The Fish
for 17 August 2000. Updated every WEEKDAY.
 
Suck Staff
 

[Tim Cavanaugh]
Tim Cavanaugh
Special Guest Editor

 

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Terry Colon
Art Director

 

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Havrilesky
Heather Havrilesky
Senior Editor

 

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Phillip Bailey
Production Editor

 

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Joey Anuff
Publisher








	
Suck Alumni
Suck Alumni Text
 
Hit & Run

Yes, the Russians lost a staggering
26 million people (compared to
350,000 USA, 810,00 French and
388,000 UK), and Hitler's biggest
mistake was messing with Russia,
but:

A) Russia would not have won the
war on its own. That idea is
preposterous. If Hitler didn't have
vast resources tied up in other
spots around the globe (notably,
defending the entire west coast of
Europe, his greatest general in
North Africa), he would've taken
Moscow and killed 100 million
Soviets. The Soviets would also
have been completely fucked without
the vast amounts of supplies and
armaments that the allies provided
during the war.

B) Those "costly sideshows" by "the
soft underbelly" kept Germany
spread waaayyyy too thin and denied
Hitler consolidation of resources.
See point A.

C) As far as the Battle of Berlin
goes, the unbelievable casualty
rate was the result of the Russians
haste in entering and taking the
city before the west. Granted, part
of it was a need for bloodthirsty
revenge (I'd be pissed if a country
killed 25 million of my people),
but Russia's greed for land played
a large stake in that tally.

C'mon. I've heard of exaggeration
to make a point, but the Reds
would've been celebrating
Oktoberfest if Hitler had limited
the scope of his war to the
Communists. Fortunately, he was an
egomaniacal, delusional dumbass.

Bill Ardolino
<Bill.Ardolino@MeriStar.com>

Thanks, Bill. Taking your points
one at a time:

Hitler's failure to take Moscow
occurred in 1941, while the United
Kingdom was still fighting for its
life and before the United States
had even entered the war. The
brutal Russian winter and fearsome
Soviet counterattack that the
Germans endured in the winter
1941-42 are matters of
well-established historical fact
and widespread popular legend.
Whether the Germans would have been
able to take Moscow on a second try
in the summer of 1942 is a matter
of conjecture. Guderian (who for
Suck's money was Germany's real
greatest general) believed they
could have, but in the event it was
Hitler's decision to concentrate
the summer offensive on the
southern Ukraine and Caucasus. This
decision had nothing to do with the
Western Allies, and the offensive
ended at Stalingrad, where the
Germans lost in one fell swoop an
army larger than the combined
forces that were at that time
facing US and UK forces. (That the
Germans were able to fight on
vigorously for three years after
this loss should give some
indication of the size of their
commitment in Russia).

We stand by our "costly sideshows"
comment. It was in fact the US and
the UK that were spread waayy too
thin in the Mediterranean, where
the Germans were able to hold off
both allies with a commitment of
forces that never amounted to more
than 20 percent of their total
military. As for the greatest
general in North Africa, the reason
Rommel is known as the "Desert Fox"
rather than the "Desert Tiger" or
"Desert Bull" is that the fox is
considered a powerless animal that
keeps vastly stronger enemies at
bay through his wit and cunning. At
its peak commitment, Germany never
had more than a token force in
Africa. Statistics support this
claim, as do numerous anecdotes,
such as the one in which Rommel,
during his arrival parade in
Tripoli, had his troops secretly
double back at the end of their
parade route and march through
again, to give a false impression
of his strength. That he was able
to survive at all against the bulk
of the British army, navy and air
force is a testament to both his
skill and the incompetence of the
British leadership, but there is no
evidence for the African war as
anything but an afterthought to the
main event in Europe - a main event
that until the middle of 1944 was
being played out exclusively
between Germany and Russia.

It's true that US supplies to the
USSR helped the Russians immensely,
but the Russian counterattack of
1941 and victory at Stalingrad a
year later both occured before US
supplies began reaching the Soviet
Union in any appreciable numbers.
On their own, the Russians turned
the tide of the war months before
receiving serious US assistance,
and fully years before the US got
involved on the European continent.
On their own, they may not have won
the war by 1945, but they would
have won it nonetheless. You also
shouldn't dismiss Soviet
production, which gave the Russians
the best tank of the war and an air
force that eventually came to
dominate even the vaunted
Luftwaffe.

Finally, the Russians had no need
of haste in taking Berlin, since
the job of conquering the German
capitol had been allotted to them
at the Yalta conference. There was
no race with the Western Allies, at
least as far as Berlin was
concerned. They lost a lot of
people there because the Germans
fought hard until the bitter end.

Thanks for convincing me that all
those hours spent poring over Life
Goes to War
and the collected works
of S.L.A. Marshall were not a total
loss.

yr pal,

BarTel
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


American adults generally believe
their WWII contribution was the
deciding factor because that's what
Americans were taught in public
schools. A majority of Americans
have never read historical analysis
on any subject and possess a
limited knowledge of WWII which was
manufactured in Hollywood where
film studios have been known to
twist events in pursuit of a
hawkable product.

However, the relentless drive of
the Soviets was just one factor in
the Nazi defeat. And I doubt they
would have had much success without
some outside assistance. America's
industrial output was an important
factor. Much of the Red Army's
supporting material was supplied by
the US under a lend-lease
agreement. They could not have
advanced at all without the
thousands of American trucks and
other equipment. Of course, it's
too complex to boil down to one
factor but in general, it was the
Hitler's miscalculated attempt to
capture Moscow followed by Red
Army's fanatical drive enabled by
massive amounts of US material aid.

Robert Fulton
<robert.fulton@cwhkt.com>

Yeah, Mr. Fulton, you're just
talking up American industry
because you invented the steam
engine. We say the Russkies are
A-OK!

Sucksters
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


You know I have come to find that
even when I disagree with one of
your articles conclusions (which
isn't all that often), I have
always been amazed at the accuracy
of the sucksters (wholly or
piecemeal) pov and facts. But today
when you said the Soviets could
have knocked the Nazi's boots
alone, you were PAINFULLY wrong. I
am not some 70 year vet with a
laundry list to present you but
even a cursory glance at the last
three years of the war show the
enormous strain placed on germany
by minor things like the African
and Italian campaigns, the building
of the "West Wall" defenses on the
coasts (as well as the million plus
troops left there to defend it),
and of course the minor effect of
the 3 year long round the clock
british/american bombing offensives
which certainly took thier toll in
luftwaffe aircraft and general
german capability.

HA! I lied. apparently I did have a
laundry list. I blame clinton's
example for such a blatant
disregard for my earlier written
promises.

Otherwise, Suck on my
brothers/sisters/non-gendered
digital entities!

John Siminoff
<doomon_you@yahoo.com>

Oh yeah? Then how come Colonel
Hogan can always get Klink,
Schultz, and Burkhalter to hop to
just by threatening to have them
sent to the Russian front?

Sucksters
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


Hey, thanks for the history lesson.

If the general ignorance of history
(even recent history) is as bad as
it's supposed to be, no doubt
you've convinced a few thousand
readers that the whole point of
U.S. involvement in the European
theater was just a ploy to take
part of the credit for crushing
fascism away from the Worker's
Paradise.

"if [the USSR] had fought the
Germans singlehandedly, the USSR
still would have won."? You guys
ever hear of lend-lease? The reason
the Red Army suffered so many
casualties in most of their
campaigns was because even with
lend-lease they were so short of
equipment that they had to rely on
the expendability of their troops.

As far as the Battle of the Bulge
goes, Hitler had pulled several of
his best tank divisions away from
the Eastern front for this
offensive, and it still failed to
break through the allied lines. Get
a map and see how far the Germans
were able to push the Russians back
with their counteroffensives, and
how often the Russian lines broke.
The only thing that saved them was
the fact that the Germans had too
little fuel to exploit their gains
across the distances involved.
Mixed results? That's indefensible.
I'd point out that it's also an
insult to veterans, but I realize
that that was probably your intent
from the beginning.

Also, is every angry person who
prints a bumper sticker a
"nincompoop"? Just wondering.

Yours,

Logan Rogers
<logerogers@aol.com>

Lend-lease was possibly America's
greatest contribution to the war,
and the one of which we should now
be proudest (more below), but as
far as the Battle of the Bulge, you
need to take a look at the map of
Europe. The Germans not only broke
through the American lines, they
mauled the defenses so badly that
whole divisions (including Kurt
Vonnegut's outfit, the 106th
Infantry) basically ceased to
exist. We can play the Battle now
as an against-the-odds victory, but
despite the brilliant defense of
Bastogne, the fact is that the
Germans took the US totally by
surprise (a real disgrace, given
that they had used the exact same
tactic in the exact same place in
1914 and again in 1940) swept
through large parts of Belgium, and
kept the vastly superior US forces
so off-balance that the Americans
were unable to realize their plan
of crossing the Rhine into Germany
until the following March - three
or four months after they had
initially planned. The attack was a
failure only in the sense that its
original goal of capturing Antwerp
and repeating the success of 1940
was impossible from the start.

As for the insult to our veterans,
well, it always comes back to that,
doesn't it? Anybody who fought the
Germans at all deserves our
respect, but honoring veterans
doesn't mean we have to believe
things that are not true. And
there's a more important point
here, one that has to do with the
perversion of American ideals that
people like Tom Brokaw and Stephen
Ambrose play into when they lay
these absurd plaudits on the
fighting men of that Great
Generation (as if Generation X or Y
or W wouldn't have done the same
thing in the same circumstances).
The fact that America has never
been particularly good at turning
out homicidal martinets is
something we should be proud of,
not something we should cover up
with fake tales of martial prowess.
Lend-lease, and the powerful
economy, industrial efficiency,
hard work and initiative that made
it possible, are what Americans
should invoke when we want to claim
World War II bragging rights. Most
of what Brokaw in particular lauds
as great virtue involves the
ability to shoot and kill on
command. By his measure, in fact,
the most virtuous people of the war
should be the Germans, since, like
it or not, they were by a long shot
the best fighters. This idea that
the country is great in proportion
to its ability to invade other
countries is fairly recent in
American history, and it's a little
dismaying to see that belief
growing, rather than fading, with
time. We'll leave the details to
the historians, but a country worth
living for beats a country worth
dying for any day.

Sucksters
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


Since when is the Washington Times
a "normally respectable old rag"???

Kristin
<kconradi@macromedia.com>

The best line about the Washington
Times
came from Lynn Samuels of
WABC radio: "It's like a Hebrew
paper; you have to read it
backwards it's so distorted."

Sucksters
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


In your 8/10 feature on radio, you
stated that the ENIAC was the first
vacuum-tube computer. In fact, the
Colossus, a vacuum-tube machine
build by Alan Turing and his gang
to break German codes, predates
ENIAC by a few years. Of course,
they were all destroyed after the
war, leaving most folks to ignore
their existence.

Kinda the same way everybody
forgets that WWII was largely a
Soviet-German war.

Fletcher Moore
<fletch@1099.com>

What's even less widely known is
that prior to vacuum tubes,
computers were powered by a
miniature dinosaur who lived inside
the works and would scribble zeros
and ones on a slate and then say
things like "One calculation down,
three hundred billion to go... I
hate this job!"

Sucksters
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


Hi,

as an (goddamn) Finn (you know,
from the country of the Jukka
bros., Finland), I find the US
presidential election both
absolutely hilarious and absolutely
terrifying at the same time. Not
getting into that, I would just
like to see you do something
original as a representative of
sorts of US media: bash the
Democrats also. I understand that
you have to choose sides, but I
find it very refreshing when you
say you support someone and then
strike at their stupidities and
weaknesses. It gives you more
credibility. By bashing the
republicans you just seem so like
everybody else on the liberal side
of the media. Well, that's it, and
thanks for reading..

MJ
<w357@hotmail.com>

Not to worry, MJ. Suck is notably
short on members of the Democratic
party, and as far as the editor is
concerned, this election proves
three things:

* That there has never been a
better time to vote for a third
party.

* That California should secede
from the United States

* That the office of the Presidency
should be abolished.

As we see little chance of
realizing any of those goals, we
will not be giving aid or comfort
to the Democrats.

Sucksters
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 
Filler: Generation Ex

Polly,

Many thanks for questioning the
questions discontenting the
queasily quiescent. Sure did raise
the hackles on my dysfunctional
ticks. Not that it does any lasting
good, but the exercise affords a
certain distance between me and the
aforementioned ticks, err -
questions. It's a distance, and I
mean this as sincere praise, not
unlike that found in the joyful
consumption of alcohol/drugs, or
even occasionally in the indulgence
in excessive sports fandom. Maybe
it's something to do with vacating
your identity for a time — and
who doesn't need a vacation?

In belated, but related note to
your Fillerversary survey, what do
I find myself doing after nigh
these many years of Filler? Living
a life of quiet respiration, it
seems. Chasing after what I wanted
sure hasn't delivered the goods, so
now I'm trying too be very still
and quiet. With any luck, that
rabbit will hop close enough for me
to club it. Of course, this is the
rabbit of all my hopes and
aspirations. I have this image of a
15th century painting, "St. Anthony
Abbot Tempted by a Heap of Gold,"
where Anthony is standing on a
road, with a fine house and a ship
and foreign lands visible around
him, symbols of earthly temptation,
or so I'm told. There's also this
little rabbit there with him, just
off the road, which I figure might
as well stand for Anthony's
personal hopes. Anthony's standing
there, looking at the rabbit, but
unmoved by its temptations. Still,
I sense him thinking, "... if only
I wasn't wearing this clumsy robe,
maybe I could lunge out and
throttle the bastard."

To be honest, I don't think this
strategy is working any better for
me than the chasing did. Which
brings me back to the simple charms
of ironic detachment, and beer
— cool, soothing beer.

R'gds,

Zack Haberer

Zack,

Do you know that when a girl wants
to know if she's going to marry the
guy she's seeing, she twists the
stem on an apple and says the
letters of the alphabet, pausing on
the letter of her favorite guy ("A,
B, Ceeeeeee") so that the stem will
break on that letter and she'll
know they're destined to be
married? How many stems do you
suppose make it all the way to Z?

That bunny rabbit isn't even in the
neighborhood, buddy. But I know how
you feel — I, too, was swinging
that heavy club around, trying to
bludgeon me a rabbit but mostly
just fucking shit up. Recently I,
too, have resigned myself to
staying very quiet and still until
the bunny rabbit crawls right up
into my lap and sings the Macarena.
Actually, I probably won't even
take notice until it sings "Flesh
and Blood" by the Sundays.

Ah, but the beer. The
cool soothing beer.

Quiet and still,

Polly
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


Polly-

About 2 or so years ago you
predicted that upon my graduation
from Bucknell, I would spend
several years living in Vail,
skiing, vomiting, and listening to
phish. It looks like you were right
on at least some counts. I recently
accepted a job in Colorado, and
while it's not really anywhere near
Vail, there are skiing areas near
by, and I'm sure that I'll be
listening to some phish while I'm
there. If I end up moving to Vail
or start vomiting a great deal,
I'll be sure to let you know. If
i'm ever in San Francisco, I owe
you a coke.

Mike Stevenson
<mike@godisdead.com>

Oh, mark my words. You'll be
vomiting.

Thanks for the update. My next
prediction is that you'll have fun
in Denver, but eventually you'll
get pretty bored, hanging out with
your friends in the same old ways
day in an day out. Then one day
you'll meet a really great girl,
and you two will be MADLY in love,
and then she'll start getting all
bitchy and demanding and she'll say
that you need to grow up and make
more of a commitment and you'll say
"To hell with this! I don't need
this!" but later you'll regret it
and kind of wonder whether she was
The One and you just blew it
because you were a baby who didn't
really "get" the concept of PMS.
But then you'll think, "Nah, she
was lame," and you'll hang out with
your friends again, and everything
will be cool, but sort of boring
after a while, and then you'll meet
this really great girl...

Let me know how all that turns out.
And thanks again for keeping me
abreast of your movements.

Polly
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


Dear Polly,

It was so nice to see you again! We
had such a nice vacation, that big
bridge, that district with all the
hippie shops. Oh, and that chinese
food, that was very good. They
don't have that in Cleveland, do
they?

I never would've guessed it, but my
little sister's a famous writer
now! Dad's so proud of you. And
thanks for showing us where you
work. Those people you work with
seem nice. That internet stuff,
that's the wave of the future! Heh
heh.

But the traffic, everyone drives so
fast, don't they? You really gotta
watch yer step. And the rent. I
just can't believe it. You three
girls all living in that tiny
victorian and ya could buy a house
for that back in Cleveland, I'm
tellin' ya.

But hey, it's yer life. I'm not
telling you what ta do. Still, yer
so thin. Ya gotta eat girl. A
strong wind could blow you away.
The problem is they don't have real
food here. It's all just
vegetables. How ya gonna keep your
strength up? Here, before I forget,
mom made these cookies to give ya.

So, when ya moving home? Ha Ha.
Just kidding. No, really. It's a
lot better now. The Browns got a
new stadium and everything. Look,
we gotta go to the airport now. I
wanna see you this christmas, okay?

Your big brother,

Michael Chicchelly
<mikeamy@stratos.net>

Dear Mike,

I'm in therapy now and I blame you
for everything.

You could have been nicer. You
could've thought about how to cater
to my needs at age 6. I mean, you
were 8! It was your responsibility,
as the elder sibling, to think of
me. But no. You just did exactly
what you wanted to do, like a
child. And for that, I will always
loathe and despise you.

I won't be home for Christmas, you
bastard.

With layers of resentment too deep
to fathom,

Polly
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


Aside from spewing useless
factoids, manufacturing
recreational pharmaceuticals with
the intent to distribute, and
reading on-line magazines, we don't
do much else here at MIT, aside
from have flamboyant and vigorous
sex in rooms lit by the ethereal
glow of beakers full of radium.

You should drop by and check it out
sometime.

Ciao

Ben Schwabe
<bschwabe@MIT.edu>

Flamboyant sex! Radium! Where do I
sign up?

Does the radium kill the STDs? Is
that the plan, or just a beneficial
side effect?

Useless, factless, and
manufactured,

Polly
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


Okay, now You're cyber-humping My
EX.

I'll have you know that Ben (of
MIT) and I had 13 beautiful,
monogamous months together at Bard
College. Well, not in a ROW, or
anything...

And, sure, Polly, you and I aren't
"friends," per se. I mean,
sometimes I write, sometimes you
publish...

eh

So I think this pretty much green
lights you to hop right on my
former Little Punkinhead. In fact,
Ben's sexual kung fu is pretty
mighty. Really.

I suggest you book out to Boston
ASAP before he blows his janitor
closet/drug lab all to smoky
pieces. Just please, at least
describe the sex graphically in
your column and tell me if he's
stopped making the Grinch Who Stole
Christmas face.

Go on, you crazy kids, you...

Anna (formerly of Duke Law, with
the Prairie Dog)

Cyber-humping? Lord help me. Three
lines of email equals virtual sex?
Wow. It wasn't that good for me. Do
I at least get to smoke a cigarette
now?

At any rate, good work. Your Grinch
Who Stole Christmas image was all
that was required to ensure that
nothing would/could ever happen
with me and your little punkinhead.

I admire your efficiency and
clock-like precision. If only I
were armed thusly against my
transgressors, instead of being
woefully equipped with ineffectual
whining after the fact via
pointless, bitter cartoons.

Next time, I'll try your method:

"Right on! You two actually seem
perfect for each other! Try not to
let that middle-of-the-night
farting in the bed get you down.
You'll get used to it, in time. I
never did, but I'm a notoriously
light sleeper, so..."

"Go for it, lady! Let me tell you,
he's incredibly sensitive. In fact,
you might consider making him wear
condoms well beyond the point of
risk - that is, if you prefer to
have sex for more than two or three
minutes at a time."

compliments, and he loves giving
them out - to every woman he knows.
He's very expressive about how sexy
his women friends look. But you're
not as threatened as me, so I'm
sure that won't bother you at all."

But none of these has the raw power
of The Grinch Face. As that guy on
the Sopranos once said, "I'm in
AWRRR of you."

Princess Anna, you truly do belong
here with us, among the Sneaky
Beaky Club members.

Polly
 
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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