for 9 October 2000. Updated every WEEKDAY.
George Washington Lost Here
I have been a regular reader of Suck for who knows how long, and I just wanted to say that I think your work is fantastic. It's getting to the point when I am reading an article and I really like it, I pretty much guess that you wrote it. More often than not, this is true. I enjoy your choice of subject matter and your writing style very much. Keep up the excellent work!
Also, I was just wondering what the handle 40th Street Black refers to.
Carl F. Hertz
"40th Street Black" was a throwaway character in the movie Let's Do It Again, a Poitier/Cosby movie full of great names such as "Biggie Smalls." According to my search engine, I no longer am the only person using the name. If one of the rap artists who uses the name ever breaks out, I'll go back to my original choice, "Chuck D."
40th Street Black
Dear 40th St. Black,
I never cease to be amazed by the topics you come up with for your articles. In this case you've really one-upped me. Although I knew about Washington's participation in the French and Indian War, I had never run across the anecdote about Fort Necessity. But I think you're really right about Washington's rather ill-defined persona as a national hero. The most interesting discussion I've ever come across of him is in Gore Vidal's historical novel Burr Vidal portrays him as a disastrous military leader but as an extremely canny political one. The novel would make material for a movie, if anyone other than history buffs knew who Aaron Burr was. I had little interest in seeing The Patriot a three hour movie starring Mel Gibson is not my cup of tea but my guess is that one reason the film fared so weakly at the box office is that most Americans are not strongly interested in scrutinizing the birth pangs of their country. Writers like Cooper, Hawthorne, and Melville still regarded the Revolution with feelings of Oedipal ambiguity, but who wants to revisit that territory today? Thanks for a really enjoyable and informative piece of writing!
I read Burr as well as the Lincoln book (Lincoln?), and found both of them entertaining even in their broad use of dramatic license. I don't recall the portrayal of Washington as much as the vicious glee with which Vidal, through the character of Burr, attacked Thomas Jefferson. I'm pretty sure the Lincoln book was filmed, and the Burr book wasn't although I remember reading about a unfilmed script set in the time of the American revolution that was just as bitchy and mean, that treated all the various big-time politicians of the 1770s as excessive, over-the-top personalities, including (I'm working from memory here) Madison's unresolved crush on General Washington.
I do think audiences avoided "The Patriot" in its initial days of release because the "boring" flag went up, but then stayed away due to initial audience reaction. It was also really long.
40th Street Black
While I do appreciate the cynical, dark satire at which Suck excels, I found your "George W Lost Here" ironically uplifting. Keep it up!
I'll take it on faith that your compliment wasn't ironically intended.
40th Street Black
Excellent piece the American creation myth could always use a dose of context and humility. By the way, I'm really enjoying your work. It's high quality stuff, and it's helped make Suck really interesting again.
I think most nations romanticize their beginnings, but I think you hit the nail on the head when you assert there are times when a more realistic view is useful, if not necessary.
40th Street Black
That Christopher Reeve joke was merciless(ly funny). One heck of a story today. Kinda like a quick version of a Ron Rosenbaum "Edgy Observer" column.
Thanks for the flattering comparison. Be on the lookout for cutting-edge jokes about Monica Lewinsky and Bob Dole's prostate in future dailies.
40th Street Black
The Suck School of Comic Art: Graduate Course
For sloth illustration:
Dog might as well be licking butthole, or, in PG rated drawing, posed about to lick butthole, George Price-style. Thus dog signifies filth its master lives in. Television might have jagged balloon coming out of it saying "Come on down!," "I'd like a vowel!," "Duck, Magnum, duck!" or "Wilburrrrrrrr." Mrs. Lockhorn, hair in curlers, could be standing behind chair saying "Is this your idea of a romantic weekend?"
Nazi might be wearing jackboots. Jackboots are always worn by someone trampling human rights (Republican politicians, ATF agents.) Pinko's reading material might be labeled clearly "Freud," "Marx," "Anti-Family Propaganda," "Journal of Atheist Studies."
Italians usually signified by waxed mustache and organ grinder monkey; French with french poodle on leash extra laughs if the poodle is wearing a beret and smoking a Gauloise; extra extra laughs if the poodle is saying "Weauf" or "arf" (the latter with circumflex over the a)(Poodle language stolen from a "Deadman" comic book done in the National Lampoon c. 1978, but who will remember this? Sometimes, plagiarism is the perfect crime, just as in the above, where I stole a famous Orwell quote about jackboots.) All English people wear monocles, even cockneys. In cases of diminished drawing capacity (obviously not T. Colon's problem) Irish people can be given shamrock embroidered vests (as in crudely made prison tattoos of Notre Dame leprechaun, House of Pain logos/Mickey's Malt Liquor hobgoblin, or "Irish Pried" [sic]). If one really wants to fish for hate mail, bubbles can be added to circumference of head to indicate drunkenness. In the UK, where vicious anti-Irish humor is as much a way of life as sousing perfectly good french fries with vinegar, the Irish caricature can be given a pregnant wife, and a pet pig. Caution: Ireland is heavily wired for the Internet, and anti-Irish slurs will be seen by a large vociferous audience.
Thanks for the course--I learned a lot! Sincerely, Richard von Busack, vice-president of the El Cerrito chapter of the Flann O'Brien fan club, whose great-grandma O'Fallon came from County Cork, and her likes will never be seen again..
Richard Von Busack
All very good ideas, you deserve a masters of funny art. The only exception is the jackboots. A big nasty Fascist wearing shorts with his knobby knees showing is funnier. And don't French dogs go "pan, pan"? I think this is how the French say it.
Dogs licking themselves are funny but I don't do that sort of thing, maybe scratching behind its ear with that silly look would be good, like George Booth does it.
After going through the Grad Course of Comic Art, I have just realized that I never got a diploma from the first course. Please rectify this situation for me and the other past graduates of the Suck School of Comic Art.
Also, what exactly is my degree title for resumes? Master of B.S.? B.O.? Suck Master?
Isaac S. Chappell II
Since you are an art grad surely you can make up your own diploma. If not you flunked.
I just wanted to point out that this information is a bit outdated: "ANARCHISTS/REVOLUTIONARIES Wild, swirly eyes; a beard; and a beret are musts."
Nowadays, anarchists/revolutionaries generally wear mostly black and filthy olive drab- say, fatigues and hooded sweatshirts with lots of patches and bits of metal from lighters. They usually have dreadlocks, also with bits of metal in them. Piercings and tattoos are mandatory, and bathing is rare.
But I'm dealing with cliches and old cliches are funnier than new realities. Besides, I am outdated.
so loosing wars is funny, is it? the 4th reich shall overcome!!!
a 'thin-paranoid-kiffer' german
Losing wars ain't funny but making fun of losers is.
The 4th Reich, the motorcycle club? The Hell's Angels will kick their butts.