The Fish
for 25 April 2000. Updated every WEEKDAY.
Suck Staff

[Tim Cavanaugh]
Tim Cavanaugh
Special Guest Editor


Terry Colon
Terry Colon
Art Director


Heather Havrilesky
Senior Editor


[Phillip Bailey]
Phillip Bailey
Production Editor


Joey Anuff
Joey Anuff


She Will Always Love Us

Courtney Love's 'Celebrity
Skin' better than anything
Kurt wrote? Please. This no
talent, wanna-be scenester
titty dancer should never
seen the spotlight. All she
knows how to do is glom onto
others more talented than
her, and schmooze and fuck
her way up another rung on
the ladder.

Hey Kurt, you missed!

Eric Lange

Thanks for providing more
grist for the mill of rabid
Courtney-hate. And hey, some
of my best friends are


Fish With Letter Icon

I knew you were trying to
make a point somewhere in
this article, but I kept
getting lost in the jungle of
pop culture references. I
tried snipping away all the
superfluous, hipster,
Andro-induced bulk and was
left with,

"We all have our own horror
stories of being poked,
prodded, delayed, and damaged
And that's something we too
often forget."

Absolutely brilliant in it's
Zen-like simplicity. You are
a writer with a rare empathy
for those struggling with
survival in today's
hyper-critical world. Thank


And that was your first

We all have our own horror
stories of being poked,
prodded, delayed, and damaged
And that's something we too
often forget.

That's the speedreading
version, yes. While that got
you where you were going
fast, I grant, you missed my
touching shout-out to Shirley
Hemphill. And I think the
loss is yours, sir.


Fish With Letter Icon

Excuse me-

I really liked your piece
about black women getting
short shrift by our society,
but I have a rather troubling

Did "Jew" become a slur some
time when I wasn't looking?

I've always referred to
myself as a Jew, but never
with the slightly sardonic
attitude that other
minorities would use when
self-applying epithets; I
thought that's what we are
called. I've never understood
goyim who say things like
"Well, you're a Jewish
person," or "How do Jewish
people feel about..." I
dunno, the extra syllable
seems kind of stilted to me.

But if the word really is a
bad thing, I'm way behind the
power curve, and should stop
offending others of my ilk.
Please let me know if this is
the case, and when the
evolution occured.


Ben Malisow

Somewhere along the line,
that simple factual statement
began being considered rude.
Or more precisely, the
pointing out (when not
definitely relevant) of
someone's being a Jew, or
Jewish, or whichever you
prefer, was thought of as
rude bordering on cranky,
with a suspicious whiff of
anti-Semitism. As someone
with a Jewish mother, I have
never found the term
problematic myself.


Fish With Letter Icon

If your aim in writing
today's feature on Whitney
Houston was to be
simultaneously insulting as
well as ridiculous, you've
succeeded. It is insulting,
to both women and black
people everywhere, to
insinuate that Whitney is
being treated the way that
she is only because she's a
black female. That is what
one can very realistically be
labeled as horseshit,
particularly given the number
of white males who've gone
through the same media ringer
(Robert Downey, Jr., for
instance). The fact of the
matter is — and I can
assure you that my sources on
this are wholly accurate
— that Whitney has had a
problem drugs. You want to
hear about how she [libelous
details about hotel room stay
omitted by Suck editors]? Or
about all of the [libelous
details about botched
performances omitted by Suck
editors]? Or about all the
[more libelous details about
hotel rooms and drug use
omitted by Suck editors]?
(oh, did I forget to mention
Bobby's [libelous details
about drug use omitted by
Suck editors]?)

Point being: if you're going
to insinuate media causality,
you need to at least have the
full story before doing so.
Clearly you didn't with
Whitney and were basing your
assumptions, ironically
enough, solely on your
opinion of what you read in
the media.

Jeff Kirk

Do you have to ask those
questions? Of course I do!
Bring it on, mystery-man-
with-connections- in-the-
hospitality- industry that
this reporter can't manage.

And yes, insulting and
ridiculous were effects I was
going after at various points
in that piece.


Fish With Letter Icon

It was a great piece for most
of the way, and I agree with
the main premise, and it made
me laugh, so one gross error
is excusable. I had to bring
it up, though: you can claim
that Courtney Love made a
better album than Kurt ever
managed (although most people
would laugh like crazy at
that statement) since that's
a matter of pure opinion.
However, please don't tell us
that the "lunatic shrew"
label doesn't fit the
rocker/actress/whatever. Her
most recent call for
attention, if you don't
remember, was a pathetic
attack on Dave Grohl claiming
Kurt hated Dave and liked her
best and she wouldn't share
her fingerpaints at recess
anymore. I don't think I
really need to explain why
this qualifies her, do I?

Thanks for the good stuff,


Courtney was merely joining
into Grohl's already-launched
public attacks on her, since
Courtney-bashing is an
always-in-season American
sport. I still stand by her,

For what it's worth, nearly
everyone who has written
today has done so to
straighten me out on the
Courtney Question. I remain


Fish With Letter Icon

great work, even considering
Suck's consistently high
standards. quite relentless.

just one problem: how could a
smart person think Celebrity
Skin is better in any way
than even the weakest Nirvana
song? and you had so much
momentum going...

still, the rest of it tore
right along, went on some fun
tangents too.


John Mayer

Thank you for your kind
words. Everyone is ripping me
on the Courtney stuff, but I
stand by my sources.


Fish With Letter Icon

Hmm, I was really enjoying
your column about how unfair
the world is...that is, until
I read that fashion model
Courtney Love has recently
made a better album than her
husband ever did!
Astonishing! I'm really going
to have to reevaluate my
opinion of her, in much the
same manner as the Violent

"Kurt's wife Courtney Love
accompanied him on the tour.
The Femmes thought she was a
skanky, pasty-faced,
pockmarked, drug-addled, no
talent slut and bimbo. But
they must have been wrong,
because now she is a ROLE

It's like, now, I can't even
listen to In Utero without
thinking, what if some cool
famous producer paid a poor
schmuck pennies to use Pro
Tools to edit out all the
off-pitch singing and amp
noise, and just make loops of
all the choruses. It would
have been such a better
album, because it would have
been slicker and more
commercially accessible. Then
they could bring in an army
of songwriters to really make
stuff you can hoist your beer
and shout to when you're
kicking it with your buds at
Chili's. This is the tactic
that made Madonna such a
musical powerhouse. Because,
I mean, let's face it,
"selling out" really isn't
selling out anymore, and if
you embrace your stardom and
wealth and learn to live well
and sing songs about it all,
you're really not considered
an irrelevant asshole like
you used to be in the days of
Puff Daddy, so we old
punk-rockers should just get
over our personal ideals and
join the rest of America.

I really want to thank you.
Because of your opinion, I am
growing as a person, and I
didn't even need Dianetics.

Yours in Christ,

The Pie Guy

Suggesting you commit
hara-kiri for your crimes
against wit, irony, and
musical taste would be too
obvious a joke, so I'm
frankly at a loss for words.
Courtney does bring out bad
reactions in the fanboys,
doesn't she? It staggers the
mind. Pro-tools or Albini's
spartan "no compression-no
surrender" aesthetic aside,
Celeb Skin is a better album
than In Utero....and I get
greater and greater pleasure
the more often I have to
repeat this ex cathedra


Fish With Letter Icon

It's the Economy, Stupid!

You forgot the Xhosa disaster
in the 1850's. After the
defeat of the Light Brigade
in the Crimean War, a woman
in what is now South Africa
predicted that that the
ancestors of the Xhosa people
would arise and kick out the
hated British. All the Xhosa
had to do was stop planting
crops and to kill their
cattle. ( To the Xhosa, just
as bad as the Inuit killing
their dogs, with the added
kick of burning your bank
book and ATM card.)

The cattle were killed, the
ancestors did not arise, and
the Xhosa starved to death.
The British colonialists were
horrified, but they still
took over the now empty land.

Michael Walsh MCSE MCT


That one I forgot, but so
many I still remember. It was
no less quaint a native than
Ronald Reagan, our own
slavering Don Quixote, who
identified Russia as the Gog
(or Magog, I forget which;
it's late here in Jerusalem,
and I have been sampling the
holy land's unhallowed brews)
foretold in Ezekiel's visions
of destruction. Hell, the
bestselling nonfiction book
of the 1970's,
notI'm Okay, You're Okay not Fear of
, but The Late, Great
Planet Earth
, a set of very
specific and lurid
predictions of how the world
was going to end in the late
70's based on apocalyptic
readings of that same old
book of Ezekiel.

Why do some people's bogus
apocalypses result in
strangled, charred corpses
and others in book royalties
that leave Eggers in the
dirt? Ah, buddy. It's the

Fish With Letter Icon

That was elegantly written,
nicely researched, and all in
all an exemplary piece of
work. (What it's doing in is therefore
anybody's guess, but even Tim
nods.) I wonder, however, if
you're not putting too big a
knock on the followers of
Joshua (late of Nazareth).
The end of the world as we
know it illuminates several
other religious systems as
well. The most obvious is
that of the Shiites, who wait
for the return of the hidden
imam, but contemporary
Judaism retains a messianic
component, Shiva always waits
within Hindu faiths, and most
of the meso-American
religions foretold the coming
of some great change, or
ending. Probably somebody
better read than I could add
more examples. There is
something inherently horribly
human that wants neat endings
and complains when it doesn't
get them. That Christianity
seems to be driving the worst
of these may say less about
it than about the
news-gathering abilities of
the societies that embrace
that particular faith. Be
that as it may, you make some
solid arguments. Thanks again
for the fine piece.

Alan S Kornheiser
The Doctor Is IN
"That thing you're doing...
don't do that."

I think there is something
special about Christian
apocalypticism, something
more attractive and virulent,
but that's a gut feeling. If
you take a look at the
founding documents, the
Jewish Bible ends with the
promise of the rebuilding of
the temple at the hands of a
real, earthly ruler (Cyrus).
The Christian one ends with a
heavenly nukefest at the
hands of the heavenly
messiah. Go figga.

On the other hand, given the
implicitly Protestant and
explicitly white European
media reporting stuff that
they've edited for
comprehensibility and ability
to fit our preconceived
narratives, I can't claim to
have much more than a hint of
what's really going on.

Fish With Letter Icon

That's a really good piece,

Chris Tayler

Are you insinuating

If so, thanks! If not, thanks

Fish With Letter Icon

I would like to thank you for
an insightful and disturbing
article that helps blow the
trite, utterly miniscule
conceptions of recent news
out the window. It's
relieving to see a blast of
static like this really pound
home a message (albeit a
depressing and horrific one)
instead of the usual
sarcastic, self-involved
filler (not that I don't like
the filler, but this is real
analysis of real news,
whatever that means). So
basically, thanks for writing
this article, it gives me
hope that other people online
actually care about problems
on a global scale that don't
include multinationals and
their debts and recessions.

David Romine

We tend to use one language
and one filter for all this
stuff. It's not that the
other global phenomena aren't
related in all sorts of ways
to the debts and recessions,
it's that we're not
conceptually prepared to deal
with it. To that end, I'd
recommend Charles MacKay's
Extraordinary Popular
Delusions and the Madness of
, which has never gone
out of print over its
century-plus history. It
starts with the John Law
stock bubble of 1719-20,
which scammed the King of
France and thousands of the
smartest people in Paris, and
quickly moves on to Witch
crazes. Putting stocks and
the supernatural together
isn't my invention; it works
because they're part of the
same phenomenon in cold, hard
reality: the human

Fish With Letter Icon

She Will Always Love Us

Funny--but Celebrity Skin
better than Nevermind? I
think you must have had some
of Whitney's wacky-tobacky.
Anyway, any moment Courtney
Love is singing is a moment
she's not acting. As Houstons
went, I always prefered
Penelope to Whitney. I was
starting to get temporarily
insane during that period
where you could not enter a
store, a restaurant, a bar,
or a funeral home without
hearing, "I will always luhv
youuuuuuewe-ewe, ewe ewe ewe
ewe" on the muzak. "I will
always love you, I will
follow you around, I will
sing this song under your
window again and again and
again until you go insane or
yield yourself to the vaccum
of my yearning." Still, it's
not hard to sympathize with
the persecuted woman. More
evidence of suffering: that
song "Da Butt" on the
soundtrack of Spike Lee's
immortal classic School Daze
(with the lyric "Whitney's
got a big old butt/big Jersey
butt.") and the scene in
American Psycho where
Christian Bale extols the
deep meaning of Houston's
anthems just before stabbing
a victim, as John Cale
performs an orchestrated
version of "The Greatest Love
of All."

A possible comeback role for
her, post rehab: playing The
Siren in Joel Schumacher's
Yet Another Batman Movie,
breaking glass and shaking
masonry with her high-pitched


Richard Von Busack

Thanks for that example of
Whitney's butt being mocked.
Have these people no shame? I
can sympathize with just
being tired of her voice, but
must everyone be so hateful?
And, sorry, but Celebrity
is better than

Warm regards,

Fish With Letter Icon

I seem to have a problem here
mustering any sort of
interest in these
assembly-line pop icons - VH1
keeps trying to interest me
in these Divas & anti-Divas,
and yr article also sorta
bounced off. Except for the
part about Courtney Love -
she's a viscous opportunistic
moron and the mainstream
fascination with her is a
pretty ugly little drama.


Colin Rankine
the little boy
from the big apple

This refusal to let go of all
this damaging hate toward Ms.
Love has characterized much
of today's correspondence.
Please, Mr. Rankine, can't
you just let go and feel the


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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