for 30 October 1996. Updated every WEDNESDAY.



Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of "I was drawn to online retailing because I understand the business model: you buy products at one price and sell them at a higher price." [Fast Company, 10-11/96]




Michael Ovitz, appearing on Larry King Live: "I probably know about 1% of what I need to know." [Time, 10/14/96]



Chris O'Donnell, sensitive New Age guy, on women: "I don't like loud, obnoxious women... And it would horrify me if she leaned over to reach and get something and had a bush of hair coming out of her armpit. Gone. See you later... I do not like women with hairy armpits. I think it's disgusting. I don't think it's ladylike. I don't think it's feminine. I don't like it. I think it's gross." [US, 11/96]



Bob Dole, pointing to children in Red Bank, New Jersey: "I see a lot of $500 credits running around here." [The Economist, 10/12/96]




Suck or Katz? You Make the Call!

[Note: Jon Katz is a well-known cybercolumnist. We like to pretend he smokes a little rock on a regular basis. But he doesn't at all!]


1. Jon Katz: "People are trained to think they have to attack me in order to get my attention or disagree with me. They don't."

What's the fastest way to get Katz's attention?

a) Explain to him that the "media" should consist of a one-way flow of information from elite urban writers and their superior grasp of the world to the ill-informed, dim-witted masses.
b) Insult Tupac Shakur.
c) Attack him, and his mother, and sign as "cypherpunk."
d) Write some aimless quiz about whether or not he's on crack.


2. "They are trained to assume I will defend every position to the death, when that's not the case."

The main point of this statement is that:

a) Those who criticize Katz are "trained" to do so.
b) Katz is open-minded enough to rethink most of his opinions.
c) Katz is squirrelly enough to restate most of his opinions.
d) Only crack is worth defending to the death.



3. "They assume I quiver when nasty flamers or some cute Web site like Suck goes after me. I don't."

Katz wants to show us that:

a) The staff of Suck is a highly attractive group of individuals.
b) Flamers are nasty.
c) Katz is no wuss, nosiree.
d) Users of crack often have feelings of invincibility.



4. "I get criticized all the time, and much more soberly and knowledgeably, from people who actually know things. Try writing about race and getting e-mail from sociologists who have been writing books about it for years. That's scary."

This quote raises the question:

a) How often is "all the time"?
b) Does Katz include himself among those who "know things"?
c) Should sociologists be the only ones allowed to write about race?
d) How could Katz possibly know what sobriety looks like?


5. "No successful media has ever made it on attitude (Spy comes to mind). You can cause a stir for awhile, but sooner or later you actually have to deliver a service. Suck is riding too much on its use as a handy vehicle for mainstream journalists to cite when they are trying to appear hip and Web-wise."

This phrase indicates that:

a) Suck contributes to the common good by aiding mainstream posers.
b) Sucking is not a valuable service.
c) Katz is not a mainstream journalist, because he can see through Suck's guise, plus, he delivers his content on the World Wide Web, the graphical, multimedia portion of the Internet.
d) Katz contributes to the common good by providing a positive role model for crack babies everywhere.


6. "I think the Web will be increasingly judged - and very harshly - by consumers who want concrete things. Suck, I suspect, will evolve into something we actually need. Or not."

This makes me:

a) Scared! Suck better not "evolve" into anything - I love it just the way it is!
b) Angry! How dare he imply that Suck isn't something we actually need? Blasphemy!
c) Excited. I need Suck right now!
d) All of the above.



Correct Answers:

1. d,  2. d,  3. d, 
d,  5. d,  6.




Hockey legend Wayne Gretzky: "You know, the hardest part of being Wayne Gretzky is that I get compared to Wayne Gretzky." [Newsweek, 10/7/96]



Madonna, on hearing that ex-husband Sean Penn was getting married: "[It was] some sort of knee-jerk response to me, if you must know. When it was revealed that I was pregnant. My reaction was, this is Sean trying to be dramatic." [Vogue, 10/96]



Chris Hardwick, host of MTV's Singled Out: "I don't know how long MTV is going to keep picking us up, but there certainly is a huge amount of appeal in being the Chuck Woolery of my generation." [TV Guide, Oct. 12-18]




Ginnie Job, creative writer at Hallmark: "We have 'sympathy' cards, 'get well' cards, and 'thinking of you' cards. Well, a 'get well' card is not appropriate to someone with AIDS... We proposed a new line of cards to say things like, 'I admire the way you have lived your life and I admire the way you are facing your death.'" [Fast Company, 10-11/96]
















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