"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 24 July 1997. Updated every WEEKDAY.

Hit & Run XCIII


[this is a picture of a boat. hi, my name is john, and i'm learning how to take over for tjay doing suck's production. 'tis cool so far.]

Far be it from us to go soft on

Canadians, or terrorists, but

watching this week's fish

intifada, it was impossible not

to feel a pang of sympathy for

our neighbors to the north. In

the first place, the claims of

the Canuck salmon fisherman

appear to be justified - we

really are helping ourselves to

more than our share of the

world's food supply (who'da

thunk it?). And second, the

ritual (and inevitable) burning

of Old Glory demonstrated once

again just how vulnerable to

insults a flag-burning amendment

would leave us. But most

heart-rending of all was the

Rumpelstiltskin quality of the

fishermen's anger. A mouse that

roars is still a mouse, and as

the enduring popularity of Da

Bulls, Sienfeld, and Disney make

clear, Americans find underdogs

merely contemptible. Still,

we're suckers for a little

guerrilla warfare, and in the

interest of putting this new

round of "54-40 or fight" behind

us, here's an olive branch: You

go, Canadians! You're beautiful

when you're angry.


[This is a picture of the Miss America Pageant winner. I can't wait for Geraldo to start hosting these.]

Between the lionization of the

world's most famous fashion

victim and the round-the-clock

updates on our own favorite fish

in a barrel (see above), it was

easy to miss the announcement of

Leonard Horn, president of the

Miss America organization. "This

year's telecast will focus on

maximizing each contestant's

ability to express her

individuality," he said, and we

wondered - what could that

possibly mean? In the face of

declining viewership and

depressingly homogenous

contestants, the only way we'd

believe any expression of

individuality is if we saw the

DNA sequence. As skimpy as some

of the costumes of the past have

been, we often felt that we

almost could. And, according to

Horn, the future holds even more

of the same. Or, er, less: For

the first time in the history of

the pageant, contestants will be

able to choose their own

swimsuits - including two-piece

suits - and will also choose

their own sandals. Horn contends

that suits must still have "a

full bottom" and come "no more

than an inch below the belly

button," but this sounds rather

like a junior-high dress code.

Why not let them come out

completely nude if they want?

After all, since the call is out

for a "yet-to-be-named

professional journalist" to ask

questions for the interview

portion, why not go all the way

and have a scenario like the

following: John McLaughlin

barking, "How would you propose

to reduce the federal DEFicit

... Miss IDAHO?"


[This is a photo of a guy and a keyboard. In the future, I plan to make these alt tags as useless as possible.]

It's unlikely that the

announcement that Wired Ventures

would be starting a search for a

CEO sent many techgeeks

scurrying to polish their

résumés. As we

understand it, CEO jobs aren't

the kinds of things you write

cover letters for, the mating

dance of media companies

resembling less the hygienic

come-on of the personals than

the sweaty groping of a South

Bay Lady's Night. Nonetheless,

we can't help but imagine what

qualifications the ideal

candidate might hope to obtain

or at least fabricate in the

hopes of catching Heidrick and

Struggles' roving eye. One Wired

spokesperson attributed Louis

Rossetto's departure to how

"it's just become increasingly

difficult for him to wear so

many hats," but we already knew

the best CEOs are two-faced.

Indeed, so are the best

employees. In a survey cited

this week in The Wall Street

Journal, 500 chief executives

rated the qualities they valued

most in their employees: 86

percent named loyalty as their

overriding concern (we've been

wondering why they replaced the

water coolers with Kool-Aid),

while perversely leaving

integrity to languish at the

bottom of the list. Talk about

mixed messages. Then again,

that's a kind of fidelity we can

live with - one that you don't

really mean.


[Picture of a martini glass: do not drink if you are operating heavy machinery, driving a motor vehicle, pregnant, a minor, or any combination of these.]

Forget shaken or stirred - the

martini's been beaten into sweet

submission in recent years,

victimized by the great chasm

between the inevitable

trendiness of its brand and its

bracing lack of blandness. Which

is simply to say: How can you

maintain the copiously copied

attitude of crushed-velvet

insouciance a martini glass

gives you when that first

horrible sip makes you grimace

like a kid choking down

cod-liver oil?


Well, you reengineer the recipe,

of course. And thus flavor

combinations that were best left

to Taos candleshops and the Ben

& Jerry's R&D lab, like

blueberry-hazelnut, were

inflicted upon the once-simple

drink of grey flannel

philanderers. The latest effort

to diminish the impact of the

silver bullet comes from those

opportunistic ginnovators at

Schieffelin & Somerset: they

call it Citraz, and the ads say,

"Finally, a martini that tastes

as good as you've been

pretending a martini tastes."

With its refreshing

lemon-lemon-lime tang and its

perky packaging, it's the

martini as wine cooler, and we

imagine it will be a big hit

amongst the denizens of the

cocktail nation as they continue

to obey their thirst for peer


courtesy of the Sucksters

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