The Fish
for 13 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

Hit & Run

Is there any possibility that
someone could notify when the
current mcsweeney's publicity
stunt has ended? It's true
that I will endure almost
endless tedium when it comes
to Internet magazines (I am a
devout reader of
after all), but the current
state of mcsweeney's exceeds
even my endurance. It seems
to me that if a publicity
stunt is only marginally
funny and/or interesting to
begin with, dragging it out
for an extended period of
time will do little to
improve it's level of humour
or interest. Mcsweeneys's was
never terribly consistent to
begin with, but at least that
was because of the variety of
writing. Inconsistency is
vastly superior to something
with the consistency of cold


Matthew Dorrell

Don't knock cold outmeal,
Matthew. There are over six
billion people in the world
today, and oatmeal will keep
more of them from starvation
than good writing has ever
managed to do.

As for the publicity stunt, I
think you should steel
yourself to the notion that
it will never end. But look
on the bright side - since
McSweeney's itself has always
been something of a publicity
stunt, its year-plus
existence has already built
up your publicity-stunt
endurance. Though not as
effectively as Suck, which is
rapidly approaching its fifth
year of shoveling out
inconsistently tedious

Fish With Letter Icon

Evidence for the claim that
the bail-out is
a hoax: the McSweeney
children swim on the "Melrose
Sharks" team. This same swim
team name was used in one of
the fake reviews posted for
Egger's book. One of the dry
wits was too attached to this
darling name and reused it.

Now, I suppose if someone
were industrious enough to do
actual research, more
compelling evidence could be
found. But I'm not that

Tim Mitchell
Crack Rabbit Cove
British Columbia, Canada

Or one of Eggers' minions saw
the swim team at and worked the
name into the fake book
review. Or those bad boys at
McSweeney's went to the
trouble to set up a dummy
real estate
firm in Woburn
Massachussetts, which is
listed in the Woburn phone
book, mentions "Gerry
McSweeney" as an employee on
its web site, and refers
calls for "Gerry McSweeney"
to a guy who identifies
himself as "Gerry McSweeney."
Or they really did the deal
but no money changed hands.
Or they didn't but it did. At
some point, if they're
willing to go to that much
trouble on such an
uninteresting prank, you've
got to concede the point and
say "Knock yourselves out,

Fish With Letter Icon

Hasn't anyone noticed that hasn't


Chris Piuma

Oh sure, go on with your
crackpot Kremlinology! You
know, it's cynics like you
who make it hard for good
folks to come together in
honest and uncomplicated

Fish With Letter Icon

Subject: Re: pranks by the
"alternative news media"
I think what's even more
interesting is when in the
middle of the year, a New
Times paper writes a hoax
article about a judge who
sends a kid to jail for
writing a book report about
Where The Wild Things Are.
Now, it might be easily
dismissed as satire, except
for a few kickers. The thing
with Chris Beamon (kid writes
story about getting high and
killing teacher, etc)
happened around here, and the
judge who did it was named
Darlene Whitten. The judge
named in the article is a...
Darlene Whitten. And there
are quotes.

Try searching for her name at
- she's now suing the paper.

Andrew Hime

You should read Warren
Hinckle's book and you'll
find, once again, that they
did it better in the sixties.
Ramparts, which had already
distinguished itself as the
nation's leading voice in JFK
assassination theory, then
decided to self-deprecate by
running a parody review of a
fake four-volume book of
extreme Oswald-Ruby-Johnson
conspiracy theories by" Ulov
LeBeouf." The magazine's JFK
assassination buffs
recognized the parody
immediately and were
incensed, but the LeBeouf
book ended up being cited in
the bibliographies of several
later JFK books.

yr pal,

Fish With Letter Icon

The Suck Crassroots Movement

Well, I tried. I sent the
following to the Talk of the
Nation installment today that
featured The Onion. Often
they'll read an e-mail on the
air, especially something
contrarian, but not a one

"Subject: Better than the
Onion, funnier than all of

The Onion is cute and
chuckle-friendly, but it
lacks the gravitas, the moral
center, that makes real
satire, and soul-stirring
belly-laughs, possible.

For the real thing, and the
best writing on the Web, go
to the best magazine on the
Web, Please ask
your guests about Suck.

Randy Ratliff
Kansas City,MO"

I won't ask for the smart
Suck ball-cap or t-shirt that
I crave. I just wanted you to
know your demographic is on
the march.

Randy Ratliff

Thanks, Randy. All efforts
touch our hearts.

I can't emphasize this enough
- TELEPHONE! Telephone,
Telephone, Telephone! Use the
telephone. This is 2000:
everybody knows about email;
they're used to ignoring it,
and in every subject line
they see a subtext note
reading "I secretly want you
to disregard this message."
Why do you think everybody is
willing to give out an email
address and nobody is willing
to give out a phone number?
Because they know one doesn't
work and the other does. The
phone was, is and will
continue to be the only
proven method for pestering
people and getting their
attention. This is
straight-up advice I'm giving
you here, and it applies as
much to your work with
Applied Communications Group
as to any future guerrilla
warfare on Suck's behalf.
Whatever it is you're trying
to accomplish, use the phone!

And maybe we should cheese it
on the "Suck is better than
So-and So" business. Who's
got time for the pissing
competitions? Try just going
with a nice, round, oracular
phrase like:

"You and I are just passing
through history. Suck is

yr pal,

Fish With Letter Icon

Filler: Do You Have a Bad

Subject: bad head cat faces

From the Fish page:

"Bad headed individuals can
have successful, long-term
relationships. They just have
to choose their partners very
carefully. Possible partners
those with bad heads: [...]
4. A little doggie"

What about the prototypical
bad-head animal, cats?
They're surly, clumsily
manipulative, and
alternatingly cloying and
standoffish -- all the better
to fit a bad-head owner's
moods to a T! They even
attack furniture!

Sean M. Burke

Yeah, but cats are really bad
when you need comforting and
they don't feel like giving
it. I'm not saying that they
don't get it right when you
feel really awful and look
sort of pale and downtrodden.
But when you're sort of just
annoyed and grumpy and you
need a happy greeting from
the cat, that asshole's off
chasing some fly or staring
at you from across the room
while you yell, "Damn it,
come over here right now and
give me a nice cuddle, or
else!" How stupid do you feel
forcing your animal into a
hug? Actually, that's part of
the benefit of having a cat,
though. Making it struggle to
break free from your arms,
Abominable-Snowman style.

Clumsy mean pet owner,

Fish With Letter Icon

Filler: Adulthood and Thank
You Notes

Not that you care, but I live
in Halifax and Filler wasn't
up like it usually is when I
got into work this morning. I
know we're in the
zone but there's nothing like
seeing my life online to
really perk me up every
Wednesday. Today I really had
a hard time getting started
at my job of whore for an ad
agency without that little

Please try to be more
punctual in the future. I'm
fragile enough as it is!


Kara Holm

That's so funny, because when
Filler didn't go up this
morning like it usually does,
Phil, the production dude,
took a break from huffing
lemony fresh Pledge and
started to really sweat over
making Filler live as soon as
possible. Or maybe he was
sweating from the Pledge
inhalation. At any rate, I
said, "Hey, Phil, who really
cares about those whores in
the Atlantic time zone?" But
Phil said, "Those Atlantic
whores are fragile enough as
it is, Polly!" This from a
guy whose lips have a
perpetual waxy buildup.

More fragile than thou,

Fish With Letter Icon

Subject: American Snooty

Dear Polly,

Filler this week started off
as the usual witty, uplifting
in a perverse way,
graphically augmented essay.
The pizza/sack of shit
metaphor cracked me up.
However, that was the hanging
pause at the top of the

From that point on, I was
submerged in vertigo and
screaming all the way down to
the bottom of the pit of my
soul. My ego splattered
against the hard concrete of
loving your friendly cats
more than your catty friends,
resembling a puddle of mashed

It was an E-ticket having my
mind read like that, but
please don't do that to me
too often. I'm already maxed
out on my Celexa dosage.



Maybe we all need to make
some brand new friends. Make
new friends and keep the old,
one is warm and fuzzy and the
other's cold!

Just kidding. Catty
intellectuals just don't do
it for me, though. I'm always
walking the line between
wanting smart, busybody type
friends, like little parrots
sitting on my shoulder,
commenting intelligently on
everything they see, and
wanting warm, lovable friends
like little doggies wagging
their tails whenever I walk
in the door, and then sitting
next to me while they chew on
their bones or bark at stuff
outside. I spend a lot of
time with the dogs and then I
feel slightly bored and hang
out with a parrot or two, but
then one of them says, "You
know, with all due respect, I
really think you're
oversimplifying the dichotomy
I established earlier." Then
I get one of my dogs to rip
the parrot to shreds.

I like smart people who apply
their intelligence to stupid
things. But smart people
often take discussions so
seriously that they feel they
have to drive their points
or dispute what you just
said, and then you've got a
pointless one-upmanship
situation going on where
people defend their sides
just to be contrary, even
though they generally believe
their own arguments about as
much as if they were assigned
that side in a debate in 10th
grade English. I want
everyone making sloppily
intelligent, grossly
exaggerated points for the
sake of humor and then
tossing back their drinks and
moving on to something else.

See, I'm way too dimwitted
and shallow to warrant dosage
adjustments, Rob.

Good doggie.

Fish With Letter Icon


As far as I can tell, you
think the Fish page is your
own personal forum for
rambling on about whatever
comes to mind. You never pay
any attention to the point a
person makes. You just talk
about yourself.

Get a life.

Alicia Randall

You know, one of the best
things I've ever seen on TV
was this interview with
Monica Seles last spring. She
was talking in this
no-nonsense voice about her
strategy while they showed
clips of her beating someone
on the court. Then they cut
to a closeup of her mother in
the stands, holding a little
terrier. Suddenly Monica's
voice changed entirely, and
she squealed, "There's my
little doggie!"

It was like suddenly she was
so excited for her little
doggie, that it got to be on
TV. I thought that was pretty
cute. And about a million
times more interesting than
what came before and after
it. It was genuinely dorky.
Genuine dorkiness is great.
It made John Cusack a huge
star, for one.

What did you want to know

Fish With Letter Icon


What a reassuring treat to
see you back on top of your
game! I can't tell you how
lovely it was to see you
reading my thoughts again. I
am truly grateful for your
creative contibution to my

Again, Thank you


Back on top of my game? And
I'm on top of my game when
I'm...reading your thoughts.
Very interesting logic.

Hey, have you seen that
commercial for Budget where
they give the guy the jetpack
to get to his car? That's the
best commercial that's ever
been made. The jetpack engine
is roaring and the guy
standing next to him is
screaming something like,
"Just remember to shut off
the blahblahblah valve before
you..." and then... Well, you
gotta see it.

But I bet you were just
thinking about that already.


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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