The Fish
for 7 February 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

Out of Luck

Herr Doktor Van Decimeter:

If John McCain really wants
to know which enlisted men
and women are getting
corporal in private, he
should monitor their mail. He
won't, however, be looking
for copies of Out, The
or even
Architectural Digest (all
three of which, I believe,
come in opaque packaging).
No, all he has to look for is
American Male and Undergear.
With Calyx & Corolla running
a close third, these fag mags
are the biggest, brightest
red lights to look for when
you want to know if the guy
next door is "friendly" or
just really nice.

Thank you for proving that
gays and lesbians have no
monopoly on style, tact, or
business acumen. I'd rather
see a lesbian acrylic
painting of a headbanded
Cherokee warrior-goddess with
howling wolves in the
background than suffer
through another issue of The
's back pages of
nipply Nagel-esque panty boys
and Keith Haring knockoffs.

Oddly enough, yours,

John Kusch
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

PS PlanetOut's personals

Mon cher monsieur Kusch:

Really, I'm surprised at you.
Your advice to the military
on how best to violate
"don't-ask, don't-tell,
don't-touch-me-there" smacks
of a '50s Friends of Dorothy
sensibility. Personally,
Undergear doesn't do a thing
for me. What the Pentagon
really needs is more
sophisticated detection
techniques: a postgaydar, if
you will.

And Internet snooping will do
the trick nicely. Is that
lieutenant flipping back and
forth between Ally McBeal
pages on and Bill
Goldberg snapshots on Haul 'im in!

But to your point, you're
right in noting that Out also
catered to the "openly
closeted." Back when your
scribe subscribed to Out, the
options were plastic or
paper: the former for
out-and-proud types, the
latter for don't-tellers in
and out of the military.

Yours quite predictably,

Fish With Letter Icon


Subject: Your poor grammar.

There is no word "reiterate."
The word you meant to use is
"iterate," which means "to
say again." "Reiterate" is

Elijah Meeks

Thanks, Elijah.

But I think you'll find
Webster's is more forgiving
than you are. Perhaps you
were thinking of
"irregardless," an
unconscionable and ridiculous

By the way, you ought not to
use a period in your subject
line unless it's a complete

Self-appointed grammarians,
as you undoubtedly know, live
in the most fragile of glass

Best regards,

E. L. Skinner
Fish With Letter Icon


We can't go relying on
Webster or we'll be forced to
accept the various dregs of
the English language. The two
arguments for this, that it
is semantics or that
acceptable words are based on
populist approval, are both
fallacious. The first ignores
the fact that words are
semantic by nature and to use
an improper word, even if it
is understood to hold the
proper word's meaning,
attacks the basic foundation
of language. The second is a
belief held only by nitwits,
as language based on popular
approval (e.g. slang) is more
difficult to learn and less
capable of conveying thought
quickly and accurately. As
these are the two basic
tenants of language, to allow
them is detrimental to
language and, consequently,
human society.

So, if "iterate" means to say
again. What would
"re-iterate" mean?

Elijah Meeks


Thanks for your continued
support. Somehow the language
survived its Old, Middle, and
King James versions (or
should I say iterations?). On
a related note, I doubt
whether the grammarians were
responsible for the
obsolescence of the codpiece
and the merkin.

One should never
underestimate the value of
being popular, Elijah!

To reiterate: "Iterate" is to
say again. "Reiterate" is to
say again and again and
again. Surely you see the
difference now?

E. L. Skinner
Fish With Letter Icon


Thank you for playing —
please try again.

Bradley Messmer

Well, Bradley, thanks for the

The beauty of the written
word is that it is limited
only by the imagination of
the reader, and writing for
Suck readers is, on that
score, a constant challenge,
which you so concisely

Keep up the fine work!

Best regards,

E. L. Skinner
Fish With Letter Icon

I really feel sorry for you
and, although you do not
believe in God, I will pray
for you. Thank God I have
wonderful cousins in Calgary,
Edmonton, and St. Albert. You
are sick ... Happy Day.


I was sick, briefly, with the
respiratory flu. Thank you.
Much better now. Please keep
the prayers coming.

I had wonderful/awful fever
dreams, saw Jesus/
whoever. It was definitely a
white, male God. Very

Wonderful cousins are a thing
not to be underestimated.
Mine are mostly in Wisconsin;
some are in Colorado and Idaho.
They are sinful and Godless
but play the banjo. So it's a
push, spiritually speaking.

Tapping my toes for the Lord,

E. L. Skinner
Fish With Letter Icon

Subject: SUV Nirvana

Nice Web page on the SUV
You're definitely
making a proud statement,
which stands as proof of your
intellect and unique insight
on the subject. Such
expression is an honest
example of the positive
influence one can have on

Keep up the good work!

1994 S10 Blazer
1998 Ford Expedition

Uh, we wouldn't go that far.
Fish With Letter Icon

Faux Film Festival

I love your Suck article on
movie knockoffs so much that
I thought I'd write you with
a 'dote that might enhance
your love for the non-Disney

I'm an animator for a kid's
software company, and I went
with some co-workers to the
International Animation
Celebration (the Nickelodeon
portfolio frenzy is more like
it) in LA a year or so ago.
The three of us went to a
seminar titled Animation on a
Shoestring Budget to meet the
Blue's Clues producer, who
didn't get a word in edgewise
because the guy responsible
for the non-D Mulan and other
atrocities wouldn't shut the
hell up. He told us about
hiring animators with low
esteem because they work
cheaper, renting a tiny
office in the industrial part
of town for the production
team, and finding ways around
the law to avoid paying
benefits. He also told us how
important it is to go to
Korea for ink and paint
because of the cheap labor.
This is standard practice
with just about ALL
animation, but he had an
edge: "What you do is go over
there with key chains and
shit for the Ko-reans. You
know, little toys and crap;
they love that shit!"
Apparently he had learned all
he knows about business from
the guys who bought Manhattan
from the Indians.

He talked about the need to
avoid Disney lawsuits. "OK,
the REAL Mulan is a Japanese
girl (she is Chinese, Mr.
Bunker) who cross-dresses and
saves her people. So we gotta
change it around. Let's say
she's ... oh, I dunno ... a
beautiful butterfly! And the
ants are invading...."

At that point, we all got up
and left.

Tom Verre

It's a great story, although
I have to admit: I think it
adds to the experience of
watching movies like Legend
of Mulan
when the people
flogging them come across as
the seedy profiteers we know
they are.

40th St. Black
Fish With Letter Icon

Visit Thailand for knockoffs
done right. It's

Itz Me

I bet it is. Although, when
something is exploited for
consumption in a non-American
market, it sort of loses the
straight-faced, cheery irony
of a Wal-Mart offering whose
primary aim seems to be to
fool the consumer.

40th St. Black
Fish With Letter Icon

Dear 40th et al.,

While reading your
outstanding piece on
cinematic knockoffs (bravo),
I was surprised to see a
glaring omission: Concurrent

These are movies that are
knockoffs of each other,
released simultaneously by
competing studios. And our
winners? Those lame excuses
for cinema that are (drum
roll) Touchstone's
Armageddon and Paramount
Pictures' Deep Impact.

Deep Impact, despite its
not-so-subtly pornographic
title, was a major cosmic
letdown that preceded its
equally-shitty cousin
Armageddon by a whole two
months. The similarities in
these movies ensured that
either you didn't have to see
one because you had already
seen the other, or you had to
go see both to make sure they
weren't actually the same
movie (they were).


• They shared a plot (We're
all toast because of renegade
space debris).

• They shared a release
season (summer 1998).

• They shared hyperbolic tag
lines ("It's Closer Than You

• They shared an affinity for
second-rate acting by
pseudo-babes (Téa
Leoni and Neve Campbell).

Their only real
differentiating factor, other
than the actual flavor of
their respective space
threats, is the general
stupidity of Armageddon's
characters. Yeah, right —
a comet the size of freaking
Texas is coming at us and we
don't see it until 18 days
before it hits?

As if the Aerosmith
soundtrack weren't torture

Eddie Hoover
Director of Central Intelligence

Eddie, you bring up an
interesting point. I'm
certainly aware of what you
call concurrent knockoffs.
Other examples are the
dueling pig movies Gordy and
Babe, the spate of Freaky
Friday rip-offs that
culminated in Big, and the
animated insect movies of
1998, Antz and A Bug's Life.

Honestly, I really don't
consider these to be
knockoffs as much as a
symptom of Hollywood's
desperate competitiveness and
lack of original thought. There
are two key differences
between these movies and
knockoffs. First, such movies
are close enough in terms of
overall quality that one is
not a clear, inferior copy of
the other. Second, unlike a
knockoff, the producer of a
like-minded big-budget film
knows that the success of the
competing work can actually
damage the box office for his
or her project. In knockoffs,
the bigger business done by
the original, the better;
because they count on the
popularity of the original,
they are wholly subservient.

I agree with you that the big
rock movies were stupid, and
I think it bears pointing out
that one of them could have
been made for one-twentieth
of the price, starring Justine
Bateman and Jared Leto and
presented on Fox's Sunday
Night Movie to killer

40th St. Black
Fish With Letter Icon

Speaking of Disney knockoffs,
have you seen the X-rated
version of Snow White,
produced during off hours by
Disney animators? I've
attached a GIF.

Jim Cook

One occasionally hears those
kinds of stories, but other
than things like a few frames
of Jessica Rabbit nudity in
Roger Rabbit, I'm not sure
how much hard evidence there
is that these kinds of movies
actually exist. In fact, Jim,
the GIF you sent looks less
like a still from an animated
film than a copy of detail
from Wally Wood's famous
Disneyland Orgy drawing that
originally appeared in The
And I probably don't
need to remind Suck readers
that "Disney porn" is sort of

40th St. Black
Fish With Letter Icon

In your knockoffs column, you
mentioned how an "enraged
parent" complained of the
swearing in the Mulan

The review actually seems to
be by a sibling: "But to my
very great surprise, Mulan
SWORE; yes she SWORE while my
little brother was watching
it. This is not right."

To me, this seems to be an
example of big brother or
sister attempting to protect
the tender ears of other
kids, though it's too late
for the writer's own little
brother. This is all right.

Thanks for an enjoyable
column, nevertheless.

Brian McCarthy

You're right! Change that to
"irate adult." Unless, of
course, you're willing to
grant me a really loose
meaning of parent to include
those fulfilling the parental
role in supervising or
raising children. In other
words, don't blame me. Where
are this kid's mother and
father? And why are they
letting him watch shoddy
knockoff videos?

40th St. Black
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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