for 20 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










 


Carl Steadman
Co-Founder

 


Sean Welch
Suckgineer

Suck 3.0

Yeah whatever. I was at least
hoping for a new logo. Oh
well. The two-week layoff
with only those "predictions"
was apparently just an excuse
to go home for the holidays
and drink gin and juice with
those whiners you went to
high school with.

Two things and all will be
forgiven: 1) make the text
window have the focus at
startup instead of the ad
window, and 2) stop those
annoying asides from the
"editor" in the responses to
reader mail. It makes me feel
like I'm reading the letters
page from a late '70s Marvel
comic.

Peas,

Jonathan Cook
<jdcook@students.wisc.edu>

 

Can't speak for all the
Sucksters, but I'll have you
know that I spent my vacation
trying to figure out if my
mom was attempting to hold
back tears of disappointment
("You work at... 'Suck'?") or
if it was just her eye
infection acting up again.
People I went to high school
with won't talk to me
anymore.

As for your requests: 1) No
can do. By our advertisers'
logic, what you're tuning in
for is the text - a wack
assumption, but it's a useful
and somewhat lucrative
delusion - so it makes sense
to show you something you
don't want to see while
you're waiting for something
you want to see. 2) The truth
is much more bleak and
twisted than any Marvel
comic, as both the responses
and "asides" are the product
of the same hand... they are
less a portrait of his
artistic influences than an
unwitting snapshot of an
extremely fragile and
somewhat delusional persona.
Someday, these pages may
studied for clues to his
fiery descent into madness...
You call him the Duke of URL,
we call him "Boss."

Carrots,

Ann O'Tate

 
 

What happened to you guys? You
seemingly had the ideal
situation - hated, loathed,
yet impossible to ignore. Now
it not only seems possible to
ignore you, but easily
accomplished. You're bland.
Evil, smelly, and bland. What
a strange combination. Did
somebody leave? People like
me, trying desperately to
scrape a few shekels out of
the web have depended on you
to feed our masochistic
cravings but it appears
you've joined us here at the
bottom of the media food
chain. What a disappointment
to find out that you suck,
too.

 

Whiteshark - Curt Sorkin
<csorkin@whiteshark.com>

 

"Hated, loathed, yet
impossible to ignore" - you
certainly have an interesting
conception of what comprises
an "ideal situation," Curt,
but at least you're
consistent (if slightly
redundant). Anyways, thanks
for the note welcoming us to
the nadir of the mediaverse.
Remember, there's always room
at the bottom!

 
 

Press Release of the Day

 What is a Webmovie?
		  
Webmovies are a revolutionary
new concept in story telling.
The full text of a novel,
plus something books can
never offer: a multi-media
wall with hundreds of images
that constantly change as you
progress through the story.
Real actors on digital sets,
video, animation, sound and
music bring the story to
life.
		   
The only thing paperback
novels offer that Webmovies
do not is the cover price.
Webmovies are FREE.
   
"We pay for production with
advertising banners,"
explains WebMovie
writer/producer Phil Flora.
It is the
advertiser-supported model of
television with the advantage
that ads appear in separate
frames.
     
"Our ads never stop the show
like a TV commercial," says
Flora. "Everyone likes that."
Four more Webmovies are
currently in production.
Writers, movie-makers and
artists run the WebMovie
site. "WebMovie is a true
cyberspace company," says
Flora. "Our overhead is very
low." WebMovie's writers and
artists work from their homes
around the world and
coordinate with email and
story-boards posted on web
pages. After only a year in
operation, WebMovie is
already profitable. Revenue
comes from selling ad banners
and hosting hundreds of web
pages for film & video
production companies and
professionals. "With our low
overhead and no distributors
to take a cut," explains
Flora, "most revenue goes
directly to the writers,
designers and artists."
		      
More details and stills from
the first Webmovie production
are now available at our
web-based PR Department. 

Phil Flora
<philflora@webmovie.com>

 

It'd be easy to just wallop on
this charmingly amateur
attempt at media manipulation
(and here we refer to the
press release, not the site
itself, which is a whole
'nuther kettle of fish, if
you catch our drift). Fer
instance:

"Free," eh? Except for the
initial $3,000 investment in
a computer and net
connection, of course, which
is just about what you'd pay
for a decent laserdisc
set-up, a purchase which
would provide you with
ad-free text as well as
"images that constantly
change as you progress
through the story" (a little
feature that around here we
like to refer to as
"motion"').

Or: "We pay for production
with advertising banners"?
And here we were buying
lottery tickets with our
parents' Gold Cards...

But what really intrigues us
about Phil's gambit is the
assumption that the hellhound
on the web's trail isn't, as
so many have assumed, TV or
movies, but paperback books.
Or maybe this rather quaint
proposition isn't as
ass-backwards as it sounds:
If a book sucks, at least you
can wipe your ass with it -
try that move with a
terminal, and you'll give new
meaning to the term "media
bottom-feeder."

 
 

The Shit

I would like to know what the
sidebar in "The Fish" (titled
"The Shit") represents. It is
neither clickable, nor does
it appear to allude to your
other sections or features.

Maybe if I lived in the US,
I'd get it right away, but in
Venezuela, it just goes over
our heads.

Just Curious,
Anonymous

 

Actually, "The Shit" was
crafted precisely to go over
the heads of the residents of
Venezuela. It's working!

But we'll give you a hint:
It's just some stupid list
with no bearing on the world
whatsoever. Oh, and while
we're at it, you should know
that this is just some stupid
website with no bearing on
the world whatsoever.

 
 

Saw your new "The Shit" list
today, where you have
"oscillococcinum" listed. Is
it on the list because it -
being a homeopathic remedy -
is pure bullshit, or because
you think it's "the shit?"
Look at the label, do the
math - the stuff has no
active ingredients. Have one
of the classics majors on
your staff translate the
Latin name of the so-called
active component.

David G. Shaw <dshaw@tiac.net>

 

Okay, doctor. We can't testify
to the efficacy of any
homeopathic mumbo-jumbo cure,
but at least taking it leaves
us with a Positive Mental
Attitude and a vague feeling
that some ancient Chinese
secret is gonna make us all
better again. But your advice
is to imbibe only those
substances containing "active
ingredients," is that
correct? Otherwise said
substance has no benefit
whatsoever? Perhaps you could
ship us some antibiotics, and
a few bottles of Halcion and
Valium while you're at it,
and we'll skip this wacky
fresh fruit and vitamin
regimen altogether.

 
 

Culture of Complaint.com

In response to Tuesday's Suck
about web geeks and their
"horrible" working
conditions, I say this: You
should hear the geeks whine
when they're forced to work
with nongeeks.

A friend of mine, a brilliant
programmer with an artistic
sensibility that makes his
web designs truly inspiring
recently took a job as a
systems facilitator - he
keeps the server from
crashing. He tells me stories
of his "inept and
incompetent" coworkers who,
when he is doing important
system stuff, come to him and
ask him to fix the microphone
feature on their Macs. He
looks at them disparagingly
and asks, "Do you really want
me to stop doing what I'm
doing - maintaining the
system, pulling off all of
the infected files you idiots
download from the net,
cleaning up your messes like
you were all incontinent old
fools - so that I can go fix
your microphone? So you can
hear your little fucking
talking moose? I'll do it,
but I just want to make sure
that that's what you want me
to do for you instead of
doing the things that keep
you in your job."

By that time, of course, the
coworker has backed out the
door, whimpering softly,
turning to run to his boss as
soon as my friend stops his
rant. The boss chastises the
coworker for bothering "the
computer guy" when he is busy
doing "computer stuff." And,
because no one but him knows
what the hell is going on, he
rules his domain (pun
intended).

The moral: If you want a happy
geek, bury him in a bomb
shelter with pizza and a
computer. If you want a whiny
geek, make him work at
Microsoft. If you want a geek
who verges on megalomania
because of his frustration
and general weirdness,
mainstream him into society
at large and watch the sparks
fly.

 

While a few, if not all, of us
are certainly guilty of
megalomania, at least a few
of us find this particular
species of geek-
as-condescending-tyrant
more than mildly chafing.
[Three words: pot, kettle,
black. - ed.]
Granted, it
can't be easy being
interrupted 50 times a day
for any reason, let alone to
"troubleshoot" some basic
setting or option most
fourth-graders today have a
handle on, but why should we
learn all that crap about
computers when these
winky-dinks get paid to
handle them for us?

 
 

thanks for your well-aimed dis
of the pathetic angst of web
kvetchers and the even more
pathetic comparison of
themselves to sweatshoppers.

want some really depressing
work life? try being a single
parent with two - or more -
jobs. these web designers who
think they're in such dire
straits because they don't
get paid enough to create
decent (or even lame) content
are a disgrace.

hard work is its own reward if
you like what you do. if you
don't like creating websites,
go pull lattes or serve
martinis, but stop taking up
our bandwidth with your
shameless self-absorption and
whining.

btw, sorry about the e.e.
cummings style, but i'm
feeding my baby with one hand
so i can't hit the shift key.

suck on, brothers & sisters,
jody lentz
<jody@background-us.com>

 

Babies change everything,
don't they? (Hold it - we
don't even want to know. Not
yet.)

But then, you have to be
indignant about whiners if
you're gonna be a mother,
right? Otherwise, what - ?
You're sitting around
affirming every one of your
brat's complaints, until he
or she grows up with an
indignant sense of
entitlement that makes for
the perfect yuppie tool.

It's good to hear that at
least someone out there isn't
raising yuppie tools. Suck
on, Baby Lentz!

 
 

Odwalla

Hi - I live in Australia.
Where can I get Odwalla??

I need to know.

G.C. Beaton
<writers@eastend.com.au>

 

Well, as you may know, we love
answering questions
completely unrelated to Suck,
so you've come to the right
people.

News Flash: Odwalla is fresh
fruit juice. Short of flying
over and up and down and
under on a daily basis, you
can only get it here, on the
West Coast of the U.S., where
health-obsessed
juice-snarfers frolic
blissfully.

Prediction: Soon, you'll be
able to get fresh juice
wherever you are right now,
just as long as a whole bunch
of you Aussies get a
hankering for it. That's
called "demand," and where
there's a "demand," there's
also a "supply" - of
Raspberry Smoothies, that is.

Advice: Send us more mail,
please, with more questions
completely unrelated to Suck.
Who wants to talk about Suck,
anyway? Isn't it getting old
yet? Who, on God's green
earth, could possibly give a
crap about Suck anymore,
aside from the handful of
losers who work there?
Please, more random
questions. We probably don't
know, but guessing is fun,
and it takes up column
space!

 
 

Green Machine

Very interesting and amusing -
but a lot of what you say can
be applied to any kind of,
shall we say, "entertainment
chain." They thrive on
mediocrity of every sort.
Take Blockbuster or any of
the CD chains - no one there
has any real knowledge of the
product, and at $4.25 an hour
why should they? Ask one of
those Blockbuster goons for
Mishima, and they'll direct
you to the Kung Fu section.
Ask for Sunday Bloody Sunday
and you'll be directed to the
Horror section. Or The Dead,
which is usually filed under
spooky. Go to Sam Goody's and
ask for Otis Redding and some
17-year-old moron will say
"Is he a new guy or an old
guy?"

Rodney Welch
<RWelch@scjob.sces.org>

 

But what would an
entertainment chain be
without a value chain? If
mediocrity is the principle
passion of the middling
masses, then that makes it a
valuable thing, indeed. And
being massively middling
ourselves, we just sit back
and take it over and over
again, preferably with one of
those nifty microwave buckets
o' popcorn and a pack of
Twizzlers.

 
 

The Fish

After a week of reading the
new fiSh coLumn, I think I
finAlly geT it: you kEep
toSsing new Letters ATop thE
old Stuff, Like A composT
hEap... Seems Like A Trend
Emerging. What'S next -
abandon your repeatedLy
delAyed plans for charging
subscripTion fEes?

greg allen
<gallen@echonyc.com>

 

Yup, you've mastered our
unique letters logic. A team
of experts are en route from
Redmond at this very moment
to help us accomplish the
same with yours.

 
 

Suck 3.0

Wait a minute! What's this
mealymouth in today's Fish
about needing the
bottom-feeding horizontal ad
pane because of the kind of
ads you need to put up?

In all the days, before and
after the change in format,
that I have looked at Suck, I
have yet to see an ad that
wasn't SQUARE.

In case you were asleep in
high school geometry class (I
was, too, but somehow this
came through subliminally
when all the Pythagorean
proofs turned to vapor),
horizontal vs. vertical is
all the same to a square.

E.J. Barnes
barbix@tiac.net

 

Like we said - and this
applies not only to EJ but
each and every other square
fetishist out there - enjoy
those blocks while they last.
234 by 60, that's our ticket
out of this taco stand!

 
 

I noticed the cookie set on
the page opener and I accept
it every time. But I think to
myself, why don't you just
fucking ask me what you want
to know? I dig my suck, I
don't even consider it a
waste of time - and it's
FREE. So you bet your sweet
ass I would take 30 seconds
to fill out a survey of info
for you to help attract
advertisers to keep you in
business. Throw a survey up
there, tell people why it's
there and I bet you will be
surprised at how many
suckster fans are willing to
help out.

Brian R. Knapp
webmaster@putnam.com

 

Such candor! It's
inspirational, really. We're
almost sorry to have to
disappoint you, but we really
know a bit too much about
Suck's readership already.
Having tired of clocking
stats, we've turned over the
daily reporting of traffic,
domains, hourly breakdowns,
popular referrers, the whole
enchilada to the Dilberts at
HotWired. Who promptly
installed the latest version
of Apache, which defaults to
cookies aplenty. Which we're
pretty sure are being used to
do pretty much the same thing -
track traffic patterns.
Patterns. As in, not
individual users. If this
still bugs anyone, well,
PGPCookie.cutter should be
available any day now, for
only $19.95...

 
 

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.