"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 11 December 1997. Updated every WEEKDAY.
Hit & Run CXI


[and of course, everyone loves the presents]

In Pop-Up Video, tagged from its

very first bloop as "hypertext

television," VH1 execs saw

something potentially less of a

yawn than its recycled lineup of

MTV hand-me-downs. Indeed,

Pop-Up Video has become the

capstone of the channel's

transformation from "Music

First" to "The Story Behind the

Music." (You can't stop the

music, but you can always turn

it down and talk over it.) We're

all for setting your sights low

- Pop-Up's creators aim merely

to be "less annoying" than the

pretentious videos they annotate

- but PUV's media pranksters'

aversion to commercial vision

strikes us as too radical for

their own good. They got in a

lather when VH1 let a stodgy

Baby Bell "pop" an ad with the

show's trademark captions,

muttering Salem-style curses

when said captions were rented

to the producers of Sabrina, the

Teenage Witch. But in their

eagerness to deflate inept brand

infringement - especially in its

more nefarious,

"officially-sanctioned" forms -

Tad Low and Woody Thompson may

be missing out on opportunities

for brand extensions. (Chris

Rock's Pop-Up Rodney King

Beating Video is just the

beginning, and Pop-Up Pants Pam

and Tommy is far from the end.)

Rather than begrudging VH1's

insistence on popping a cap in

its own ass, shouldn't they be

wheedling, instead, for a

per-unit royalty on each bullet



[that is what the holidaze are all about]

Of course, sleeping with the big

boys is invariably associated

with morning-after soreness in

the hindquarters. Had John

Kricfalusi held on to the rights

to Ren & Stimpy, PETA might have

one less atrocity to worry

about, but then again, we'd

likely never have been treated

to the domesticated duo's

flatulence in the first place.

What's a used, abused, and

contused cartoonist to do? Hawk

plush dolls on the Home Shopping

Channel? No, take it digital, as

John K's Spumco studios have

with their recent flurry of

experimentation in Web

animation, Web sales, and now,

Web subscriptions and

recruiting. It being close to

Christmas, the Spumco gang have

devised a gift for themselves,

involving 24 frames per second,

16 digits on your Visa card, 5

to 12 of your favorite friends,

and one drooling idiot boy and

his sexpot girlfriend. As a

stocking stuffer, Spumco's

hoping that a few of the latter

might respond to its open call

for dignity-free, but entirely

honorable, slave labor. As they

say, idiocy is not something you

are but something you learn, and

once mastered never forgotten.

As we say, dare to be stupid.


[little white lights and cookies with sprinkles on top]

We chart the cultural dependence

on the language of addiction at

least as far back as Robert

Palmer, if not the Buzzcocks.

But while many like to think

that they're immune to the

stuff, research keeps piling up

(most recently from a Reuters

survey) suggesting that you're

addicted to Suck. Well, you're

addicted to "Internet abuse,"

"data accumulation," and

"fruitless browsing," anyway.

You're a "generation on the

rise" - "info-junkies" the lot

of you - and if there were any

hope at all, it just wouldn't be

worth mentioning, would it?

While you ponder the unlikely

inversion where strapping a TV

to your head goes unremarked,

but a few hours worth of

concentrated reading is an

epidemic on the rise, resist the

temptation to hunt, peck to

death, and desecrate the body of

the modern progenitor to the

"fruitless browsing" trend,

Waldo. Trust us - it'll all sort

itself out in due time, without

your ever needing to dim your

monitor. "Forty-six percent of

those surveyed said their

children already prefer

computers to their peers," the

newsflash says. But with this

sort of datadrip clogging the

screens of their Pentium boxes,

the kids will be back to the

infinitely less boring sandbox

in no time.

courtesy of the Sucksters