The Fish
for 23 October 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

[Go to the Suck Alumni page]
They Make Your Feet Feel Fine

Don't stop writing this stuff — it's the best!

33 and trying to figure why I give a shit now when I never did before — I guess I'm not the only one?


You care now because you're a grownup, Valerie, ready to take on the responsibilities befitting a citizen of the nation and a resident of your local community. Godspeed in your journey through life! Rock the Vote!


[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

MacLuhan? Mac-Luhan? M-a-c-L-u-h-a-n?

Man, that's embarrassing...

Keep sucking,

Read Mercer Schuchardt

Oh dear sweet jesus. Yeah, just a little, huh?

At least he's a really obscure figure, and no one will know the difference.

Running the hose from the exhaust to the driver's-side window,

Ambrose Beers

[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]
Hit & Run 10.12.00


re: 10/13's blather:

"After the umpteenth report on those mass graves in Kosovo (damnably hard to find, it turns out a year and half after we stopped bombing the Serbs)"

I quite from a foreign aid worker in Prishtina:

"The house is located near my office on Dragodan Hill, the ìposhî section that overlooks downtown. One hundred and eighty-seven bodies were exhumed from Dragodon Hill. As is standard practice, the diggers and pathologists removed the clothing and other personal effects, cleaned them and then displayed them for identification at what is referred to as a ìclothing show.î . . . I asked a young Swedish lawyer whether he had attended an exhumation. He said no and that he never would. He knows people who have done so and come away terribly changed. The Swedish lawyer doubts they will ever recover. An American lawyer in my office was at the morgue when the 187 body bags from Dragodan Hill arrived. He said it was a very rough moment. Heís the son of a physician and a pretty stoical guy. Baby booties in the clothing show are what got to him."

Would you say 187 bodies counts as a mass grave?

Incidentally, the bombing of Serbia was a significant factor in the fall of Milosovich as well as the Serbian military withdrawal from Kosovo, so I would hardly say that US intervention in Kosovo helped "contribute to the problem at hand."

At least the hack had the sense to hide behind the "sucksters" badge.

Brian Villmoare

That certainly doesn't sound like the situation that was described to us before and during the bombing campaign, when thousands of Kosovars were being crated off, Final Solution-style, to their deaths. And it doesn't sound like the 600 or so people who were killed by the US Air Force (which didn't even bury the bodies). This anecdote, and the other body identifications that have been made since the Serbs pulled out, have all tended to support the conclusion that there was a civil war being waged between one side that believed, wrongly, that it was in immediate danger of losing a large part of its country, and another side that believed (also wrongly, but understandably, given that the United States was offering to act as its air force) that it was about to get its independence, or even a jerrymandered affiliation with Albania. Maybe you believe it was correct for the US to intervene in that civil war; if so, we should have done so with an accurate assessment of the situation, not inflated rhetoric and numbers about a campaign of genocide that never was.

As for whether we have helped with the problem, that depends on what the problem was. If the idea was to reduce the number of people killed, obviously not. If the idea was to find a lasting solution to the Kosovo situation, even less so: Kostunica has reaffirmed Serbia's opposition to an independent Kosovo, and that position is still - despite Al Gore's notorious "Serbia-plus-Montenegro" formulation — more or less the US position. It's hard to know exactly what the US position is, since State Department announcements on the topic tend to speak about "Rebuilding peace" rather than taking any coherent stand on the status of Kosovo as a political entity; but that Kosovo remained part of Yugoslavia was the American position before and during the period that we were bombing bridges, lateshift employees at a television station, and the occasional Chinese embassy. In the absence of any other clues, that seems to remain the US position now. So, if a couple years from now we end up providing air cover to the Serbs in their fight against a new Kosovo separatist movement, don't blame the Sucksters. In any event, the situation on the ground now is that Kosovo is a chaotic region where native Serbs are getting abused and British marines have to provide the police services that the Kosovars are apparently unable to provide for themselves.

As for the bombing's leading directly to the fall of Milosevic, our understanding was that Milosevic fell because he lost an election and was deserted by the Church and security groundlings who could have propped up his corrupt regime. To credit our bombing campaign with removing him, rather than giving proper credit to the people on the street, is to show exactly the kind of deluded conviction of rightness that folks around the world term "American arrogance." But just for the sake of argument we'll pretend that the bombing did lead directly to Milosevic's fall, because this points to an area where we truly do disagree: You seem to think the United State should be in the business of killing people to influence elections in foreign lands. This is not the opinion of the Sucksters, or at least not of the hack who in this case hid behind the "Sucksters" badge.


[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]
Standing Oration

The Last Waltz was also a model for what I think was an even funnier movie than Spinal Tap. The Last Polka starred John Candy, Eugene Levy, and Rick Moranis. It's a hilarious movie about polka music stars, and worth tracking down.

Caroline Lapointe

Hi, Caroline:

Thanks for reading the piece and thanks for a recommendation for a movie I haven't seen and didn't remember existing.

Speaking of things worth tracking down, what happened to Rick Moranis? Ernie Hudson enjoys a higher movie profile these days.


40th St.

[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

Dear 40th St.,

I really enjoyed today's piece. Do you know about Edith Piaf's "death tours" that occurred toward the end of her career? When she was on tour in France, reporters would follow her around hoping to see her collapse on stage. By the way, Sousa must have done some concerts after 1892. My music teacher, Carlos Mullenix, had played under Sousa as a youth, but I think that must have been in the early 1900's. Carlos, who passed away many years ago, had been an oboist with the New York Philharmonic for quite a few years and had great stories to tell about the conductors he had played under. He loathed Toscanini, as did most musicians, I think, but revered Bruno Walter.

Currently, I am working again as a PACE instructor for the Navy, teaching a comp class for Central Texas College on board the USS John Stennis (CVN-74), a nuclear carrier. Years ago, I did this for Chapman U at sea--once I was out in the Indian Ocean for a month--but the Stennis will remain tied up here the whole time, allowing me to work for Chapman as adjunct faculty at the same time. Who am I to complain? Spinoza, after all, earned his living grinding lenses. It's a living as Bugs and Daffy used to say in my favorite Warner Bros. cartoons. Have a great weekend!

Best wishes,

Dave Clayton

Sousa left the Marine Band to perform his own company, which toured for decades after his initial farewell. This makes him one of the pioneers of using the platform of the farewell concert in order to enhance his legend and increase the chances of his next career move. We should think of Sousa every time we see a sitcom star's flowery TV exit on the way to supposed riches at the multiplex.


40th St.

[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

"Bowie has toyed with the dramatics of finalty more effectively than anyone."

for shame, man. have you forgotten about gary glitter?

Alex Foster

Hey, I'm not the only person trying to forget Gary Glitter these days. I guess if Bowie ever wants to make a final-final exit, he always has Glitter's example.


40th St.

[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

In the world of fake farewell tours, no one rules like the Who. They're still not really gone after two tries.

Joel A. Rosen

Thanks for reading the piece and thanks for your note. The Who is an excellent example of a band who just can't get enough of saying goodbye — Moon excepted, of course. I'm not sure how Pete, Roger, and John fit into the general framework of the essay, but I favor the notion of granting every rock band an "Entwistle Exception," allowing for one money-generating oldies tour per qualifying band member.


40th St.

[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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