"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 5 March 1998. Updated every WEEKDAY.
Hit & Run CXXI


[Last night i had a dream that Bob Mould and knapsack were playing 
in the Safeway by my parents old house.  ]

Thanks, but no thanks: A group

of "nationally known

journalists" have declared

themselves, like so many before

them, the watchdogs of the

Internet, in a statement of

purpose of Kinsleyesque

proportions. In time-honored

journalistic tradition, the

Annenberg School's Online

Journalism Review hopes to

"apply standards" to the

"Internet problems" it

identifies, including, but not

limited to, "incompetent

reporting," "superficiality,"

"preying on unsound minds," and,

our personal favorite,

"interference with law

enforcement." (We're sorry,

officer, we didn't realize that

press release was part of a

crime scene.) Among the Review's

beta offerings? An article on

Web stats, which not only fails

to point out that Web traffic

reporting is generations ahead

of other media, but then, in

what must be evidence of its

lack of "technical elitism,"

comes to the extremely

well-researched conclusion that

it's better to "invest in a

Magic 8-Ball." Finally, the

prescription of the Online

Journalism Review - which should

not be confused with the

Columbia Journalism Review - for

this online hotbed of sin and

iniquity is not just fear,

uncertainty, and doubt, but also

"new legislation" and a "new

generation of trained and

motivated people producing

online content at better

salaries." This new class of

highly paid content producers -

they wouldn't be graduates of

Annenberg, would they?


[The set was taking place inside of a faux grape arbor often found in suburban liquor stores.]

Bullet in the head©? If

you've recently been the victim

of a brutal crime,

congratulations - you may own an

exciting new asset! (And be sure

to call your intellectual

property lawyer at once, before

the bleeding stops.) Georgia

State Representative Chuck Sims,

an undertaker in the legislative

off-season, recently introduced

a bill that would tax news

stories focusing on crimes. If

enacted, Sims' media

monkeywrench would impose a 10

percent tax on the gross revenue

raised by each story published

or broadcast - but would only

kick in after a conviction,

leaving reporters with a gimme

for arrests and trials. "They

are selling it for a profit,"

Sims says. "This bill is

restoring property rights to the

victim of the story." (Pretty

neat phrase, yes? Someone should

forward that "victim of the

story" thing to Mike McCurry.

We're guessing he could get some

laughs with it.) The proposal is

obviously unconstitutional, and

obviously unworkable besides,

but Suck wholeheartedly supports

it: We certainly intend to

copyright our many

high-school-era ass-kickings,

for starters, and besides, what

other business pays points on

the gross to someone who's only

produced a single work?


[When i arrived, Bob was already into his set and the crowd was passing around a case of 
toilet paper as if it were a beach ball at a huge concert.]

True, The Love Boat is destined

to sail again, but until that

happens, reality litigation

shows seem to be the handiest

life preservers for

demi-celebrities with capsized

careers. First there was John

Lydon on Judge Judy, and on

Monday, there was underutilized

(but still, somehow,

overexposed) freak-show emcee

Jim Rose on People's Court.

Looking alarmingly like the

alarming-looking Peter O'Toole,

Rose was there to defend himself

against a vendor suing him for

his failure to pay for a bed of

nails he commissioned. The whole

thing was a publicity event as

shoddily constructed as the

contested piece of merchandise;

Rose, a showman of Barnumesque

brilliance when he feels like

it, went through his paces with

the enervated charm of a

reformed alcoholic

half-heartedly recounting

drinking anecdotes to an

audience he knows will never

fully grasp the import of his

exploits. Can't someone at least

get him an infomercial gig?


[I had missed knapsack's set.]

Almost two years ago, in

typically prescient fashion, the

rebel marketeers at the ad

industry's most innovative

consulting firm were the first

to propose the inevitable

marriage of mallternative

beautification techniques and

loyalty marketing: corporate

logo tattoos in exchange for

sponsorship fees and product

discounts. Actual advertisers

were surprisingly slow to

implement the concept, but

finally, a company has embraced

the new approach. According to

the latest issue of Ad Age,

Black Star beer recently

sponsored a contest: a new

Harley for the person who showed

up at the company's

Montana-based brewery with the

biggest permanent Black Star

logo emblazoned on his or her

body. In exchange for the

US$22,000 bike, the winning

billboard allocated his entire

back for Black Star promotional

purposes. The brewery, which

old-school Suck readers may

remember as one of the site's

first (but short-lived)

advertisers, was so pleased with

the contest that it plans to

hold several more in the future.

Which, of course, leads to the

somewhat depressing conclusion

that Suck, in the pantheon of

marketing vehicles, is actually

somewhat less effective than a

drunk biker in Montana. Please

don't tell our advertisers.

courtesy of the Sucksters