The Fish
for 15 June 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

Suck Alumni
Suck Alumni Text

Hit & Run

Subject: You have given me a

Hey Sucksters,

First, I just wanna say "long
time reader, first-time
writer." Yeah, I've always
wanted to say that. Write it.
Whatever. You know, when
you're listening to
"Loveline" and the
14-year-old who thinks he
might be bisexual starts off
with that "long time
listener" bit, and you're
just there thinking "well,
maybe if you didn't start
getting sex advice from Adam
Carolla when you were in 4th
grade, you just might not
need to be asking for it from
him now" and where was this
going again?

Oh, yes. You have given me a
new mission in life. It looks
like I'm never going to get
to be's (by the
way, whatever happened to
your little logrolling deal
with Barnes and Noble...boy I
sure miss the days when crass
commercialism on the web was
controversial) top-rated book
reviewer. I read faster than
the average bear, but 2 books
a day?! That's way out of my
league. But I figure I could
read 2 book reviews a day. So
here it is, my new goal: I
want to be Amazon's top rated
book review rater. That's
right, I want people to look
to me to decide where to look
to decide which book to buy.
I want to be the absolute
best judge of judges of
books. You get the picture, I
would expect.

You might think that I am
making an easy D. F. Wallace
style meta-joke, but I am
totally serious here.

By the way, if I weren't
already married to a bitter
woman, I would conclude this
letter by asking Polly to
marry me. I just don't think
I could hack being married to
two bitter women, even in
Utah, where I don't live, but
where this sort of thing is
popular, I have heard. I mean
the two wives, not the bitter
wives, I'm saying. Although
they may be bitter, who
knows. In which case, no
thanks. Because I don't think
I could handle that much
bitterness, see?

An Entirely Other Steve

You might think that only at
the Michigan State Physics
Department, or perhaps the
Jet Propulsion Laboratory,
would it be possible to think
up the kind of fractalized
meta-commentary you have in
mind, but in fact the letters
page of the New York Review
of Books
has been doing this
kind of thing for decades:
"In his response to David
Zamboni's letter responding
to Bartholemew Gussy's review
of Ian Spinks-Pannetone's
memoir Belching Hamlet: A
Bloomsbury Nosegay,
Chutney mischaracterizes my
review of Mr.
Spinks-Pannetone's earlier
book Who Lost
...." And so
on. The only thing with a
lower writer-to-reader effect
is when the NYROB publishes
"An Open Letter to Li Peng,"
signed by 50 New York
intellectuals. Boy, I'll bet
those things have the Chinese
Prime Minister running

Fish With Letter Icon

Killer interview today,
although it made me almost
ashamed to admit that it
takes me 2 hours just to read
Suck. Harriet Klausner can
read faster than Tim
Cavanaugh can change the
topic of conversation!

It is interesting to note her
stance on leadership. It is
certainly true that the one
person most suited for good
leadership is the person
least likely to accept the
role. The question now is how
to get her into the
presidential race.

yr pal


I think Colin Powell proved
that if you keep repeating
how you don't want the title,
people will eventually give
up and stop offering it.
Anyway, Suck isn't allowed to
endorse any candidate who
hasn't read Dumb Money by
Joey Anuff and Gary Wolf.

Fish With Letter Icon

Hey! Thanks for partially
unfucking your layout
sometime in the last seven
months! That's one less Perl
filter I have to run your
page through before it's
readable. Next year's
homework: MARGINS.

Just so we know: Is Thursday
the day for meandering,
unfocused, never-went-
to-J-school interviews with
west-of-the-Rockies nobodies
that Suck's piss boy got high
with some time in the
preceding month? It is?
Great! Filler and Bottom-of-
the-Barrel Thursdays - this
way both the reader and the
author gets a three-day week!
That's super.

Loving you!

Mike Duncan

Did you really just write
Don't you know that when I
hear you taunting "never-went
-to-J-school," I get this
mental image of you in your
study, weighing 300 pounds
and wearing a white Colonel
Sanders suit, with a moist
Dagwood haircut, pallid,
unsunned skin, and a body so
pear-shaped that an extra
roll of fat bulges under your
belt buckle and makes it
appear that you have an
enormous mons veneris, with a
just-lit pipe in your hand
and a creamy trickle of
Brandy Alexander shake
dribbling out of your mouth,
rocking back and forth in
your seat in a disturbingly
rhythmic way as you shout
And now I don't think I'll
ever get that image of you
out of my mind.

But you're right; I never
went to J school. If I had, I
guess the interview might
have contained good J-school
questions like "Tell us about
your new movie" or "Are you a
terrorist, Sir?" or "How do
you spell your name?" You'll
just have to get used to the
non-J-school variety of
interview. And get out and
get some exercise for
Christ's sake.

Fish With Letter Icon

When your interviewer was
commenting on Ms. Klausner as
a leader, and she was
insisting that she was not,
it made me think of something
I read once. In _Utopia_, Sir
Thomas More wrote that one of
the prerequisites for
becoming a leader in that
society was the lack of
interest in the position. In
other words, anyone who wants
to be a leader is
automatically disqualified
for the position. Although it
sets up a bit of a Catch-22,
it does sum up my views of
politics rather succintly.

John Bender

Thomas More? I got idea that
from Gladiator. And anyway,
as demonstrated by the eight
years of peace, prosperity
and good cheer America has
enjoyed under Bill Clinton,
it's possible to get
top-flight leadership from a
guy who would kill his own
mother to stay in office.

Fish With Letter Icon

Thanks for the look at
Wizards of the Coast's foray
into the world of Open
Source. It appealed to both
my role-playing geek
inner-child, and to my free
software hacking geek

It's particularly interesting
that WotC is now considering
making the underlying rules
for the D&D franchise
available to other
authors/publishers in this
way. Way back when, long
before anyone could

have foreseen their purchase
of TSR, and the Dungeons and
Dragons franchise, WotC's
first offering was "The
Primal Order." Rather than
being a full role-playing
game in its own right, it was
designed as a "capsystem" for
other RPGs. Included in the
book was an appendix filled
with rules on how to
integrate TPO with other
games, like Torg, Ars Magica,
and D&D. The result?
Palladium Books, publisher of
the "Rifts," sued for
unauthorized use of
trademark. The lawsuit was
hugely unpopular among gaming
diehards (for whom
third-party additions were
pretty much a staple).

Now that WotC has made a
fortune off the trading-card
bandwagon, it's nice to see
that they're willing to put
their new-found money where
their mouth is. I can't help
but wonder, though: if they
didn't hold the rights to
what's probably the most
successful RPG property in
history, would they be so
selfless with their stuff?

Sam Leibowitz

Heavy-duty analysis, Sam.
Thanks for the information.

Fish With Letter Icon


Today's Suck was absolutely
the worst ever.

Try Harder next time.

Dan Century

Congratulations, Dan! You
have written the 998,000th
worst-ever email to Suck.

We will try harder next time,
with some specifically Dan
Century-related material.
According to your site, this
should include more Fine food
and wine, Music and dancing,
Film, and Hawaiian shirts.
Rock on! Always good to hear
from a Scarlet Knight.

Fish With Letter Icon

Subject: another consumer

i'm a good consumer of
post-modern-branded irony and
sarcasm, not a shill for
suck. why the fuck can't i
buy a fucking t-shirt off
your fucking hilarious site?
isn't that enough - my
fabulousness traipsing around
in garments bearing the suck

you do need to make money,
don't you? what with dot.coms
failing and merging right and
left, i should think you'd
work up a whole e-commerce
broo-ha-ha for your site to
rake it in. let me know if
you change your mind. i'm
scheduled for the jerry
springer show in august. the
topic is "guys who can't get
merchandise on-line and the
women who have to listen to
their incessant whining,
wishing for meatier
dialogue." it's a new
direction for jerry.



There's a big difference
between a shill and a
satisfied customer who
broadens his horizons with
acts of devotion. You have to
pass the test to wear the
colors. If you're afraid to
shout our name from the
rooftops, we're ashamed to
let you wear our tshirt.

And if we ever get to the
point where we're selling
tshirts to stay in business,
you can be sure that it will
all be over for us anyway.

A whole batch of cool new
shirts are on order, too. You
should see them!

Fish With Letter Icon

Subject: comment on the
FILLER cartoons/columns

I would find it very useful
for you to mention how MANY
pages the story is on, on the
first page. That way, one
knew how much reading there
were to be done, and could
digest to that, or probably
choose not to read it.

You could eg. say the number
of pages in the browser title
line (or what's it called)
like page 1 of 7, page 2 of 7

BTW, do you have a steady
schedule for each week on Also, how many
staff workers are there at

Jonas Skov Madsen

Yes, that's a great idea.
Let's add information at the
start of an article that will
increase the likelihood that
someone will choose not to
read it.

You're pretty savvy. You must
have a business degree or

Fish With Letter Icon

Dear Polly,

I quit therapy. My job is
pointless and tedious. Like
most people my age, I lack
commitment and patience in
dealing with relationships.
I'm sort of a dull person,
really. I drink way too much

Hey, that key was huge, man!

Tiny E.

P.S. I grew up in the bible
belt, and I don't believe it
extends to the Southwest,

I lack commitment and
patience in dealing with
email, let alone fucking
obnoxious pain-in-the-ass

OK, I skipped the coffee
today - big mistake. Better
make it to therapy.

Fish With Letter Icon

Like most California types,
you don't understand New
Mexico at all. Sante Fe has a
little bit of a lesbian
flavor, but most of the gays
there are male. The Taos gay
demographic favors girls.
Kinda like San Francisco
compared to Santa Cruz. Snake
skin boots are way more
popular than lizard skin
boots, but only the
California transplants and
metal band wannabes wear
them. The high dessert tan
comes from a booth. The
technical term for natural
high dessert tans is
melanoma. O'Keefe did most of
her work in either New York
City or Abique. She just
followed the herd to Sante Fe
when it was time to die. If
you choose to follow
O'Keefe's lead, don't worry
about the drive through AZ
because the area around
Barstow is much worse.

Finally, the AOL call center
critters in Albuquerque tend
to be sullenly waiting until
their gig at the Victorias
Secret call center comes
through. Little do they know,
Victorias Secret only hires
old ladies and trains them
via AOL support.

tainting the gene pool


On any other day, I'd take
offense at your statement.
But today, I'm going to stand
up and admit that it's true.
I don't understand New Mexico
at all.

Thanks for setting me
straight, in more ways than

No coffee, not funny.

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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