The Fish
for 8 September 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
Chickenhawk Down

Nice column of questionable
questioning on Dick Cheney's
veracity and strategic judgment,
but for venality and ineptitude,
he'll have to go far to match Joe
Lieberman's 1970 vanity book on
East/West relations, the sum of
which was that, hey, the U.S. and
the USSR are morally equivalent,
so, like whatever. As with many
"neo" liberals, Joe has spent the
past decade quietly slipping away
from past flings with the truly
"Evil" Empire. Hey - "veracity,"
"venality," and "vanity!"
Alliteration aweigh!

Ralph Ward

I absolutely promise that Vinegar
Joe will get his, soon and often,
from the good folks at Suck. We
just, you know, have a list we have
to go through. Hang in there.

Ambrose Beers
Fish With Letter Icon

Wow, that's a hell of a piece. I'm
now fifteen minutes late for class
- I had to stick around and finish
it! Of course, I never liked
Cheney, so I suppose I'm biased to
begin with :)

I found it a little odd, though,
that you didn't once use the phrase
"vice president" even while talking
about Al Gore. Was that
intentional, I'm curious?

John Murphy

Never even occurred to me. I guess
I just figured everyone knows who
Al Gore is. You know, Al Gore -
the, uh... oh, that guy. (The one
who drinks all the iced tea, and
isn't sure why he's hanging out
with the monks.)

Ambrose Beers
Fish With Letter Icon

Hey Soldier Boy!

Thanks for another one of your
brilliant essays! I knew there was
something about Dick Cheney that I
didn't like. (As much as the idea
of a 'Bush/Dick' ticket cracks me
up) It's pretty evident that were
going to have yet another election
involving selecting the lesser of
two complete morons (and their
running mates) Terry's cartoon of
Cheney's military advice is
classic!! I also love the bit about
Gore's big sob story about tobacco
killing his sister, and then
continuing to take kickbacks from
big tobacco - maybe he needed some
extra funding to invent the
internet - and those buddhists just
weren't getting the bills paid.

Keep on sucking in the free

Robert C.

I love it when you call me
soldier boy.

Ambrose Beers
Fish With Letter Icon

Stop it - you're scaring me!

Of course, the military mind
Cheney's most resembles belonged to
General Haig - not Alexander,
Nixon's in-house Norm Crosby
knock-off and my personal vote for
"Most Likely to Be Revealed as
'Deep Throat' on his Deathbed" -
but rather Sir Douglas, the mass
murderer of the Somme campaigns.
Only instead of "Boys Own Paper"
tales of derring-do against swarthy
Rajas and voodoo-chanting
fuzzy-wuzzies, Cheney's primary
education on tactical doctrine has
clearly been "A Bridge Too Far" and

On the other hand, I feel compelled
to point out that genuine military
commanders have, as a rule, been
less than magnificent Presidents,
notably Grant and Polk (the
latter's illegal war on Mexico was
probably an impeachable offense).
Worse yet have been the part-time
warriors who fancied themselves
battle-scarred heroes who knew what
it is to fight toe-to-toe. Men like
Jackson, Kennedy and TR tended to
see policy making as a game of
brinkmanship, where the winner was
the one who ran headfirst toward
disaster fastest. (Jackson's
effective invasion of South
Carolina could actually have set
off the Civil War 40 years earlier,
for example.)

Sadly, no one currently up for the
job of Commander in Chief right now
looks to have the faintest idea how
to conduct business as the last
Supreme Global Military Power in
existence. And I would include
Nader, who, despite being
unelectable, is also unqualified.

Where is Harold Stassen when you
need him?

Dr. Robert

Wouldn't it be really comforting to
not worry about finding a
commander-in-chief who had the
desire and ability to conduct
business as the head of the "last
Supreme Global Military Power in
existence"? The only response that
ever really occurs to me, watching
all the bellicose posturing that
passes for campaigning, now, is: My
god, will you people just calm the
fuck down? But probably the kind of
people who think to go after the
presidency aren't the kind of
people who know how to do that. Why
buy the toy if you aren't play with

The whole thing just makes me want
to take a nap.

Ambrose Beers
Fish With Letter Icon


A while ago you left suck to —
what sounded like — enlist in
the military. Are you writing your
excellent essays from the barracks
or what?

Michael Fox

Yep. Thirteen months to go.

Ambrose Beers
Fish With Letter Icon
Hit & Run

I was reading Suck and just when I
clicked the JackinWorld link my
roommates walked in and saw the
page. Now they think I am weird.
Thanks, Suck. Thanks a lot.

Oh well. Off to watch that lucha
libre (Mexican wrestling) tape I
just got.


It's best that they know the truth
from the start, kids. Maybe you
should back away from the computer
and go eat some fried cheese with
them next time. It's really best to
make friends early in the semester,
you know. Cut down on your media
diet and start interacting with
other humans. Do you really want to
end up like us?

We thought not.

Fish With Letter Icon

First of all, the Honeymooners
didn't paint a bleak picture of
domestic life at all - it was the
world outside of the Kramdens'
marriage that was bleak. Ralph had
a low-paying job that required him
to deal with irascible people all
day long. He had little chance of
ever getting the things he didn't
have - responsibility in the form
of being a boss, respect from
Alice's mom, more money to have a
nicer home. Ralph was a guy with
big dreams, one who wanted to be
important, who wanted people to
look up to him, and who wanted to
be able to provide for his wife.
But his lack of education,
refinement, and connections meant
that the only way he could ever
hope to better his lot in life was
from too-good-to-true get rich
quick schemes.

The only things that WEREN'T bleak
about life were domestic
relationships -Ralph's friendship
with Ed, and his marriage with
Alice. It hurt Ralph deeply that he
couldn't give Alice everything he
wanted to, and so he tried myriad
schemes to get rich. Alice fought
with him because he didn't want him
to jeopardize his job with risky
ideas, and because she saw that
Ralph was usually too prideful
about things. Ralph fought with her
because he was frustrated with
life, and frustrated that the
person "most in his corner" wasn't
being supportive of him in his
endeavor to provide for
her.Eventually he would remember
that his wife loved him for who he
was, failings and all. The
underlying premise of the show was
that a passionate love between two
people is what is most important in
life, and is what sustains people
when the outside world deems them
unimportant. Bleak is two people in
a loveless marriage, who care only
for themselves and certainly not
for each other (you know, the type
of relationship you guys write
about endlessly). Such people would
never embrace in appreciation,
love, and forgiveness as the
Kramdens did virtually every

Lastly, Gleason and the writers
made damn sure that Ralph was never
portrayed as coming close to
hitting Alice. Ralph loved her too
deeply to consider it. Moreover, do
you for a second believe that Alice
would have stood for that?!? Alice
moved out when he insulted her
mother. She would never have
tolerated any affront to her
dignity, much less physical abuse.
She never backed down from Ralph's
yelling, instead standing
toe-to-toe and demanding that her
voice be heard and taken into
account. It's amazing - Alice
Kramden was a groundbreaking
character who insisted with every
ounce of strength that her husband
not override her autonomy in the
name of love, and not only are NOT
extolling her, but you're casting
her as a woman who would allow
herself to be victimized. You've
missed the entire nature of her

Thanks for your time,

Jeff Snow

You're right. Even if Ralph didn't
love Alice too deeply to consider
beating the shit out of her, Alice
would never had stood for that. How
could we have misjudged these fine
people - er, characters - so badly?
How could we not show more empathy
for people - um, characters - who
are obviously really struggling
with some difficult issues? How
could we mock such people - or, uh,
characters - when they're clearly
in pain, and desperately crying out
for our help?

You're a real character, Jeff.

Let this be a lesson to you kids at
home. That media diet is warping
your mind. Unless you want to end
up working for Saturday Night Live,
you'd really better rethink your


Chickenhawk Down

I'm sure I was at least as creeped
out as you by Gore's deathbed
narrative, but I think you're wrong
to question his story about
planting tobacco as a kid. As far
as I know, he did spend summers on
the farm in Tennessee as a kid
(good photo ops for his senator

James Gibson

I'm not questioning the fact that
Al Gore planted tobacco as a kid,
much as my instinct to never
believe a word the man says wants
me to. It's just that he tends to
present a really selective personal
history - gasp - so that, in his
big convention speech, he noted
that he'd studied religion at
Vanderbilt, that he'd gone to
Vietnam, and that he'd been an
"investigative reporter," but
neglected to mention those little
temporary detours through Yale and
St. Albans. Maybe he just forgot.
He adjusts the narrative to suit
the audience, is all.

And he always drops the "g" on the
end of -ing words when he speaks to
what he perceives as working-class
audiences: We're fightin' for the
workin' man. Irritating. Uh, sorry:
Irritatin'. I wonder if anyone else
notices this? Paul Wellstone does
it too. These are the kinds of
things I notice, despite all those
years of electroshock treatments.
Please help me.


Ambrose Beers
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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