The Fish
for 14 November 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]
I Am Third


I basically agree with your election day column in, but I just have some constructive criticism: your writing style is way, way too verbose. You could have edited out at least a quarter of that without losing that snide sarcasm that makes readers chuckle, and is entirely appropriate for jerks like the Republicrats and the New York Times editorial fascists. The effort it takes to read your column is not really worth it, because the content is simpler than it looks. Also, I just want to say that I know a lot of Nader voters, and the most obvious reason why they really didn't help Bush all that much by voting for Nader is that many of them weren't going to vote for Gore anyway- they just weren't going to vote at all. The feeling among Americans that our whole government is more a mismanaged farce than, well, a representative governing body runs a lot deeper than the NYTimes political junkies know. Anyway — at least you care about stuff. Take care.

Shankar Venkataraman

Believe me, the effort of writing my column is not really worth it, either. But in the future, I shall vigilantly seek to stem somehow the mad, tidal onrush of verbiage that hammers, ever hammers, against the dark and throbbing interior of my poor and wretched cranium.


Holly M.

[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]


Thanks for the article on the Mass Media hate-fest on Ralph Nader. As you mentioned, it is interesting to note that similar complaints weren't raised over Perot and Buchanan. Then again, nobody was worried about Perot and Buchanan diverting votes from the Democratic party.

Suck on,

Ray Kremer

Yep, especially now that the Nader vote is alleged to have cost Our New Democrat hero the victory that was his apparent birthright, the long knives seem to be out for the little Green Sprout. Today's New York Times boasts a headline announcing that the Dems have grimly pledged a campaign of "retaliation" should Gore go plummeting over the edge of the Electoral College Cliffhanger. This, of course, is the party of diversity and tolerance.

P.S.: How are the little old ladies in Peoria, anyway?

The whistleblower sleeps with the fishes,

Holly M.

[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]


Thanks for the great election day article. I was about to give up on Suck, lately they seem to be, sucky. Your article was much better than the usual drivel they post on politics.



Never, give up on Suck, my friend — unless you're determined to vault Salon into a reign of terror on the web by shifting your allegiance to Requestline.

A vote for Suck is a vote for, uh, Suck,

Holly M.

[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

How could you leave Lyndon LaRouche out of the list of third party candidates? (No felons allowed?)

What a hoot anyway!

Eric Welch

Well, you see, I was forced to omit LaRouche's name because I HAD DIRECT ORDERS FROM THE QUEEN OF ENGLAND! And of course, the CIA....

Wheels with wheels,

Holly M.

[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

Sorry, but after all the rhetorical flourishes, all those words, the basic reality still obtains. If Green Party votes throw the election to Bush, Ralph Nader will have assisted in electing a man and empowering his supporters who can and most likely will permanently damage the environment. And there's no undoing environmental damage. It's lost for good.

Mostly you are arguing against a straw man. No one is suggesting that third parties be banned. Only that in this case Nader's actions are counterproductive to his own interests.

Another point that I believe you and others like you miss is that the story isn't over after the Naderites vote their consciences. Politics doesn't end with the Tuesday election. There is always a Wednesday morning. And on Wednesday morning if Nader appeared to cooperate, and Gore won, Nader would have been given credit for pushing Gore over the top. Now, because Nader didn't cooperate, if Gore wins it will be in spite of Nader and the Greens. If Gore loses, it will be Nader who is the goat. How are either of those to be considered a political win for Nader, the Greens, and the cause? I think we should always be wary of zealots who want to die on the barricades.

John Mihelic

With all due respect, sir, the New York Times has repeatedly urged Nader to abandon the race — a proposal it didn't see fit to endorse in, let's see, the cases of Perot, Buchanan, Anderson, George Wallace or Harry Browne, to name but a few. Eric Alterman hilariously seeks to demonstrate the monolithically destructive force of the Nader vote in the course of an overheated column declaring that the Green candidate didn't deserve a single vote. While these are not cries for the party's formal abolition, their rhetorical pitch speaks volumes, in your correspondent's view, about the liberal mind's steadfast fealty to a corrupt two-party system when they believe it will work to their advantage.

As for Wednesday morning political realism, well, now that it's stretching into Thursday (as I write this) and beyond, in all likelihood, it seems your sage counsel cuts both ways. Even diehard Nader-baiters such as Todd Gitlin concede that Gore never sought any sort of accord with Nader or his supporters — and in that concession much of the history of the Clintonian New Democrat strategy is conveniently distilled. The Clinton-Gore Third Way mandates throwing over traditional party constituencies in the pursuit of the presidency (and, collaterally, as we saw in the 94 Congressional debacle and in present DLC chair Joe Lieberman's unutterably selfish and arrogant refusal to cede his senatorial seat, giving distant second shrift to congressional majorities). Then, when enough of those constituencies are pissed off enough to support a third party, the Democrats can play the victim, and charge that they've been betrayed by shiftless, puritanical, fundamentalist leftist zealots. It's an impressive trick, to be sure, but bespeaks a monochromatic worship of power for its own sake that hollows out the party's institutional base and creates ever weaker candidates charged with shoring up a postideological cult of Clintonian personality without even the dubious benefit of a Clinton in the starring role.

Slouching toward the electoral college,

Holly M.

[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

Is there a chance that planes are crashing off Long Island because of electromagnetic interference from Joe Lieberman? They did say the entertainment system on the Swissair flight might be at fault, and I heard they show R-rated movies on their transatlantic flights, and Connecticut is nearby.

Christina Caldwell

Probably not — I think a likelier source of plane-felling energy in that stretch of the upper atmosphere is the static electricity kicked up by the New York Times' thwarted sense of election-year entitlement.

Heavy Raines turning to monsoons,

Holly M.

[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

The Desperate Hours

Dear Ladies and Germs:

How can I write for suck?

Basically, I rock. And I can write like a Mexican sans green card can mow lawns.

So, how do I?

Mike Miller

Dear Mike,

Sadly we mostly roll here at suck. And, alas, we work like Mexicans in Mexico City.

Mr. M

[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

I really think Mr. Baldwin's onto something here (or at least he used to be). Everyone and their brother (no pun intended) seems to be worried about how we could improve voter turnout. I'll be voting at the given hour, but I'm not terribly excited about it. My guy won't win; do you have any idea how pathetic it feels to be rooting for the guy who is desperately hoping for even 5%? It's not pretty, let me tell you. If only more celebrities (or better yet, companies) were as bold and laughable as Mr. Baldwin! If I knew for a fact that by voting for a given candidate, I could eliminate from the social fabric of the country such outdated anachronisms as Keanu Reeves, Microsoft, or the entire literary staff of Rolling Stone, I'd pimp my vote faster than Ed Bagley Jr.! It would completely revitalize the electorate! Wow, the possibilities...

Ryan Punt

Dear Ryan,

Please, call him Alec. And if you want to pimp Ed Begley, Jr., you'll have to get in the back of the line, pal.

Mr. M

[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

Yo Mr. M,

A real howler this time and perfectly placed, too. Nearly crapped my slacks thinking about Tim Robbins blowing up the Nuart in support of excising certain elements of girlfriend Susan "Touch-A-Touch-A-Touch Me" Sarandon's film career. One question though: "Lou Grant ... decades ago fully displaced Asner in America's collective unconsciousness". Either you're getting sloppy ("collective subconscious", eh?) or the venom level just got subtly turned up. I like number two better...

Rob McMillin

Dear RLM,

Venom, shmenon, as long as it works! Lou Grant was the best damn newsman this country has ever seen and I think it's a damn shame that he never won that Pulitzer Prize for unmasking the guy claiming to be Trapper John, M.D. for the fraud he was.

Mr. M

[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

Subject: AARRGGHH!!

As the one fan of the movie "Howard the Duck", I really resent all the abuse heaped upon this modern classic of filmmaking.

O.K., so it's not a modern classic, but I still like it.

Albert A. Freeman

Dear Albert,

Thanks for the choice (was it Jane Roe who once said, "choice is good"?). I'll opt for the latter.

Mr. M

[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
Bobby Darin, Darin at the Copa (Atlantic)
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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