for 22 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


 

Meet the Alcor staff

I hate it when my brain
cracks.

http://www.alcor.
org/staff.html

William Welch, Scientist
<welch@arris.com >

Never ones to turn down the
opportunity to make a crack
reference, we followed the
link you suggested, Will.
Imagine our disappointment
when the pipes involved
turned out to be pod-sized,
and the dummies were
contained therein, rather
than sucking on.

Ann O'Tate, Smartass

 
 

So that "Other Works by" link
is paying off...

So, off of the greeting card
bit
and advertising, I was
thinking the other night as I
watched a "letterboxed" movie
(original 35mm aspect ratio
2.35:1; black bars at the top
and bottom of the screen)
that that black space will
probably be filled with
corporate logos or even
sprawling ads. Of course most
film is transferred to fit
the TV aspect ratio, but it
gets chopped in the process.

I could see the industry execs
going "Mmm, we can give 'em
the better letterboxed
pictures (i.e. value) and
conveniently fill the ugly
black space with nothing else
but ADS!" The networks all
put their little shit-ass
logos in the corner
already.It's only a matter of
bringing it to someone's
attention before the logos
will be flashing as The Wild
Bunch
rolls before your eyes
in its anamorphic glory. Then
suddenly a logo pops right
after the gun slinging: Smith
& Wesson, yeehah!

"A.Recchia"
<ARecchia@veinc.com>

St. Huck responds:

Advertising in that wasted
letterbox space is the best
idea I've heard since I read
about a company that was
putting food-dye messages on
hot dogs. As the movies that
tend to get letterboxed are
generally the arty, boring
ones (Wild Bunch
notwithstanding), I eagerly
await your idea's
implementation - the
advertising will undoubtedly
raise the interest level.

Regards,

Huck

 
 

Dear Suck,

I've recently been corrupted
into the ways of the "dummy
pipe", and I must admit it is
pretty fun. However, I'm
worried about some of the bad
effects smoking can produce,
like delayed reflexes, a
dopish intellect, and other
aesthetically unpleasing
stoner/hippy personality
traits. The reason I'm asking
you clever Sucksters is that
you obviously are on some
kind of dope trip, what with
all the obscure drug
references and crack
propaganda. Yet, your writing
remains articulate,
well-written (although
ultimately pointless), and
obviously it requires no
little power of concentration
to run Suck. So, tell me, is
it worth it? Help me out! One
hit and I'm already
addicted!!

Landon Bradley
<bradle01@Camosun.BC.CA>

P.S. Stop picking on supposed
tyrants like Time Warner, go
for some truly evil and
insane corporations like
McDonald's, the American
Medical Association and the
American Beef/Cattle
whatever. They have abused
the public through media much
more than Bugs Bunny ever
could.

Hasn't television taught you
anything, Landon? Don't do as
we say, do as we do... which
is to say, don't do much.
What appears to be
"articulate, well-written"
content is actually the
result of advances in
"object-oriented journalism,"
a new programming methodology
that allows for the rapid
manipulation of pseudo-news
items, off-the-shelf
opinions, and standard jokes
into what resembles original
commentary. It's saved our
crack-addled ass many a time.

And thanks for the tip re:
"truly evil and insane
corporations." While we'll
hold off on the Mickey D's
muckraking (nothing satisfies
after a three-day rock binge
like a Quarter Pounder),
we'll get right on the AMA...
it's our understanding they
oppose the recent California
proposition legalizing
medicinal marijuana. Not that
any of the loonies here on
the Left Coast would let a
silly thing like medical
standards get between them
and their weed. Considering
the number of food fascists
and vehement vegetarians out
here, it's actually
McDonald's that's more in
trouble than Prop 215. If
only we could get the
"American Beef/Cattle
whatever" behind a "medicinal
use of beef" proposition.

 
 

Fabulous Shit

Loved the piece. But, isn't
"Everybody Poops" an R.E.M.
ballad?

Lance
<increasing.drop.in.
temperature@glassdog.com>

 

Close, Lance, very close.
"Everybody Poops" actually
began as a youth-oriented
disquisition on what truckers
like to call "laying cable."
With its breakaway success,
the "Everybody Poops" brand
was deemed suitable for
leverage into the medium of
sound, and R.E.M. was the
obvious choice to implement
it. Soon thereafter, a video
was filmed, and the clip
received heavy rotation on
MTV - a channel which, not
coincidentally, is available
on cable. Which explains
the confusion.

 
 

Keane vs. Colon

Y'know, you should really
fire Terry Colon and
try and get Bil Keane (of
Family Circus fame) working
for you. Think of all the
wacky things you could do:
warm family moments involving
a Suck staff member and one
of their deceased invisible
relatives, knee-slapping "it
happens in my family too"
moments and, of course, a
zany picture that lets you
follow a Suck staff member
doing a bunch of pointless
things ending in a punch line
that is more than a slight
letdown. Plus, he is old
enough that you can pay him
five cents a day and get no
complaints! Win-win!

"Rae" <raef@mb.sympatico.ca>

Few people know that before
Suck hired Terry Colon, we
engaged in protracted
negotiations with Keane
Studios. Bil himself would
never have to put ink to
paper, he insisted, while
assuring us that one of his
talented interns could
complete all the required
illustrations in the classic
"Keane style." It turned out
that this "young art
associate" had worked with
Bil for upwards of 20 years,
working on nothing but those
atrocious "Not Me!" gags.
When we saw that he simply
couldn't break out of that
rut, we opted for Colon. At
least, that's the way Carl
tells it.

 
 

Worshipping the Bovinity

Now that you mention it, what
exactly is the deal on that
cow?

J <Jonathan@unix.asb.com>

For starters, it's not a cow,
it's a bull. And, if my
hazily recalled third-grade
sources were correct, the
drawing on the bottle
featured the wrong end of the
beast.

 
 

Suck 3.0

Whoa, you come back from
Christmas break and Suck
completely changes on you.

I see there is a return to the
fish, barrel, and smoking gun
theme. Is this some kind of
retro thing? A nostalgia for
the first crappy design, only
this time with ads? Our
culture seems to double back
on itself pretty fast, but to
return to a java-free,
links-down-the-side page
after only a couple of years?

Haven't had too much time to
look around, but it seems
that net.moguls and a version of
Vacuum are the only things to
survive. That's unfortunate
because I never really liked
net.moguls. For my money (of
which there is very little)
Zero Baud was the keeper. But
if there continue to be
references to crack and
whoop-ass
I'll be happy. I
don't ask for much, just
drugs and violence.

I also noticed that Suck 3.0
features more of the talents
of Terry Colon, your artiste.
This guy is the shit. He
should be paid handsomely.

Jeremy Lowe <jlowe@uiuc.edu>

We've said it before, and
others agree: The retro gap
is closing fast, and we're
afraid that the past we gaze
back towards might soon be
the perennial worst time in
history - the present. Look
no further than the Wall
Street Journal
putting
thrift-store shopping above
the fold yesterday. Reality
as we know it is doomed to
collapse before next winter's
shopping season, but that
leaves us plenty of time to
beat the curve, and thus Suck
3.0.

But things are actually more
fucked-up than they seem.
Sure, Vacuum and net.moguls
made the cut. But with
Filler every Wednesday, and
Zero Baud-like essays showing
up more and more often, we're
almost as retro 2.0 as retro
1.0. That's right, it's a
mess. A great big, beautiful,
epistemologically bankrupt,
homologically dissonant,
"self-consuming yet still
starved" mess.

But then again, so is
everything else. So, fuck it.
Please drive through.

 
 

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 as 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.