The Fish
for 10 April 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

Intention Deficit Disorder


"And the cocktails of uppers,
downers, and SSRIs aren't the
only realities of
contemporary childhood that
suggest the possibility that
large numbers of
grade-schoolers may someday
sign with Colonel Tom, do a
bunch of shitty movies, and
die on the toilet."

Heh. Just as I finished
reading this line my alarm
sounded to remind me to take
my Ritalin, which made me
chuckle (which subsequently
made me nearly choke on the
damn little pill).

I was diagnosed with ADD at
age 23, and I've been taking
Ritalin off and on ever
since. I quit taking it about
a year and a half ago because
I was convinced that it
hindered my creativity, which
I saw as a con that far
outweighed the pros of
drugging myself into
conformity every day. Turned
out that I couldn't do my
shitty job without it. I also
couldn't balance my
checkbook, pay my bills on
time, match my socks, find my
keys or remember to eat
(maybe there's your link to
why the little
pharmaceutically treated
buggers are getting so fat),
so I started taking it again.
I dream of the day when I can
do something for a living
that actually has something
to do with my inherent
talents and abilities, at
which point my addled brain
and my admittedly twisted way
of looking at things will be
an asset rather than a
liability, and I hope that
once I get there I'll be able
to afford to hire people to
take care of the necessities
of life for me; but in the
mean time, I continue to take
it so that I can function at
my shitty job and take care
of myself, and try not to
dwell on the fact that my
brain on drugs loses touch
with those talents and
abilities that I hope will
someday earn me a decent
living. It's quite a

I have to wonder if, had I
been diagnosed and medicated
from an early age, I'd have
done better in school, lived
up to all of that potential
that everybody kept telling
me I wasn't living up to,
learned some social skills,
graduated college, and been
able to get a job that's not
quite so shitty, that
wouldn't require me to
voluntarily drug myself into
a socially acceptable norm
just to be able to get
through the day without
screwing up or alienating all
of my coworkers. Then again,
maybe if I had been given
medication all through my
childhood, I'd have missed
out on all of the schoolyard
beatings and faculty neglect,
not to mention the wrath of
my parents who knew I was
smart but mistook my
inability to get ahead for
unwillingness to try and
punished me accordingly, all
of which led to my
considerable teen angst,
which put me in touch with my
ability to write, which led
me to become a writer.

So on the one hand I'd likely
have turned out to be a
corporate cog with good pay,
good benefits, good manners,
good memories, and social
grace, and I'd be leading a
perfectly normal life, and
I'd probably be the sort of
person who gets a little
wigged out by people like me.
When I consider this, I'm
glad that my parents didn't
medicate me. Yes, my
childhood was incredibly
painful as a result, and I
may be broke, bitter and
introverted, but I'd rather
be this way and aware of who
I am and what I came from and
where I'm headed as both a
writer and a person, than
blissfully ordinary and


Jean Marie Cousins


I have torn through many,
many, many shitty jobs, and
the thing I can promise you
is: There are always more of
them out there. Not worth
drugging yourself to keep a
job you hate when
unemployment is at, like,
point-zero-zer- zero-four
percent. Save that for the
next major economic

As for me, I spent about a
month on Ritalin as a five
year-old. My parents,
however, immediately noticed
that it turned me into a
houseplant, and - bless their
hearts - told the mediocre
school district that wanted
me drugged to... well, you
get the point. And now, to
repeat a favorite theme, I
write for Suck!

And, anyway, what the hell's
wrong with a shitty
childhood, schoolyard
beatings, no social skills, a
poor education, and being
broke and bitter? You make it
sound bad or something.

Fish With Letter Icon

Todays article kicked ass. I
particularly like the part
where you refer to the
American consumers as Aphids
of the new economy. We are
indeed being reduced to
spineless consumers which
excrete food for our masters.
As someone who tries to avoid
participation consumerism, I
must say that the good
feelings generated by
standing against the man more
than compensates for the
derision I recieve for my
unstylish dress, my wholesome
diet, and my anti-imperialist



Your warm praise is humbly
accepted. Well, okay, not
humbly. Just one thing:
Tragically, you have singled
out, for special praise, a
piece of the essay - that
"aphids" thing - that came
from the mind of a highly
trained Suck editor. They're
good, yes? But the rest was
mine. Or at least a lot of it
was. For sure all the other
good parts. So. Yeah.

Fish With Letter Icon


Read your piece in Suck today
and enjoyed it immensely.
This trend of medicating our
kids seems only to serve to
raise the stock values of
pharmaceutical companies and
continues a grotesque trend
of America's elders not
raising the young but
devouring them. If we can't
bother to raise them, we can
at least make a little money
off them as we grind them to

I was surprised you didn't
mention Brave New World
anywhere in your piece, with
the Soma holidays being a
natural extension of what
these medicated kids will
become as adults.

Your pieces habitually hack
me off, make me laugh and
oblige me to nod my head.
Strong work.


Randal Doering

"Your pieces hack me off"
just doesn't sound like a
compliment, no matter how
many times I re-read it.
Sounds like I've given you a
throat disease of some kind.
But still and all, thanks.

off to the feelies,

Fish With Letter Icon

Thank you for your piece on
the appalling overuse of
drugs to keep kids from
being, well, kids. Back in my
day (I'm a hoary oldster of
29) I played soccer, went
swimming, and watched a lot
of football, and except for
being kind of cranky at
times, did just fine. "Just
Say No" was just starting;
little did we know that our
generation would switch to
"Say Yes To Ritalin" in only
twenty years.

It will come full circle,
though. Just you wait for the
class-action lawsuits by
grown-up Ritalin kids. Only a
few years left until this
happens - the maker had
better hope that it's off
patent by that time, so the
risk can be spread across the
whole industry.

Andrew Sullivan

Lawsuits? Naaaaah. Baseball

Much more elegant and

Fish With Letter Icon

The Hinckle File

You wrote, quoting Warren

"For a guy to be saying the
new Examiner is going to be
yellowing on your doorstep is
just Torah, Torah Torah. It's
hysterical and crazy. So I
put out a column where I
quoted a bunch of his
defenders saying he hasn't
got a racist bone in his
body. I say that's like the
old "some of my best friends
are Jews" line they used to
say about anti-Semites."

Unless Hinckle deliberately
mixed his metaphors, I'd say
the spelling of "Torah,
Torah, Torah," should have
been "Tora, Tora, Tora."
Without the "h" it's a
reference to the bad WWII war
movie of the same name. Among
other things, the movie
depicted various epic air/sea
battles between Japanese
attack fighter aircraft and
U.S. naval craft. How the
Chinese Fang family is
related to the Japanese
military of WWII isn't quite
clear. Hinckle's casual
inaccuracy is an example of
ethnic trash talk that has an
offensive edge. Chinese don't
like being mistaken for
Japanese. Jewish people don't
like being mistaken for
Chinese. Afro-Americans don't
like being mistaken for East
Indians, ad infinitum, in
every combination you can
dream up. A person generally
prefers being defined by his
own culture, mores, and
folkways (even if some
definitions are insulting!),
rather than being mistakenly
lumped in with someone who
looks vaguely like him due to
similarities in skin color or
some other vacuous reference
point. Allusions to the
vagaries of prejudiced
attitudes goes hand-in-hand
with the responsibility to
comment accurately and
narrowly. Hinckle's use of
the eponymous "they" in
reference to what used to be
said about Jews is laughable.
In fact, "they" still use the
quoted line. Hinckle's stream
of consciousness description
of what the paper will/may
become is typical of S.F.
attitudes. A lot of money
will be spent. Very little of
value will result. The
opportunity exists for
Hinckle to do something
really worthwhile and
sustainable, but the lack of
maturity evident in a man so
experienced is shocking.

Howard Carson

Since the article was a
transcription of a spoken
interview with Hinckle, I am
solely to blame for the
misspelling, an error made
all the more embarassing by
the fact that I have seen the
movie Tora! Tora! Tora! five
or six times and have on
countless occasions tried to
milk some yuks out of the old
joke "Tora! Tora! Tora!? Who
wants to see a movie about a
bunch of rabbis?"
Unforgivable as the error is,
since it seems to be the only
one in a 6,000-word
transcription, I'll just have
to invoke another piece of
rabbinical wisdom and say
"Call me pischer."

As for the rest of your
complaint, it reminds me of
why I have long sought to
come up with a two-syllable
or two-word phrase to
describe the phenomenon of
fake, puffed-up and vain
displays of umbrage. I would
be truly amazed if you've
ever lost a minute of sleep
over casual confusion of
ethnicities. In any event, I
don't see how it's beyond the
pale for Hinckle to make this
reference in a discussion of
the legendary "yellow peril"
scares propounded by the
Hearst papers and the
California establishment -
the most infamous expression
of which was the
incarceration of Japanese
Americans following the
events depicted in the movie
Tora! Tora! Tora! (Slight
correction: This movie does
not depict various epic
air/sea battles, but only the
prelude to and execution of
the attack on Pearl Harbor;
you may be thinking of
Midway in Sensurround).
Hinckle was not referring to
either Japanese or Chinese,
but to people who slight both
groups based at least in part
on the color of their skin.

Or to put it another way: A
Jewish guy walks into a bar,
sees a Chinese guy having a
drink, and proceeds to punch
him in the face.

"That's for bombing Pearl
Harbor!" he says.

"I didn't bomb Pearl Harbor,"
the Chinese guy says. "The
Japanese bombed Pearl

"Japanese, Chinese,
Vietnamese, you're all the

A few drinks later, the
Chinese guy gets up and
punches the Jewish guy in the
face. "That's for sinking the

"I didn't sink the Titanic.
An iceberg sank the Titanic."

<insert punchline here>

yr pal,

Fish With Letter Icon

Dear Tim:

Thank you for telling me more
than I needed to know about
SF journalism. I knew there
was a reason I always bought
the national edition of the
New York Times when I was
visiting. Awesome interview.

In your copious spare time,
be sure to check out the
editorial page of the Wall
Street Journal last Thursday.
In the second paragraph of an
otherwise completely MEGO
editorial about why the
French should be more like
us, we find the phrase
"putting their fingers into
dykes." What this says about
the WSJ's spellcheck
routines, editorial policies,
or general attitude toward
life I cannot say, but I can
speculate. No correction was
visible Friday, and one
wonders how you COULD publish
a correction. Oh well.

Alan Kornheiser

Once again, the Journal
appears to have been
channeling the Howard Stern
Show. On Wednesday, Stern
broadcast an Oscars interview
in which Stuttering John
asked Morton Downey Jr., "Do
you think Hillary Swank did a
good job playing a dyke?"
Mort's reply: "I don't know
what a dyke is. The last dike
I saw was in Holland." No
doubt the editorial writer
still had Mort's sly double
entendre in mind as he or she
typed away. In any event,
since we went live with a
claim that Rabbis bombed
Pearl Harbor, the stupid typo
of the week award still goes

On the topic of slipping in
derogatory terms for women,
I'd like to congratulate the
Slutgers women's basketball
team on a great season and a
hard-fought tournament.
Better luck next year, Lady

yr pal,

Fish With Letter Icon

Sweet Hinckle article. I
think it cuts up well into
separate pages. I definitely
find it easier to read a lot
of stuff when I don't have to
scroll around as much.

Plus, Hinckle rules! When's
he gonna run for mayor?


It's an intriguing prospect.
The eyepatch alone should be
enough to get him on the
ballot. But my sense is that
Hinckle would rather be a
boilermaker than a king.

yr pal,

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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