The Fish
for 27 March 2000. Updated every WEEKDAY.
 
Suck Staff
 

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Havrilesky
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Senior Editor

 

[Copy Edit]
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Copy Editor

 

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Phillip Bailey
Production Editor








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



The Jawbone of a Scare Quote

Thanks so much for your
slight to the AP style guide.

"Yet the term isn't mentioned
in The New York Times'
heavy-duty instruction
manual, nor in The Washington
Post Deskbook on Style; not
in the slim volume the
Associated Press puts out or
The Chicago Manual of Style
or any of the various MLA
guides."

Sincerely,

Edith
<ess@blkbox.com>

Why do people force the blowy
AP style guide on anyone,
anyway? It's one of those
mysteries, like why is the
Associated Press a non-profit
organization?

Slotcar
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


One of the local businesses
around here, Danny "D" TV
Repair, had a sign in their
window announcing that they
were going on "vacation". I
puzzled over that one for
weeks.

Take care,

Scoats
<scoats@greylodge.com>

"Scoats" sounds like a
contraction of "scare
quotes." Is that why you're
so interested in their
deployment?

As a responsible journalist,
I contacted Danny "D" TV
Repair. Danny (Senior) put
"vacation" in quotes like
that because he spent his
time off sitting on his couch
watching a Philco he repaired
five years ago that the
customer never came to pick
up. Turns out the guy died.
Now there's some ironical
usage!

Slotcar
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


Oh boy, oh boy! I already
found a word that needs scare
quotes! In the first
paragraph, you say:

"They pat the phrase on the
back and send it on it's way
bundled up in scare quotes."

Ooh, it's a trendy mis-usage
of non-possessive "it's"!
This is obviously an attempt
to get closer to your readers
by using layman's jargon,
right?

Egads. "Layman's jargon"
sounds somehow very
intimidating, & perhaps a bit
naughty, though it's
certainly not worthy of scare
quotes.

I did really enjoy the
article, though. Have no
doubts about that. It's just
the militant grammatician in
me that causes such reactions
to occur while I sit here
eating my "Grape-Nuts" &
reading "Suck" naked.

kate.rears.kittka
<hkrear@wm.edu>

At least one mystery has been
solved here. Those signs at
restaurants that advertise
"Breakfast" Served All Day?
Copy editing didn't catch the
writer's mistake before they
taped it to the wall.

Your letter gets the award
for most interesting batch of
scare quoted words used to
beat me over the head. With
"layman's jargon" and "Suck"
you wouldn't have placed.
"Grape-Nuts" pushed you over.
Especially since you claimed
to be eating them naked. The
facial contortions needed to
chew those things + breakfast
table nudity = most lasting
image of the day. Thank you.

Slotcar
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


Subject: ethnic
cleansing/genocide

No, no...you have it all
wrong: ethnic cleansing is
NOT genocide. The point of
genocide is to kill everyone
in a given ethnic group. The
point of ethnic cleansing is
to clear a given ethnic group
out of a given area: usually
by forcibly evacuating them.
Granted, shooting a few helps
get the overall message
accross to the others, but
still they are different
concepts. The reason ethnic
cleansing survived as a
coinage — beyond its
appealingly sinister ring
— is that it conveys
something different from
genocide.

Francisco Toro
<franciscotoro@hotmail.com>

To my cauliflower ear that
sounds a lot like a
justification for ethnic
cleansing. Since the use of
the word genocide isn't
reserved for instances where
it's been successful —
where every member of a group
has been killed — well,
then every member of a group
doesn't have to have been
killed for genocide to have
been committed. It's about
intent. Maybe ethnic
cleansing is what genocidal
maniacs use to describe
genocide that they know won't
succeed.

Your definiton is pragmatic,
just like in my example. The
numbers just aren't there.
The use of the term ethnic
cleansing anesthetizes
readers to the reality of
genocide and makes it
tolerable. Heavy, huh?

Slotcar
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


Speaking of letters from my
grandmother, she always
signed her cards:

"Love,"

Nana

Which always made me wonder
about whether there was real
sentiment behind the $5 bill
she enclosed.

Ted Metzler
<metzlert@proxicom.com>

These scare quotes stories
are enough to break my
cauliflower heart. I'm so
sorry, Ted. It's sadly
obvious that your grandmother
didn't love you. But you're
better off than me. My Aunt
"Winnie" and my Uncle
"Willie" only sent me a
dollar bill every year. On
the other hand, I was doing
pretty good because I had no
idea who the people behind
those obvious pseudonyms
were. It's like parents who
sign the cards "Santa Claus"
on the Christmas gifts they
give to their kids. That's a
red (and green) flag,
kiddies, and an early lesson
in why you shouldn't trust a
scare quote.

Slotcar
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


Hey, what is a "ho-made"
Donut? Donut made by "ho"s?

Cameron Geiser
<cameron@slip.net>

See, you see what happens
with scare quotes? People get
all smart-mouthed because
they can't resist questioning
everything inside them.

A (or is that an?) "ho-made"
donut is not a donut made by
hos, funnyman. A "ho-made"
donut is a donut made by
ex-hos who've been forced to
get "real" jobs under new
welfare strictures. I suppose
it's easy to denigrate their
Krispy Kreme efforts. In the
future, resist the impulse.

Slotcar
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


Should I write in a vote for
Suck.com?


The self-important
("esteemed") Webby Awards
judges left Suck off the
nominees list this year. In
lieu of vengeful,
time-consuming DNS attacks,
and in the spirit of the
merchandise-fueled grassroots
campaign, I've decided to
just write in "Suck.com" to
win an award. Apparently,
this is a popular notion
because the Webby site told
me I wasn't the first.

I don't expect any
Suck.com-branded items in
return for this miniscule
gesture, but I'm sure your
legion(s) of fans would
appreciate your preference as
far as categories go --"Print
& Zines" or "Humor." You've
been nominated before in
both, so the Webby people
can't figure it out either.

John Teti
<johnteti@kear.tdsnet.com>

Thanks for your support,
John. Real stickers with
sticky backs are headed your
way even as we speak. Suck
fully endorses all efforts to
disrupt the orderly
functioning of the Webby
Awards. We have endorsed such
efforts in past years and
will continue to do so until
such time as Suck is awarded
first prizes in the Webbys'
Fashion, Living and Sports
categories.

But let's keep something in
mind. Suck has been unfairly
ignored over the years. But
Lori Berenson has been held
without trial in a Peruvian
prison for more than four
years. Ms. Berenson's
continued incarceration is a
rebuke to all people who
treasure liberty and honor
due process of law.
Therefore, we urge all our
readers to put aside Suck's
concerns for a moment and
write www.freelori.org into
the Webbys' "Humor" category
— and any other Webby
categories which you see fit.

Thanks for listening, and
let's free Lori Berenson.

Sucksters
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


Hit & Run

You people rock. I've been
telling my witless,
Protestant, Jewish and Hindu
friends that they don't seem
to understand how significant
the statement by the Pope is
but they've just responded
with crying, whining or some
kind of crazy, Hindustani
chant to their pagan gods.
This is, of course, better
than the response from the
Agnostics, which is a blank
stare, or that from the
Atheists, which is some kind
of angry, inchorent muttering
about irrelevance and some
word that sounds a little too
much like moronosity. So, by
posting on Suck that its the
act and not the action,
you've managed to cement
Catholic theological
dominance at one
telecommunications start-up.
Thank you, God bless you and
realize we're knocking off a
couple years in purgatory for
this.

Elijah Meeks
<ElijahM@AdicomWireless.com>

Would you mind not telling
everybody our game plan,
Elijah? The last guy to try
cementing Catholic
theological dominance in
America was JFK Sr., and look
what happened to him.

Sucksters
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


Code This Book

dear boob,

the "Code This Book" article
was great; i wonder if "BOOK
READERS"(ha) will even give a
damn when they discover that
the 'urban tour-de-force'
novel they just read was
written by TRASHY, the
cognizant TRS-80 computer...

signed,

a boob fan

I often wonder that myself.
But what they don't know,
won't hurt them. TRASHY will
keep on keeping it real until
Tandy discontinues his power
supply, or until his poetry
slam vs. the Commodore PET is
made public. Let's hope
neither happens soon.

yours,

The Boob
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

 The Shit
Krushchev Remembers, by Nikita Krushchev (authorship disputed), translated by Strobe Talbott
Five-Star Day Cafe
Athens, Ga.
Salon's "Action Figures"
TV ad
Donna's Famous "Long and Short of It," by Donna Anderson and friends
Two-Lane Blacktop, directed by Monte Hellman (The Anchor Bay/Universal letterboxed edition)
George Bush, Dark Prince of Love: A Presidential Romance, by Lydia Millet (Scribner)
King Kong: The Complete 1933 Film Score, by Max Steiner Moscow Symphony Orchestra, William J. Stromberg conductor (Marco Polo)
Eightball #20, by Dan Clowes (Fantagraphics Books)
The ECW's Little Spike Dudley
Stan Kenton, City of Glass, featuring arrangements by legendary weirdo Bob Graettinger (EMD/Blue Note)
Comix 2000, Edited and published by L'Association, 2000
Star Dudes
Do you know of stuff that doesn't actively suck? Things so good they deserve to make the Shitlist? Send your suggestions to us.

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