The Fish
for 18 January 2001. 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 01.11.01

The problem with using 'hate' to describe racism and other kinds of prejudice is that this is such a poor description of the phenomenon, and is so disconnected from other everyday uses of the word 'hate' that the word degenerates into a mere insult. To say Eminem, Hitler, and Nixon are all examples of hate becomes as meaningful as saying that all three are gooberheads.

Having a racist attitude involves prejudice, lack of compassion, a desire that my group should have a place of privilege, fear that another group may displace that privilege, fear of difference in general, and probably a bunch of other stuff, all of which seem very different from the emotion you feel when someone divorces you or cuts you off in traffic or films a live version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas or puts one of those knockoff Calvin-peeing stickers on his car.

When you accuse a racist of hate, you play right into his hands, because very likely he can honestly and introspectively deny that he feels hate for the group in question. Then he's off the hook.

'Homophobia' has a similar problem, except that being a new word it has a little more room to assert its own meaning. 'Hate' probably has too much inertia to ever mean what your trying to make it mean. Sloppy usage threatens to turn 'racist' into a mere insult as well, but that's another problem.

On the other hand, I'm aware that, for Suck, the need to make a hockey pun that Terry can get a good cartoon out of has to take priority.

Michael Straight

Very true. No wonder they call you Michael Straight!

In the case of "hate," our favorite memory is a poster they used to put up around dear old Rutgers back in the day: It had a drawing of a big fist being slammed down on the word "HATE" and smashing it the way the Blue Meanies smashed the big "KNOW" statue so that it read "NO." It was a wonderfully hardcore approach to loving your neighbor.

As for the current context of "hate speech" and these "hate crimes legislation" proposals that are pretty much guaranteed to be counterproductive, we'd have to say that the term has been put into such common currency that we can use it in its simpering liberal context and be understood. And believe it or not, we do like to be understood from time to time.


[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

Today's hate nanny ... did a great job of showing just how devalued the word "hate" has become. Whether it's rapper Enema getting stormed for being a white guy offering the same misogyny and "homophobia" black rappers have sold for years, or Donald Rumsfeld on a hissing White House tape from 30 years ago offering an occasional "uhhhh" while Big Dick discussed eugenics, being a "hater" has never been easier.

Ralph Ward

Not easy enough, apparently. The Sucksters hate just about everybody, and nobody's nominated us for a Grammy. At least, not yet.


[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]


That picture of that nazi broad flying in the air looks so much like the cover of a year-old Wired magazine (Here We Go) that one cannot dismiss the irony of it all.  At first I wondered if Suck didn't rip off Wired, but then figured you are all in bed together or at least part of the same happy family (if both, well, then "how 'bout them Vols?").  But then it struck me that one might have a problem claiming 'no prior art' in this modern world in any case.  

It does kinda take all the sting out of claims that others are plagiarizing, though, ya think?   Intellectual property... still its a great image.  Even though any obvious reference to what I assume was an original Reifenstahl (or was it!  where did She get it from, the Greeks?) was probably lost on 99% of Wired readers, I think there was increased impact due to some sort of subliminal association.  How many of us, upon seeing the image for the 'first time' in Wired, didn't hear a little lizard brain voice inside their head saying 'didn't we see this picture in the library when we were in third grade.  In fact, didn't we stare at it surreptitiously for an hour while pretending to study Nazi art way back when?'  

Keep up the good work, fellas.      

Mike Kenny

It's just America's inferiority complex that leads to this continuing overrating of Leni Reifenstahl. We're not convinced that Triumph of the Will and Olympia have some amazingly unique look — in a way that, say, King Kong or Gone With the Wind don't. Everybody knows Speer was the only Nazi with a real sense of style.


[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

Hey, Paul Simon pisses off mothers too -- or at least the based-on-a-true mother, played by Frances McDormand, in former music journalist Cameron Crowe's Almost Famous.  Remember the scene?  Sister plays one of S & G's tunes, while showing her mother the cover art and proclaiming the song, "poetry."  Mother looks at the cover, and in mock indignation, announces they "look high."  Here's to you Mrs. Robinson.  Then again, you have to wonder why people laugh at that scene.  Will 25 years from now,  we all be sitting in a theater, god-forbid, watching "The Eminem Story," laughing at the outrage when this year's Emmy nominations were announced?  (Perhaps then, Eminem will be making his comeback, nominated that year along with some "truly controversial" artist.)

Eriq Gardner

That's a good point, Eriq, and nobody has ever addressed the question of why the mother in Almost Famous was given this dollop of pseudo-marxist, Chicago-school anti-rock prudery to go with her alarmist Reefer Madness tirade. We thought it was actually the best part of the movie, but then again, we always thought James Watt was right about the Beach Boys.


[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

It's true that if society is going to progress, generations will have to continue to piss those that precede off, that just serves as proof that we are bending the too often hastily set fundamental standards. To do it as Eminem, and how it appears the Grammy, or other hopeful implementors of American culture, wish for us to is moving backwards. The sucksters are clearly moving forward with this idea, you deserve the grammy.

stephanie steele

Damn right we deserve the grammy. Unfortunately, we've never been able to piss off the oldsters. In fact, our only musical experience with an older generation was when one Suckster's first grade class was sent to a local convalescent center to sing songs for the old fogies. And in that case the hating was all on one side. I was terrified of those drooling old coots!


[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

What kind of gutlessness describes "sucksters" who have no problems smearing pro-German women as ugly "hunnies" but wouldn't be caught dead calling yids yids?  That kind of workaday cowardice and sideways-looking will keep your site cutesy.  You seek to transcend, but obey the rules you mock.  Suck's not bad, but it's not much.  Camp piffle purveyors -- suckupsters.

Alex Linder


It's true, Alex, we never call a yid a yid. We always call them hebes.


[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

i think you guys have lost touch with the rest of us.

Jesse Buerk

Jesus, Jesse, what do we have to do to prove that we're friends of the common people? Haven't you heard of Plastic? Ask any caddie at the Club: We're practically red in our generosity toward the help.


[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

Filler 01.10.01


You mentioned unemployment in the wedding plans- I've become very good at being jobless lately so I think I should be the one who has no job. Now get out of my face while V.I.P is on!

BTW- there's a Polly Esther's here in Denver and it's horrible.

Francisco Velasquez

I'm not responsible for bad bars, Cisco, but feel free to blame me for everything else.

Hey, on "Temptation Island" last Wednesday, did you notice how, when the coupled guys were trying to decide which of the tempting single guys to kick off, they said, "What about that guy who looks like Cisco? He's got to go." Pretty high compliment, huh? If I had known you were such a looker, maybe I wouldn't have thrown your engagement ring down the Insinkerator.

Anyway, the real trick to remaining jobless is to learn how to wash the windows, program the VCR, cook chili in the Crockpot, and administer deep tissue massage with a smile. Do the words "house boy" mean anything to you, Cisco?

Dungeon master,


[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

I had my wedding reception at a bowling alley. Should I have held out for Sizzler?

Phil Kos

Are you the inspiration for that sitcom called "Ed" where the goofy lawyer guy digs this local chick and, you know, they're really good friends, and she's, like, sooo cute but she just got out of, like, this REAL serious relationship, and so there's ALL this sexual tension between them but they've only kissed, like, once?

If so, I'd suggest you move back to New York City. A town called Stuckeyville should at least have a Stuckey's in it, don't you think?

Burger me,


[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

Dear Polly,

I must say I am encouraged by the amount of mail you seem to receive from lovelorn males purely from being a Zeitgeist surfing on a weekly wave of cultural ennui. You see, I am also a bad tempered female who only becomes vaguely pleasant after a champagne or two. But Filler has shown me that this might not necessarily be a bad thing.

Do you have any advice for a grumpy woman wanting to develop a cult following? I don't want to have to get out of my chair, though. Will this be a problem?

Meredith Badger

I'm surprised and encouraged by the amount of mail I receive from lovelorn males, too. This must mean some kind of shift in the female ideal is occurring. No longer do men want soft, lovely, sweet-smelling, demurring, polite women. No! They want crass, awkward, self-satisfied, abrasive, self-obsessed, stinky types like you and me!

Isn't it great? We're like the Marilyn Monroes of the new millennium. Who'da thunk it? It makes me want to sing "Happy Birthday Mr. Stupidest President Ever" while pounding away on my piece-of-shit guitar.

Except that would entail getting out of my chair. My chair is really soft. Is your chair soft, too?

Soft, smug, and stuttering,


[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

Thanks Polly. I had been planning to get married in April but now I've called it off and will spend the $20,000 on cheap hookers, heroin and Beastie Boys cds.

May you continue to be an inspiration to us all.


Cool by me, as long as the hookers embody the New Female Ideal, in that, they're caustic, foolish, and unwashed. Watch out for diseases, though. The New Female Ideal doesn't involve responsible behavior, beyond making sure there's icy cold ginger ale in the fridge, and setting the VCR to tape Temptation Island.

The Beastie Boys are sooo '90s Male Ideal. I'd suggest the new PJ Harvey CD instead. Needless to say, PJ Harvey embodies the New Female Ideal. Dirty pillows, baby! Yeah!

Saucy, slack-jawed, and snickering,


[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

Subject: Lesbianism as the new Survivor Island

I've got to write this quickly because my boss could come along at any minute and start bitching about my doing any "work". Jesus, where do they get these guys?

Anyway, I'm writing to you because you're influential and people listen to you instead of just ignoring you and walking away really quickly because they think you're having a "peth fit" whatever that is. Maybe you can explain it to the world:

What's with all the lesbians on Prime Time television? I mean, lesbians are cool and all that, but did TV just discover them or what? First it's DeGeneres and that piranha-faced woman who got a cameo on Ally McBeal. Sure, fine, whatever. Then it's Sandra "jagger lips" Barnhardt showing up on Will and Grace, but everybody's gay on that show, so no biggie. But then we get that "dropped panty" scene in West Wing and now it's Dr. Kerry Weaver and that psychiatrist chick on ER! Am I just missing something or is Lesbianism the new Survivor Island?

Robert St. James,

Is Lesbianism the new Survivor Island? No, Robert. Lesbianism is the new Frasier. Lesbianism is the new Macho Nachos. Lesbianism is the soundest investment advice on the Web. Lesbianism is bursting with real fruit flavor.

What makes you think that, in my day to day life, people listen to me instead of just ignoring me and walking away really quickly? Also, do you suppose people in your office are trying to suggest that you're having a "meth fit" meaning you're on speed? Maybe you should slow down and concentrate a little harder. I think if you slowed down, your use of metaphor might improve, too.

But then, what do I know? I'm the new full-sized luxury sedan.

Compact economy pick-up,


[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.

[Contacting Us]
[Contributors Index]
[Barrel] [Net.Moguls]
[The Smoking Gun] [Suck-o-matic]
[Link To Tech Notes]