The Fish
for 10 May 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 05.3.01

...... ummmm ... screed? Johnny Got His Gun? Oh --- my dear child.

ray hartman

Maybe if I could magically make myself 11 years old again, Johnny Got His Gun might seem as artful and profound as it did in my pre-pubescence. But it seems to me the book isn't even a particularly good specimen of Trumbo's skills as a propagandist. While key fictions from both Exodus and Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo have achieved wide popular acceptance, nobody believes quadriplegic veterans dream of playing canasta with Jesus.

A Suckster

[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

I tell you, I'm not Tchong's enemy and I have read his work with varying levels of appreciation and enjoyment for years. But he's not on my Xmas card list.

A few years ago, I chaired the second Thunder Lizard Productions Web Advertising conference in early 1998. This conference was designed to be in opposition to Jupiter's shmoozfest by offering concrete advice and real numbers. Tchong was scheduled to give a "Show Me the Numbers" session as he had in the previous year.

All the speakers signed contracts promising materials for a show binder by a certain date. All the speakers delivered with a couple of exceptions who were brought into line. Tchong is the only remaining holdout. I call and email him. He promises and promises. He swears. He finally delivers something around the very last deadline — I forget if we get it into the binder.

A few weeks later, he says to the CEO of the event, "I want to kill Glenn." The CEO's reply, nicely enough was (he says), "Because he made you do what you promised to?"

This sums the guy up nicely, I think.

(Also, I was promised a $1,000 bonus if all speakers had material in the binder. So the jerk was going to cost me a cool thou because he wasn't organized enough.)

The next year, they had eMarketer speak, and those guys gave a blowout presentation that was truly useful, as they showed *everybody's* numbers and explained rationales, rather than quoting a single analyst or study.

Glenn Fleishman, Unsolicited Pundit
read my work at

The key to this anecdote is whether Tchong was getting paid for this appearance. If not, we must count ourselves on his side. They make you go through an incredible amount of crapola when you do these conferences — submitting bios, getting them slides, setting up your parking — and you have to do it all through these officious little assistants. And all so you have the privilege of giving a free speech and schmoozing a bunch of losers just like yourself. If they weren't paying Tchong for it, you can't blame him for keeping you on the hook.


[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

Filler 05.2.01

Dear Polly,

I remember way back in the medium-early days of the commercial web, the very first time I saw Filler. At first, it was the only part of Suck I was interested in reading, much as the comics are the only internal part of the newspaper I read intentionally. In fact, Filler holds many similarities with the comic page, in my head: serial, moderately amusing commentary on society buried in the middle of five pounds of feel-bad observational snark. With extremely funny drawings. Terry is truly a master of comic expression. Without him, the humor quotient of most articles in Suck barely grazes the "Dave Barry Turns 40" mark.

It could be argued that being funny is not necessarily the point, but Suck seems to have, at the heart of its image, the same old zAnY iRrEvErEnT humor which made MAD magazine more interesting than, say, a photographic essay on Ross Perot. Humor stinks at the core of Suck like a gunslaughtered fish in a wooden cask. Wait, no one would ever argue that. Nevermind this whole paragraph already.

I'll never forget the issue of Filler which both answered my first letter to Polly AND incorporated "Beaker" of the Muppets. It spoke to me, personally, and I became a devoted reader for life. I had been meaning to send in a few marriage proposals, but I got caught up in the whole dot-com bubble thing: accidentally started some companies, got bought out by Amazon, fired by a CEO of my own choosing... The usual. Now it has been five years, and I guess I never really managed to tell you how I felt. I... I love you, Polly. And Terry too, but he seems so, you know, old.

Andrew Denyes

So, if I want everyone to become a reader for life, I need to speak to each and every Filler reader personally. That sounds taxing, like being God, or Bono. Thank you for summing up the Filler demographic so well, though: Filler readers are those people who ignore the rest of the paper and go straight for the comics page, even though none of the cartoons are very funny. In this way, a Filler reader is kind of like a lab rat that presses the little bar in his cage a million times, hoping that cocaine will appear, even though it never has before.

But then, Filler has always been sort of like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a spork, hasn't it?

Your cherished one,


[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

Five years online is like twenty in Hollywood?

That implies a table or graph of some sort:

Dog years: 7x multiplier

On-line years: 4x multiplier

Dental "just a cleaning" time: 0.2x multiplier

Acid trip: varies (friends have reported anywhere from 0.00001 to very large)


Congratulations on your fifth/twentieth anniversary!


Twentieth anniversary! Doesn't that mean you owe me some china or silver or something?

Anxiously awaiting your pricey gift,


[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]

Dearest Polly,

I have been reading you ever since I got my own computer in '97... I know, I know, that's a bit behind the times, especially since I claim to be a true geek, so just don't tell my hip new friends, k?

I had just discovered the internet, and was getting a big kick out of all the porn I got when I typed in things like or When I typed in I was disappointed at first, but fortunately for me it was late Tuesday night and I got my first sneak preview of Filler (I think it was after laughing my ASS off, I proceeded to take another hit off the ole bong and the archives, gorging myself upon old Filler. Up until the wee hours of the morning, I was hooked from then on (and quite disappointed the next Thursday when I found out that Everyday wasn't Fillerday).

The rest of my existence has been the highs and lows of Wednesday vs. not Wednesday. Please don't ever stop, as I couldn't bear the deep dark hole that would be my life without the knowledge of some other bitter, sarcastic fuck of a woman like myself. Oh! and I would like to add you should have more frogs in Filler. Frogs Frogs Frogs!!

Love ya,

<>! If I really were a bitter, sarcastic fuck of a woman and had any sense at all, I'd register that domain name immediately. Either that one, or

Domain names are sort of like Ruffles: No one can eat just one.

But oh, that every day could be Fillerday!



[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.
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