The Fish
for 8 November 2000. Updated every WEEKDAY.
 
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Filler 11.1.00

Polly,

You're absolutely right! Telling the truth is much easier. I once spent a day trying to tell only lies, and it was way too taxing to be that creative all the time. Of course, when I spent a whole day telling the truth, my girlfriend left me, someone keyed my car, and I think the heat in my office was intentionally turned off, so maybe a little effort is worth it.

Lying less, sucking more,

Big mouth

Too taxing to be that creative? Well, some of us are that creative naturally.

Watch out for creative people. They're usually liars.

I should know.

Not my real name,

Polly

 
[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]
 

I was sleeping with my upstairs neighbor, a hot 19 year old girl who just broke up with her boyfriend of 4 years. So I was sensitive rebound guy. Not a problem, I can be that guy. So then she asks me to go out on a date, like the sex wasn't enough for her, she wanted a relationship too. Now bear in mind, I had never told her I wanted any kind of relationship, but I kept the details to myself. So finally she asks for this date, and I tell the truth. I said: "You know, I don't think it's a very good idea for us to date. I like the sex, and I like being here for you to an extent, but you really have no idea what you want out of life, and I'm past the point in mine where I'm willing to drag somebody through the self-discovery process all over again. Been there, done that. So, if you want to come down here and get laid from time to time, go for it! As long as I'm not seeing anybody, I can be that guy. But I don't want to be your boyfriend."

The upshot: I'm not having sex anymore. But, At least I don't have a clingy codependent 19 year old to worry about either! Thanks for the advice. I gotta say: telling the truth....mixed bag.

BTW, I'm the guy you persuaded to take a bunch of Xanax last christmas. Your advice is always interesting.

Name Withheld to Protect the Flinchy

That girl hears the same speech about once a month. "I'll fuck you, but I don't want to be your boyfriend." "You're hot, but I wouldn't dream of spending time with you." "You're sexy, but if you like me, you've got to be pretty confused."

Hey ladies, I hate to sound like Dr. Laura — or worse yet, Dr. Drew — but really, don't fuck men randomly. You can probably go ahead and fuck women randomly without any negative consequences. But, if you let your guard down and sleep with some guy, just be prepared for that "you're not evolved enough for me" speech, delivered by a guy who seems about as evolved as a Cro Magnon man.

But wait — let's not digress. Why don't you tell me more about how you dragged that other woman through the self-discovery process? Because right now I'm not quite convinced that you were the one doing the dragging.

At any rate, don't worry about the 19-year-old. Like you said, the sex wasn't enough for her.

Dedicated to the truth at all costs, unless they're really prohibitively high,

Polly

 
[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]
 

I did the honesty thing last year and I found that the truth can keep you from joining in the reindeer games. Unless you find others that are also willing to be upfront and honest, you may end up isolated and ostracized, and lonesome to boot.

Of course honesty is the best policy, but if you think that it's the course to having an active social life, you'd be wrong.

Kurt M. Lightner
<kurtlightner@home.com>

Isolated, ostracized, and lonesome! Three great tastes that taste great together!

If telling the truth really gets you in that much trouble, maybe you're mistaking the truth for your strong opinions or interpretations of other people's behavior. There's your truth and then there's your opinion of someone else's situation. It's one thing to say, "I'm not that excited to hang out tonight because I think my relationship is in trouble, and it's depressing me." It's quite another thing to say, "It bothers me to be around your wife because I feel like she's really hung up on money as a sign of social status, and unless she evolves into a more balanced, down-to-earth person, I know that she'll doom you to a life of running faster and faster on your little hamster wheel while she lives beyond her means in pursuit of a sense of approval that will never be hers."

Actually, it really depends on the situation, because there are times when you're forced to say such things as a means of saving someone from an awful fate. But if you tell people the truth in spite of the fact that it will make them feel awful, then you have to wonder if you aren't telling them the truth in order to make them feel awful.

Anyway, telling the truth about your life and your ideas shouldn't have such a negative impact on your social life, unless you live in LA. And even there, the truth is so rare it can actually get you heralded as a "true original" — but only in a Joel Siegel sort of a way.

Active social yeast,

Polly

 
[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]
 

This Magick Moment

I used the banishing rituals steady for three years to get rid of some unfortunate personal habits. They worked. (the act of will to of course being the important first step).

I am still a Libertarian.

I think if you read Magic Without Tears — his last book — he sees the dead end of fascism.

You have to understand his early views were probably clouded by his work for British intelligence. And the Victorian view of Empire.

M. Simon
<msimon@xta.com>

Dear Mr. Simon:

Thanks for your comments. I by no means meant to suggest that admiration for Crowley, or use of his techniques, precludes libertarianism; in fact meant to suggest that they should demand it. You are correct that Crowley's missteps in that regard are probably largely a matter of personal experience and cultural baggage. However, I still maintain that his emphasis on True Will as that to be unfettered leaves too much room for the idea that only the self-actualized Supermen deserves liberty. I'm glad the magick worked for you.

Best,

Eugen

 
[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]
 

Why did you link the word "death" to a page about a book about Norwegian BLACK metal. Moron.

Bjorn Larsen
<bjornrl@yahoo.com>

Hey ya big jerk —

While I may perhaps be less versed in all the subdivisions of metal than you, to my understanding the two terms are analogous in most people's minds, while the "black metal" phrase tends to confuse Americans, who think it means metal played by black people — which would be exactly the wrong impression to give about the Scandahoovians who dominate the genre.

Warmly,

Eugen

 
[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]
 

Hello,

We Crowley kooks (at least the ones of my acquaintance) are deeply impressed by your Halloween article at Suck. I run a modest website myself, The Beast Bay, a sort of Thelemic Slashdot, and I went to post a glowing mention of your piece, only to find that someone had already beaten me to it.

Your criticisms are well-taken. In particular, your analysis of Crowley, Modernism, and Fascism expresses something I've been trying to get at for many years. Thank you.

Incidentally, if you live in the Bay Area and are free this Monday (11/6), I'd invite you to our Samhain ritual and pot-luck as an honored guest. But we might be too ghastly for you; I'd completely understand.

Best regards,

Michael Sanborn
<msanborn@adobe.com>

Michael —

Thank you very much for your kind words. I feared, given the flippant tone of suck, that Crowleyans might find the piece unfairly dismissive of Crowley, who I do admire in many ways. Were I in the SF area, I'd be pleased to attend your event, but alas I will not be. Thanks very much for the invitation, however.

Best,

Eugen

 
[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]
 

Re: Al's old Scottish home overlooking spooky Loch Ness.

I actually saw (and have a picture somewhere) of that house. I was at Loch Ness in 1990 and my Uncle (who was a diehard zep fan) just HAD to see this house. So we climbed over a small fence and made our way up his back yard to get a good shot.

I remember the taxicab driver being a little nervous when my uncle asked about "the old Crowley house" and he was also quite unwilling to wait (and keep the meter running) for us but agreed to return 10 minutes later.

Anyway, good article.

Scott Carroll
<scott7@mediaone.net>

Thanks for the interesting story. Glad the old man still inspires annoyance in the locals.

Best wishes,

Eugen

 
[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]
 

While I enjoyed your article on Crowley and learned many things about this intriguing figure, I must point out that his "central slogan" "do what thou wilt shall be the whole of law" is not derivative of Rabelais and St. Augustine, but is rather a mere paraphrasing of Kant's universal law formulation of his Categorical Imperative. Sorry to be so nitpicky, but I can't help myself. I'm one of those annoying people that corrects their friends' grammar and spelling, let alone their philosophy. Good shit though, keep it up.

Mark G. Anderson
<markganderson@hotmail.com>

It's most definitely derived from Rabelais, see his Abbey of Thelema in "Garagantua and Pantagruel". I don't at all see how it's a paraphrase of Kant's categorical imperative, which as I understand it says you shouldn't do anything that you wouldn't want to be a universal law — don't do anything you wouldn't want everyone to do, while Crowley's Thelemic law says, do whatever it is your will demands.

I am willing to be further educated on this, but I don't see it so far. Do I misunderstand Kant?

Best,

Eugen

 
[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]
 

 The Shit
Physical Strength and How to Obtain It, by Eugen Sandow
Bamboozled, A Spectacular New Film by Mr. Spike Lee
G. Beato's all-new Soundbitten
William Demarest, Sultan of Snarl, in The Lady Eve (1941), The Palm Beach Story (1942), and The Miracle of Morgan's Creek (1944)
George Wallace: Settin' The Woods On Fire, directed by Daniel McCabe and Paul Stekler
1995
Bobby Darin, Darin at the Copa (Atlantic)
Shinji-San in the floating world of indeterminate duration, by Peter Richardson
American Pharaoh: Mayor Richard J. Daley: His Battle for Chicago and the Nation, by Adam Cohen and Elizabeth Taylor
Neutral Milk Hotel, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea (1996, Merge)
45, by Bill Drummond
Cliff "Ukulele Ike" Edwards, Singing in the Rain (ASV)
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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