The Fish
for 20 January 2000. Updated every WEEKDAY.
Suck Staff

Joey Anuff
Joey Anuff
Editor in Chief


[Tim Cavanaugh]
Tim Cavanaugh
Special Guest Editor


Terry Colon
Terry Colon
Art Director


Heather Havrilesky
Senior Editor


[Copy Edit]
Erica Gies
Merrill Gillaspy

Copy Editors


[Phillip Bailey]
Phillip Bailey
Production Editor

Suck Alumni
Suck Alumni Text

Carl Steadman
Carl Steadman


Ana Marie
Ana Marie Cox
Executive Editor


Sean (Duuuuude)
Sean Welch


Owen Thomas
Owen Thomas
Copy Editor


T. Jay Fowler
Production Manager
& Ass Kicker


[yes, it's
a plunger. i'll l
eave the rest up to your imagination ... ]
Erin Coull
Production Manager


Monte Goode
Ghost in the Machine


Matt Beer
Matt Beer
Development Manager


Forsyth, " we're just spanning time "]
Brian Forsyth
Production Editor
& Pool Monitor


[the fixin'
pixie... ]
Emily Hobson
Production Manager
& Rhythm Guitar


Ian Connelly
Marketing Manager

Hit & Run

Hey, Sucksters,

I emailed that guy Fumento
about one of his articles. I
can see why he posts the
letters he does. Smart ones
from people who can spell
piss him off. He said I was
worse than a "bleeding-heart
lib." Can you really
abbreviate that?

Chris McCall


The secret to any good hate
mail page is to weed out all
signs of intelligence and
good spelling. That's
something we never have to do
for our own Fish page, as the
participants tend to be

Yr pal,

Fish With Letter Icon

Hey guys,

I am writing in for the first
time to you and want to say
how much I enjoy the site.
Thus said, I ventured into
the hate mail site you listed
and read a little. It quickly
reminded me of a similar,
although much more humorous
site located at
If you want to investigate,
check into the archives (not
sure if this is there) or ask
them if you can see the mail
they used to get (and their
responses) about their
anti-Hootie site. I read it
at work and laughed much too
loud for doing such an
illicit, immoral act.

Dennis Schulte

Thanks. Somehow Fumento's
hate mail seemed to have an
edge of direness that made it
especially memorable.

Yr pal,

Fish With Letter Icon

Just a short, virtually
meaningless complaint:

"The least the 20th century
deserves is a spirited John
Williams score...."

I just want to voice my
slight disdain for this
"composer." As an avid
classical music listener, I
feel an obligation to point
out that many of John
Williams' scores are copies
of great works by music's
best composers, such as Holst
and Mussorgsky (much of
Williams' Star Wars score was
borrowed from Holst and his
Olympic songs from modest
Mussorgsky). While Kenny G.'s
music may (pardon my
rudeness) blow, at least he
has written and performed
pieces that he has
acknowledged to be variations
of someone else's work. If
you want an excellent 20th
century American composer, I
would recommend Aaron
Copland; at least he
recognized that his famous
Appalachian Spring was a
variation on an old Shaker
hymn. If you are looking for
a live composer, you are out
of luck, because all the good
ones are dead.

OK, I think I'm done trashing
John Williams now.


Erich Theiss

No good living composers?

Two words, Erich: Liverpool

Yr pal,

Fish With Letter Icon

Consider yourself lucky that
you got to watch an
Emmanuelle Beart vehicle on
your Air France flight. My
in-flight movie was Asterix,
a Gerard Depardieu vehicle.
Supposedly this was France's
attempt to make a big,
expensive, Hollywood-style
movie. Phew! They also had
some sort of Tom &
–style cartoon,
which stunk. The meal was OK,
though. They don't charge
extra for the champagne, even
in coach, which makes them
more civilized than the US
airlines, at least in this

Eric Ritter

There truly are not enough
words in any language to
describe how terrible that
Asterix movie is. All this
time I was feeling sorry for
the frogs because they could
never make anything as cool
as Reservoir Dogs, and here
it turns out they can't even
make something as cool as A
Kid in Aladdin's Court.

You're right about the meal,
though. Best I've had on an

Yr pal,

Fish With Letter Icon

Dear Sucksters,

Day after day I read your
site. Some days, it's good
... and somedays it's great.
Some days I agree ... and
some days I disagree, but
always I'm amused and
sometimes amazed at your
twists and turns in arriving
at the point. To me, stirring
up the proverbial pot
provides the bubbling energy
and interest in matters that
might otherwise go unnoticed.
That's a very good thing for
those living in this aging
republic. I suspect Patrick
Henry and Samuel Adams could
have used some of your urbane
wit and breadth of knowledge
back in their days, but it's
better for me that you're
here now. I applaud the
variety of topics you tackle,
and the breadth of knowledge
you demonstrate (not to
mention a savvy understanding
of international cinema to
boot). For this expatriot
child of humble Iowa, you
provide more than a smile on
my face but demonstrate that
there is room in this world
for people with open eyes

Keep on Suckin' ,

Andrew West
Rochester, Michigan

I think if Patrick Henry and
Samuel Adams had had our
urbane wit, the American
Revolution would have been an
abysmal failure, and right
now we'd be speaking, um,
English. But thanks for your
kind words.

Bubbling with energy,

the Sucksters
Fish With Letter Icon

Aliens was the best sequel,
hands down.

And just to correct your
mistake, it was Jeunet who
directed Alien:
not Caro. Caro
is Jeunet's screenwriter, and
he's the one who added the
palpable sense of insanity in
Delicatessen and The City of Lost
That sense is gone
in A: R.

Jeunet is a gifted director,
but give him a horrible
story, and it still makes a
sucky film.

(Ripley, clone my hairy ass.
I never saw someone dunk so

Frank Pelletier

You are correct about Jeunet,
and I sincerely regret the

However, that does not change
the fact that James Cameron's
Aliens is a beached walrus of
a film, which robs the alien
of its coolest feature: its
invincibility. Once you can
kill the alien with a gun,
what's the point of going on
living? Add to this the fact
that the movie gave an early
career boost to Paul Reiser,
and I think any fair-minded
person would agree that all
prints of this film should be
burned. Jeunet at least tried
to take the feeble and
arthritic Alien series in an
interesting new direction by
effectively making the alien
the hero. He failed only
because he was unable to
overcome the crushing
literal-mindedness of the

Yr pal,

Fish With Letter Icon

Jean-Pierre Jeunet, not Marc
Caro, directed Alien:
Caro was
credited as design
supervisor, and that echoes
independent reports that
Jeunet was more responsible
for the actors in their
earlier works.

Incidentally, while I haven't
seen it yet, France's entry
in the Oscar stakes this year
is Régis Wargnier's
Est-ouest. I'll certainly
grant your premise; there's
been nothing near as exciting
as Lola rennt (Run, Lola, Run)
or Mononoke Hime
(Princess Mononoke) — or
even Being John Malkovich
from France lately.

Jon Reeves

Correction noted. And we wish
Wargnier the very best of
luck in his effort to make
Oscar say, "Oo-la-la!"

the Sucksters
Fish With Letter Icon

hey, keep slagging the
frenchies for me! i'm the
only american in my office,
and it's my patriotic duty to
introduce them to some sucky
humor. HEE HEE!!!! also, the
xmas stress busters where
polly sits and says
"motherfucker motherfucker
motherfucker" was quite
funny. ok, so maybe i'm a
degenerate bastard, but i
still find fuck words in
print hilarious. don't post
my name if you print this
shit, s'il vous plait.

Patrick Campbell

You'd better buck up there,
Patrick. You're representing
your country overseas. Make
us all proud!

the Sucksters
Fish With Letter Icon

Hit & Run

I agree with your French and
movie-going tidbit. I sat
through that same La
movie on an Air
France flight and was glad
that it put me to sleep. One
remark: Marc Caro did not
direct Alien 5 (or 6 or 4??)
in Hollywood: Jean-Pierre
Jeunet, his Delicatessen and
La cité des enfants
sidekick did.


Jean-Pierre Jacquet


You're right. The two of them
should patch things up and
get back together, since the
two movies they did as a team
were orders of magnitude
better than the Alien film.

Yr pal,

Fish With Letter Icon

Dear Sucksters,

I'm sorry that you're bored
with the Olympian disdain,
because I'm absolutely lovin'
it. A fairly new
Suck-o-phile, I regularly
read your essays and cartoons
while drinking the days'
first cups of java. This
helps me to attain the proper
attitude to make it through
the day in which higher paid
and supposedly better
educated physicians try to
make my life a living hell.
Appropriately, I am looking
waaaaaaaaaay down my nose as
I type this.

Ever yours,

Kellie Thorne

If you're a physician and
you're not happy with your
co-workers, why don't you
just poison them? I've been
trying for months to get
somebody to do a Suck
oncology on Dr. Swango, but
what I really wonder is what
other doctors say about him.
Do you sit around in the
hospital cafeteria,
reminiscing? "Dr. Giggles,
Dr. Mengele ... They were OK.
But Dr. Swango, boy, he's in
a league all his own!" When
you get in an argument with
another doctor, do you say,
"You're lucky I don't Swango
your ass!"? When the doctors
go out for drinks, do you
come in the next day saying,
"I feel like I've been
Swango'd!"? At the Christmas
party, do you excaim, "Hey!
Who put a Swango in the egg

That Dr. Swango! If he's not
your hero, you don't deserve
to live in a free nation.

Yr pal,

Fish With Letter Icon

Subject: Ceci est une bombe
(pas vrai, c'est un message)

Dear Sucksters, it's the
first time I take time to
criticize your work, but I
will sure enjoy it. The movie
you refer to in the fragment:
"... about more
crowd-pleasing topics than
drag-queen funerals ..." is
just not French as you say it
comes from the Republic's
auteurs. In fact, I guess
you're talkin' about the new
Pedro Almodóvar, who
is, in fact, quite Spanish to
me. The movie title is, in
English, All About My Mother;
in Spanish, Todo Sobre Mi
and in French, Tout
sur ma mère
(as I've
seen it, since French is my
main language).

So please, don't try to
pretend being cultural when
you can't even know the
origin of a good movie. Or at
least ask the good people.

Richard Huot
directly from Quebec City
and still a bit French

I'm sure you felt a nice,
rectum-tightening burst of
pride at being able to
correct us "culturally," but
you're wrong.

The movie in question is Ceux
qui m'aiment prendront le
in which an artist
leaves a last request that
all his various friends and
lovers take a long train ride
to his funeral. The talents
of Jean-Louis Trintignant and
other fine performers are
wasted in the course of this
film, and Vincent Peréz
steals the show as a zany
transsexual named Viviane.

Just to bring the circle
around, I note that you have
a Quebec mailing address. The
director of this film,
Patrice Chéreau, turned in a
first-rate performance in
Michael Mann's Last of the
playing General
Montcalm. Montcalm, you will
recall, was killed at the
Battle of Quebec, as was his
opponent, the British general
Wolfe. However, the British
forces prevailed, which is
why you are now compelled to
send out your nit-picking
emails in non-idiomatic
English, rather than in the
French with which, one
assumes, you are more

Keep trying to catch us,
though. We average about 28
errors per day, so it should
be easy to do.

Yr pal,

Fish With Letter Icon

Subject: Re: Dead-on? Or put

Dear Sucksters:

Gene Rayburn above Curtis
Mayfield? Oh, come on. I
enjoyed Match Game as much as
any other schlep, but I would
put Rayburn no higher than
fourth in the pit parade,
behind Mayfield, Rick Danko,
and Madeline Kahn. It's
debatable, I guess, and one
can only wonder if the
occasion would cause them to
debate if they were indeed
holed up in a compound
somewhere near Roswell,
waiting either for The
Rapture or the return of The
Price Is Right
to prime-time

Impressionistically yours,

Tim Nekritz

As long as Brett Somers, Dick
Gautier, and Charles Nelson
Reilly have breath to draw,
we give top honors to the
late Gene Rayburn.

Yr pal,

Fish With Letter Icon

Dear Tim:

It could have been much
worse. You could have flown
back via SAS, where all
announcements are given in
three languages (one of which
— Flemish — is spoken
by three people in the
universe) and the movie was
The Runaway Bride, with
Flemish subtitles. It wasn't
a total loss; I got to read
your excellent December
Wired article in the airport
in Brussels. (I'd keep Batman,
by the way, at least in the
better graphics versions. I
was once offered an original,
signed Batman poster for
several thousand dollars and
actually had to think about
it before saying no, so fine
was the original work.) and,
without anything at all to do
for 8 hours, was able to
finish Dubliners. I highly
recommend it for air travel;
after finishing it, you're
able to view landing in an
overused, fog-hidden,
Y2K-infested JFK airport
without worry, contented that
you don't have to live in
Joyce's Dublin.

Alan S Kornheiser

Air France did show Just Married
(Ou presque) dubbed into
French, and I have a question
about the Flemish version:
There's a scene in which a
woman named Fleming asks
Richard Gere, "Have you heard
my husband's morning radio
show, Wake Up with Flem?" How
can you translate that bon
into Flemish?

Yr pal,

Fish With Letter Icon

What happened to you with
French cinema? You're bored
with the Figaro cinema's
entries. OK, French people
went to see your American
movies. It's only for one
reason. You Americans only
think money, money, money.
Your movies are demeasurated
and ultra-expensive to
attract the most people you
can. I won't speak about
American advertising, which
is as expensive as the movies
themselves. Most of your
movies are action movies, and
a lot of times we can see
enormous patriotic messages
(I think about ID 4 as the
most patriotic movie I've
never seen).

But where is the real life
here? You Americans have been
since your childhood
attracted by big spectacular
shows like Catch or big
Dragster or bombing Iraq on
the TV. (Note that I don't
disclaim the fact you fuck
Sadam, just the fact you like
to show war and a lot of
things that get on my
nerves.) All that is to say
that your movies need to be
spectacular shows with strong
men, etc.

The French go to see your
movies only because of ads
you make for them and because
they have their eyes opened
wide by your special effects.

But there is no artistic
creation, only shit.

Sorry for my English and my
mistakes, but I hope you
understand me and will think
about what I said.

One last point: American
people are not the center of
the world, nor are French
people nor other people in
the world.

Excuse me for my direct
style, but I strongly think
that I'm right.

My name is Julien. I'm a 22
years old and French.


PS Even I'm a fanatic of Star

I know it's pleasing to
believe that advertising is a
magical force which turns
ordinary people into mindless
zombies and forces them to
shamble down to theaters
where they unhappily watch
"demeasurated and
ultra-expensive" films like
Dans le peau de John
But unfortunately
for your theory, the
tradition of individual
liberty is almost as strong
in France as it is in the
United States. If a movie
makes a lot of money, it's
because many people freely
chose to see it.

In any event, the point isn't
that Hollywood makes dumb,
special-effects-heavy movies
(a song we've all heard so
many times before that you
should really be ashamed to
be singing it again). The
point is that, at the moment,
Hollywood is also making
better serious movies than
France. For all the praise
lavished on films like Gaspar
Noé's Seul contre tous by
people hoping to find any
signs of life in French
cinema, you guys have not
been producing anything to
compete with The Limey or
Magnolia or In John
Malkovich's Skin.
can make all the excuses you
like, but excuses are like
assholes. Everybody's got
one, and they all stink.

Yr pal,

Fish With Letter Icon

Hey, Sucksters.

This email is a response to
your recent pathetic whining
request for flame mail. Well,
let ME flame you,
oh, hell, I can't sustain
it. Never mind.

I do like your online
magazine thing, whatever it
is. It's usually at least
semi-amusing, even when I
disagree with it. And it's
free, which is pretty hard to
beat, so there you go. The
parody of /. was particularly
giggle worthy.

Oh, wait, I do have something
to flame you about after all!
You live in New York, don't
you?!! YOU SUCK!!!! I'll bet
you fancy New Yorkers all
think that everybody else in
the rest of the country is a
bunch of illiterate,
uneducated, uncultured, and
stuff-like-that hicks!!!!! I
tell you what; y'all wouldn't
be spoutin' that city-slicker
talk if y'all had the GUTS to
come out west here, where
we's know how to deal with
folks like yew!!!! Y'all 'ud
be lucky if we didn't sic our
hound dawgs on yer butts, and
chase yew all across the
county line!!! I bet you just
envy us anyway. I've never
been to New York, but I saw
Taxi Driver and Six Degrees of
which are both
documentaries, so I KNOW that
NY is an ugly, polluted,
trash-filled, dangerous place
where taxi drivers shoot at
you and you can get arrested
and disappear for the simple
crime of being Will Smith
when he was younger!!!!! It's
times like this when I'm
proud to say that I live in a
beautiful, sunny, happy,
peaceful town like

Besides, I think we're closer
to Canada, so when the US
finally goes belly-up like
all the survivalist nuts say
it will, we'll be able to
sneak across the border
before they install the
electrified razor-wire

Hey, speaking of Canadians,
they're a wacky bunch, aren't
they? Eh? Ha! What brilliant
wit! I'm so much smarter than

Screw it, I still don't care.

Yrs sncrly,


PS If you want to make money
off this letter, you're
crazy: You can't make money
off anything I write! I have
a stack of rejection notices
as thick as your thumb right
here that says it's
impossible to make money off
my writing, so nyah!

Thanks for honoring our
request, and Happy New Year
to you.

Yr pal,

Fish With Letter Icon

Subject: This is the picture
I saw when I woke up

Attached is what I got. I'm
from Seattle. Pleasa, no more
Kenny Geesa.

Kenny G. Sucks

Your email address strongly
indicates that you are some
kind of specialist. We were
only appealing to the casual
Kenny G. appreciator.

Yr pal,

Fish With Letter Icon

Hi, I'm just saying this
once. Don't put Kenny G.'s
smiling picture on my
"homepage" again. You do, and
you won't be my homepage.
I'll change it to, where I go
anyway. I almost pucked. I
didn't need Kenny G. five
times today. I know you are
so postmodern and isn't it
funny, but dear god, it
isn't. OK????????

Charlotte Quinn

Wow, you almost "pucked"?

Thanks for visiting Suck five
times in one day. We actually
have an award for
most-frequent visitors, you

the Sucksters
Fish With Letter Icon

 The Shit
Fully Committed, Becky Mode, the Cherry Lane Theater, New York, New York
Paris in the Twentieth Century, Jules Verne, Del Rey, 1997
Chow Yun Fat's haircut in Anna and the King
A Comment on Mini-skirts, Thornton Dial
"Leonardo's Grave," Ian Jacks, Granta #67
The Long Swift Sword of Siegfried, directed by Adrian Hoven, 1971
The annual reappearance of cheap clementines in bodegas
The New Meaning of Treason, Rebecca West, Penguin Books, 1985
Five-Card Nancy (a card game played with individual panels of Ernie Bushmiller's comic strip)
The Birthday Party Live 1981-82, Four A.D., 1999
Black Sessions 10/22/98, Belle & Sebastian , (unreleased)
San Lorenzo's Blues, Nuzzle, Troubleman Unlimited, 1999
The Story of Time, exhibition in the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, England
Back of the Big House: The Architecture of Plantation Slavery, John Michael Vlach, University of North Carolina Press, 1993

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