The Fish

for 8 January 1997. Updated every WEEKDAY.

Joey Anuff


Terry Colon
Art Director


Ana Marie Cox
Executive Editor


T. Jay Fowler
Production Editor


Heather Havrilesky
Senior Editor


Owen Thomas
Copy Editor


i like what you write, or
perhaps more importantly, how
you write it. your
reorganisation seems to be a
BIG improvement. but i didn't
really know what suck was
about before The Change. and
I still don't now.

your "department" headings
(fish, etc) are rather
obscure. and there's no "this
is what we're all about"
section; only a section about
"this is how we've changed."
(changed from what?)

so all suckster-style
mysteriousness aside:

a. what's the story with suck

b. i HATE being online. is
there any easy way to
download or collate or trawl
together a weekly "bundle" of
"what's new and worth
reading" at suck (yes, with
the ads if need be) each
week, or month, or whatever?

at worst, I could trace all
the links from one "table of
contents" page, if I could
even find a weekly table of
contents page without too
many extraneous links.

at best, look how slate does
it: i) web site; ii) weekly
issue downloadable on demand;
iii) even email delivery.

ploddingly yours,
ckp <>


Suck is a soapbox for media
junkies who hate media, and a
disproof-of-concept for
networked publishing. We do
that thing we do every day,
we never throw away our
trash, and sometimes we talk
to strangers. We'd rather you
waste an hour on the weekends
at our site than use
Freeloader to do the work for
you, but we're not that
finicky about the way we're
used, when you get right down
to it.

As for TOCs, Slate, and other
ease-of-use concerns, it
sounds like you'd prefer a
print version. Unfortunately,
there are no cheap servers
for that sort of
distribution. And besides, we
hate being online, too, which
is why it makes perfect sense
for us all to be here.


Does Suck Alumni status
suggest that the Duke and Ian
Flaming have departed for a
new "opportunity?" Or are
they sitting back and letting
cash roll in without doing
any work?

Keep up the Good Suck...

Colin Campbell


Aside from the minor case of
mistaken identity ("Duke" has
yet to shake his Suck
Producer title, though Carl
"Webster, Dunderhead, Nemo,
et al." Steadman has, by and
large, flown the coop), your
intuition serves you well.
Both Carl and Sean have
secured positions as
professional saboteurs within
the HotWired Complex, though
both have been known to be
lured back every now and
again by the sweet siren song
of inscrutable "projects"
demanding late nights,
thankless toil, and midnight
bickering. There's no place
like home, etc.


I enjoyed the 1/7/97 piece on
Carl Sagan and the space
, but was surprised by
your line about how "... 11
brave Americans lost their
lives on Challenger when it
exploded shortly after launch
11 years ago."

11? Were Gilligan, the
Skipper, and those @#*!!
Howells stowed away somewhere
aboard? Seven, Suck. Seven
Astronauts, eleven years ago.
Just think 7-11; it's the
perfect mnemonic device.

Shawn Metcalf


Actually, we were initially
under the mistaken impression
that the ill-fated mission
included Reed Richards,
Benjamin J. Grimm, Sue
Richards and Johnny Storm.
But that turned out to be
another disaster entirely,
and the victims didn't
actually die, they were just
badly sunburnt. We apologize
for the confusion.

Some comments on the "new,
improved" Suck:

Moving the ads to the bottom,
instead of the side, was a
bad move. Because you use a
narrow column, the side space
that you used to use for them
was otherwise wasted screen
real estate, so they were
harmless there. In their new
location, they take away
valuable reading area. Try it
on a Windows system at
640x480. Miserable, no?

You've made nice use of Terry
Colon's graphics in the new
version. Good move; they're
one of the better things
about Suck.

Pitch was getting tired,
anyway. The first few were
good, but you seemed to be
running out of ideas. Time to
"pitch" it.

The new feature of "other
articles by" the author of
the one you're reading is

The Random Filler Generator (I
got "Error processing this
directive") and Random Hit
and Run Generator
(got a
screen with graphics and
stuff, but no Hit and Run
items) don't seem to work
yet. [Fixed -Ed.]


Mark J. Dulcey <>


I'm not really suprised at the
reduction in content of your
site. It was taking too long
to read each day, anyways.
Hopefully you can now focus
on quality Suck, rather than
quantity Suck.

I am going to bitch about the
ad banner, however. It's in
the way!

I suppose I'm a stodgy
conservative when it comes to
HTML, but I like my ad
banners flush left, where
they don't get in the way of
my reading.

And where do you get off
calling my Suck membership
card "inane"? It's adhered
with pride on the side of my

David Sparks



Filler is broken. And I tried
to click on your ad links to
make it appear that I give a
rat's ass, but the URL
redirector is broken as well.
Heartache! Dismay! Suckage!

Arlie Davis


To those with concerns
concerning the new Suck: We,
too, are concerned with the
problems and errors and are
currently concerning
ourselves with fixing them.

As for format criticisms,
suffice it to say that we're
ear. It's nice to know you
care enough to gripe, and, as
always, nothing is set in
stone, so stay tuned and
hopefully someday Suck will
please all of the people all
of the time. Until then, know
that we are listening - with
a child's mixture of
gratitude and resentment. But
like any clever brat, we'll
figure our shit out



Speed Reading Between the
by St. Huck

A couple of cross references,
if I could only remember
them. Oh well.

Recent novel called Feersum
(ie, Fearsome Engine,
spelled phonetically); big
chunks are written in a
unique phonetic spelling that
cannot be speed read, forcing
you to read it slowly.

Short story, long time ago, by
god knows who; Vonnegut? Ted
Sturgeon? A famous writer,
massively pissed off by speed
readers who took 3 minutes to
read something he'd labored
over for months, uttered his
"famous complaint": Fuck
them. I write slow. He then
procedes to respace all his
writing (ie, he pr oce des
tores paceal lhisw rit ing)
absolutely forcing the reader
to slow down enough to
actually think about what is
being read.

In fairness, 90% of what is
being published today should
be read at 1500 words per
second, since it has the
information density of
television. But was ever

The new format is every bit as
intelligible as the old



It's true that if we all
remembered to speed-read People and
Vanity Fair, we'd have more
time to savor Really Good
Writing. Instead, we end up
reading the latest Mona
Simpson novel and the back of
a Fruit Roll-Ups box with
about the same intensity. But
then, we're not exactly known
for our discriminating
tastes, are we?




Carl Steadman


Sean Welch