The Fish
for 21 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
Copy Editor


[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

Revolting Acts

I would like to kick Tim
Eyman in the head.

Then I would bitch-slap all
the weak minded or greedy
suckers that voted for I-695.

Only the rich with their
obscenely expensive SUVs and
large corporation with their
massive fleets of automobiles
benefited from the biggest
scam ever in Washington

I don't own a car and I will
be paying MORE now. How
fucked up is that? I pay more
for the ferry and bus when
some 30ish bitch gets to
drive her Excursion by
HERSELF to work everyday for
$30 a year. My friend's tabs
went up...

Now Tim Eyman wants to divert
nearly all of the states
transportation budget to
roads. Forget Salaries, or
ferries, or buses, let's just
build roads.

Hey look at L.A., it worked
fine there...Give me a
fucking break.

guedo espedia

The conflict between road
services and public
transportation has been a
fundamental regional
political battle for years.
I'm with you -- I've never
understood why the ability to
live an hour or more away
from one's workplace was
considered a right for which
people should tax me. At the
same time, I'm more than
happy to have these people
live far away from me.

Maybe it's how you look at

40th Street Black
Fish With Letter Icon

Without a doubt the best
essay I've seen on Suck to
date. I look forward to more.
You have set the bar very

Steven P. Sanabria

Thank you, Steven. I look
forward to doing more, even
though the thought of any bar
makes me flash back to the
horrors of the "track and
field" unit in sixth grade
gym. Dick Fosbury has a lot
to answer for.

40th Street Black
Fish With Letter Icon

Back in the days when
computers were time-sharing
behemoths, the Internet was a
DARPA project and the hottest
user interface you could get
was a DecWriter, Professor
Arthur Laffer drew what can
best be described as a crude
outline of the female breast
on a cocktail napkin and
called it economics. That
level of thought appealed not
only to arguably the most
idiotic person ever elected
President of the United
States, but also to droves of
clueless dupes who voted for
him not just once, but twice
and screamed for the
opportunity to do so a third
time. Never mind that Ronald
Reagan's first and only
attempt to actually use Dr.
Laffer's theory resulted in
disaster. Reagan simply spent
the rest of his two terms in
office prostituting
traditional Keynesian
principals, borrowing
trillions of dollars to pump
the economy and calling the
results the fruit of
supply-side genius.

The Laffer curve is pure bunk
of course, because it is
based on the fallacious
assumption that government
revenue is a univariate
function of tax rate, when in
fact government revenue is a
highly complex multivariate
function of tax rate. Raising
or lowering the effective tax
rate therefore entails
movement along a
multi-dimensional surface,
and if you don't know the all
the partial derivatives that
determine the gradient, you
don't know what government
revenue (or inflation, or
employment, or interest
rates) will do in response.
Martin Gardner dubbed the
actual multivariate function
the "technosnarl" in an
extremely insightful and
witty deconstruction of
Laffer and his ilk. It was
read, unfortunately, only by
people who regularly followed
Gardner's column in
Scientific American, which is
to say by damn few people at

So, strange as it may seem,
lowering taxes does not
necessarily bring us
prosperity and raising them
does not necessarily deprive
us of it. And the same
Americans who bellyache the
most about paying taxes are
often the first to line up
and demand government
spending, be it on farm
subsidies for the burly
husbandman, an AIDS cure for
the pierced and tattooed, or
new houses for those cretins
who insist on building their
homes in flood plains. A
government that collects no
taxes also does absolutely
nothing for its citizens. And
with the exception of a few
lunatics still camped out in
their Y2K Armageddon bunkers,
the citizens do not, by and
large, actually desire a
government that expects them
to fix their own potholes,
organize their own protection
from criminals, and keep the
chemical plant down the road
from dumping poison in their
water supply by themselves.

If you scratch below the
surface on the issue of
taxes, you'll find out that
what pisses people off about
them is not so much the
money, it's the way the taxes
are collected and how the
taxes are spent. But
politicians never go past the
superficial on taxes because
doing so means confronting
organized special interests,
snugly entrenched government
bureaucracy and, worst of
all, the twisted, nasty,
incompetent and vindictive
tax collectors themselves.
Few, if any, politicians have
that kind of balls.

So enter into the resulting
moral vacuum the
citizen-demagogues, equipped,
perhaps, with some
doodle-festooned cocktail
napkins of their own, each
vigorously thumping the tub
to pass a proposition
restricting this or that tax.
Such guileless folk at least
have their ignorance as an
excuse. What Dr. Laffer's
excuse might be, God alone

Walter Bauer

Having spent more than a few
cocktail parties drawing
breasts on napkins, I can
hazard a guess. Maybe this is
all Virgil Partch's fault?

At any rate, I wholeheartedly
agree with your analysis,
with the possible exception
of your characterization of
citizen-demogogues as

40th Street Black
Fish With Letter Icon

Letter from the Editorial

Nice Homer Simpson reference.
But shouldn't the line be
about losing your hair,
rather than letting it down?

Just nit-picking,

Meri Brin

Dear Meri,

If you are referring to "Mr.
Microphone," you should know
that it wasn't invented by
The Simpsons but was a
popular novelty product
advertised on TV during the
friendless childhoods of key
Suck writers. The highlight
of the Mr. Microphone TV
commercial comes when a
convertible full of Jimmy
McNichol-type yahoos out
cruising passes a "fox" on
the street, and one of the
young men broadcasts "Hey,
Good Lookin', be back to pick
you up later!" — thus
coining an immortal catch
phrase for an era when
immortal catch phrases were
hard to come by.

Hope this helps,

The Boob
Fish With Letter Icon

Subject: Very unfunny, Yogi.

Tell me this is just a sick
joke. I don't know what else
to say — I don't feel
like I know who I'm speaking
to anymore. Surely you have
mistaken the sauce for the
salsa and have been hitting
it indiscriminately.

Otherwise, to quote one of
the great usurpers, "Oh the
pain, the pain!!"

A loyal has-been (fan),


Dear Joanne,

It's no joke. Suck is going
mainstream. Why don't you get
with the program and come on
board for the big win?


Yogi Okaycola
Fish With Letter Icon

But I'm an English professor. I
live for that "heady mixture
of smarmy pseudo-erudition
and reflexive scorn"! Without
the old Suck, I'll have to go
back to reading the MLA
and Stanley Fish!

Dr. Johndan Johnson-Eilola
Associate Professor of English
Purdue University


To get the full effect of a
Suck article, you should always
follow the links. In today's
issue the first link,
would have made it clear that
we were writing a parody of's recent "letter
from the art director." We
thought our use of absurd
statements and funny names
would make it even more
clear that we were joking, and I
apologize for any confusion or
discomfort this may have
caused you and, apparently,
countless other readers.

Yr pal,

Actual Editor,
Fish With Letter Icon

Yearly Updates: An Update

Regarding Yearly Updates: An
Update, I just wanted to
point out one glaring error
in the mock family updates.
All three letters had the
word 'millennium' spelled
correctly. I'm sure you would
agree that realistically, the
chance of this occurring in
three real family updates is

Chris Hilton

You make a valid point;
however, most of today's word
processing software allows
everyone the ability to
produce perfect spelling and
punctuation. Without it, I
never would have spelled it
correctly myself.

the Camel
Fish With Letter Icon


So, let me get this straight:
Those family-doings letters
people send out at the end of
the year are just as pathetic
when email is the medium?

Is that the joke? Or are we
just supposed to be reassured
that salespeople and the
elderly are still lame and
don't know how obvious the
purposelessness of their
existence is? Which, I
suppose, is a kind of
reassurance. It's evidence,
after all, of the comforting
immortality of certain kinds
of humor. Like those cartoons
in The New Yorker where
businessmen all wear hats.

I realize that by writing
this I leave myself open to a
shattering rejoinder, but I
think I'll take my chances.

Bill <>


Fear not. I haven't dished
out a shattering rejoinder
since my days as a halfback
at the Canterbury Prep
School. Oh what happy times!
Kip, Carleton, and myself
would run through the
freshman dorms issuing Bloody
Franklin's to anyone who
couldn't sing the school
anthem to our liking. Then in
the night, we'd steal away to
the Lafayette Girl's Academy
to steal kisses from our best
gals ... Wait a minute, where
the hell am I? Oh yeah, your

In answer to your question,
the joke was meant to be that
no matter how many times you
wash your trousers, sometimes
they still smell like horse
shit. Sorry if this was

the Camel
Fish With Letter Icon

Subject: What is DAR?

Hayden Thomson

In answer to your query, DAR
has been used as an acronym
for many groups. While the
most well-known is the
Daughters of the American
Revolution, there is also
Dentists Against Racism, The
Society for Diphthongs,
Alliteration, and Rhyme, and
my favorite, "The National
Coalition of Christian Midget
Jugglers. Your guess as to
Dottie's affiliation is as
good as mine.

the Camel
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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