for 10 July 1996. Updated every WEDNESDAY.



You make the call! A short quiz for wily Web lovers everywhere.

1. "Perhaps it's just my imagination, but on my last visit to the Primo Patio Cafe [see also: where cyberculture eats lunch], the atmosphere seemed strained. The laughter sounded forced. People appeared to be gripping their glasses of iced tea just a bit too tightly."

With this quote, the writer has discovered evidence of:

a) impending doom in WebWorld, USA
b) a dangerously strong strain of coffee circulating in South Park despite a federal crackdown in the area
c) a dangerously bad strain of acid circulating in South Park despite a federal crackdown in the area
d) the fact that anyone with a pen and paper can sell a story on how the Internet is overhyped


2. "IPOs are a scam."

What the writer really means is:

a) I'm not familiar with even the most basic investment strategy
b) inaccurate generalizations make for provocative, controversial pieces
c) eating lunch at the Primo Patio Cafe has taught me lots!


3. Finish this sentence:

"I find myself unmoved by the prospect of a tragic collapse of this business model..."

a) because I'm sick of all those articles about how GREAT the Internet is! The Internet is stupid.
b) because I don't have stock or options (other than to write apocalyptic essays like this one).
c) because when massive numbers of people in my town lose their jobs, I'll be able to walk around all day saying, "Haa-haaaa! Burrrrn!"


4. "The goal is to sell out."

With this statement, I am reminded:

a) of what the goal is
b) that someday I might get the modern appliances and stain-resistant carpets I deserve
c) all of the above



1. d   2. b   3. c   4. c

[Quotes from "What comes after the cyber gold rush?" by Andrew Leonard, San Francisco Bay Guardian, 7/9/96]


"Most Californians aren't as hip or edgy [as New Yorkers]. Overweight and ugly people can advance in the computer world, but are drowned in infancy in New York media circles." [Jon Katz in Netizen, 7/1/96]



"The British edition of Vogue magazine, criticized recently for using ultra-thin models, will produce fashion spreads featuring large women. 'We want round and lovely roly-poly women,' a spokesperson for the magazine told the Sunday Telegraph newspaper." [Media Central, 7/3/96]




Mariah Carey: "When I watch TV and see those poor, starving kids all over the world, I can't help but cry. I mean, I'd love to be skinny like that, but not with all those flies and death and stuff." [WENN (World Entertainment News Network) and quoted on Radio 1 by Kevin Greening and Chris Evans]



Overused marketing phrase of the moment:

"I'm not a doctor, but I play one on TV."

Need a side-splitting turn of phrase? Just fill in the blank!

I'm not __________, but I play one on TV.

A few examples from recent publications:

a teacher
a governor
a bigot
a cop
a high-powered network executive
a dummy
a feminist
a baseball player
a real baseball commissioner
a straight woman
a homosexual
a straight man
a gay man's wife
a villain
an overbearing doctor you'd love to lock in a closet with Barney
a celebrity
a rock singer
a real president
a sexist pig
a meat-eater
a real person


A few more realistic examples:

  • I'm not a clever or even remotely interesting person, but I play one on TV.

  • I'm not a musician, but I play one on MTV.

  • I'm not a nice guy, but I play one over dinner and drinks.

  • I'm not an expert, but I play one at board meetings.

  • I'm not an asshole, but I play one on the Web.


[Shitty People]

Liv Tyler: "I don't like to hang out with shitty people." [Paper, 6/96]



"It's been just seven years since Queen Mu and I first used the phrase "cyberculture'..." [R.U. Sirius in the San Francisco Examiner, 6/30/96]




And a journalist without a steady job is a journalist who goes to work for Microsoft...

"A journalist who worries about Microsoft putting out a magazine is a journalist with a steady job." [Michael Kinsley in Slate, 6/24/96]



"I play expendable guitar, and to keep a roof over my head I sponge off my parents as much as possible and steal from my workplace."

"Q. What is the Secret Society of Eli's? A. We are a power-hungry organization of mutants and billionaires bent on world domination. Q. How long has this organization existed? A. Since 11/13/95, while the Supreme Eli was really bored at the computer lab. "

[Rich Kid]

"I'm more interested in kids... Kids who may be making their first millions well before they are old enough for college, merely because they had an idea and their Internet account made it possible for them to capitalize it into a finanacial reality."

"So what I propose is giving over a certain amount of these orphans to pedophiles. You become a registered pedophile and you get access to these kids... you just solve so many social problems at once: you're doing something useful with the surplus of kids that nobody wants, and you're keeping the pedophiles away from the children of Middle America. That is family values."

"It was very runny. But quite nice."


Our ever-skeptical readers choose:

After All, What Doesn't Suck?

Additional reader suggestions:

Suck, 99.9% Impure
Get Suck. It Pays.
You Make Me Suck!
Give Us This Day Our Daily Suck
Just Suck It!
Keep On Suckin'
Got Suck?
We Can't Suck Enough
Just Suck It And See
Fear and Loathing in Suck Vegas


And our favorite submissions:

You Deserve a Suck Today
A Suck Is Better Than A Poke In The Eye With a Sharp Stick
Mean People Suck
Mean People Work at Suck


courtesy of
Polly Esther