S U C K

"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 21 September 1998. Updated every WEEKDAY.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mondo Porno

 

[my brother seems to thinks that elliott smith's xo is going to be the next nevermind.
'mark my words' he said 'it will change the music industry like nirvana's second did.]

"This is information driven,

word driven," blather-driven

anchorsaur Dan Rather intoned,

as if such a disclaimer might

somehow temper the televisual

inadequacy of Ken Starr's

36-volume POTUS-ripper. While

Starr's decision to deliver all

those unnecessary boxes

suggested a heretofore unseen

Biscuit-like theatricality,

they were still, after all, just

boxes, good for maybe a minute

of desultory coverage - "Here

comes another ..." - and then

what? Despite the First

Fellator's mostly unrequited

eagerness to swallow our leader,

Idiotgate, for all the blanket

coverage TV's tirelessly gawking

heads have given it, has been

woefully short on money shots.

Even the terse, Carver-caliber

descriptions of semi-clothed

restroom grappling and

penetration-by-proxy were an

unfulfilling consolation for the

sort of full-blown, toe-curling

climax that Starr's US$40

million fuck-raking demanded.

 

In the wake of the Starr

Report's essential lexicentric

dullness, old-time Barnumesque

ballyhoo served as the media's

major compensatory action.

"Excruciatingly vivid language,"

Newsweek tsked. "Incredibly

offensive," The Washington Post

harrumphed. "Beyond the pale," the

San Jose Mercury News gasped.

CBS News correspondent Bob

Schieffer grew comically

tongue-tied as he tried to

describe Clinton's typically

contradictory insistence upon

impulsive self-denial. ("Take a

deep breath," Dan Rather advised

his flustered colleague, with

the practiced air of a man

well-versed in the techniques of

coaching a virgin partner

through the challenging vagaries

of dirty talk.)

 

As it turned out, the public,

which patronizes AOL chat rooms,

watches Dawson's Creek, and

spends over $4 billion a year on

porn videos, failed to fall for

such hyperbole: Apparently it

understands that spontaneous

ashtray impressions and

late-night phone sex hardly

represent the cutting edge of

sexual deviance these days.

According to the Dallas Morning

News, local TV stations airing

live network coverage of the

allegedly explicit Report did

prompt hundreds of complaints -

viewers were angry "about the

interruption of regular daytime

shows."

 

[based on what sonicnet has to say, he may be right]

Alas, a picture is worth a

thousand OIC footnotes - what

the Starr Report ultimately

suffered from was a lack of

information, specifically that

of the real-time, networked,

multimedia variety. This is,

after all, the age of DIY

celebrities porn and surveillance

entertainment; had Starr adopted

the techniques of DC neighbor

Jennifer Ringley, who attracts

more attention reading the

latest copy of Jane than a thousand

textibitionists do transcribing

the most intimate details of

their lives, the networks might

have managed to convince viewers

that the Starr Report was a

worthwhile alternative to Days

of Our Lives. As it is, they

were left clamoring for the

videotape of Clinton's

occasionally captious grand jury

testimony - which, however

"tedious and dull" it might be,

is still an improvement over

showing extreme close-ups of the

word "cigar," as CNN and several

other networks were forced to

resort to in their initial

coverage of the Starr Report.

 

Of course, the Report's lack of

strong visual hooks was perhaps

intentional; it ended up hurting

Clinton the most. Consider, for

example, if the following

"scenes" had been dramatized in

a cinematically compelling

manner: Clinton as Ultimate

Multitasker, simultaneously

giving ear time to Senators and

crotch time to Lewinsky. Clinton

as Expert Negotiator, obtaining

six drop-everything-and-

bring-me-a-pizza hummers in

exchange for listening to 45

minutes worth of the Blow Job

Czar's thoughts on education

reform. ("Those school uniforms

are so heinous!") Clinton as

Human Database, instantly

recalling Lewinsky's full name,

home phone number, work phone

number, and thong size during

post-rendezvous pop quizzes. If

anything, the portrait of

Clinton as smooth-talking,

super-efficient workaholic that

emerges from the Starr Report is

a highly complimentary one - but

who paid enough attention to

really notice?

 

[every folkie in american will be scouted out at their brainwash or coffeehouse gigs (anyone reember Jewel?)
and thrown million dollar contracts.
]

Freedom has always been closely

aligned with privacy, but

QuickCams, Web pages, and a

seemingly limitless number of

additional technologies have

pretty much inverted that

paradigm. In short, The Truman

Show had it all wrong: True

freedom lies not in escaping

hypermediation, but in attaining

it. Overwhelming his would-be

censors with too much

information, the hypermediated

individual is able to do

whatever he wants - how, to use

the most obvious example, might

one possibly scandalize Howard

Stern, who's been auto-outing

his most embarrassing

predilections, faults, and

obsessions on a daily basis for

the last two decades? The

hypermediated individual places

himself at the center of

attention, and thus, the center

of power; he turns his enemies

into viewers, and what is a

viewer, ultimately, but a fan?

Incidents and character traits

that might have once brought him

down simply make him

interesting. Had Clinton chosen

to broadcast his affairs all

along, had he created

www.myfirstintern.com and

treated us to round-the-clock,

unedited access to his affairs,

we wouldn't be condemning him

now - we'd be asking him to up

the ante.

 

Instead, a new Cold War has

descended upon America, where

Republicans, Democrats, and the

media are all aiming the threat

of exposure at one another in

the hope of keeping anyone else

from firing first. In the midst

of this sex-scandal standoff,

Clinton has a historic

opportunity to lead us into a

new era, to serve as a role

model in the great cultural

shift from the photo-op to the

panopticon - a world where real,

pervasive openness replaces

carefully manufactured candor.

While full-disclosure pioneers

like Ringley have already begun

exploring the possibility of

Web-based hypermediation, the

technology to which Clinton has

access, and the audience that he

is able to command, would allow

him to popularize the idea of

hypermediation in a manner that

no one else could duplicate.

 

[get out your twelvestrings everyone, there's going to be a party.]

Recently, a professor of

cybernetics in England

implanted a computer chip into

his arm that allows him to

explore a number of new

interactive possibilities. And

third-wave soda entrepreneurs

were demonstrating new

technologies for wiring vending

machines to the Web, thereby

increasing micromanagement

capabilities. In the wake of

such innovations, the obvious

question arises: If they can

connect nutty professors and

cans of Orange Crush to the Web,

why not the President and the

rest of our philandering

electorate as well? While the

latest Brill's Content reports

that playboy.com is currently

receiving 60 million more

pageviews per month than

whitehouse.gov, that would

change quickly were Clinton to

agree to 24-hour QuickCam

coverage, plus interactive

micromanagement by his

constituents. With his

limited-deployment blow jobs and

his wary Christmas kisses, the

President has always conducted

his affairs with an eye toward

public opinion - so why not just

poll us, in real-time, as each

new genital-stimulation

opportunity presents itself? We

could assess the current

candidate via RealVideo and

choose from among various

actions that Clinton might take;

the President, in turn, could

evaluate our responses via a

small flat-screen panel embedded

in his forearm and then act

accordingly. It's not exactly

the electronic town hall that

Ross Perot imagined, but you can

be sure that it would boost

voter turnout to unprecedented

levels.




courtesy of St. Huck