The Fish
for 28 September 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
Publisher

 
 
 
 
[Go to the Suck Alumni page]
Summer of Samaranch

Overall, I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiments expressed in your column about the dem. convention. What a frickin' joke. The one thing I have to really disagree with is the fact that you threw Ralph Nader into the same sentance with Bush, Gore and Buchanan. Is a person evil the second they enter politics? I don't think so. They are probably evil after the first big corporate contribution, but that leaves Nader out of that catagory.

Look, I agree with you that politics sucks. It doesn't have to, though. I think that Ralph Nader is the example of the kind of honest people that should be elected president. Don't just automatically assume that because he is running for president that he is lying to you like the others are. He isn't.

Anyway, I have to ask, if you hate politics so much, why the hell are you reporting on it? I mean, of course as a Suck reporter, a cynical point of view is an needed quality, but I kind of feel like this column was a bit overboard. It isn't enough to say what is wrong with something. Anybody can do that. Suggest some real solutions.

Aaron Fuller
<aaronf@accidentfund.com>

I don't think Nader is evil, but then I don't think Gore or Bush are evil either. I also didn't mean to suggest that our political system "sucks" — it's just grotesque and unseemly, and as such I was rather embarrassed to be taking part in it all. That was the main point I was trying to get across in the article.

I could have gone into much more detail about the Convention and my views on it, only I can't imagine Suck's readers being able to get away with that much reading during company time. You're all on the verge of getting fired as it is!

Peter Bagge

 
[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]
 

Hear me out a moment, I am only a little bit cranky.

I know this is supposed to be funny and all, but your calculated indifference to police oppression and misbehavior just doesn't make me chuckle too hard. It has the air of partying while Rome burns to the ground.

You would not condone the same conduct on the part of _anyone_ else, would you? Wouldn't let it go without at least a tad of genuine outrage? It would scare your white, male, middle class self to have a gruff _civilian_ threatening you with a weapon and barking orders at you, wouldn't it?

It does not help things when you publicly cut these guys any slack. You have never had to inherit the worst of their abuses, and never will.

That said, I appreciate and enjoy your work and find it generally insightful and funny. I hope you can make a living off this stuff; you deserve it. Hear me out a moment, I am only a little bit cranky.

I know this is supposed to be funny and all, but your calculated indifference to police oppression and misbehavior just doesn't make me chuckle too hard. It has the air of partying while Rome burns to the ground.

You would not condone the same conduct on the part of _anyone_ else, would you? Wouldn't let it go without at least a tad of genuine outrage? It would scare your white, male, middle class self to have a gruff _civilian_ threatening you with a weapon and barking orders at you, wouldn't it?

It does not help things when you publicly cut these guys any slack. You have never had to inherit the worst of their abuses, and never will.

That said, I appreciate and enjoy your work and find it generally insightful and funny. I hope you can make a living off this stuff; you deserve it.

Best Regards,

Chalo Colina
<ccolina@activepower.com>

I wrote what were my own thoughts and observations. Anyone who has been seriously and deliberately brutalized by the police can and should tell the world about it themselves -- and they do, especially when they are middle class, educated and white. As it is, I myself didn't see any outrageous or abusive behavior on the part of the police. In fact, they seemed to bending over backwards to be as fair, civil and helpful as possible to everyone, within reason. Everyone else, from the politicians to the protesters, came off like squealing spoiled brats, with the cops stuck in the thankless role of baby-sitters. That's what I SAW. What do you want me to do, lie?

I also thought I made it pretty clear that the way the police were used during the DNC was heavyhanded, and that the atmosphere was quite oppressive because of it. But unlike most critics of the police I kept in mind that they are poorly paid civil servants, and that they conduct themselves in the way that they're employees — meaning us — really want them to, as much as we're all loathe to admit it. What alledgedly happened in the Rampart Precinct is outrageous, but it's not as surprising as all the wealthy and well-protected liberal white people of that city like to pretend it is. Things like that are always going to happen in a city as huge and economically and racially devided as LA is. What a handful of corrupt cops do is just a symptom of of problem that the entire city is guilty of, and these attempts to isolate and demonize the police only make matters worse.

Sigh. I could go on and on, but I think I'll shut up instead. Thanks for writing anyway, and for your otherwise kind words!

Peter Bagge

 
[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]
 

That "children's art" on the hotdog/beer walls was truly awful ... I learned that one particularly cloying bit of collage was done by an Annenberg USC employee, about 10 years earlier when she was an earnest child liberal. Do they stockpile this crap for such occasions?

Cheers,

Ken Layne
<layne@tabloid.net>

HAW HAW HAW! Apparently so! I was surprised to see the free beer in that media lounge, too. I was sorely tempted to get RIP ROARING DRUNK in there towards the end, but I didn't.

Thanks for writing,

Peter Bagge

 
[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]
 
Filler 09.20.00

Polly~

i'm just curious...the letters that people write in to Suck... --especially the lame whiny ones-- are those real?

do you make them up as filler inspirations? or are there really people in the world that would send Suck an e-mail saying:

"Someone said 'Everyone is a critic' and its the truth, so here is my 2 cents. Your comics look great, the words suck. I think you are probably a highly inteligent person. So why do you ramble like a fool? You sound like a lesbian-scientist on crack! My advice... calm down a bit and write something that makes sense.

Andrew Magill <andrewmagill@yahoo.com>"

is it real? or is he some strange galatical/tactical joker writing in to sound clever? it just sounds so much like someone who i would make fun of in a chat room.

yours truly, long time suckster, occasionally clever but mostly just curious,

thephil
<>

Dear ThePhil,

Believe it or not, all the mail is 100% real. I would write fake mail, don't get me wrong, it's just that the stuff I get is so much better than anything I could write. Plus, it's much more interesting for me to try to come up with something stupid based on an email than it is for me to come up with a stupid email, then come up with a stupid column to base on the stupid email — or, worse yet, come up with a stupid final joke, then write a stupid column on it, then write a stupid email to create a big, stupid excuse for the whole mess. I think John Irving did this with a whole novel once — "A Prayer for Owen Meany." You know, everyone's favorite stupid novel. "Oh my God — so that's why his voice was so high! It all makes sense now!"

Not only are there really people in the world that would send Suck an email saying what you quoted, there are also people in the world that would send Suck an email saying this:

"Hey gang. Love yer work."

I mean, almost all the mail we get has something weird about it.

Let's just review a letter we ran yesterday:

"Yes I would like to sponser you. I have a pair of gym socks here that well, smelly rather frusty. I insist that you take them as I think that your site has too many scantly clad fish. And yes I know that fish have no feet, but i am thinking that they coulds use it as a shawl. I think that your fish would look very 'mod' with these socks."

Now, what exactly does the word "frusty" mean? And why do they "smelly rather frusty"?

These are the kinds of artistic choices that simply baffle the mind, and keep our reader mail fresh and friendly.

Frustily,

Polly

 
[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]
 

Dear Polly,

I'm always afraid to write anything to you guys because I might end up just like the folks in today's Filler, but I just had to compliment you on your excellent work. Perhaps it's only me, because I love well executed running gags, but I was laughing out loud nonetheless! And I don't even know what the Hamptons are! Good stuff.

Jason
<>

You know, I hardly know what the Hamptons are, either, Jason.

You are not alone.

Polly

 
[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]
 

despite my bad reputation i've never flamed you before. i almost think of you as one of my peers, fighting the good fight against suck.com. as such i'm just going to write you a normal letter like i would write to anyone, not a performative filler thing.

last week when you were talking about psychiatry and the book of revelations and lsd etc you said something like "X number of deep therapy sessions to achieve Y" or "X number of acid trips to achieve Y". well you should have a more careful attitude towards your health. just as much as some strong medicine can have a strong help it can make you suseptible to a strong disease. there's no inherent benifit in a *strong* cure, except to say that IF you observe its correct placement in the entire universe of things going on inside and outside of you you can hit the right notes so to speak, and then they will be loud. going into strength-of-cure without mindfulness of the fullness around you is going to get you sucked into loudness-without-melody which is just a shrieking hell... which of course changes into catharsis, which is good. but the bad side isn't good just because it changes into good when it reaches its fullness. don't create the false impression for your peers that strength in-itself (the very concept of which is false) is worth meddling with.

the other thing i think you should think and talk about more, in the psychological line, is your family, and all your little followers' families. as remarkably simple and obvious as this may sound, the vast majority of the psychological problems of you and your peers are because these are all people who were chased away from their parents by evil forces. as leonard cohen would say, "it begins with your family but soon it comes around to your soul". not to play anthropologist but even the fact that people feel the need to NOT live with their own parents is the cause and symptom of an extremely deep disease. the ideal of the nuclear family, that is. if you could somehow re-position your psychiatric witticisms to allude to the fact that most of this pain comes from not being near your parents (or not being able to be near your parents), it would do a lot of good. you'd have to be subtle about it though -- how far are these people (in their thinking caps) away from thinking that their family is the least bit important.

stay down in it, doing the good work.

Demmy Rooster
<demmy@treehouse.dyndns.org>

Another fine example of the kind of artistic genius that hails straight from our mailbags.

I'll agree with your assessment that a lot of people our age (assuming we actually are peers) put their families low on the totem pole. I'll also suggest that at least a few of them belong there. I'd also like to point out that it's a very big country, so alienation from one's family can sometimes seem inevitable, and once it starts, it's tough to stop. I'd also like to mention that I'd develop an extremely deep disease if I moved in with any member of my family. This is my own fucking problem, really, as I am a bad combination of intolerant and intolerable.

See, whether or not people are close to their families, they have to learn to be tolerant, patient, accepting, and wise in building their own families, so the same lessons are learned eventually. It's tougher for those who can't handle their own families to start families of their own, because they're so out of practice in dealing with other, pesky, bizarre, stubborn, passive-aggressive people. Unless they're social workers. At any rate, most of us choose to put off the family-creation process for as long as humanly possible.

I can't believe I'm talking about important life lessons. What is this, Touched By An Angel?

Out of practice,

Polly

 
[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]
 

 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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