The Fish
for 1 May 2000. Updated every WEEKDAY.
 
Suck Staff
 

[Tim Cavanaugh]
Tim Cavanaugh
Special Guest Editor

 

Terry Colon
Terry Colon
Art Director

 

Heather
Havrilesky
Heather Havrilesky
Senior Editor

 

[Phillip Bailey]
Phillip Bailey
Production Editor

 

Joey Anuff
Joey Anuff
Publisher








	


Where Is Thy Sting?

Hi. I run
www.superiorcommercial.com
(pardon the dust; we're
redesigning our homepage)
which caters to architects
and interior designers.

Mind if I hyperlink to
suck.com? It only means more
hits for you.

Rhett Waldman
<rhwaldman@msn.com>

Sure. We'll fit right in with
the links to "Altro
slip-resistant flooring" and
"Allstate rubber base and
stairtreads."

I couldn't help feeling this
was a cheap scheme to get
your URL mentioned on our
letters page, but to tie this
back in to today's essay
about Easter — can you
design me a bunny on a
crucifix?

Destiny
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


Subject: Claymation Jesus

Yo Destiny!

Read your little article
about the commercialization
of Easter, and you didn't
even bother to mention the
claymation special ABC had
about the life, death, and
life of Jesus on Sunday. God,
it was cheesy. I caught the
part where he was up on the
cross, and I just started
whistling "Always look on the
bright side of life!" It was
pretty funny.

Love,

Long
<long_hard_2huj@yahoo.com>

Yo, Long Hard 2huj @ Yahoo .
com!

And congratulations! Yours is
the first email we've ever
received containing the
subject line "Claymation
Jesus." When I was a kid, we
were stuck with innocuous
Claymation-type productions
like "Here Comes Peter
Cotton-Tail." Vincent Price
played the egg-delivering
bunny's arch-nemesis —
Iron-Tail — and if I
remember correctly, Peter
saved the day by traveling
back in time and dumping all
his black eggs as Halloween
souvenirs.

So exploitative Easter
specials have really come a
long way. (If ABC's Sunday
special was as tacky as you
say, why didn't they just air
Monty Python's "Life of
Brian" instead of
unconsciously reminding
viewers of it?) Oh well,
render unto Nielsen the
things which are Nielsen's.
ABC's broadcast of "The Ten
Commandments" dominated the
Sunday prime time schedule
earlier this month, handily
beating both the Lakers vs.
the Timber Wolves on NBC and
"Malcolm in the Middle."

Maybe there is a market for
religious programming after
all. I hear they've already
released old episodes of
"Davy and Goliath" on DVD...

Destiny
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


Destiny,

I was raised in the exubriant
light of sarcasm. For many
years now I have been trying
to escape it's grasp, without
luck. Miss sarcasm? Most
assuredly, but I believe
without it a significant
portion of my waking hours
could be used for good
wholesome purposes. Like ...
As you can see I'm still
thinking about that. But do
you think in general, sarcasm
as a way of life is going to
give way to another social
philosophy? Where would we be
then with nothing but
sarcastics views and
criticisms to flail about at
all who will listen. Getting
berated and snuffed for our
lack of societal couth? I
will undoubtedly hang on to
the old ways surrounding
myself with throwbacks who
understand. All this means
nothing, but it was worth
saying.

<spoonhead7@aol.com>

Where cutting-edge social
philosophies are concerned,
sarcasm is so 1987. As the
internet outmoded
conventional forms of humor,
sarcasm was replaced by "New
Irony" - a first-person view
of reality that responded
with the exact opposite of
the intended meaning. It's
sort of like rain on your
wedding day. Except not
really....

After the advent of the web
— the graphical portion
of the internet — it was
in turn replaced in the mid
90s by "Way New Irony." This
is where you say exactly what
you mean, but you do it in a
funny Bill Murray voice, so
you can deny that you're
serious if anybody gives you
any flack about it.

Rendering your world in
increasingly subtle shades of
detachment,

Destiny
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


Subject: You Sir, are a HACK!

You are a hack, sir! A hack,
a hack I say. A journalistic
hack. Hack hack hack hack.
And no, I do not mean that in
any way that has anything to
do with breaking into
computers.

Having finished reading your
screed on suck.com, I found
myself attitter at the
engulfing amorphism of it
all. Have you not one iota of
bistillary? Are you unashamed
of your blatant canards?

I have also read your AOL
watch, and I am not quite
even sure where to begin. Are
you renumerated for your
tired hurrahs and groaning
syllogisms?

I should hope not.

Give us a lift.

Mug Bandit
<mug_bandit@yahoo.com>

C'mon, Mat. Quit using big
non-words and trying to
confuse me. Renumerated?
Meaning, renumbered? Now that
you're humor editor at
OneDemocracy.com, you've
apparently got a lot of time
on your hands. Are you taking
a break from writing
Elián jokes?

Seriously, it's good to see
you're continuing the ongoing
performance art-style
parodies of the net flotsam
who send angry letters to the
editor using freebie Yahoo
accounts. My favorite one was
the e-mail you sent
GettingIt.com pretending to
be an outraged Irishman,
complaining about their
review of NBC's "The Magical
Legend of the Leprechauns."
"What, just because we're not
as p fuckin c to care about
as African Americans, native
Americans and Jewish
Americans doesn't mean Irish
Americans didn't come here to
escape our own little
genocide..."

But most of all, I loved the
stories about how you sent
digital photographs of your
co-worker's stolen mug with
taunting e-mail signed "The
Mug Bandit." Good to see
you've resurrected the
persona! I haven't seen "The
Mug Bandit" since we worked
on that practical jokes
column for GettingIt.com
— " Digital Cameras for
Assholes
."

Anyway, this
pseudonym-assault is probably
fitting retribution for
Suck's unmasking of your role
in Mother Jones' April Fools
hoax
.

Long live the Mug Bandit!

Destiny
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


Dear Destiny,

". . . in the end, using the
Web is its own act of faith.
Users silently cast words
into a void, believing that
they'll be heard and
answered."

If the communion wafers at my
childhood Catholic church had
been half as tasty as the
daily bread doled out at Our
Lady of the Sacred Suck, I
might still be a believer.
Excellent essay — but
when will you be issuing the
mea culpa? Thank you for
being my favorite father
confessor and most vicious
virgin mother.

My only question: T. Jay
Fowler — Man or Messiah?
Oh T. Jay, when will you
come?

Matthew Gearhart
<gearhart@mail.utexas.edu>

Mea Culpa?

Er, I'm a protestant. All
these funny Latin words freak
me out....

But ironically, someone
called me a "vicious virgin
mother" just last night when
I cut them off in traffic.

Thanks for the mail, Matthew!
I'm pretty sure T. Jay is
just a man — though I've
never seen him, and have been
told that he works in
mysterious ways.

Anyways, the local paper ran
an interesting quote a few
weeks ago. Grateful Dead
lyricist John Perry Barlow
once told The New Republic
that "it seems clear we are
about some Great Work here
— the physical wiring of
collective human
consciousness." Every time
you read a web page, you're
already part of a vast ocean
of humanity and creativity
— but Barlow also seems
to be agreeing with the
spiritual implications of
your internet experience.

To paraphrase Walt Whitman,
"In the web pages of men and
women, we'll see God."

Destiny
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


Whenever I read suck I am
blown away by the number and
quality of hyperlinks from
the stories to various
subjects.

How do you do it? Do you just
sit for hours in front of
altavista or do you have some
system for tapping into those
pages that most reflect the
zeitgeist at any one time?

I do tedious commercial
research and would love to
make documents as rich in
links and tangential
information as those that you
make for a gag. Tell me the
sleight of hand, and I'll
promise to take the secret
with me to the grave.

Adam Jasper
<adam_jasper@altavista.com>

No, no, no. Let's try it
again.

Whenever I read Suck I am blown away by the number and quality of
hyperlinks from the stories to various
subjects...

Most of my inspiration comes
from answering letters from
readers like you, Adam
Jasper!

Seriously, it's that magic
mixture of procrastination
and e-mail that is the
web-surfing experience. I
guess I'm always searching
for that elusive synthesis
that lends meaning to
baffling new phenomena of the
21st century.

This never-ending mission of
laughter and outrage: to dull
the jabbering din of mass
media pundits with something
mysterious and new from
beyond their reach — and
to combine random web pages
into something meaningful.

Conjuring the talking
zeitgeist from beyond the
net, summoning the ghost in
the machine — this is my
destiny. Wasting time —
yours and mine — is not
just a goal. It's an
obsession.

Tedious research rich in
links? I can see it now.
"Some people say zinc oxide is boring..."

Destiny
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


Kids Are People Too

Subject: "The Eliad"

That is simply a brilliant
way of describing this whole,
sorry mess. Please patent it
before some smarmy Newsweek
writer like Calvin Trillin
decides to co-opt it.

Ever faithful,

Dave Rosow
<rosow@fas.harvard.edu>

That Mr. Trillin does get a
lot of mileage out of his
wryly liberal everyman
routine doesn't he? If only I
knew the difference between
him and Lionel Trilling I'd
really be the cock of the
walk!

I may be the first person to
come up with the term
"Eliad," but that's the kind
of phrase that belongs to all
of us. Still, I'm kind of
hoping Andy Rooney will steal
it before Trillin does.

Yr pal,

BarTel
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


To the Bartelissimo,

Brilliant. Simply brilliant.
And they still haven't asked
you to appear on "Crossfire"
yet across from Buchanan and
Novak?!! They're just being
unreasonable. As
unreasonable, say, as a Cuban
expatriate living in south
Florida? Naa. Hell hath no
fury like a licensed
hair-stylist. Have you seen
The Onion's "schedule" for
Elian for April 21? If not,
please do.

Paul Miazga
<paulmiazga@usa.net>

p.s. I'm using my
brother-in-law's computer,
and if you can tear yourself
away from the up-to-
the-minute bulletins on CNN,
I'd love to hear from you.
What's most disturbing to me
is that there's no V-chip to
exorcise from this "epic"
tale any of its
over-exuberance. Now just
imagine if the mother of that
"Cuban boy" is posthumously
named to the GOP ticket for
2000...

Oh, I tried doing that pundit
face-off thing, but I just
came away bruised and
dejected. Buchanan seemed to
be coming on a little too
"chummy" during our first
post-show office
get-together, but I thought
nothing of it. Another time,
I was doing my afternoon
stretch when suddenly I felt
a pair of hands reaching
right between my thighs from
behind, and Pat's voice over
my shoulder calling "Hut Hut
Hut!" There were other
incidents — men's room
gooses, lots of hugging, more
double entendres than I can
remember. The last straw came
when I made the mistake of
wearing my biking shorts into
the office. Pat pointed right
at my groin and in front of
everybody in the office
called out "Hey, somebody's
smugglin' grapes around
here!" I complained to
Bernard Shaw, but he just
gave me the grossest wink and
said I needed to use all my
"assets." That was it. I gave
notice the next day, but I
still hurt.

Yr pal,

BarTel
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


Quite a story, I enjoyed it.
By the way, are you a jew?

<Highonamt@aol.com>

I tried, but the rules are a
lot more strict than I
thought. Between secretly
manipulating the interest
rates and pretending Jackie
Mason was funny, I just
couldn't keep up. And the
secret handshakes? I could
never keep those things
straight. And of course every
time you screw up there's
somebody telling you that's
exactly what "They" want, and
we're going to be wiped out
after 6,000 years of survival
just because of something you
did, yada yada... So I became
a Scientologist instead. The
food's not nearly as good,
but if you've got to have a
Holy Land it might as well be
Southern California.

Yr pal,

BarTel
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


You neglected to mention that
young Elian will most
certainly be doing a little
of his own mythologizing upon
his return to Cuba. The bare
facts alone will ensure him
top dog position in the
schoolyard hierarchy, a
little embroidery will keep
him there for years...

Regards,

John Carney
<Johnc@spatialinfo.com>

It's true. In junior high I
knew a kid who weighed about
250 pounds at age 12 and
minced and lisped in a way
that, well, to be blunt, set
him up for a lot of abuse
from his fellow students.
Then he got sent to military
school (I believe his mom was
trying to, you know, make a
Man out of him), and he
escaped! When he got back
into town he was full of
stories about abusive
officers, hair's breadth
'scapes from the institution,
run-ins with the cops and so
on. For a couple weeks there,
he was the school bad-ass.

Yr pal,

BarTel
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


Wonderful! Brilliant! That
was by far the best Elian
piece I've read and without a
doubt the first one to
rightly blame it on the
two-faced boy. I know that if
I lived in Miami (sure proof
that I had died and gone to
hell), or had I been trying
to get through the Lincoln
tunnel here in NYC on
Saturday (ditto), I would
have been wishing that the
sharks hadn't stopped with
mama. I had been hoping he'd
get run over by a car for the
last few weeks but hopefully
your predictions that the
show is over will be
accurate.

name and email withheld

Well, I certainly don't wish
any harm on the boy, but when
you're writing a review, you
do have to point out if one
of the performances doesn't
quite cut the mustard. In
that respect, I think the
widely-despised Marisleysis
isn't getting a fair shake.
Obviously, she's phony as a
three-dollar bill, but at
least she's in there giving
her all in a bravura method
performance. I'll always give
actors points for
over-the-top effort.

Yr pal,

BarTel
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


Beautiful People Bailout

"Equity stake in Radish"? Too
beautifully obscure, but it
made me laugh out loud, being
from Dallas...

Andrew Hime
<hime1@gte.net>

The question of whether
Radish was too obscure a
reference actually occasioned
some discussion in the Suck
newsroom. Sadly, because I'd
rather be dipped in liquid
nitrogen than listen to
bands, I wasn't really able
to come up with any other
band names. So I went with
Radish. Luckily, as it turns
out, since your letter was
the only response this entire
issue received. Still, Radish
lingers on as
incontrovertible proof that a
favorable writeup in The New
Yorker
can not only fail to
help your career, but
actually destroy it.

Now turn that radio down!

Curmudgeon
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


Hit & Run

Thank god someone has the
courage to encourage flag
burning and book reading.
Without brave souls like you,
the flag waveing illiterates
who run this country might
actually turn their attention
to arrested minor drug
criminals like me.

Ciao

Ben
<bschwabe@mit.edu>

Good to hear from you, Ben!
This is a special moment in
your life, and you're
spending it at one of the
finest institutions of higher
learning in the eastern
United States. Be proud! Stay
in school! Say no to drugs!

Captain Flagg
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


Aficionados of Hong Kong
cinema will of course
instantly recognize the
fellow pictured on the "Hi
Girls, Anyone Want to Chat"
page as funnyman Bobby Yip
(Yip King-Sang). There's
plenty more of him to be had
at
http://welcome.to/bobby-home.

Dave LaDelfa
<dave@limitedsector.com>

See? We recognized the prank
even without an advanced
degree in Hong Kong cinema!
Don't underestimate our
ability to smell a rat, even
when it's the year of the
dragon.

Mr. Lee
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


Gents:

Really sad, to read such a
... tiresome SUCK column
today. SUCKing on media tit
would be a verbal kindness
... And I ... a fiathful
reader since ... yegods '95
or was that '96 ... dispite
your recent fagocentric
anti-Catholic tirades ... any
decent ex-catholic certainly
finds THAT no fun ... but we
all do get old ...

Ray Hartman
Spokane, WA
<rayhart@uswest.net>

Fagocentricity rules! It
raises the bar on interior
design! It raises the bar on
personal hygiene!

George Lincoln Warhol
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


Nutso Letter of the Week

I am beginning to discover
new ideas and realities about
life. One of them is that
women have evolved much
faster than men. So fast,
that they easily control us.
A man never really wins an
argument with a woman that he
is attracted to - unless she
lets him for her own personal
gain. Why have women gained
so much power??? They have
managed to eliminate man's
only natural power, violence.
So much that everyone views
violence as a bad thing, and
can not even associate most
violent acts as being good in
nature. If man ever wants to
regain control, he will have
to take it by force. Man will
once again have to use
violence to control the
women.

Sounds bad, right? It's not
really. It's just the man's
ace of spades in the game of
life. Whereas the women have
sex as their ace of spades.
Women use sex to win
arguments that they are
losing, and use sex to
control the men. Sometimes I
wonder if women even like sex
as much as they act like they
do, or if it is just a big
erotic secret among women to
keep men under control.

Not crazy but what if I was,

Zack
<keyszd@SLU.edu>

Good to hear from you, Zack!
This is a special time in
your life, and you're
spending it at one of St.
Louis' finest institutions.
Respect the cock! Speak truth
to power! Hit me with your
best shot!

Gray Bruises
 
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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