The Fish
for 27 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]
The Family Business is Business

Sometimes, you can't even fool the fanboys.

If you check alt.whatever.dune, you'll see that the Dune fans just *hate* Brian Herbert, and all he stands for. The downside of being a caretaker is that if your franchise is beloved enough, people will despise you if you mess it up. Disney had the right idea: they went decades without making Mickey Mouse cartoons, but they still sold the merchandise.

Waiting for the DePatie-Freleng version of "Fritz The Cat",

Michael K.

Hi, Michael:

I'm glad to hear elements of fandom stick it to Herbert in a way the book's reviewers seemed to pretty much avoid. You may be onto something in that the more the original is loved the less likely you're able to keep it going. It would explain why the Pogo re-launch didn't take, for instance. This doesn't bode well for the planned new Narnia books.

40th Street Black

[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

You missed one important aspect of the longenburger equation. The social pressure to buy something exerted on the "guest" by the "host". The weak willed People pleaser type that are invited to these parties feel that if they do not come when invited it is rude. They also feel that if they come and do not buy at least one thing they are rude. Sale guaranteed just by sending invites to people who want to be your friend. Longenburger is not the only company to tap into this social dynamic their are Party Light Candle parties, Pampered Chef Parties and others I am sure. All of these companies sell insanely overpriced nearly useless specialty junk that even most dedicated uber consumers would not buy because of the outrageous price. The party situation is what seals the deal.

Rona Miller

Hi, Rona:

You're right about the social pressure, which I'm sure is no doubt compounded by the general shame of being seen as too cheap to buy something offered to you.

The more I hear about basket, candle, and even sex toy parties, the more I feel stupid for giving away alcohol and food at my own.

40th Street Black

[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

good essay 40th... one quibble though, Jamie Foxx isn't related to anyone famous.

i assume you were implying a descent from Redd "This is the big one Elizabeth!" Foxx, but nothing i've found supports such a lineage.

please correct me if i'm wrong though... it'd be great if it were true.

a humble fan,

Sean Robb

This is what I get for writing this essay over a meal of fried okra and Ripple.

I even know where this came from: from an article I read about Foxx's participation in a tribute show to the late, dirty-mouthed, IRS-troubled comedian. But as we learned from our friends the election-night TV network anchorpeople, repeating another's stupidity is as bad as making up one's own. In other words, I couldn't find a lick of support for my statement on the Web, so we'll embrace the fleshy part of valor and pretend I never made it in the first place. I take consolation in the fact that your pointing it out allows me to embrace my own family's legacy of groveling and passing the buck.

40th Street Black (no relation to Karen)

[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

I don't know about this one. Perhaps men in tin foil hats coming out of black helicopters can explain the point of this screed to me. Amusing, but confusing.

Steven P. Sanabria

How's this? If recent years have seen an increase in phenomena such as fusion cooking, genre-blending, and mixed media, then a Frankenstein's monster of aggressive, cooperative, overlapping sales techniques can't be too far behind.

That is, unless that many people really do need baskets.

40th Street Black

[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]


An interesting article today. And a good reminder to those of us waiting for Frances Bean to pick up an instrument.

When I was a kid, I thought about changing my name. I think it crosses the minds of a lot of children. So why don't we do it when we get older? Maybe, unconsciously, we realize the pressure we would be putting on our descendants to live up to our legacy. Or, moreover, as the originating members of a specific lineage, the pressure of setting a worthwhile example.

Thanks for the read,

Tim Tolle

Hi, Tim:

I'm not so afraid of burdening my children with a unique legacy as one of my brats would pull an Emilio Estevez and make me look like I'm desperate for mainstream acceptance instead of the social justice issues for which I'm best known. Besides, how hard can it be to live up to "Spectaculon"?

40th Street Black

[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

Filler 11.15.00

hey girl,

see! i KNEW you were a gay man. pretty good job of playing the bitter, jaded girl quipping one-liners with such aplomb....but let's face it...straight people simply aren't that funny. i mean, we can't fault them for trying. breeders have always tried to copy our style cause otherwise they'd be left with watching reruns of Roseanne for the rest of their natural lives. but, i swear to GOD, if another straight man comes into my gym i'm gonna SCREAM! how's a guy supposed "relax" in the steam room? ooops, gotta run...i gotta get ready to go out and find my new "future-ex"

p.s. the hair is booming with the gay bangs...maybe some highlights?


I must join your gym immediately. I bet it's ringing with laughter around the clock.

Humorlessness isn't what bothers me about straight people. I don't like their shoes, and those huge overweight dogs they always have. They're always lugging them to the park and shoving peanut butter dog biscuits down their throats. And they don't drink enough water — straight people that is, not their dogs. They're all dehydrated and smelly, and they talk about boring crap from the paper all the time, in these awful half-dead tones like they just wish they were dead.

Anyway, you go chase all those other fish in the sea with your big harpoon...or with your little harpoon, whichever the case may be.



[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

Dear Polly,

Since I discovered your crack-addled and oftentimes irreverent "column", I've been attached to my computer, firmly. Oh! The laughs! The tears! The jeering! The mimes! Squirrels, drug abuse, depravity, wanton homoeroticism! The shady goings-on in dark alleyways, Joey with his maniacal grin and a suitcase full of coathangers, ah, the dental equipment and slack-jawed sycophants!

But then, tucked away at the end of the article, is that happy little link to previous Fillers. Lately I've noticed a propensity for associating with the "virtual friend" Fillers. Quite frankly, I'm beginning to suspect a conspiracy. I've pored over the contents time and time again, looking for subtle hints, the bend of a wrist, the position of the word bubbles. Perhaps the repetition of the virtual friends' lines approximates the Cantor Set, or encodes Israeli military commands. It is all for naught. And then, I wonder if this is the intent, leading me further into the subconsciously suggestive text and images. I fear that I'm becoming either gay or mechanical, all because of you.

Please, stop.

Dan Popick

Oh no! You've uncovered my secret plot to populate the earth with gay robots!


[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

You took your name from a Samurai PizzaCats character, didn't you? And today's filler sucked... Harold isn't nearly as sexxy as Polly... and I am now subscribing to in the vain, hope of seeing some Polly pictorial layouts.

sigh, if only I WERE a suppressed gay man, things would be so much easier


Contrary to popular belief, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to dream up a name like "Polly Esther." You sit with a dictionary for about ten minutes and boom, there it is. In my case, it was midnight at the Suck offices, early December 1995. I had just written my first Suck piece ever, a rabid attack of a book called Net Chick — a guide to the web, for hip chicks, get it? I was tired. I needed a pseudonym. Blam.

I'm not sure who these Samurai Pizza Cats are, but they sound about as fresh and exciting as a five year old's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles-themed birthday party.

Which is to say, they sound very fresh and exciting!

Ill-informed but creative,


[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

Hi Harold?

There's gonna be a lot of really mad straight men who spent their time proposing marriage to you now! Either that or they'll find their hidden effette side, and redouble their efforts! Now, the only question is: your friend Steve, are we to understand that he's actually a militant lesbian? I'll be patiently waiting for the next 'Ms. Flinchy' episode!

Now move over...You're hogging the closet!


Yes, Steve is a militant lesbian. In fact, he's a member of one of the larger lesbian militia groups in the country. And yes, all those "straight" men who proposed to me are mad, but they were pretty much nuts to begin with.

Did David, the oldest brother on "Eight is Enough", ever try his hand at stand-up comedy? If he ever did,I suspect it sounded a lot like this letter.

Eyes darting nervously about the room...


[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)
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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