The Fish
for 30 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]
Hit & Run 11.16.00


You're definitely right about SNL, but there are winners all around. On TV, The Daily Show was also a great big winner, not only did it bring out some of their best reporting, but it must also be sweet irony for their "Indecision 2000" lead to show up on ABC News as well. The Onion and Modern Humorist couldn't have asked for better source material ("Pro-Bush Rebels Seize Power In West; D.C. In Flames"). And of course Suck mixed in the hars with the hard thoughts. I seriously don't know how regular news outlets are going to be able to compete when the satirical news is bringing out the "they got it absolutely right" laughter that's rarely evoked from other sources. Which is ok, as long as sloppy, unfair, or deceptive reporting doesn't hide under a laugh track.


Humberto Moreira

We envy you your placid existence south of the border, Humberto: taking it easy in your sombrero, strumming a guitar under the full moon, drinking tequila from the slipper of some lusty San Diego housefrau on vacation... For our money, these great news stories of our time are nothing but editorial pain. At the same time your common sense asks you "Who the fuck wants to hear another punk-ass declaration about the election from some know-nothing?" and your editorial hysteria tells you "If you don't have another election story today, you're not doing your duty as an American!" It's all quite nerve-wracking. We're for Lamar Alexander. That plaid shirt is so soothing. Is Lamar Alexander running? Or Vicente Fox? What about Vicente Fox? Now there's a leader.


[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

So, i'm a little disappointed with the suck quote that follows. You all are usually a bit more insightful than other mags. Not in this case:

"That an overwhelmingly Jewish, overwhelmingly Democratic retirement community is overwhelmingly the largest Florida voting district for Buchanan...goes so far beyond absurdity that even the fearless japesters of Saturday Night Live won't touch it."

What's really absurd? No one mentions that palm beach county is one of the largest voting districts in florida PERIOD. Buchanan got slightly under 0.8% in that county, hardly an absurd figure. (I'm NOT arguing there wasn't something screwy...just that your superlative "analysis" is even more screwy).

I bet if you look at Buchanan's raw totals in Manhattan (Hilary-grad), they're even higher than Palm Beach's. Would you argue *that's* absurd?

They lied when they said there would be no math on this exam...

Absurdly Yours,

Thomas W. Millett

Well, we were under the impression that Buchanan's percentage in Palm Beach was higher than anywhere else in Florida. If you say that it's only 0.8 percent, and that is lower than in other Florida counties, we'll take your word for it.


[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

Wow. What a credulous take on Buchanan's criticism of Jewish interests over the years. How nice that it's so simple: that anyone who wants to participate in the vaunted "vigorous public debate," by commenting with disapproval on the social consequences of a powerful group's activities over the years, is both hateful and, one sense, poisonous. I'll have to remember that when thinking about, say, gun control activists denigrating the NRA, or civil right activists lobbying to pass easier voting registration laws. Yes, one has read Buckley's essay on the collective tone of Buchanan's statements. One hopefully has also read the Norman Mailer interview with him. It can actually a pretty interesting and nuanced world when one takes the ADL-issued earplugs out of one's ears and listens.

Bone Fragment



[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

Dear Suck:

I received Suck version "Hit & Run 10.26.00" today (I'm a little late in reading my Email), and was happily reading along, since I've always enjoyed your provocative views; when there was this link--it was to "Ectoplasm"--which I am familiar with in terms of what "The Amazing Randi" had to say about it...

Sure enough, I was taken to a "Skeptics Site", where The Amazing Randi was mentioned regarding "ectoplasm". HOWEVER:

Just as I was switched to that page, there was a large black message that appeared, too fast for me to catch. I couldn't read it, and when I hit the back-arrow of my browser, I again was taken past this page, without being able to read it.

Well, I fiddled around a bit; trying to get my browser to stop right on that page; I finally got it to do it--I have the "San Diego's Excite "Cox@Home" cable Internet browser; it is a clunker that takes forever to load, and despite the fact that it supposedly is based on Microsoft's Internet Explorer, it is full of bugs. I think this is why I was finally able to read the message.

The page with the message is here.

Now, I have had MANY PROBLEMS with "Postmaster Direct" signing me up to things that I did not wish to receive...I sure hope that I am not going to be signed up again! Yet, this is what it says on that too-fast-to-be-seen page:

"Thank you for confirming! You will be receiving offers via email soon ."


Or is this some kind of new "policy" that you have instigated, without letting us know?

What a NIGHTMARE! They are impossible to stop once they start; all the NONSENSE you can possibly imagine: "Get your dog's toenails groomed and polished! Be the talk of the town!" "Hey, free beer for life if you can fart for longer than one minute!" "JUST WHAT YOU NEED: a machine that can slice thirty-thousand heads of lettuce in half an hour! Just think of all the healthful, tasty salads that you and your family will enjoy from now on!"


Or more to the point: who's website is responsible for this? Yours? Or the Skeptic's site? I suppose it could be either...Times are tight, but this sort of subterfuge is uncalled for. I receive over 1,000 pieces of Email a day, most of it SPAM, because I was stupid, and signed up for newsletters and fun things like, for instance, SUCK. I am beginning to be very, very worry.

What do I have to do? Unsubscribe from SUCK? From EVERYTHING? Change Email addressees again? Put you guys into a filter list? I wanted to read SUCK, but NOT to receive SPAM.

What's going on, please?

Mark Seven Smith


I received your email today, and was happily reading along when there was this feeling ... down there, you know? And suddenly I'm seeing to myself "Jeez Louise, I gotta piss like a racehorse."

Sure enough, I head out to my neighbor's yard, and hang trout just like I always do when they're away. HOWEVER:

Just as I'm about done draining the vein, I get this real churning feeling in my gut, too heavy-duty to be just gas, and I realize it may be time to go to Plan Number Two, if you know what I mean.

Well, I fiddled around with my buckle, and pretty soon I'm squatting down and laying cable in the petunias, easy as you please. Anyway, this one isn't going quietly, and a couple kids out across the street start laughing and yelling about who let the dogs out and so forth. Real witty kids.

The next thing I see is a flashing red light and a sign that says "Police Department"

Now I have many problems with my city's "Finest" hauling me in every time I exercise my constitutional right to drop a little load in the great outdoors... I sure hope they are not going to claim that it's unsavory behavior when I'm just doing what comes natural. Yet this is what he says with before-I-could-even-wipe speed:

"You have the right to remain silent."

Well, all I can say is one thing: I SURE AS FUCKING HELL HAD BETTER NOT END UP IN THE POLICE BLOTTER OF THE COUNTY GREENLEAF! THIS IS COMPLETELY IRRESPONSIBLE ON YOUR PART, since I had this happen to me while I was reading an Email of yours.

Or is this some kind of new "policy" that you have instigated, without letting me know?

What a NIGHTMARE! It's impossible to get to the bathroom once you start reading these reader mails, the NONSENSE you can possibly imagine: "Why don't you like Michael Moore?" "Hey, Polly's wearing a different sweater from usual!" "WHAT HAVE YOU DONE:

you linked to a page that might someday send me a spam if I spend enough hours trying to load it!"


Or more to the point: whose email is responsible for this? Yours? Was it that Thai food I ate last night? I suppose it could be either...Times are tight, but this sort of movement is uncalled for. I spend 1000's of hours on the head. Sometimes both my legs fall asleep when I'm really going at it. I am beginning to be very, very worry.

What do I have to do? More starches? Eat NOTHING like Dick Gregory? Cut out the coffee? Banana shakes? I wanted to read emails from Mr. Seven Smith, but NOT get hauled in for DANCING MY DANCE.

What's going on, please?

Confused Sucksters

[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

Filler 11.22.00


You and your friend Steve talk constantly, endlessly analyzing the minutiae of your daily lives and discounting almost everyone and everything that comes into contact with the two of you. It doesn't take Chuck Woolery to recognize the high probability of a love connection between the two of you. So what gives? What are you waiting for, the Director's Cut of "When Harry Met Sally" to hit DVD? Why be happily miserable alone when you can be happily miserable together?

Justine Cryer

Yes, Steve and I talk constantly, endless analyzing the minutiae of our sad little lives an discounting almost everyone and everything that comes into contact with the two of us. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out that if we became involved, we'd turn our unflinchingly critical lenses on each other and fry in the magnified glare of each others' ruthless scrutiny. Hell, we already bicker like irritable siblings over the smallest crap.

Here's the thing, Justine. You've got to trust me on this: you really don't want to spend all your time with someone who's exactly like you. I'm a cynical asshole. That means I have lots of cynical asshole friends, but my significant other needs to be an upbeat idealist. Sure, he'll make me roll my eyes and guffaw loudly every time he opens his mouth and spews hopelessly naive tripe, but I need his cheerful expressiveness in my life. I'd be crazy to align myself with a crusty curmudgeon when I'd do much better with a dreamy-eyed little optimist. You know, like I was, before my hamsters ran out of water and ate each other alive.

Uh, of course, I was the one who forgot to put more water in the Habitrail.

No one but myself to blame,


[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]


You let me tell you something, You know, I'm about due for a new job, too. I've been fired from my last 3. Man! I suck. Anyways, I'm kinda glad I'll never get to really meet you in person. I'd end up just like Steve. You'd call me up to talk about some crap and I'd end up not even getting the panties. Wait — did you ever date Steve? How come Steve gets a girl with a leather book? Oh well — Don't change your writing one bit. I mean it. Yer hilarious.


Panties. God, I hate that word. I mean, I really, really hate that word. Why must female underwear sound so...lurid?

Anyway, now that you ask, I have to tell the truth. I did date Steve, way back in the day. But it was my senior year in college and Steve had already graduated, which meant I was very busy chasing down other men like a scary harlot, and he was struggling through Public Policy grad school like a...well, like a Steve. Plus, he used to always eat off my plate, which annoyed me. It didn't annoy me when other people did that, just when Steve did it. We annoyed each other, really. He thought I was shallow. He was right. This was after the hamster incident, understand, and after countless other incidents, each more harrowing than the last. Oh, poor me.

Now we're both old and disgusting, but we still think we're better than everyone else.

You know, Cisco, sometimes I have to wonder who could possibly be deluded enough to read this reprehensible drivel . But I'm too shallow to spend too much energy wandering down that path. Besides, you told me I shouldn't change a thing, didn't you?

Shallow, stagnant, fetid, etc.


[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

Don't ever change, Polly.

Or, maybe, change a little, if you want to.

But don't change for anyone else. Change for yourself.

But, uh, don't change for yourself, just because you feel like you're not okay just the way you are. Because you ARE okay, just the way you are, okay?

That is to say, if it really FULFILLS you, who you REALLY ARE INSIDE ALREADY, then go ahead, change as much as you like. Or need to. Or whatever.

Hey, no pressure. We like you either way. Stay the same, change, what the hell. It's all good.

I have no life.

E-Dog, Seattle

My god. You're like the unconditional positive regard-spewing parents I never had.

Except my parents never truly believed that it was "all good," and even if they did, they'd never deign to utter such a pedestrian phrase.

Not that you shouldn't, E-dog.

So, we really are free to be you and me, aren't we?

Basking in the glow of your delusions,


[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

Who has white socks with red toes and heels? Can I sniff them? I bet they smell like roses.

Jeff A Tyrcha

They do! They smell just like roses! How did you know?

Stinky man behind the curtain,


[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

What kind of smack must I talk to get my letter posted? And by the way, what kind of Jackass name is Polly anyway?

Kelly Ann Sidebottom

Well, Ms. Sidebottom, you can start by telling me you love me fully and completely for exactly who I am, no matter what. Next, you could urge me to never, ever change, unless I sort of feel like changing, in which case it's A-OK for me to change. Next, you can ask to wash my feet with your long, luxurious hair, and you can tell me that my toe cheese smells like ripe mangoes!

Now that you know the formula for making it onto the Fish page, you really have no excuse. Sure, saying that I have a jackass name is a nice start, but I'm going to encourage you to try a little harder next time.



[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

Hi Polly!

Ah, I don't know how many "sitting on the beach" / "candlelight dinner" /"be the mother of my dozen" you get every day, but want I wanted to tell you

a) Filler is absolut erste oberleckersahne. Or, as americans would say, great. or: exciting.

b) Please don't loose your bitterness and angst. Don't get wiser. You are the light at the end of the tunnel, you are showing us geeks that a bitter, frigthened individual can be adored by... how many readers do you have?

c) For the 'not-so-fresh' feeling (Nov. 22 filler): In german, it would go like this: "F¸hlst du dich manchmal... wie soll ich es sagen.. nicht mehr ganz frisch?" (¸==ue for those of you who don't know ¸). or in my local dialect: "Nu ['Nu' being the most important word of this dialect] da sitzte nu am Strand, nuor, und disch froocht so a Hundevieh, ob de disch nu nimmer ganz so helle fiehlst wie vorher, nuor?"

Have a good time,

Peter Hauptmann / Germoney

Mother of my dozen? Is that some kind of German phrase? Around here you're pushing your luck just to say, "I want you to give birth to my one very-low-birthweight child, via Cesarean Section."

But then again, you Germans clearly have a lot of energy, considering you'd bother to say "absolut erste oberleckersahne" for "great."

Anyway, who said I was a bitter, frightened individual?

You're frightening me.



[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]


Umm...I started reading filler as an unemployed postcolligiate kid who spent his summer drinking and meeting girls. Fast-forward two and a half years, and I'm now a semi-employed freelance designer/writer who spends his time drinking and trying to figure out why three of those girls he met since he started reading Filler totally ripped my heart out. Status quo? I suppose, so, although I was never really a big fan of theirs, although my cousin Philip in Ireland once owned their "Join the Army" album. I think the reason that Status Quo never really caught on here was Ford's odd reluctance to sell the Cortina on these shores. Furthermore, though it was hailed by Spin as "Album of the Year" in 1991, Bandwagonesquewas doomed to obscurity in North America, simply because their Big Single had a line about a girl buying some records by Status Quo, thus Americans of non-indie/jangle-Alex-Chilton-is-God persuasions were flummoxed, not knowing that the record would make perfect sense if only they could choose between the Escort and the Cortina instead of the Escort and the Taurus...well, that and Rothmans windshield stickers are kind of hard to come by on the West Coast. I dunno.

Stick a fucking fork in me, I'm hammered.

Love and kisses,

Davey Johnson

I started writing Filler as a post-collegiate kid who spent the year 'round drinking and not meeting men. Fast forward five years, and now I'm still writing Filler, drinking less, and never meeting anyone. One of my cheerleading buddies from high school just moved to town, though, so I should be knee-deep in man-titties in no time.

I once dated a guy named Philip from Ireland! Maybe he was your cousin. His feet didn't smell anything like roses, but he used to sound just like Darby O'Gill when he'd talk about how he'd "love a bit of a Shepherd's Pie right now — browned five minutes, maybe less..."

Ok, so...I didn't understand the rest of your letter.

Stick a fucking meat thermometer in me, I'm hungry.


[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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