"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 1 April 1999. Updated every WEEKDAY.

Hit & Run CLXXII



High school sex fiends come in

so many varieties - the

pinching, butt-slapping gym

teacher, the self-servicing

schnook who teaches AP biology,

the love-struck baby factory, the

too-friendly vice principal who

looks like Uncle Junior from The

Sopranos - that you'd think

students would applaud the

discovery of a new and

relatively benign variety. But

when a student at Colorado's

Douglas County High School

"apparently found" a hunting

trip photo of an assistant

principal posing naked over a

dead antelope, the students

passed up the time-honored

tradition of cafeteria japery

and denunciations on the

bathroom walls in favor of a

media-friendly "Honk Your Horn

to Stop the Porn" rally. "It's

not right. It's sick,'' said one

student. "We don't want those

kinds of people teaching us."

After recovered memory therapy,

senior Andrew Nelson recalled a

horrific detention assigned by

the au naturel backwoodsman:

"The atmosphere was just creepy

and stuff. This guy's punishing

me, and the guy's got nude

pictures of himself hunting!"

Sophomore Christi Young's

summation spelled out the case's

high stakes: "We want the

parents to know who's

controlling us when we're in the

school five days a week, seven

hours a day or whatever." It's

not the junior antisex league's

stridency that bothers us so

much as its misguidedness. With

high schools graduating kids who

can barely fuck at fourth-grade

proficiency levels, can we

afford to let these New Virgins

run the classroom?



After years of seeing

auteur-brother duos proliferate

from the indie kitchen table of

Joel and Ethan Coen into the

Farrelly/Hughes/Wachowski movie

frat house, it was probably

inevitable that a sister act

would take Hollywood by storm.

Still, putting UCLA grads Sue

and Alicia Fleagleman in charge

of a live-action feature film of

Todd Haynes' all-Barbie

underground classic Superstar:

The Karen Carpenter Story seems

like 1999's most inspired idea

so far. The Sisters' inspired

Web site just confirms our

suspicion that the girls are

equal parts savant and idiot.

And they already have the

critical element for family-film

arts mystique. In conversations,

they "finish each others

sentences," so over the phone

it's impossible to know (or

care) which one you're talking



Todd Haynes' original movie was

blocked from distribution by

Richard Carpenter, who thought

it made him look like a



I think it was something to do

with the rights to use the

songs. But Richard's totally

cool with this project, and he's

authorized it or something.


So did you have to suck up to

him to get his approval? Does

Richard Carpenter really have

that kind of clout?


We have artistic control of the

movie, and the lawyer promised

there wouldn't be any

interference. It's in our



At the Independent Spirit Awards,

a lot of people dissed Bob and

Harvey Weinstein, calling them

sellout punks and whatnot.


Everybody at Miramax has been

great. This project took a lot

of courage.


What are the challenges of doing

a movie based on a short film

that stars Mattel dolls?


It wasn't so much the dolls as

the fact that it was based on

real people. Casting was a way

bigger headache than we thought.


Are you going to have Calista

Flockhart play Karen?


That would be totally rad! But

we're probably going to go with

an unknown.


Do you think Flockhart is



Well, she is really skinny, but

that's just my ... Yeah, I don't

think we should say anything

about that.


What's up with this weird Web

site with the old ladies? Are

they the two of you? Were you

"nontraditional students"?


We put that up just sort of

for fun. That's our Gram and her cousin

in the picture. We have a great

family, and we're always having

fun with our projects. I think

that's why we're getting so

much attention.


Well, actually, what got

you attention was your student

film - a feature film of the

TV show Facts of Life.


Mrs. Garrett rules. We have

a Car 54 collection on

video because Charlotte Rae

was on that show, and she's

got this incredibly

expressive face.


Did you feature any eating

disorders in that film? On the

show I recall Natalie was

supposed to be the fat girl, but

they all seemed to put on weight

in the last season.


We had one scene where Jo was

dealing with bulimia, but that

was just a secondary ...




Yeah. But I don't think we got

this project because of an

eating disorder scene. It's the

ability to tell a story that

really matters.



As any arms or crack dealer

knows, if you can sell the

problem and then sell the

solution, you've got a

bulletproof business plan.

Nowhere does this philosophy

work more efficiently than in

the computer security industry.

In its coverage of the Melissa

epidemic, ZDNet has taken the

giveth-with-both hands principle

of circular marketing to its

logical conclusion. After ably

describing how the virus spreads

through Word 97 and

mischievously replicates itself

through Microsoft Outlook, the

news site offers a set of links

to the various patches and

Symantec magic bullets available

to cure the disease. And after

that, it offers the disease

itself: compare-and-save links

to purchase Word 97 and

Microsoft Outlook. (And if

you're getting any "funny"

ideas, please be aware that Suck

never opens any attached files.)



The concept of the reality check

has attained an awful half-life

far beyond its employment in

Mervyn's commercials or by Dow

naysayers. Right now the

Standish Group is offering a

luxurious security blanket to

anybody who has successfully

potty-trained Linus Torvalds'

freeware brainchild. And the

latest to board the clue train

is, well, Clue Train, a site

designed to provide moral

support to the disenfranchised

Web masses (and promotion for

The Sphere) by offering up a

ringing denunciation of

corporatese and an updated

version of Luther's 95 Theses

for people who don't have any

serious papal abuses to worry

about. Frankly, we're big fans of

Clue Train's brand of

anti-pabulum pabulum: "Markets

consist of human beings, not

demographic sectors"; "We are

immune to advertising. Just

forget it"; and best of all, "We

can't go on together with

suspicious minds." But it raises

some questions: Haven't we heard

all this, again and again, less

than a year ago? And more

important, is this some kind of

joke? Or is unintended comedy

the new price we have to pay for

keepin' it real?

courtesy of the Sucksters



[Purchase the Suck Book here]