The Fish
for 15 February 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


I read your column every day, and most days I laugh out loud. However, today's attack on Roman Catholicism as a "wacky" religion really ticked me off. Say what you want about age old tradition, but I think you've got some of your facts a bit backward. You said in your column "they will be raised in the one that believes Saint Isidore invented the Internet, the Virgin Mary ascended bodily into Heaven, and you eat pieces of Jesus every Sunday morning." and that's not quite accurate. If Saint Isidore were to be named as Patron Saint of the Internet it doesn't mean that Isidore created it, but rather is the Saint that you pray to when you need guidance concerning the internet. So basically, if you've got a story in the Slashdot submissions box, you'd pray to Isidore for help getting it accepted. So, don't go claiming stuff without actually researching what's going on.


Tom Bridge

Rest assured, Tom, we have done more research on the old RCC than any normal person would dare undertake. Our inflated claims for St. Isidore were just a way of sorta, you know ticklin' ribs, as it were. In any event, our purpose wasn't to bury John Paul II but to praise L. Ron Hubbard.


[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

Now that's funny. I'm impressed. I'll even assume that the Bacon painting reference was a weird cross-timing in-joke. But you left out John Webster...who, on the evidence, would be the executive producer of a "lives of the rich and famous" soap opera. (BTW, whatever you do, avoid the current production of The White Devil, which again proves that "Australian acting" is an oxymoron.)

Still, what would Shakespeare be doing? It's not as though we lack a model for a brilliantly successful artist who is both innovative and a financial success: Picasso and, earlier, Reubens come to mind...the latter is a prime example, as he was a notoriously astute businessman and organizer even as he was worshipped for his artistic innovation in his own time. Hell, even Leonardo and Michelangelo died old, lauded, and very wealthy. But for the written word, organization and creativity and success rarely come in the same package...especially on the stage.

Inevitably, the only working models do seem to be movies: Woody Allen or Ingmar Bergman or Orson Wells. (Below this level, you can pull out your own B list of highly successful producer/directors who also wrote their screenplays...I just don't want to get into any of those "is George Lucas a sentient lifeform?" discussions.) Only cinema seems to allow the full use of both organizational and creative talents to reach a wide audience. Sure, there are still small innovative theater groups that focus on a single man's work (the Ontological-Hysterical Theater is as fine as ever, and Chekov and Brecht remain associated with their original producers), but today, the truth is that you ask "what's new on the Rialto?" at the Rialto Cinemax. Alas, probably for the wrong reasons, the Hollywood hacks are probably right.

Alan Kornheiser

Thanks, Alan. The problem isn't really that old Swanny wouldn't be writing movie scripts, but that nobody ever specifies what kind of scripts he'd be writing. Hipped-up Gen Y pastiches of old television shows? Meet-cute romantic comedies where two A-minus stars do everything they can not to fall in love? Action-heavy (though oddly slow-moving) Jerry Bruckheimer vehicles where second banana teams establish character by lip-syncing to super hits of the sixties? Upscale martial arts pictures where people fly around on invisible strings?

We still believe that if Shakespeare were alive today he'd be a hack entertainment beat reporter writing copy like "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Oscar!" or "Save the Last Dance for Julia Stiles!" or "If Milton were living at this hour... he'd be writing movie scripts!"


[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

Dear Suck People,

First of all, I would like to assure Walt that there are more people that have been to Camp Wood than just Walt. Being from Oklahoma, I drift down to Texas occasionally and have to suffer through the occasion of talking to folks like Walt who say things like "I speak as probably your only reader who has been to Camp Wood." All this while pointing out *your* errors.

As far as your reference to Governor Keating in your Hit and Run thing today, I would like to say the following. Our premier newspaper , The Daily Oklahoman, reported on Saturday, February 3, that President Bush not only has called Governor Keating to apologize that his people leaked, but he has also written a note. President Bush also hugged Frank at the inaugural parade. And he basically cleared up the thing about not choosing Governor Keating to be his running mate or his attorney general. And it wasn't because of the Governor and his wife accepting around $250,00 in gifts. So we're all a lot happier now, and glad that they've both made up.

As far as your theme song thing goes, this is so weird because just last week I ran into my brother in law at my mother's house (he's a college professor) and probably because my brother in law has always intimidated me on some level, (unintentionally and besides he can't help it if he's smarter than I am) I was a little intimidated. Luckily, half way through our conversation, he mentioned to me that he used to watch The Dukes of Hazzard and used to know the words but he'd forgotten them and asked if I knew them. I just stood there for a few moments and then I said I didn't, and now I'm not really intimidated by him at all any more.

I've yet to see an episode of The Dukes of Hazzard but I've got the metal lunchbox.

Anyway, thanks!!

Ellen Smith


It took us an hour to figure out what your reference to Camp Wood was about. Like maybe it was a reference to "Morning Wood" or something — possibly "Camp Wood" is what you get when a bunch of regular guys on a hunting trip all wake up in their tent, or something like that.

We know the feeling of relief you can get on those rare occasions that you find some piece of TV trivia is not taking up space in your brain. But in the case of Waylon Jennings's top-notch tribute to the "good ol' boys, never meanin' no harm" who are "fightin' the system like two modern-day Robin Hoods," we suggest you not only listen to it but memorize it word-for-word.


[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

If you think Scientology is just a wacky but harmless cult, try reading this Pulitzer Prize winning series from the St. Petersburg Times.

I'm not aware that they generally give Pulitzers to torch-wielding bigots.

If anything, it's the Scientology cult itself which is like the Catholic Church doing the Crusades. The difference is that they're doing it today. They regularly harass writers critical of them, including framing Paulette Cooper, the author of The Scandal of Scientology with a forged bomb threat. (Cooper won the Conscience in Media Award for her courage in exposing these creeps.)

That's not even to mention terrorism against judges who don't decide their way in court when they rev up their multi-million dollar litigation machine. They spend $20 million a year just suing people who speak out against them.

The Catholics have been guilty of a lot over the centuries, but they are certainly not currently anywhere near the level of viciousness of this cult. You can generally quote the King James Version of the Bible on the net without being sued and having your home raided and ransacked.


From Plastic

Well duh, Muldrake, if we didn't think the Scientologists could hurt us do you really think we'd be sucking up to them in our column? We shudder to think what kind of files the Hubbards have been keeping on us just for that time we wrote "Mimi Rodgers should be saved by Oscar for her heaven-sent performance in The Rapture!"

Just to reiterate, among the religions that regularly receive respectful, non-Pulitzer-winning media coverage (and what does God care for your Pulitzers anyway?), we find the following beliefs:

St. Christina the Astonishing jumped out of her coffin and floated up to the ceiling to escape the stench of human flesh, while St. Rose of Lima is holy because she rubbed pepper on her face and lime on her hands after somebody complimented her on her beauty.

Penis mutilation is an essential part of holiness, and God wants His Chosen People to steal land from the Arabs.

If you don't behave in a way prescribed by your charismatic, heavenly, orange-robed leader, you may come back in your next life as a cockroach. (Depending on where you live, this may or may not be preceded by a visit to the underworld kingdom of the Jade Emperor, who will serve you a special tea of forgetfulness).


[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

Sorry Sucksters. When the Roman Catholic church returns to locking people up and/or killing them for apostasy, then you can start comparing criticism of Scientology to criticism of Catholicism.

I can only imagine that the person who wrote this is unaware of the existence of the Rehabilitation Project Force, Scientology's re-education prison camp.

I can only imagine that the person who wrote this is unaware of the death of Lisa McPherson, a Scientologist who having hinted at wanting to leave the organization, was kept in isolation for 17 days and died of severe dehydration and neglect while Scientologists passed by closer hospitals to drive her to an ER with a Scientologist doctor on staff.

I can only imagine that the person who wrote this is unaware that church policy dictates that those who criticize Scientology shall be intimidated, "shuddered into silence," investigated, and may be tricked, lied to and utterly destroyed without fear of punishment.

I can only imagine that the person who wrote this is unaware that church doctrine for this notoriously litigious organization states quite frankly that the point of the lawsuit is not to win, but to harrass.

Think I'm exaggerating? Think again.

Take a look at both sides and come to your own conclusions.

Scientology's official web site, the most comprehensive collection of documents on the Church of Scientology.


Continued, with many supporting URLs, at Plastic

We support any and all attacks on Scientology, Colette. But again, let's keep in mind just where some of these other Great Faiths fit in on the Cult-O-Meter. Within living memory, the Catholic Church has enthusiastically supported fascist regimes in Europe and South America and cultish dictatorships in Africa, pestered the United States to get involved in the Vietnam war, and avoided actually making any objection to the Holocaust. Every pathetic, unsustainable Bantustan that the Jewish State "gives" to the Palestinians has been seeded with settlements populated by Uzi-packing millennialist shitheads. On the Subcontinent, peaceful Hindus and pious Muslims routinely hijack buses, demanding that all males pull down their pants for circumcision-checks and, depending on the results, possible roadside executions. And so on. The crimes of the Scientologists pale by comparison.

PS: Love the Scientologists or hate 'em, you can continue the Holy War at Plastic.


[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

Filler 2.7.01

Hey, thanks for hitting the nail on the head once more. Of course, every man is a composite of these men to look out for. I'm really something of a lightweight/jumpy, though only last year threw out those Buddhist pants from high school, and about half my underwear are white and brief. Though actually dingy grey would be a better description of the color, since I only recently discovered the joy of separating my whites from darks. I am also making the switch to boxers, since I've decided getting laid is more important than that comforting hug briefs give my scrotum.

Am I sharing too much?

You know, I think Suck should start a personals service. It could be like Nerve for abusive sarcastic people with an obsessive need to make a spectacle of themselves. Wait, that is Nerve. Maybe you could just improve the loading time.


Ben Schwabe

Yeah, creative new paths to online success are looking more and more like short piers, aren't they? For now I guess you'll have to stick to looking for chicks on Nerve. Word to the wise: you might have more success if you keep those dingy scrotum-huggers out of the picture.

Sharing is caring,


[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

I don't recognize any of the guys you showed off!

I know Mr. I will bail You off the Side of the Road, Mr. you look depressed so here's a little something to tide you over, Mr. come sit in my hot tub until all the kinks get out of your back, Mr. What do you Mean your computer is not running properly, let me look at it, and Mr. When's the last time you heard some decent live music and let's remember Mr. I can actually cook a really good meal without trashing the kitchen, and do it in less than half an hour.

Maybe I'm wearing asshole repellent that works or maybe all the men I know are human beings. Or maybe I'm just lucky. You definitely are getting exposed to some charmers!!!

I'm very much looking forward to the Grrrls you will be serving up later. I think at least one of them will be hiding in the marketing department, and I can start feeling connected to consensus reality again.

Best regards,

Allegra Sloman

Maybe you're wearing asshole repellent, or maybe you're some kind of a hippy with a really good aura or a positive vibe that attracts only good Samaritan programmers with hot tubs who cook and see live music regularly. I don't know, though, there's actually something kind of creepy about men with hot tubs who don't make a mess when they cook. Don't you think?

You don't?

Oh. Well, at any rate, I'm glad I could reconnect you to consensus reality. Or consensus fantasy, whichever the case may be.



[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

Hi Polly.

I was reading yesterday's Filler and I noticed that you said someone was waiting "in line" for Phish tickets. This may seem inane but in Canada, or at least Montreal and Halifax, we say "waiting on line". Thought you might be interested since you do seem to have a curiosity about things Canadian.

Kara Holm

That guy, Mr. Mellow? He isn't Canadian. Although I think I can understand why you thought he might be.

Thanks for the heads up, nonetheless. (Just a note: Here in America, we don't usually say "thanks for giving me the heads up", more often we say "thanks for giving me head." Thought you might be interested.)

Best wishes,


[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

[Contacting Us]
[Contributors Index]

 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.
[The Smoking Gun] [Net.Moguls]