The Fish
for 11 February 2000. Updated every WEEKDAY.
 
Suck Staff
 

Joey Anuff
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Havrilesky
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Senior Editor

 

[Copy Edit]
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&
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Copy Editors

 

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Phillip Bailey
Production Editor








	
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Suck Alumni Text
 

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Co-Founder

 

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Cox
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Executive Editor

 

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Welch
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Copy Editor

 


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Production Manager
& Ass Kicker

 

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

 

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Goode
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Ghost in the Machine

 

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[Brian
Forsyth, " we're just spanning time "]
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[the fixin'
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Marketing Manager



Man on the Floor

Huckster,

Poor Chris Farley. He's been
dead over a year now, and he
still can't escape vicious,
nasty, callow, nihilistic,
amoral, and worst of all,
mind-numbingly obvious
screeds like today's Suck. I
was never a big fan of his,
but gradually, since his
death (which I still believe
was pathetic beyond belief),
I've come to feel almost
protective of the guy's
memory, and I never even met
him.

Suck can do better than this
... or can it?

Robert Anderson
<roba@cadence.com>

I am definitely trying to be
as mind-numbingly obvious as
possible. But I wonder if
I've gotten there yet, since
my intention was to satirize
Jim Carrey's pretensions
and the news media's
genuflections in the face of
those pretensions, rather
than Chris Farley's.

Best,

Huck
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


Laughed out loud at the
brilliance of "Smeli
Forskin"! I laugh even as I
write it! Thanks for the big
chuckle. Lots of funny stuff
in today's piece, but you've
certainly got a flair for
names! And I liked the
"terribly, terribly; rare,
rare; much, much" bit.

Thanks,

Sara L. Manewith
<saraman@uic.edu>

If you ever have a pet or
baby or really anything that
needs naming, let me know,
and I will be happy to
provide you with something
snappy and funny.

Huck
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


are you run by the
government? or is your
company linked to a large
multinational corporation?
the stuff just isn't funny.
you remind of the guy on
the late late show — i
suppose i would laugh if i
were a brainwashed automaton.
keep up the fine work, robot
boy. i definitely wouldn't
buy a ticket to see Jim
Carrey portray you.

lots of love,

Dan Brennan


I would definitely buy a
ticket to see jim carrey
portray you, even if all you
do is write email. You know
why? Because you are
completely hilarious! That
bit about are we "run by the
government"? Sidesplitting!
The "large multinational"
jibe? Subtle, but still,
really, really effective.
True, I've heard the
"brainwashed automaton" bit
before, but the way you
phrase it, you just make it
totally your own. And totally
funny! I was wondering how
you were going to top that
— and I was somewhat
smugly assuming you wouldn't
be able to do it, I have to
confess — and then you
hit me with "robot boy." What
the fuck? Is there a team of
you generating such corrosive
wit, or are you a one-man
operation?

Seething with jealousy,

Huck
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


Blowing Smoke

Read the 31 January 2000 Suck
with much amusement on many
levels.

The link discussing Clever
Canadians shows them taking
credit for some dubious
inventions: the V-chip,
five-pin bowling (won't go
near that joke), the game of
Trivial Pursuit (from the
country of same), and
finally, Plablum ("baby
food"), not to be confused
with pablum ("baby food
pronounced without swilling a
lot of beer").

The cleverness in their
inventions abounds in their
Web page editing. I never
knew that Canada is also home
to Gordon Lightfood (no
relation to Plablum).

It sounds like your hitch in
Georgia (Snow? The fuck you
say! It NEVER snows there!) is
going about like I figured
mine in the Navy would, which
is why I ditched after one
year in ROTC and exposure to
a stunning lack of
intelligence in my unit. I
have since found that there
are a lot of intelligent
people in the services at
both the enlisted and officer
ranks. Unfortunately, they
learn early on (as it appears
you have) that the only way
to survive is to hide any
trace of intelligence or
evidence of exposure to
(gasp) liberal arts.

Don't worry, you'll be
through it and living off
base soon enough.

Cheers,

Colin <fdisk@mpinet.net>

It didn't snow. It was
supposed to snow like a
(expletive deleted), as we
say in the Army, and we shut
down the post and hunkered
down for a massive blizzard
(I stocked up on booze and
those really good soy-protein
bars, the chocolate kind) ...
and then it, like, rained for
a few minutes.

And I won't be living off
post, not unless I get
married. Which ISN'T GOING TO
HAPPEN IN OR AROUND COLUMBUS,
GEORGIA.

I mean, like, wow — it is
not going to happen in or
around Columbus, Georgia. So.
Yeah.

Loaded for Canadians,

PFC Beers,
serving listlessly
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


You forgot to add that the
absurd notion of "60 million
advertising impressions per
year" having any effect at
all on smoking habits
overlooks advertising's
version of the Inverse Square
Law of physics: The quality
of the intended impression
goes down exponentially as
the quantity of exposures
increases. The more one sees
it, the more one gets used to
it; except for the first few
exposures, it ceases to have
any effect at all and may
actually provoke spiteful
defiance (rather like a joke
retold too many times over).
This, of course, assumes
advertising has any
detectable effect on consumer
attitudes in any case.

I'm sure there's been some
sort of academic psych-lab
research corroborating my
point; after all, there's
been graduate-level research
into how many shuffles one
needs to randomize a deck of
playing cards, so why not
this?

Christopher Driskell
<casaubon@ compuex.com>

I'm reasonably certain that
I've never bought anything
— anything — because
of an advertisement. But I
may have to pick up one of
those diseased lung things,
if they start running
pictures of 'em where I can
see them all the time. They
sound pretty cool.

The following word will
create an advertising
impression for my name,

Beers
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


Dear Ambrose,

Your piece, while highly
amusing, contains several
egregious errors. Firstly, no
Health Canada officials have
2 billion fingers. Even those
working on the biotech files.
They may have 2 billion
digits, but you didn't do
your research, so I'm not
going to give you the answer.

Second, smoking may have gone
up 4 percent, but doughnut
consumption went DOWN. This
is an important stat for some
reason, I just can't think of
it now.

Finally, Ottawa doesn't even
tax all that well. On the
plus side, the government did
consider sponsoring NHL teams
to help equalize the exchange
rate between our beautiful,
multicoloured currency and
your bland green stuff.
Surely trying to bolster up
an unsustainable, bloated
professional sports league
offsets our wacky antismoking
legislation, eh?

Yours,

Will Murray
<murray_29@hotmail.com>

Canadian health officials
don't have 2 billion fingers?
They do when they work
together,
pal. Clearly what
we have here is another
I-hate-collectivism type,
missing the proto-Canadian
point about pulling together.
Move south, son. You'll find
plenty of people here who
understand you in ways your
country mates never will.

American and alone as hell
and, by god, proud of it,

Beers
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


Regarding "television
everywhere," I've been
running into it as a business
traveler. The first "captive
market" advertising was the
dumb "magazines" they put in
airline seats, with two
shoddy articles and 75 pages
of glossy ads, standing
primly next to the SkyMall
insert as a paragon of
journalism. Now, we have two
hours of "business oriented
programming," which is slices
of network news with lots of
ads. Guess what? You can't
avoid looking at them unless
you put on your eye shield or
bury yourself in a physical
book or laptop. Of course,
they pass out the free
headphones for that segment
of the flight. At least you
can avoid the sound by not
plugging in the headphones,
although eventually they'll
figure that out and turn the
sound on — nonstop.

Next, there's CNN. It's in
the Heathrow express train,
it's loud, it has many
commercials, and the only way
to avoid it is to sit in the
"quiet zone" trains, where
you can't take cell phone
calls. For £12, I get
the privilege of being forced
to watch ads, all as a
"service" to myself.

The CNN loud boxes are
springing up everywhere.
Airport lounges are the most
popular places. I think the
worst was Philadelphia, where
the sound was cranked to
"unavoidable." I'm sure the
airlines will start requiring
hour-ahead check-in, just to
make sure people sit in front
of the boxes.

It appears that the greatest
benefit of flying business
class these days is the
business class lounge, where
they don't put up with that
kind of crap. Will the
privilege of the ruling class
be the freedom to think its
own thoughts? Will people
strive for riches just to
avoid the chatterbox?

If I could change the channel
on the TV, or if the channel
were something other than CNN
with more ads than CNN
usually has, it might almost
be enjoyable. Or if they were
Internet boxes that I could
interact with, perhaps with a
banner ad. But no. Crappy
CNN; crappy ads.

If it were only History
Channel documentaries of
Hitler. Hitler would be a
pleasure.

Regards,

Brian Bulkowski
<brianb@liberate.com>

Well, given a choice between
Hitler and Ted Turner ...

Joining Jane at the door,

Beers
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


Hit & Run

Subject: Unamerican
activities cat flap (sorry
for the idiot pun)

Hi Suck:

I also received those verbose
emails from both Mr. Squeaky
and ???srini, and when I
first read the saga,
something about it seemed
disturbingly familiar. Not
that I've ever punted a cat
to its reward, but I think
this little tale gives one
pause to ponder the mighty
and formidable maelstrom of
roommate tensions, which
seems to utterly decimate
everything in its path, from
social niceties to political
philosophies to you name it.
Someone neglects to wash the
dishes for a week, and it's
Lord of the Flies time. Or
say you're both fighting the
good, nebulous, dilettantish
fight against The Man; a cat
goes careening out the
window, and suddenly
Trotsky's escaping to Mexico.
Every pretension, every
preconceived notion is
battered silly, and both
parties are either left with
deeper, even more horrifying
levels of self-awareness, or
continue to sullenly hurl
residual invectives against
each other without a trace of
irony.

Perhaps the lesson here is
if you're going to adopt some
sort of political stance in
which the little man is king,
make the hell sure you get
along with him reasonably
well first. But I guess
consistency is for the
running dogs of the
Establishment.

Maria Schneider
Contributor
The Onion Inc. —
America's Finest News Source
<marias@theonion.com>

PS On an unrelated note, I
really liked the Peter Bagge
cartoon about the infomercial
awards.

Although your grasp of
roommate dynamics is
impeccable, I think this is a
case in which root causes can
explain only so much. As a
matter of fact, a roommate's
cat once took a leak in
my shoes. Good shoes too;
they were permanently
despoiled with that weirdly
sweet/chemical smell of cat
pee. And as the cat and I had
already had a few run-ins, it
was pretty clear that this
was a case of malice
aforepaw. But you didn't see
me throwing the thing out the
window. Cats are
passive-aggressive little
fuckers; if you kill the cat,
it wins. Dunking it in Nair,
of course, is another story.

Yr pal,

Tim
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


Hey Sucksters,

Here's a good link for
Five-Card Nancy, despite the
sad lack of actual Nancy
pictures:
http://www.scottmccloud.com
/inventions/nancy/nancy.html.
You should link it up.

By the way, speaking of the
Shit, have you seen the new
issue of Roctober, containing
Ivan Brunetti's epic
Bildungsroman "I Almost Drew
Nancy"? Any Bushmiller fan
will get a kick out of it.
His demo strips are eerily
accurate yet just a tad ...
off, and his commentary
("This strip would be
humorous if the implication
was that the mice raped the
cat, but that's hard to
imply, unless you draw stars
coming out of the cat's ass
...") is pure Brunetti.

XOXOXO,

Jesse Fuchs
<spooneye@escape.com>

We're always on the lookout
for newly discovered
Bushmilleriana, and you'll be
happy to know that a Submit
Your Own link for the Shit
will be instituted, um, as
soon as I get around to it.

Yr pal,

Tim
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


Subject: You're wrong —

Mildred "Babe" Didrickson
Zaharias should be athlete of
the century. By a long shot.
No, really — check out
her bio at http://cnnsi.com/
siforwomen/ top_100/2/. I
don't know how I feel about
the rectal cancer bit, though.

Joseph P. M. Foster
<JFoster@creativepro.com>

We're getting close to the
whole men's sports versus
women's sports controversy,
which seems to me an
unwinnable conflict. But
you'd be pretty hard pressed
to top Jim Thorpe's
multisport artistry, and
truthfully, I don't think the
Babe does top it. Besides,
Bright Path deserves the nod
just for playing football
with the Canton Bulldogs,
reminding us that at one time
even Canton managed to field
a professional football team.

Yr pal,

Tim
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


Subject: Hit & Run —
Unamerican and the dead cat!

Suck on this ...

A light toss of the cat doth
not the window break. But I
laughed a wry little chuckle
when my daily email from
Dictionary.com revealed the
word du jour —
defenestrate (dee- FEN- ih-
strayt), transitive verb: to
throw out of a window.

And I didn't even have to
make it up!

Byron Evetts, P. E.
<jbe@consulex.com>

Do you know that I went to
high school with Mario
Suarez, the kid who set the
national record for most
points scored at Defender?
That's a true fact. For a few
days, Mario's achievement
lifted us all out of our
filthy sty of adolescent
shame. Hopes raised are hopes
dashed, of course, but it was
a heady couple of days!

Yr pal,

Tim
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


Subject: I was wondering

Do you know Ted Kaczynski's
address at Florence State
Prison? I have been searching
like crazy.

Marjorie Mosquera
<mosquera@mmc.marymt.edu>

Keep searching. Everybody
knows Dave is the cool
Kaczynski brother.

Yr pal,

Tim
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


Cortney, give 'em hell. As
this is the first time I have
read your editorials you have
my undivided attention. I
just hope that is not too old
and you are still as hot hot as
your keyboard!

Terry Thomasson
<tsthomasson@sosinet.net>

PS I didn't have ANY trouble
getting laid in god ole SAN
FRAN.

Terry, I'm having a LOT of
trouble getting laid in "god
ole SAN FRAN." Please give me
some undivided advice. Should
I get some shorts that say
HOME OF THE WHOPPER? Or maybe
a lighter that says I'M
SINGLE, LET'S MINGLE or
something like that? Or maybe
some BreathAsure? I'm hot hot
and if I don't get a piece of
ass soon I'll be HURTIN!

Yr pal,

Cortney
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


Much as I hate to be citing
Slate, check out
http://slate.msn.com/ code/
Explainer/Explainer.asp?
Show=1/ 7/00&idMessage=4330
for a discussion of presidential
eligibility.

Mr. Muscles' parents may not
have had the benefits of
American citizenship, but I'm
sure he could get Pat
Buchanan to testify that, as
a good Aryan, he ought to
possess that "natural born"
state of grace to which so
many much swarthier people
lay claim.

Yrs,

Brian Zimmerman
<b-zimmerman@ uchicago.edu>

The guy who asked the
question seemed to be some
kind of furriner, and I was
just trying to discourage any
possible ambitions he might
have. It's sad enough that a
natural born retard like
George W. Bush is about to
join the Adamses and the
Roosevelts in the ranks of
America's presidential
dynasties.

Yr pal,

Tim
 
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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