"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 29 October 1998. Updated every WEEKDAY.
Hit & Run CLIII



A recent series of mishaps with

our Acme-brand, fact-checking

machine has made us acutely

aware of the challenges that even

journalism's giants face in

finding out the truth. Case in

point: The New Yorker's

futuristic "Next" issue contains

a laudatory article about

SpaceDev, a San Diego company

founded to probe and mine the

moon and other heavenly profit

centers. A probe scheduled to

launch in 2001 may even find

precious metals in the

SpaveDev-owned Asteroid Nereus

(Asteroid B-612, however, does

not figure into the company's

strategy.) Maybe the

zero-gravity environment makes

it easier for reporters to free

fall for far-fetched business

plans, but the article doesn't

mention that SpaceDev is also

facing Securities and Exchange

Commission actions on three

counts of making fraudulent

claims to investors. We'd chalk

up the omission to an honest

oversight (our inquiries to the

magazine have been greeted with

vacuumlike silence), but the

article contains other black

holes that suggest The New

Yorker may be planning to

achieve profitability by

shilling penny stocks. While

acknowledging that SpaceDev's

stock (which does not, in fact,

trade on NASDAQ as the article

claims) "fluctuates

wildly," author Peter Landesman

sidesteps the fact that during the

past year, these fluctuations

have stayed in the strictly

boiler-room range of 11/16 to 5

1/2. And the article's vision of

extraterrestrial mining towns

and whorehouses (not to mention

pan-galactic straw bosses) goes

beyond even the company's

high-flown plan, which mainly involves

collecting gas money from

scientists who want to hitch

equipment on SpaceDev's NEAP

probe, according to SpaceDev

engineer Terrance Yee.

We can understand The New

Yorker's desire to be on the

good side of SpaceDev chairman

James Benson, just in case his

company does discover

extraterrestrial gold one day. But at

this point, the ideal discovery

for all concerned would probably

be a Romulan cloaking device.



Two men in pink parachutes

sky-dived from the Empire State

Building's observation deck

Saturday, but if the daredevils

were intending any kind of

statement beyond fashion, it

definitely was not heard from

coast to coast. At the same time

that they were carrying out

this adventure, California

Senate candidate Republican Matt

Fong was landing in hot water

for a US$50,000 contribution he

made earlier this year to the

antigay Traditional Values

Coalition. After some deft

backpedaling, Fong managed to

retain the endorsement of

California's division of the Log

Cabin Club, the gay

Republican support group that last

made news when Bob Dole

ceremonially returned its

campaign contributions in 1996.

Which raises a question: Who are

these Log Cabin Republicans, and

how much abuse are they going to

take before they realize that

they're just not welcome in the

Grand (but apparently not

Fabulous) Old Party? The obvious

answer: The Log Cabiners see the

handwriting on the wall. Given

what we know about voter

turnout, there may not be any

Democrats left in office

after next week, so the Log

Cabin Club's preparation for the

new bosses may make a certain

kind of sense. Other political

niche groups, including Jews for

Hitler, Dogs Against Belly

Scratching, and Albinos United

for Direct Sunlight, were

undecided at press time.



First Bo Gritz's wife drives the

hard-bitten merc to shoot

himself in the chest like Tojo,

then sub-Mulder Art Bell gets

knocked off his radio show

(though only temporarily, it

seems) by an unnamed "family

crisis." While the

anti-government paranoid has

been advanced as the It Guy of

the 1990s, the incident is strong

evidence that matters of the

heart remain the real unsolved

mysteries. Let's face it:

Obsessed Dale Gribble types have

always been more likely to end

up autostimulating to Gillian

Anderson JPEGs than scoring with

Julia Roberts in the back seats

of their cabs. The only

unfashionable rebel you can

count on to find a suitable

bride these days is Chucky.

Speaking of which, some capsule

Yahoo movie reviews of the

lethal doll's latest romance may

provide advice for the lovelorn

or at least preparation for our

upcoming Halloween issue:




While John Glenn's voyage today

may yet show that senior

citizens still Can, the race for

one seat in Glenn's old house

indicates that many seniors just

Can't. Fred Tuttle, a

79-year-old Vermont dairy farmer

and GOP Senate candidate, will

face off against incumbent

Patrick Leahy next week, but not

before setting new standards in

codgerly quaintness and

incoherence. In the time-honored

manner of the Green Mountain

state, Tuttle got a leg up by

bashing an out-of-stater - in

this case, Jack McMullen, his

Massachussetts-born rival - in the

Republican primary. But Tuttle's

own hoaxed-earth campaign (he

crustily maintains that he won't

even vote for himself)

that's based on the 1996

movie Man with a Plan, which

starred Tuttle himself, suggests

a great dadaist stealth

maneuver. We're not so sanguine.

Again, it comes down to who

actually votes, and this is

another chance for the GOP to

bring some fresh blood into the

Senate. After all, Strom

Thurmond can't live forever. On

the plus side, it's been

determined that Tuttle thinks

"impeachment" is an ingredient

in a good cobbler.



After three years of maintaining

top-notch content while the word

"suck" was downgraded into a

minor nonepithet fit even for

grade schoolers and Andy Rooney,

we had assumed that the

long-standing meshugas about the

site's name would have

dissipated. No such luck. This

week, former Suck reader "Randal

Jarvis" has informed us that he

is unsubscribing because he

"doesn't really like that name"

on his computer, and one "Royce

K. DeBow Sr." has done the same,

primly informing us that "it's

the name that is the problem."

Meanwhile, self-described Parent

"Catherine B. Simpson" hesitates

to let her children search

HotBot because the cursed name

is visible at the top of the

page. About the only show of

support we've had lately has

come from Arthur Barry, the King

of Suction Cups. Unfortunately,

His Highness is merely looking

to move some fridge-adherents

with the Suck logo attached. Far

more typical has been the

experience of our Number-One guy

David Nicol, who has been

working these many months to get

interesting discussions going on

his alt.fan.suckdotcom

newsgroup. After months of

extremely limited success, Nicol

found his group glutted with

messages the other day - all of

them binary fellatio images

posted by some covert pornobot.

While we continue to support

Nicol in his tireless (albeit

unauthorized) efforts to get the

message out there, the fact that

he's gotten more traffic from

dirty pictures than he ever did

from discussions of Suck's

actual content is probably worth

pondering. You can't escape

fate, and while the scuttlebutt

these days centers on how the

Lycos acquisition will affect

us, we can't avoid the feeling

that our long-term destiny is to

end up someday in the ample

pocket of Al Goldstein.

courtesy of the Sucksters

[Purchase the Suck Book here]