"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 10 June 1999. Updated every WEEKDAY.




Complain all you want about the

cabinet-level permanence of

anti-teenager hysteria; at least

the kids get to be part of a big

national story with which they can

someday bore their own children.

But the search for solutions

seems to be taking the experts

into increasingly remote areas

of hard-to-find information.

This week's solutions involve

depriving pesky teenyboppers of

both education and

entertainment. In Pensacola,

Florida, administrators are

lobbying to expel young Tawana

Dawson after the sophomore was

found with a concealed pair of

nail clippers. Nationwide,

theater owners have

"voluntarily" agreed to

President Clinton's plan for

box-office carding at films whose

grownup MPAA ratings indicate

content worth seeing. In its

awards ceremony tonight, MTV

will censor a Farrelly brother,

while the Bravo network has

edited out a teen-sniper satire

on Michael Moore's The Awful

Truth (preparatory, no doubt, to

canceling the rotund firebrand's

show entirely). Security-minded

Nebraska parent Bob Stiver is

busily wiring his kids' schools

for panoptic-style surveillance.

But where's the guarantee that

the school official who watches

the security cameras won't be

teaching your kids how to make

pipe bombs? Being part of the

problem may no longer be a bar

to being part of the solution.

Spike Lee's eagerly anticipated

joint Summer of Sam will detail

how a hot New York summer was in

part responsible for spawning

the city's first serial-killer

superstar. And with the East

Coast in the grip of a new heat

wave, it may be worth noting

recent evidence that global

warming is actually being caused

by the unruly sun itself.

Whether or not this has anything

to do with the Knicks' troubled

performance against the Pacers

remains to be seen, but new

legislation will no doubt be

required either way.



If you feel your eyelids getting

heavy, it may due to the fact

that the domain name

registration wars are really

starting to heat up. The

Australian pretenders at

Internic.com have been forced to

pony up 160 grand to compensate

for pretending to be Network

Solutions' erstwhile

internic.net (which has been

"controversially" folded into

the Dotcom Peoples' sticky,

interactive, new

media–business solutions

portal). But before NSI can

celebrate, it's being confronted

with a more legitimate

challenger. Register.com, which

began handling domain

registrations Monday, features

such improvements as a real-time

update service (an actual

enhancement for anybody who has

confronted Network Solutions'

DMV-style update and

registration processes). Of

course, Network Solutions has

long had its shadow army of

unskilled parodists - who in

turn have spawned pissy rivals

of their own - so any ideas that

register.com will undo the

company's monopoly or that

anyone will really care may be

premature. Just to keep things

in perspective, the TV ratings

kingdom returned to normal last

week, as SMART, SRI Research's

would-be Nielsen killer, folded

its cue cards.



If you don't count The Fonz, our

latest beloved public figure to

get a big money break with an

online offering is C. Everett

Koop, the once and future

surgeon general of the United

States. Tuesday's public

offering of DrKoop.com, a

medical site bearing the Amish

Spock's imprimatur (prior to the

IPO, the company's name was

changed from the jawbreaking

Empower Health), bucked a

depressed market for Net IPOs

and netted Koop an estimated $31

million. Analysts credited a

strong demand for health-related

Net offerings, characterized by

the recent merger of Healtheon

and WebMD. (On a Yahoo message

board, IPOMom99 simply

exclaimed "Dr. Koop! Keeper!")

We'd like to assume that the

sudden explosion in surgeon

general megabucks will be good

for our own health, but we're

not convinced all the possible

opportunities are being

explored. Eric Fayard, owner of

the DrEvil.com domain, informs

us he has no plans to take his

product public.



Speaking of which, we've long

suspected the hype for Austin

Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me

is a sort of compensation for

adults who feel left out of The

Phantom Menace marketing

bonanza. A viewing of the actual

movie has done little to allay

those suspicions. But just as

Austin Powers' relatively

snappy pace is a relief after

the Von Stroheimesque bloat of

the Star Wars prequel (or

NyQuil, if you prefer), the Mike

Myers brand of product placement

at least offers the fun of


endorsements. In the film's

cleverest placement, Starbucks

is the official coffee of Evil's

empire, a switcheroo that can

both amuse the zealous

malcontents (the movie also

offers a nifty coffee/poop joke)

and provide a new reference to

Howard Schultz's scandalously

obscure labor of love. It also

seems to be a slap at Myers'

one-time partner Dana Carvey,

who tried the same

knowing-placement trick - with

colossally failed results - on

his now-forgotten TV show. And

just to complete the circle, we

hope you'll click through our

banner ad. By the way, we'd like to

assure you that we consider this

the stand-up-and-cheer movie of

the year, a shagadelic scene that

will make Oscar say, "Yeah, baby!"

courtesy of the Sucksters


[Purchase the Suck Book here]