The Fish
for 1 December 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]
There She Is: The Most Resented Woman In America

You were 50% right on the Pageant not being evil or stupid. It may not be Evil, but it sure is stupid. What your piece conveyed to me is just how much the Pageant is like a science-fiction convention: sure, there's relatively well-adjusted folks there to share their love of the genre, but then there are the freakshow geeks. That is to say, both the elderly erstwhile chaperone clinging to thirteenth-rate fame and the socially retarded thirteen-year-old are both cards dealt from the same deck. The major difference is that a sci-fi con generally has no hotties around. On the other hand, cons do have this advantage: they don't grade the attendees the same way they do the Herefords at the Union Stockyard.

Yours in beauty,


Sci-fi conventions always have costume contests, don't they? I'm sure the Xena with the biggest boobies always wins.

I used to make fun of comic/sci-fi con attendees mercilessly in my comic book drawing days, in a desperate attempt to disassociate myself from "them."

It's a never-ending, circular argument though, putting down people because of what they're into. Somebody somewhere is sure to think we're "retarded" because of what we like. That's why I don't find beauty pageants is inherently stupid anymore. It's like, whatever, man!


Peter Bagge

[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

I'm surprised you didn't delve deeper into the social effects(or sumthn' — 'scuse my poor english) of the Miss America thingie. In the end you just kind of reported the facts of your trip, and that was it. "But it isn't evil OR stupid..." Come on MAAAAN!(duh huh huh)Where's your spirit?! Well, seriously, I would have thought you'd have a lot more to say about it. Hmm, whaddaya know, I'm kind of disappointed.

JM, Finland

If it stuck me as evil or stupid while I was there I most certainly would have reported that "scoop" to the people of Suckland. But it didn't. The pageant felt more like a club of hobbyists than anything else.

Peter Bagge

[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

Dear Mr. Bagge,

I'll get right to it.

I got a little sick and tired of people making fun of women who are lucky enough and who work hard enough to be pretty a long time ago. They shouldn't be penalized for being pretty. Unfortunately, there is always this conflict between the pretties and the non-pretties and it's not pretty. Maureen Dowd made an ass of herself earlier this year in going after Anna Kournikova the way she did. If any woman in the world says they wouldn't like to look like Anna Kournikova, they're lying. And let's face it. Mothers have a whole lot to do with little girls learning very early how important it is to be pretty. As in the morning when you're dressed for school and you come in for breakfast and Mom says, "Oh honey you look so pretty today." They hardly ever say, "Oh honey you seem so much smarter than you did yesterday." So I guess we can't blame men for that, even tho it would be nice.

Mary Q of S

Yes, stop blaming men! Especially since straight men are a virtual non-factor in these pageants.

You can still blame us for wars, though.

Peter Bagge

[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

As one of the cynical crowd, I was really surprised by the even-handedness of your review. While I probably will never watch the Miss America pageant, I will consider changing my opinion. One question: what happened to Miss North Dakota? I gathered from the article that she was a relatively normal person in the midst of a very un-normal situation. Is it possible that you might do a follow up on some of the people you interviewed?

On another note: Hey, Suck! Give Peter Bagge a raise! He's the best writer you've got along with Polly Esther! Make it a big raise! Hell, give 'em both raise!

Albert A. Freeman

I think Suck should give Albert A. Freeman a raise as well! And I'm all in favor of doing a follow-up of some of the contestants if the top sucksters are into it. The New Yorker did that very thing recently with a former Miss New York that was very interesting, even though the writer made a very vain attempt at hiding her disdain for her subject (much to the delight of The New Yorker's readers, I'm sure).

Peter Bagge

[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

"Female domination appears to be the rule in your typical beauty pageant household, in spite of the reactionary appearance of the pageants themselves."

I really enjoyed your article but found the above phrase sexist. I don't care about the pageant either but I don't know too many guys who would be good at that sort of thing, getting their daughters ready for a pageant. Of course it's "dominated" by women. And of course the guys seem to be "benign" and "supportive". Haven't you ever seen a man out shopping with a woman for clothes? They are bored. Duh. But they aren't going to complain because it would be rude. Just like a woman doing something with a man, that she doesn't really care about but does it because it means a lot to the man.

Instead of thinking the domineering is some sort of contest between men and women why don't you adjust your attitude and realize women are people, too. The pageants are probably the way they are because of women who have been DOMINEERED by men for forever and don't know any better than to be a woman as they know womanhood to be. Which has been mainly dictated to them from men. So they believe a woman needs to be beautiful in the way that they were taught about beauty. Or that women should look good in a bathingsuit or whatever. But the thing is, there is nothing wrong with something being female dominated. And as a matter of fact the world might be a better place if more things were female "domineered".

Cindy Larason

You are absolutely correct about the husband's boredom. I didn't mean to suggest this was a bad thing, though. I was just trying to paint a picture of what the family dynamics were like behind the scenes, and how they contrast sharply with what you see on stage.

But then you get carried away. None of these contestants or their moms struck me as anyone's fools, or were coerced into taking part in this thing (except for maybe some of the dads), which I tried hard to get across in this article. Your belief that pageants exist mainly because we men "taught" women that beauty is all that matters suggests that your fellow females are all spineless puppets with no will of their own. Some women really and truly like this stuff. No brainwashing or "dictating" was or is necessary.

Peter Bagge

[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

Wooh! What a bunch of crap!

I personally didn't waste my time watching the "pageant". The fact that YOU "DID" makes you pretty sick, considering all you had to say.

Also, the fact that I took MY valuable time to see 'what you had to say" about it, makes ME pretty sick...... nauseous, in fact. I was just looking for some "entertainment" — boy, was I surprised.

Don't you have something better to do with your time?

I mean, I was just "surfing" when I ran across your crap stuff; hard to believe you do it for a living (?????????????????).

Get a life!


What do you think I SHOULD be doing for a living?

Peter Bagge

[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

You comments on the Miss America thing were dead on...

I had to tell you though: last year's Miss America, Heather French recently married that "pudgy, balding, middle-aged doctor" fiance of hers, Steve Henry. I don't know if you knew this (or care) but he is also Lt. Governor of Kentucky and, short of some political scandal — of the sort that the hiring of an assistant for his new wife might cause, as it did — is poised to be our next Governor.

Phyllis George did the same thing, marrying John Y. Brown, owner (at the time) of a majority interest in Kentucky Fried Chicken, and they went on to live in the Governor's Mansion. And today they are divorced and she hawks pre-prepared chicken dinners ("Chicken, by George"). Lovely...

Patrick - Lexington, KY


I had heard that former beauty queens and governors of your state have a tradition of marrying each other, but I didn't know Heather French was a part of it. How humble of her to make her future hubby out to be just a simple country doctor!

She's a very slick talker though, Miss French is. I could easily see her hosting Good Morning America one of these days.

Peter Bagge

[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

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]

 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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