes of

Wrath (book 1939, movie 1940)

and "outer space" (Gagarin 1961,

Armstrong 1969). Apparently,

it's like that "Giants win the

Pennant!" game - if you were

even alive when it happened, you

can claim to have been in the

stadium. What unites Gen X is

somewhat less surprising:

advertising. While the article

cites important national and

cultural events in delineating

the evolution of boomers'

group-hug approach to life,

Eddie Bauer shopping bags and

Sprite tags provide the

anthropologically significant

evidence explaining Gen-Xer

traits like "materialism" and

"competitiveness." Gee, how'd

that happen? Also notable:

"Self-mockery is a mark of X-er

sophistication." They're half

right. We were thinking more of

Xer sophistry.

 

[This is a dog.  This is a dog with a gun.  This is a .gif of a dog with a gun up to his head.]

We know it sounds preposterous to

anyone who's only familiar with

the Chevy Chase movies and the

current newsrack proxy, but in

the late '70s, National Lampoon

was once so funny almost every

new issue brought tears to one's

eyes. All that's left today,

alas, is the brand; the magazine

itself exists only to fulfill a

contract requirement. In return

for using the National Lampoon

imprimatur to push videos,

greeting cards, games, and

whatever else can be profitably

licensed, J2, the magazine's

corporate parent, must print at

least one issue a year.

According, to Media Central, J2's

latest entrepreneurial vision is

a Las Vegas restaurant called

the National Lampoon Cafe. And

why not? It's just as easy to

make bad food as bad jokes, and

given the success of Planet

Hollywood and the Hard Rock

Cafe, it seems that people are

much more likely to pay for the

latter. Of course, we wish the

Lampoon well in this endeavour,

as it premonishes our own

culinary denouement: in the year

2012, Suck fish taco stands in

every mall food court on the

planet.

 

[One Trick Pony.]

A maudlin article in the Sunday

New York Times noted that the

two 15-year-old Central Park

(alleged) killers rented Quentin

Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs

shortly before heading toward

the park reservoir and

(allegedly) disemboweling a

drinking buddy. As they paid for

the tape, the clerk asked

suspect Daphne Abdela "Are you

drunk?" The tart tomboy replied,

"Why - are you?" But in a

heartening twist for Hollywood

apologists, the pair did not

watch the tape. Instead, they

headed out into the night. In

other words, tragedy might have

been averted if only they had

watched Tarantino's bloody chef

d'oeuvre. Taking a page from

Catherine McKinnon's legal

enemies, the studios should

argue that violent videos keep

killers at home, providing a

more, ah, constructive outlet

for aggressive urges. Whether or

not you consider Q-Tip's own

video clerk/junkie past as proof

of this hypothesis depends upon

your take on his post-Pulp

career; certainly, his acting

(out) has amounted to

professional suicide. Will his

inability to stay behind the

camera where he belongs mean we

can look forward to a lovely,

only-in-the-fin-de-millennium

series of self-copy-catting

crimes? In a

résumé remarkable

for its repetitiveness, he's

about the only director whose

moves he hasn't ripped off.


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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