for 8 August 2000. Updated every WEEKDAY.
Special Guest Editor
Suck Prod Temps
All the Summer's a Stage
two belated things that i only
noticed after reading the letters
(i'm not much of a theater person
myself -- i've always preferred to
read the scripts):
1. thanks for not using 'theatre'
in your article. i feel that there
aren't a lot of things a whole hell
of a lot worse, culturally, than
the affectation of commonwealth
spelling. now that i think about
it, americans who cross their
sevens and hook their ones are
pretty annoying too. anglophiles
can kiss my ass.
2. "Why Patrick Stewart in stage
make-up isn't a proper Fourth of
July activity but Patrick Stewart
in a wheelchair is a holiday-happy
summer event is probably too long a
discussion for here"
i would think it has something to
do with demographics (i.e. people
summering or at least going away
for the weekend), and distribution
limits inherent to the medium (its
a whole lot easier to have a
picture of patrick stewart in
multiple places at the same time
than to have patrick stewart do the
that and consumers are stupid. the
sky appears to be blue as well, but
that's not a particularly
interesting or unique observation
1. They can kiss my ass, too, but
only if they kiss mine first. You
know, to be honest, I think I left
the spelling of theater/theatre up
to my editor. But I'm with you on
2. This is all very true. If I were
a better writer, I would have
explained in the body of the essay
that the box-office figures for
Stewart's play showed it operating
at one of the poorest percentages
over the holiday weekend, even by
the sucky standards of the Broadway
holiday weekend. But yeah, those
inherent limitations have doomed
secondary cities to unctuous road
tours featuring Marie Osmond and
Donny Most while at the same time
cloaking the Broadway and better
regional shows in a kind of
artistic mystery they often don't
Have you read any of this week's
Hey, thanks for reading the essay
and sending a response.
40th Street Black
Your recent column in Suck was very
interesting and I enjoyed your
views on reality-via-the-media and
internet . I do have one question.
Corporations lined up to sponsor
"The Dotcom guy" during his year
online, and according to Reuters,
ZDTV.com has even launched a show
where "desperate dot-com wannabes
present their ideas to a stoic
panel of venture capitalists..."
I notice you quoted the sentence
"desperate....capitalists". I have
searched Reuters, C-Net, Yahoo and
Altavista, but can't seem to find a
source for this quote. Can you
direct me to the Reuters story that
you got that quote from? Curious,
thanks for your time,
Trying a little rainmaking for your
desperate capitalist friends? I
suggested ZDTV name their venture
capital show, "Who Wants To Be
Humiliated on ZDTV?" - but they
Unfortunately, the June 11 article
has expired from its original
location. Where do Reuters articles
go when they die? Where are the
snows of yesteryear?
Nice column ... suck's still good
to the last drop of wandering,
hypertext link even when the
sentences run on till any decent
reader searches frantic for their
NYT password or trying ta get back
earning a buck ...
Shouldn't you gents do a movie or
something ...I got the hook -
something about a fish, and a, uhh
... uhhh ...
Ray Hartman Spokane, WA
A barrel and a smoking gun! Pay
Seriously, thanks for the mail. Our
goal is to drive away those decent
readers who prefer reading the NYT
or earning a buck. The few, the
proud, the gloriously unproductive.
Good to the last drop of wandering!
Subject: i wish you love .....
Love is food. It's the food that
fuels the soul. Love is the magnet
that attracts us to each other.
Love is pure and intoxicating.
Welcome to URBAN SCENTS
Caribbean inspired, exotic, mood
enhancing fragrances for the world.
Urban Scents is about the best of
humanity, taking the good
vibrations of love, happiness,
success, friendship, confidence and
pleasure and sharing them with our
Join us in making this world we
live in a better place. We invite
you to visit our website at
On our site you will find mood
enhancing fragrances and incense
sticks designed to lift the
spirits, provide energy and
clarity. The address is
If you would like to be removed
from this mailing list just send an
email to email@example.com with
remove in the subject line. I am
hoping however that you will visit
our site and join us in sending out
positive greetings and vibrations
to the rest of the world.
Thank you for your time and
Ronald Positive Vibes
If love is food, I'm anorexic.
But I disagree with your
advertisement on a fundamental
point. I prefer my love impure - if
you know what I mean...
Good to see you're marketing a line
of "sticks" to provide energy and
"good vibrations of love." (Not to
mention "sharing with our fellow
humans...") Unfortunately, hawking
a line of incense via e-mail is one
of the stupidest ideas I've ever
Eagerly awaiting the day when
technological advancements allows
mankind to finally experience the
fragrance of spam...
Great article, a bargain at twice
the price. I find myself agreeing
with you on most counts, but I'm
not so sure the internet "spells
doom" for old-media venues.
Admittedly, much of what new media
thrives on is self-spectation,
which is (in a way) what networks
are clumsily (and poorly) trying to
adapt to a broadcast format.
However, there's no saying that old
media can't suck in the gut, fake a
grin, and make their fall from
grace the most perversely
entertaining spectacle since the
Hindenburg. Sure, the fallout will
inevitably entail diminished
viewership for the old guard, and
who knows - maybe the internet just
can't be beat for unabashed DIY
entertainment. But damned if the
fireworks won't be fun to watch,
and last I checked, self-spectation
was still anyone's game. If only
Murdoch were a little more
Both feet in the trough,
You're right, it is fun to watch -
especially since old media will
probably be its own worst enemy.
(The webmasters behind the Survivor
site found they couldn't even
handle the audience once it
actually did arrive...) But the
Survivor site's designers were also
apparently outfoxed by the
observant web surfers who noticed
CBS had not only posted the
outcomes of two episodes before
they aired, but left tell-tale
images in another directory.
Unless, of course, network
executives had finally mastered the
art of the hoax...
But however it plays out, new media
gadflies will be there harrying the
broadcasters. CBS's apparent gaffe
was discovered by the humble Dallas
webmaster behind SurvivorSucks.com,
a budding critic who's also crafted
the sites RealWorldBlows.com and
Before the Body's Cold
Where are the old suck people. They
were funny. Why is the site not
suck.lycos.com, which would be more
Oh, gosh. Oh, wow. What a great
put-down! suck.lycos.com! Oh, wow!
Never heard that before! You sure
got me! Woo!
And, hey, I'm not one to make
suggestions to such a rapier wit,
but it would have been even funnier
if you'd actually pulled your head
out at any point in the last three
months and made it
I don't like it, but I have to
agree with your opinion.
Honestly, I don't like it either,
not one bit. It's an enormous
shame, a loss for the entire Web.
But, unfortunately, there's really
no arguing the point anymore. I
wish Sparky, my childhood pet,
weren't dead, too. But I'm sure as
hell not going to keep his body
propped up in the living room,
waiting for the day he makes his
If we shut down every bloated
collection of half-thoughts, we
would have to get rid of articles
like yours too. I realize that you
guys spend your time passing your
writing through a sort of
fuzz-guitar amplifier for text
until the feedback hurts everyone,
but I think you're a bit wrong
here. I like the current version of
Mozilla. Call me strange, but I
don't even think it's bad at all.
You're strange. Misguided, too. The
article may have been a bloated
collection of half-thoughts, but at
least I finished it. That's the
point, remember? Mozilla has had
over two years to fester and has
produced nothing but a vague
gone-bad smell and a series of ugly
betas. Until the Project actually
works up the gumption to ship
something - something other than a
milestone - Mozilla can't even be
called a "half-thought."
Yeah, but they throw cool parties.
Now that you mention it, the
Mozilla Project has repeatedly
demonstrated that it's much better
at throwing parties than it is at
shipping code. Three parties in two
years compared to - what? - a
single beta release in that time?
Hell, forget this software crap,
Mozilla needs to re-purpose itself
as a catering service.
Quick, before they fix it...read
your article. The sucksters have
inadvertently stuck a new ending on
it. See if you like it better that
way...then scream your head off.
Actually, just randomly mixing in
bits of other Suck pieces can only
improve mine. I'm hoping to one day
sound like St. Huck, Bartel D'Arcy,
the Duke of URL and Webster, all
Nice article Greg.
Just a little FYI, Microshaft also
tried that "one browser fits all"
thing about four years with similar
stupefying results. In fact, the
Windoze98 desktop was originally
going to look, feel, and act a
BROWSER! Jeepers, it's ugly enough
as it is, yipes! Anyways, in the
betas the public hated it, not just
for look feel, but it's bloated
size (like it's company). Although
Microshaft is big at duping the
general public into "you need
bigger, badder, more - MHz matters
- it's shitty, shut up and deal
with it - etc." and usually trying
to get them to upgrade their
machines piecemeal at a time, they
couldn't figure out how to coax the
consumers into getting a new 20
gigabyte hard drive just to support
their spiffy OS. They backed down,
natch, and produced shitty Win98
and that begat Win2000, same look
you've come to love and barf chunks
to with merely bug fixes under the
hood to support why you spent the
Hey, keep on sucking!
Like I have any choice.
And as for Microsoft's "Web-Enabled
Desktop," yeah, it was a disaster,
too. But at least they had a
customer-feedback mechanism to
convince them - to the point of
messages written in blood - that it
was something that people didn't
actually want. Mozilla, near as I
can tell, does no research into
what you or me or Joe Average wants
from a Web browser, and it's
What someone needs to do is get
some fluorescent orange paint and
write "JUST A BROWSER, DAMMIT" in
their parking lot.
I'm not going to rant and rave and
swear about your article, as
everyone's entitled to an opinion,
but just say:
Think before you act. The things
you mentioned about Mozilla are
strange; Bloated - Then why is it
smaller than IE WITH all the
debugging code? Cross-Platform
technology - Are you a Microsoft
employee or what? There are people
who don't use Windows (now that's
what I call bloated suftware!) XML
- In case you hadn't noticed,
Office 2000 actually uses this as a
file format, which kinda makes it
important to be able to read it.
Mail client, etc - Some of us don't
use IE (I know it's hard to
believe) and don't want to have to
install a separate program, just
have it all in one. Oh, and it's
actually learning from the mistakes
of Netscape; don't be narrow-minded
and live in the past, get the stuff
of tomorrow today.
I'm going to be patient with you,
George, because you're English and
already have a lot of embarrassment
to contend with. But, to take your
"points" in order:
Bloat: I don't know that IE is the
application you want to be
comparing yourself against when
you're arguing that Mozilla isn't
bloated. "Golly, Clem, you're a
damned sight slimmer than that
circus fat lady! Have another
Cross-Platform Technology: Yes, I'm
aware that there are non-Windows
users in the world. I'm one of
them. The ability to write code so
that it compiles on different
operating systems has nothing -
nothing - to do with nonsense like
XPCOM, XUL or the cross-platform
widgets. They're toys, Georgie.
XML: The ability to parse XML would
certainly be a nice feature. Say,
in version 2. Or 3. Or maybe even
1.1, if you're feeling ambitious.
But, for now, just get the damned
browser out. XML doesn't help the
browser one tiny bit.
Mail Client, Etc.: So let me get
this straight. You think that it's
OK that Mozilla is years - years! -
behind schedule just to save you
the trouble of installing Eudora?
How long has it been since you took
the blow to the head?
You suffer from the same disease
the Mozilla developers do, George.
You value the fuzzy, ill-defined
future over the present. The
future's great and all, yeah, but
we actually have to live here. And,
apparently, we have to do it
without a decent browser.