The Fish
for 12 February 2001. Updated every WEEKDAY.
 
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Cable Degeneration

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!

I've been mourning the steady and consistent demise of Comedy Central ever since the Upright Citizens Brigade went the way of Rhoda. CC doesn't seem to put a lot of effort into responding to viewer mail...who knows? A little more public abuse like this and maybe their programming department will give half a rat's ass and start airing shows that actually make people laugh again.

Thanks for the article. Keep up the great work.

Lucifuge
<lucifuge@ix.netcom.com>

I appreciate the vote of encouragement, however I must dispute you on the idea of the Upright Citizens Brigade going the way of Rhoda, as reruns of UCB are not shown ad nauseum on TVLand. Rest assured that there's probably a Sketch Comedy network in the works somewhere.

The Camel

 
[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]
 

I really enjoyed your article, one particularly banal commercial that you didn't mention was the "Girls Gone Wild" video that become inescapable at around 11:00 every night. I'd like to see a Suck on what that's all about, you'd think that some of those middle class college girls would have tried to sue to keep their drunken antics out of video stores. It's pretty easy to see that the most explicit scenes are with professional strippers but some of the "on the street" flashers are probably too drunk to understand signing a release form or saying whatever kind of verbal agreements these guys are getting them to recite.

Thanks,

Danny
<pttrice@centralva.net>

Danny,

I must admit, when I saw the subject line of your message I thought you might be the webmaster at girlsgonewild.com getting back to me about that little credit card snafu. I fully agree with you that those videos of perky sorority coeds flaunting their firm, young bodies for the camera are exactly the kind of filth that late-night cable shoves down our throats.

On a related note, why the hell should you need a credit card to order videos online anyway?

The Camel

 
[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]
 

My major problem with battlebots is that what little technology they talk about is with the strong overtone of "you aren't supposed to understand this."

In its original UK, junkyard wars goes by the far less aggressive moniker: "Scrapheap Challenge." It's actually intended to be a "stealth" science education show, targeted at 8-14's. When brought to the US market, most of the 6 minutes cut for extra commercials came from the educational segments. When TLC's US specific version was done, even more emphasis was given to the competitive aspects.

In the UK it's a family hour show (Sundays 6pm) in the US it was milked for all the 25-54 males it could get — 9-11pm on a weeknight.

The thing that most surprised me was how bloodthirsty the American audiences are — they solicited audience suggestions for challenges, and the majority seem carefully contrived to kill the contestants (or at least freeze or boil them) (tanks and snowmobiles are particularly popular).

-dp- Organizer, The New England Rubbish Deconstruction Society; The NERDS. We are the first US team to compete in the British Scrapheap Challenge series. (called "Junkyard Wars" in the US) The NERDS We won the submarine challenge and the steam powered car race. Watch us in the fire fighting boat final December 27.

This planet needs a lot more kids that think taking the lawnmowers' engine apart is more fun than playing Nintendo.

Jeff DelPapa
<dp@world.std.com>

The idea that British versions of these shows are better was popular on the Plastic discussion as well. I wonder if, now that the days of a non-commercial BBC are over, British television will soon be shaped by the same market forces we see in the US.

It is sad that even channels with such significant mandates as the Learning and History channels abandon educational programming for bitchin' machinery. Still, after watching the Transformers as a kid, I myself must admit that the idea of a Junkyard Wars episode where contestants build a giant robotic death machine has crossed my mind.

Thanks for writing; I thoroughly enjoy the show.

The Camel

 
[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]
 

I could Whine Bitch and Moan about reading the scribblings of the insane that were featured today. I won't because, I don't like hypocrisy, the insane are fun, and it was a good idea.

Thanks,

Rich Robinson
<psyco_path_industries@yahoo.com>

It's hard to convey just how much joy unsolicited submissions bring us here at Suck. But as they say in liberal institutions of higher learning throughout the country, privileged discourses have an utterly different tone than those that are not privileged. We're empowered by our status as published writers, and so we thumb our noses at those who wish to be published. Sad, huh? Plus, do we really want to send a message to hopeful writers that not only might we reject their work, but we might also have a hearty snicker at their expense? Talk about thumbing your nose to spite your face.

So, accept our apologies. It's just hard to resist — the stuff we get is so rich, so unfathomable. Maybe because people (mistakenly) believe that we at Suck love "rants". Rants! The name says it all.

A tip of the tinfoil hat to you,

Sucksters

 
[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]
 

Hi all,

A question about this feature (The Shit). I used to read talk.bizarre regularly on Usenet, and every December 1st on talk.bizarre is Fail To Suck day. The rhetoric used to promote the day sounded a good deal like yours to promote this feature. Not accusing anyone of plagiarism, I'm just curious about possible sources of inspiration? Any of you a teedotbee'er?

Matt Powell
<Matt.Powell2@compaq.com>

Our promotional rhetoric sounds like theirs, so you'd like to know our sources of inspiration? We're inspired by the manuscripts themselves, Matt, the unsolicited work of real people! We're inspired by the common man. What are you inspired by?

We didn't understand your last question, and we hardly even have the strength to say as much, let alone decode what you're driving at. Speak plainly, boy! Straight talk, that's what we want around here, so spit it out and stop beating around the bush!

Hoping our kids don't turn out to be anything like you,

Sucksters

 
[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]
 



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 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
1995
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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