for 10 May 2001. Updated every WEEKDAY.
Hit & Run 05.3.01
...... ummmm ... screed? Johnny Got His Gun? Oh --- my dear child.
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.
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
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.
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.
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,
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,
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 bigtittedslut.com or trashycornhole.com. When I typed in suck.com 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 http://www.suck.com/daily/1997/11/19/)... 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!!
Trashycornhole.com! 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 frogsfrogsfrogs.com.
Domain names are sort of like Ruffles: No one can eat just one.
But oh, that every day could be Fillerday!