The Fish
for 18 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

Call Western Union

So right on. I have to send
your article to a woman I met
recently. I was at a pool
party, and the host's
neighbor walked over to
introduce herself, her
cockatiel "just chilling
out!" on her shoulder. She
sat down and asked me almost
immediately what I thought of
the Academy Awards. "I
thought The Insider was
great", I offered. "Oh did
you? I didn't see it but I
heard it was really
depressing. It must have been
better than that American
Beauty though. I can't
believe it won. I mean, what
an awful movie." She paused
for me to ask "Why?" and then
said "I just don't need to
see that. I want movies to be
relaxing. Boys Don't Cry,
with the rapes? I mean you
saw everything." She went on
and on. "I mean I know people
have terrible lives like
that--I mean I live in this
crazy building! I can hear
everything! But I mean I
don't go to the movies to
watch people commit suicide!
I can't wait to see "Return
to Me". Right, Butterball?
Yeeeess..." The bird must
have been agreeing with her.
This woman is clearly in the
"Last Boy Scout II" camp.
She's got enough social
conscience in her life, so
stop messing with her movies
already. Someone hurry up and
make Paulie II for this poor


Bad news, mmmmmbuttery: they
are doing a Paulie sequel...
but this time Paulie's a
lawyer! His little friends
sent him to law school and
his starting salary's 150K a
year. He's the mouthpiece for
a whole group of pirates with
scurvy and rickets who are
suing their captains and he's
not afraid to tell it like it
is! But don't worry, Paulie
will get those sea dogs to
sign depositions before you
can say "Ahoy, matey!" Harvey
Keitel co-stars as the
grandson of the founder of
the Dutch East India Company.
Harv better watch out if he
drops trou in front of
Paulie. Ouch!

"Buttery," "Butterball"...
I'm a little worried about
your cholesterol. And be
careful at those pool

Slotcar Hatebath
Fish With Letter Icon

Excellent essay. It
encourages us to think deeply
and to speak honestly. Thank
you for your hard work.

Dan E Hale

I've always said it's not the
glitz and glamour that
interest me. It's not the
money and the fame. No, I
don't care about all that
stuff. That stuff is written
in sand. Here today, sure,
but as sure as shooting gone
tomorrow. If my message can
affect just one person —
just one person — then
it's all worthwhile. That's
all I, or any of us, can hope
for. Thank you, Dan, for
being that one person —
and thank you for daring to
speak so honestly yourself.
And while I'm at it, what the
hell, I'd like to thank the
Academy. They're making
motions for me to get off...

Slotcar Hatebath
Fish With Letter Icon

even though i really enjoyed
"Hurricane" and was upset by
you slamming such a well
filmed movie i have to say
the line "As the ideals of
the early '60s vaporized into
narcissism and random
violence" was the best
line/object/idea i saw on the
internet in my whole
afternoon of intensive office
browsing. a great great line.


Protector of Mankind

Although I wouldn't expect
the Protector of Mankind to
have particularly good taste
in movies, calling The
Hurricane well-filmed is even
worse than I'd predict. If TV
movie-style visuals and a
Niagara of clichés
constitute the height of film
aesthetics for you,
Protector, mankind is in deep

Be sure to let me know what
you think of 28 Days.

But excuse me, I have to go
vaporize some more ideals.

Slotcar Hatebath
Fish With Letter Icon

I agree. One of the sad
things about this movie was
that yes, the lawyers struck
gold, but what about the
cancer victums? The last time
I checked, throwing large
sums of cash at cancer does
not "cure" it. The movie does
not tell us about the
horrible, painful deaths
these semi millionaire
lawsuit recipients probably
suffered/are suffering. The
sad truth is they would have
been better off seeking valid
alternative treatments (e.g.,
Dr Richard Shultze, thru Sam
Biser, has a wonderful twelve
tape set and three volumn
manual on how to cure any
form of cancer using large
amounts of pure natural herbs
and herb concetrates via
various forms of treatment).
The "message" I got from this
movie was trust in the Lord
(let herbs be as your
medicine), not in man and his

Edward L. Grau

And I couldn't agree with you
more. Even people with health
insurance are in accord on
this one: western medicine is
no damn good! Especially
HMO's and those discount
dentists. And why are glasses
frames so damned expensive
now? Is there an herbal
treatment for
far-sightedness? Can you make
your own glasses at home, or
are we to be forever in the
grip of Italian designers, if
not thrift stores? What does
the Lion's Club think about
this? I'm picturing a movie
with Richard Gere as a
crusading ophthalmologist and
Lion's Club member who's not
gonna give in to those
people. In fact, I heard he
read a script like that, but
he'd never seen the word
"ophthalmologist" written
down before, so he got scared
and tossed it aside after he
read the first scene.

I was going to include a
section on herb-based cancer
treatments in my message
movie piece, but
unfortunately it got squeezed
out by my discussion of Julia
Roberts's underwear. Unfair!

Slotcar Hatebath
Fish With Letter Icon


Your discussion of Stanley
Kramer's ups and downs with
the Message Movie could have
mentioned some of his earlier
works. Not because it would
have been relevant, but
because it's fun to mention
"The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T"
wherever possible.

Jim Burrill

If only The 5,000 Fingers of
Dr. T.
hadn't been produced
by Kramer, maybe the message
wouldn't have gotten in the
way so much and turned
Seuss's wild fantasy so
morose. At least our Stanley
had the sense not to direct
it himself. Too bad he didn't
let the good Doctor handle
the direction — God
forbid Kramer would ever take
a real chance — instead
of hiring Roy Rowland. As
usual, praise be to Hans
Conried. (1953 was a big
Conried year; he also starred
in Arch Oboler's The Twonky,
a movie about a man whose TV
takes over his life. Know
anyone who can send me a
tape? I've wanted to see it
for a long time and haven't
been able to track it down.)

Slotcar Hatebath
Fish With Letter Icon

Skin Cancer

Skins and themes are only a
"usability nightmare" if you
meet one (or both) of the
following requirements:

1.. You are too stupid to
figure out how they work.

2.. You are too stupid to
realize that you don't have
to use them.


What if you're too stupid to
realize that you have to use
them in Netscape 6? What if
you can't use the standard
interface? What then?
"Usability nightmare."

Greg Knauss
Fish With Letter Icon

Mr. Knauss, yer off-base on a
few issues.

First, the case is
overstated. A button is a
button. The buttons in
Mozilla M14 look like
buttons. It's not rocket
science to interpret them.

Second, programs that use
skins are generally used by
people who are comfortable
with computers and aren't
intimidated by a slightly
unfamiliar interface. In
fact, they're bored stiff by
having to stare at the same
rectangular dull gray
bevel-edged button a thousand
times every day of their
lives. It may take a little
longer to learn an
interesting interface than a
boring one, but once the
learning curve is done, it's
*done*. If you're going to
use the program every day for
a year, the drawbacks of an
interesting interface will
vanish after the first couple
of days. You're choosing
between slight inconvenience
up front, or a daily dose of
boredom for the life of the

Familiarity breeds contempt.
You've missed the story here
entirely. Once the novelty of
mere functionality wears off,
people want something to keep
them interested. There are a
million different kinds of
toasters and telephones out
there, all with substantially
identical features. The real
decision is, "what do I want
to have to look at every

Skins may not be suitable for
somebody who's never used a
computer before, but the pool
of people who have never used
a computer before is
shrinking anyway.

Third, QuickTime 4 may well
be unusable, but by God it's
got some wicked cool widgets!

Fourth: ". . . chucking the
whole idea for something
"better" (not to mention more
convenient for programmers). . ."

"More convenient for
programmers" my ass! Writing
a re-skinnable GUI is at
least an order of magnitude
more of a hassle than using
an existing widget set.
That's why that kind of GUI
is still so rare on anything
that has a ship date. Don't
be ridiculous.


Thanks for writing, md, but I
don't think that "Well, gosh,
I'm sure bored with gray" is
a reason to undermine
everything that the common
look-and-feel has
accomplished. If a button is
a button is a button, why are
so many websites so hard to
use? Why is switching word
processors an exercise in
frustration? Familiarity
breeds comfort, md. And
comfort is something that
most people sorely lack
around computers.

And as for XUL making things
easier for the programmers, I
didn't mean its initial
implementation. That's quite
a feat. I meant the ongoing
maintenance of the project.
One of the stated goals of
XPFE (Mozilla's
cross-platform front-end) was
to adopt an OS-independent
look and feel to make
maintaining the product
easier. That, I think, is a
cop out. I want native
controls (no matter what OS
I'm on) and because the
Mozila programmers are more
interested in making their
lives easier than pleasing
me, I can't have them.

Greg Knauss
Fish With Letter Icon

"No two Linux programs look
the same anyway." Ahaha hahah ah ahah!
Oh dear, oh dear. Ever heard
of Gtk? Qt? They're totally
taking the piss out of you at
LT. And rightly so :)

Mike Saunders

Yeah, I've heard of
'em. Along with Xt and Xaw
and Motif and Lesstif and KDE
and... Now which, exactly, is
the Linux "standard
Interface?" Y'know, you Linux
zealots would be a lot more
fun if you could, even just
for a moment, consider that
your OS isn't perfect. I like
it, too, y'know — and I'm
willing to bet that I've been
running it a lot longer than
you. But it's not perfect. So
cope. Greg Knauss
Fish With Letter Icon

Telling Baby No

I love it.

I am one of those Baby

I survive by employing the
"Me Inc." strategy when it
comes to the work world.

I have one core part-time job
with great benefits. I switch
hats and work other part-time
jobs. If my second part-time
job does not work out
(usually it's one of those
"flexible hours and great
place to work jobs") I'm out
of there.

As long as I can get out of
bed I will always have some
sort of part-time job. I live
modestly. I am a single Dad
with a teenage daughter. I am
home at different times of
the day.

I used to work from dark to
dark. Who needs that. I
dumped my Costco membership.
Just more stuff.

I love it! Don't mess with


You won't have a problem with
me pally, just so long as you
register all your gun

I have to say though, you
probably have come across a
good way to deal with
corporate job situations. I
think the angriest people are
the ones who sign on to
companies and pin all their
hopes and dreams on them,
only to get frustrated when
the machine doesn't pay off.
With your way, you've got
more control day to day than
most people.

Glad you liked the comic,

Fish With Letter Icon

Admit it. You're jealous
about sex and the drugs,


No, Larry, it's the herpes
and short term memory loss
that's got me jonesing. No,
there's lots of sex and drugs
out there - don't you old
timers read MAXIM?

Disco Rules,

Fish With Letter Icon

This is awesome. It reminds
of my father in law's
company. I work for
MCIWorldCom Network and Data
Solutions. I would be
interested in how your
company is structured.

Ken Minton

SUCK is structured on the
policy of Might Makes Right
and If You Don't Like It,
Jack, There's Always Salon.
It's pretty tough around
here. SUCK's idea of a health
plan is If You're Not
Healthy, Plan to Look For a
Job. You know what I'm
saying? It's a long work
week, too. As I was told,
"Bert, if you don't want to
work on Saturday, don't plan
on coming in on Sunday."

If you really want to know
about SUCK, write Tim
Cavanaugh (,
cause my whole work
experience here is structured
all around him.

Fish With Letter Icon

Man, you made my day.

Used to work at this strange
job, editing the transcripts
for National Public Radio on
the far outskirts of the DC
metro area.

My average transcriber's age
was 45. At one point, I had
four lawyers working for me.

Seething mass, dude, seething

Tee, hee, hee.



Talk about your front line
veterans! As John McCain
would say, "Thank you for
serving, sir."

Glad you liked the strip.
I've had some angry boomers
writing in and some letters
like yours. One man's freedom
fighter is another man's
terrorist, I guess.

The Ageist of Aquarius,

Fish With Letter Icon

Subject: yeah, well, ur site
name pretty much sez it all

u suck... i see, so baby
boomers are stupid old
hippies and disgruntled
workers..and teenagers are
gun toting psychopaths.....
but not the gen-x'rs ....
hell no.. u guys are level
headed, completely sensible,
well adjusted young adults...
bite me... i dont hav
anything to learn from the
generation that made bands
like 'poison' and 'motely
crue' and 'ratt' and
'cinderella' rich... not from
people that would get all
teary over 'power ballads'...
such crap... ur a cookie
cutter generation... no
substance.. all hype... even
ur drugs are lame copies of
the real stuff....
is right... u suck...


Cinderella? Ratt? Crue?
Nobody was more disgusted
than me to see those baby
boomer metal acts conning
decent kids out of their

Well "Trip," sorry you
weren't into "Telling Baby
'No'". I tried to say nice
things about Carly Simon and
Bill Clinton, but you can't
please everybody.

I'm just doing it for the

Bert Blecht
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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