The Fish
for 10 August 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
Joey Anuff
Joey Anuff

Suck Alumni
Suck Alumni Text
Hit & Run

Who cares, exactly, that Renata
Adler is a self-serving ass? You
ignored the part of her piece that
had the most merit: the fact that
reporting news today too often
amounts to repeating the received
wisdoms of so-called experts. For
all the space you devoted to it,
you'd think the Times didn't have
it in for her. They do, and
probably for the reasons she says.
Her reasoning regarding Sirica's
character was torturous and
strained in places. However, she
correctly pointed out that
obfuscation was an obvious goal in
the writing of his autobiography.
The writing sucks, relevant details
are absent, and speculation as to
what really happened is practically

What comes across in your piece is
that you don't like her. Me
neither. Who gives a fuck? She's
right that the Times doesn't print
retractions, isn't she? She's right
that it doesn't admit mistakes,
isn't she? And just how the hell
does a small-time nothing like
Sirica come to be friends with the
Tailgunner? You don't seem
interested. Talk about that. Stop
behaving like irony is all there
is. It IS all there is, but
behaving like it is doesn't appeal.


We could try to respond to your
letter but all that would come
across in our response is that we
don't like you. You don't seem to
like you either. Who gives a fuck?
You're right that we're not
interested in her friendship with
Tailgunner, aren't you? You're
right to assume that we won't care
what you're so helpfully
instructing us to talk about,
aren't you? We should give you
more credit.

And you should stop behaving like
scornful, pointless one-upmanship
is all there is. It IS all there
is, but behaving like it is doesn't



Fish With Letter Icon

I was glad to see that you'd
analyzed that Renata Adler article.
I was stymied by it, thought I was
probably just unwilling to
understand that what she was
getting at. Could it be that the
whole long and tortured piece was
about nothing but her anger at
having to prove the grounds by
which she'd accused a long-dead
judge of familial mafia ties?
Apparently, it was. However, what
really got my goat in that issue
was the Dave Eggers rant, where he
was begging all of us critics to
quit while we still have a chance
to save our immortal souls. Now
that he's won a large pot, he wants
to end the poker game. Though maybe
this renunciation of his past is
some sort of preparation for a
career in politics?


Richard Von Busack

Contrary to popular belief,
maintaining a stubborn
unwillingness to understand is
sometimes an incredibly adaptive
trait, enabling one to breeze over
volumes of pointless material,
freeing up one's time for more
important things, like ass sex, and
creme-filled cruellers!


Fish With Letter Icon

How can i obtain an associates
degree in fire management from a
university or college? cost?
realism? e mail me at chief

Also how long will it take to

Frank jr Larosa

Hey Frank, let's hear it for
Whistler Ass Sex Weekend 2000!

Unwilling to understand or be


Fish With Letter Icon


It's early and I've yet to guzzle
coffee, but in the following:

"By reducing the Holocaust to
dramatic backstory for a superhero
movie, Bryan Singer has confirmed
his role as the first great
director of the 20th Century."

Shouldn't it be "21st century?"
Though again, I might be missing
something sans caffeine.

Anyways, excellent article, and
Terry's work with the Hulk was the
evil sort of funny.

Zach Bush

This was considered in the editing
process, and - leaving aside the
pedantic argument about whether the
21st century begins 1.1.00 or
1.1.01 - I just saw X-Men, and the
movie kicks off with the stirring
Fox theme and an unchanged logo
that reads: "20th Century Fox." My
motto in all matters has always
been "I'll believe black is white
if Rupert Murdoch tells me so."
20th century it is.


Fish With Letter Icon

Actually, I was earlier looking in
the Thomas Register of American
Manufacturers for small cryogenic
refrigerators and decided to do a
web search. I usually go to Yahoo
for a keyword search; but, this
morn I decided to touch the Hot Bot
URL link instead. Before I entered
my keyword, I noticed
Some of what you wrote was really
interesting (especially the part
about reality verses fantasy). I
could go on, but the point I would
like to impress is this: At the
bottom of the screen was a
continuously flashing logo for
Adobe products. Blip, blip,
blip...How annoying and how
pathetic that that is as capable as
you are able to perform. Is there a
way to read your notes without an
ad flickering in the foreground?
Or, if you insist on advertising,
could you use a better version of
metaprograming where the message
was more like visual stimulation to
give immediate positive feedback.
Try to dream a little more and
watch fewer movies. Perhaps you
like this idea: you attach each
computer with a wave form generator
capable of reading and transmitting
signals in multiple frequencies:
such as light frequency,
periodicity, and intensity. Kinetic
energy would also be considered,
especially as it relates to the
generation of molecular vibration
and the propagation of sound. The
person at the computer interface is
actually giving a near real time
corneal and retinal record(with
some sort of twoway hmd) to the
wave form generator operator
(person and/or machine), which
plays, orchestrates and adjusts the
white noise and light for the
stimulation of production of wealth
and the diminution of ...I really
don't have to finish because you
probably won't read this unless you
can take it and let your ai answer
it by sending a message back to my
ai agent.

See you in the holoverse,

Leonard Bromberg

At last! Someone gets the point of
the essay!

Thanks, Leonard.

40th Street Black

Fish With Letter Icon

"Humankind cannot bear too much
reality." But you knew that, right?

Alan S Kornheiser

Well, it's easy to pass judgment on
humankind when you live in a big
house and employ a faithful
manservant. That was Nixon's
problem, for one.


40th Street Black

Fish With Letter Icon

I was getting beat up a lot back
when Battlestar Galactica was on,
and the resulting repressed
memories and mild concussions mean
that I don't recall much of that
time. Who did Fred Astaire play on
Battlestar Galactica?

Mark Wright

Fred Astaire played a con man who
pretended to be young fighter pilot
Starbuck's father in order to avoid
a thuggish beating or worse at the
hands of some offensively-portrayed
space extremists. But as things
worked out, blood tests confirmed
that he was indeed related to Dirk
Benedict's character, indicating
that in advanced space
civilizations almost no genetic
material is passed father to son.

In the kind of touching scene that
gets an aged star like Astaire the
hell off a set, the con man
convinced doctors not to tell
Starbuck, so that his son could
continue the military career of
which he was so proud.

The fact that I remember this off
the top of my head indicates that
not only was I, too, smacked around
a lot back then, but that I also
probably deserve a beating or two

Thanks for reading!

40th Street Black

Fish With Letter Icon


Dear Polly,

Well, it's no wonder that you're
miserable, living in Seattle and
all. Cold and rainy all the
time.Giant killer snails. Gloom so
thick ya cut it with a knife. I
imagine you're in flannels and a
leather jacket now, drinking jack
from the bottle and listening to
Tad's "eightway Santa" over and
over again, caressing that twelve
gauge, and cursing yourself for a

There's a way out girl. Leave. Move
to the cheery Midwest! Yeah, now I
drink weak coffee from a Styrofoam
cup and listen to polka. We eat way
too much kilbasa and perogees and
sauerkraut. We're all fat... and

Viva Cleveland,

Mike Chicchelly

I don't live in Seattle, Mike.
That's my friend Steve who's in the
flannels and leather jacket right
now. Of course his big huge man
titties from the Tae Bo workout are
keeping him pretty warm these days.
Besides, it's August. The coldest
place on the earth in August is San
Francisco, not Seattle.

You happy, fat Midwesterners really
don't know shit about the rest of
the world, do you?


Fish With Letter Icon

Dear Love of my Life, Fire of my
Loins, Sin, Soul, etc...

You recently wrote regarding the
Dewey Decimal System, and I'm
afraid you're a little behind the
times here, which doesn't surprise
me, since 99% of the world is
behind the times when it comes to
the fast paced world of library
sciences (the true knowledge
profession). The Dewey Decimal
System is essentially dead, in use
mostly at underfunded public
libraries, it is slowly being wiped
out by the more efficient, slightly
less random Library of Congress
system. I say less random only
because it has 26 initial
categories, each with a
corresponding letter from the
alphabet. Each letter may be
followed by another letter (thus 27
subheadings) and this is followed
by a number of up to four digits,
giving you thousands of possible
breakdowns. This allows for a
better differentiation of topics.

Thus, under the Library of Congress
System (or LC as we call it)
pornography can generally be found
under HQ, 1-100, the human
sexuality section. Of course,
erotic novels and short stories may
be found in under PQ (foreign lit.)
or PR-PS (english lit). Erotic art
would be found under NE.

Of course, if you want porn, and
your in the library, the best place
to go it to the internet terminal
farthest from prying eyes. Just try
to keep the mouse clean.

Always happy to help you find porn.

Ben Schwabe

Dewey Decimal System, dead? Say it
ain't so! Poor Dewey must be
turning in his grave. Letters?
Letters and numbers? What could be
more complicated and confusing than

Tsk tsk. Leave it to Congress.

What do you MIT people do all day,
besides spew trivial factoids?

Spewing trivial misinformation,

Fire of Your Pork Loins

Fish With Letter Icon


Why can't I shake the overwhelming
suspicion that a popular majority
of your most devoted fans, myself
included (and you as well), are
actually happy, fulfilled,
successful (whatever that means
(oops, there I go indulging the
same delusion (because, of course,
I have a far more clear idea of
what, for me, constitutes success
than I would usually admit))),
upper-, or soon-to-be-upper-, crust
whipper-snappers who enjoy your
column with a smug wink at the
irony of all of the happy,
fulfilled, upper-, or
soon-to-be-upper-, crust
whipper-snappers ostensibly
identifying with your faux-angst,
pretending that the popular
conception of GenX is actually true
(when of course it is no more true
than any other popular conception)?

Here's to us! Having nothing to
bitch about, we ever so creatively
and reflexively pseudo-bitch about
all the bitching that we don't even
do ... and you, Polly, our fearless
leader, o Captain my Captain, guide
us toward the Promised Land, where
we will all have stock options,
five bedroom houses, and SUVs that
put HMVEES to shame - and complain
all the way to E*Trade!

(I'd make a snide comment about
this state of affairs (or have I
already?) if it wouldn't
contradict/confirm/huh? my thesis.)

Keep up the good work. God only
knows what would happen if we were
forced to concede our happiness and
prosperity; the ease of our lives
as compared to those of our
ancestors; and our not-so-secret
desires to watch Reality TV 24/7,
to look through a peephole at more
essentially fortunate young people
tirelessly feigning discontent and


I don't know how to prove to you
that the majority of my fans aren't
actually happy, fulfilled, and
successful without spewing trivial
misinformation, but I'll try. Let's
put it this way: something just
tells me that a lot of my fans are
sort of, um, shall we say, vaguely
dissatisfied with their lives for
one reason or another.

Now, granted, I'm into projection.
On bad days, I project a great deal
of unhappiness onto my fans. On
good days, I perceive them as
happy-go-lucky go-get'em types. On
dysfunctional days, my projector
doesn't work - the lightbulb is
burned out or something. My fans
just seem crazy.

To be honest, I don't know what
would disappoint me more: to learn
that most of my fans are fabulously
happy, or to learn that they're all
miserable unsuccessful curmudgeons.

I know what they want from me,
though: misery. And I'm more than
qualified to give the people what
they want. Oh sure, every now and
then it looks like things are
really going to shape up for me and
I'm never going to write anything
funny ever again. But, lucky for my
fans, things go awry fairly often
in my world, which means nonstop
tragicomedy and lose-lose scenarios
all around. Woohoo.

No feigning necessary, not today

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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