for 14 January 1997. Updated every WEEKDAY.
 
 


Joey Anuff
Producer

 


Terry Colon
Art Director

 


Ana Marie Cox
Executive Editor

 


T. Jay Fowler
Production Editor

 


Heather Havrilesky
Senior Editor

 


Owen Thomas
Copy Editor


 

Thinking Outside the Mailbox

 

An impressive list, but you
neglected to mention The
Witty News Analysis Email.
Every second person with an
email account is a Bill Maher
manqué (if that term
is not a tautology), leaping
at the chance to make an
Uproarious Gloss on the Wacky
News of the Day. The Analysis
Email might be a deliciously
kooky theory about TWA 800 or
a zanily fictitious
development in one of the OJ
cases, but it's always a big
steaming pile of comedy, a
veritable swirly of mirth.

Don't know about you, but I've
already counted about 20
different emails written in
(or offering translation
programs for) Ebonics. This
trend offers stunning proof
of two points:

1) Emailers can spin endless
non-variations on a theme.

2) Whitey will
enthusiastically seize any
possible excuse to employ a
Stepin Fetchit voice.

Yr. Pal,

Tim Cavanaugh
<tac@sirius.com>

You're quite right about the
propensity to spin endless
non-variations on a theme...
Ironically enough [ugh -
ed.]
, this week's Filler
dabbles in this
non-variations-on-a-theme
theme in a shameless
pandering for cheap laughs.
Nothing new there.

Although we prefer to refer to
Ebonics as "jive-ology,"
since we're all butt-white
here, we have to
enthusiastically agree that
Caucasians do seem hell-bent
on speaking jive as much as
humanly possible, and also
rather enjoy referring to
other white people as
lily-white, as if our love of
Dr. Dre saves us from being
tagged as 100 percent,
full-on cracker white. We're
just so damn square that
we'll take a small slice of
some of that funky stuff
every chance we get. For more
big laughs, see The New York
Times' piece on gangsta
slang, including such
classics as "keepin' it real"
with the example ("He shaved
his head to show he was
keepin' it real.") lifted
straight from Whitey classic
Clueless.

White people are such losers.

 
 

Suck 3.0

 

When Suck 2.0 came out, I
wrote in and said that it was
"an abortion"... and also
said that "maybe over the
next few weeks I'll grow into
someone who likes it."

Well, I soon became even MORE
annoyed, because I did grow
to like Suck 2.0... you
bastards had stolen the gift
of bitterness from me.

Now you present Suck 3.0...
and I find that I like it,
right off the bat. What does
this mean? Will karmic
balance be restored by my
soon growing to loath it? One
can only hope... err... or
something.

In the spirit of making Suck
into an abortion again, you
might try giving the readers
exactly what they want (hey,
it works for democratic
governments).

On that note, suggestions for
your to-do list:

1) Keep up the crack
references. My friends and I
would have even less to
discuss without inane
third-hand references to a
drug our white-bread
middle-class asses have never
seen, let alone used.

2) Continue to mock those
posers who feel compelled to
tell you in letters that
they've been reading Suck
since the early days. Their
desperate attempt at getting
a bit of indie cred is really
annoying to those of us
who've been reading Suck
since the first week or
so.... not that THIS is an
attempt at cred-grabbing, you
understand...

3) More columns that give a
taxonomy of stupid behavior
that we all engage in. Your
"kinds of crushes" and more
recent "thinking outside the
mailbox" missives were dead
on target. I look forward to
reading "different kinds of
manager weenies," "different
political rants enountered at
the lunch table," "different
crack-smoking affectations,"
"different lame puns using
the word 'suck,'" etc.

I have more suggestions, but I
find that they're all of as
poor quality as those that
I've already written, so I'll
spare you further pain.
Kevorkian-eqsuely yours,

Travis J.I. Corcoran
<Travis-Corcoran@deshaw.com>

 

Okay, there's definitely an
irresistibly ironic [Stop it
with that word! - ed.]
theme
going on here, something
about illogical
one-upmanship. Whitey thinks
he's better than Whitey
because he pretends he smokes
crack and Whitey doesn't.
Zoinks.

And then there's this
indie-cred thing. People who
mention that they were
reading Suck since the early
days sicken those who've been
reading Suck since Day One?
Sounds like the old "I was
listening to The Police way
before anyone else was!"
Yeah, sure, a lot of people
were listening to The Police
long before the pre-teens
discovered them.

We understand you were being
ironic [Ouch! Ouch! - ed.]
about these things yourself,
but isn't it all so mundane,
so repetitive, so incredibly
pathetic? How's that for a
taxonomy of stupid behavior?
[Make sure we get that Prozac
prescription renewed, pronto.
-ed.]

 
 

Seriously...

Pleeze pleeze pleeeeeeze put
the ad links back on the
side.

End the pain.

End the suffering.

Remember when you were (are)
young and you said to
yourself "I just want to have
an effect on the world some
day... hopefully a positive
one." Well now's your change.
Go! Do It! Now!

Matt <matt.calkins@attws.com>

 

So you say you hate Suck's new
ads? Wondering how
out-of-touch we'd have to be
to plop a extra-wide diaper
on our long-legged layout?
Well, we can't make you like
it, and, worse, we can't make
ourselves like it, but it
bears mentioning that our
inscrutable designs were not
generated ex nihilo - there's
a method to our sadness.

The keyword is IAB. It stands
for Internet Advertising
Bureau, and it represents an
ad hoc committee of
advertising professionals
who've cooperated to create
what purport to be
"guidelines" but actually
function as de facto
standards for the shapes and
sizes of web ad banners.
Glide through a few dozen
sites on the web right now,
and you're likely to find
hundreds of variations on
size specs - they may all
look vaguely alike, but they
tend to be based on arbitrary
sizes set by the sites'
producers.

This makes for a major ass-end
pain for advertisers, who end
up having to custom-create
ads for every site they
contract with. The IAB
standards, which are quickly
being adopted by every
survival-minded ad-supported
website, unclutter the
drawing board. Nailing us
right where it counts, most
of the proposed sizes are
horizontally oriented,
leaving us with no option but
to cut into our holy writs.
Yup - you've noticed the same
scheme on other sites, and
we're here to tell you that
crack-pipe-huffing designers
are not the source of the
web's woes; they're simply
the messengers.

So, the bad news is that ads
in a side-frame can't happen,
at least not without severely
compromising Suck's spanking
new Jetsons-on-Ritalin
design. The good news is that
the bottom-frame ads will
soon be halved, reduced to 60
innocuous pixels, a twitching
paean to our newfound
knee-padded conformity. Real
soon.

 
 

Hi there.

I'm at work wasting time so I
downloaded the PointCast
thing. I was "pushed" an
article from HotWired that
informed me that I was on the
forefront of "push"
technology (implying, i
guess, that that's the only
way they're going to get you
to look at their web pages is
to "push" it in your face)...
anyway, whilst reading this
stuff I came across the
biggest load of shit I've yet
seen on the net, and I was
wondering if you folks had
already devoted energy to
pointing that out, and, if
not, to politely request that
you do.

The tepid pile o' poop was
courtesy John Katz writing on
"Netizen" (yuck) and going
just on and on and on about
some fantasy enlightenment
happening "online,"
immodestly comparing himself
and the online world of
alienated, maladjusted,
translucent skinned geeks
(myself included) favorably
to the likes of the founders
of western civilization,
quoting Kant firchrissakes. I
saw something in the SF Bay
Guardian
about the
questionable "Libertarian"
politics of HotWired and this
just pretty much confirms all
of the accusations they were
throwing at them.

Here's a particularly smelly
bit:

"And more than any other
political notion, we embrace
the freedom of moral men and
women to take responsibility
for their own lives, live
them freely, and make their
own way in the world."

Freedom to make your own way
in the world??? Isn't it nice
to be able to make up your
own community (the net) that
lets you not have to deal
with the one that gives you
problems? Anyway...

So, I guess it's an easy
target if I've managed to
bring up this much bile, but
you're so much better at it
than I am. And you get paid
to do it (I hope).

Please let me know if it gets
your goat like it got mine.

xo,

Jamie

 

We don't have a goat, Jamie,
but if we did we gladly
bequeath it to Katz for his
unwavering commitment to the
daily satire of
technopolitical satire. And,
no, we don't think it's
satire, we know it's satire -
just like the rest of the
web.

As for push, well, remember
Diamond Dave's old chestnut,
"Stick your head above the
crowd and someone will throw
a rock at it?" It would seem
this is the core of
interactive media strategy
for 1997, except it's your
head that's getting brained.

 
 

Duke,

I salivate over your data
stream, and become more and
more flattered as I meet
people who just "don't get"
suck.com. Your site reflects
pop culture in a way I
understand, by exposing: the
Godzillas of hypocrisy, the
meaningless truths and the
complete neglect of basic
logic that is oxymoronically
known to us as common sense.

You beat me to it (the essence
of suck.com), and for what
it's worth I nominate you for
Time's "Data Stream of the
Year".

Will Anderson
<ArchStanton@msn.com>

 

Ahh, what do you know?

 
 

Dear Duke,

Thanks for the plug. Nothing
says apple pie like the
wholesale sacrifice of
everything you hold dear to
the Almighty Dollar. And if
you liked my last nod to the
supremacy of sponsorship,
you'll love the next one. For
my next trick, I plan to
delve into a marriage of
mediums few have ever
considered. This electronic
web silliness will be one of
them. The other... well,
let's just say don't be
surprised if you see an
animated blimp buzz across
your screen in the near
future. Here's to Goodyear,
the future of the internet!

Rock on,

Mark Banker
Onion Admaster

"At least you've got a fresh
pair of trousers..."

 

A pleasure to be of service,
and here's hoping your
blue-sky apple pie
prostration ends with a
cobranding deal on the
AltaVista blimp. Remember,
the hot air always rises.

 
 

It seems as if more than one
member of your staff is what
one might call a would-be
novelist. Indeed, the book's
up there, in the brain, just
waiting for a paid vacation
to come spilling out on the
page in one, drug-inspired
vomit (a la Jack Kerouac's On
the Road
).

Well, I work for a second-rate
publishing house as a copy
editor/proofreader. I read,
all day, every day, books
about cats and dogs and
redneck baby names and
garbage far, far worse than
any whiny faux-intellectual
like myself should ever be
forced to devour.

So, I say this to all of those
people, including the author
of Wednesday's Suck article,
who have the book stored in
their head somewhere above
their overactive
hypothalamus, to write the
damn thing. It can't be much
worse than what we see in the
corner mega-chain bookstore.

Anonymous

 

You'd be surprised.

Actually, Polly is currently
working on a book of dog
names for upper-middle-class
white babies ("Taylor" isn't
nearly as colorful as "Rover"
or "Butch," is it, now?) But
she can't finish the book
proposal until she gets that
bacon-scented air freshener
patented.

Oops.

 
 

Suck 3.0

 

What the hell happened to your
letters page? It's suddenly
bland, conciliatory,
even-keeled... nice. Where's
the dummy pipe? Where's the
whoop-ass? Where's the
bitterness and sarcasm, the
bite-the-hand-that-feeds-you
stance towards your readers?

Please don't say you've
changed.

Jake Donham

 

We put away the dummy pipe for
a few days, in the guise of
"quitting." The whoop-ass is
going strong, though, thanks
to rising tensions in the
absence of that peaceful,
numbing cloud of dummy joy.

But when it comes to
complaints and concerns about
our redesign, we have to be
kinda nice, since the only
people who write are a)
longtime readers and b)
people who for some strange
reason give a shit. Everyone
else will be chided as
needed.

Including you. Stupidhead.

 
 

 
 

 


Carl Steadman
Co-Founder

 


Sean Welch
Suckgineer