for 10 February 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


Carl Steadman


Sean Welch


Hidden Persuaders

Cheerleading for positive
market development rather
than being content to grind
out guilt bombs is new to
you. Perhaps that was your
intent here too, but in that
case you hid in the bushes
too long. No pounce. You know
what I mean?

Simply, I think you may have
stumbled upon your calling.
Life imitates art this time.
you should be a marketing
director, not a critic.
There's a great ad in you
just dying to get out.

Is that what's going on here?
While thousands of ad men and
copy writers daydream about
writing for writing's sake,
you, a writer (albeit poorly
paid), are really a just a
repressed smoke seller.

It's fine to laugh at Joan
Rivers' target audience as
long as you truly respect
them for what that they are:
the Primary Life Force. It's
like making fun of oxygen
consumption as a human
weakness. I guess it's true,
maybe funny and slightly
demeaning but c'mon. You
obviously understand this and
it makes me proud. Proud of
Suck. Proud of Wired. Proud
of America. Even our deviants
are mainstream.

Morgan Warstler

Whoa, there Morgan - yes,
someone's been hiding in the
bushes, but 'tweren't Suck.
We came out as capitalists (a
dangerous move in San
Francisco) years ago, and
we've been proudly marching
around in the emperor's new
clothes, a thin layer of
"content" barely covering our
naked ambition, ever since.
And as far as writing ad
copy, well, contrary to
popular belief, straddling
the editorial/advertising
firewall feels terrific. Not
that we wouldn't jump at the
chance to wallow full-time in
the marketing department -
surely, as you point out, the
fertilizer for market forces'


Filler: Tall Dollarama

You people are way too
obsessed with money.

Aldrich <>

How could you tell? We thought
we hid our deepest urges to
acquire huge tracts of land
and automatic massage chairs
under layers and layers of
context and subtext and
posttext! You must be some
kind of highly skilled
analyst/psychoanalyst. You
read us like a training
manual aimed at a reader with
a 2nd-grade education!
Please, stay away, we feel so
revealed! You're paralyzing
us with self-consciousness,
blinding us with applied

Polly Esther


Polly, I think you're great.
You're the best bit of Suck
and you should be famous and
be a TV celebrity. Are you
good-looking as well? If so I
want to marry you. Can you
send me a photo?

All my love,

Name Withheld

And if I'm not good-looking, I
shouldn't be a) famous, b) a
TV celebrity, or c) your
wife, right? All that's fine
with me, just as long as I
can still get stinking rich.
How much will you pay me for
a photo?

Polly Esther


That was the funniest thing i
have read on the web since
that email one you wrote.

I have to admit that I laughed
every time you made a
reference to smacking the
shit out of somebody. Can't
get enough of that.


Well, I guess that's better
than saying you can't get
enough of smacking the shit
out of somebody. Depending on
who that somebody is, of

By the way, would you be
interested in sending me some
cash for every time I make
you laugh?



That was damn funny. The whole
office was rolling. I
especially liked Figure 1. It
made me realize I'm getting
over a "womanly woman"... in
fact I'm resisting the
temptation to clip that
description and send it to

Instead, just send me some
money. The more the better.

Polly Esther


Soft Ploy

Dear Sir/Madam,

Looking for a great unique
Australian soft toy for that
special person? Or would you
like to cuddle up to one

Come and have a look around
'Wombats Australiana' at...

Our toys are sure to please
you or your special friend!

Just last week we were looking
for a great unique Australian
soft toy. But we couldn't
find one, so we had to settle
for a San Franciscan soft
taco, instead.

Are Wombats at all related to
Wookiees? No matter. We have
no "special friends."



You guys have good taste in
food, though decidedly
lacking in Slurpees. Slurpees
are important. Very
important. Particularly pina
colada ones. Particularly
from gas stations, where
you're fairly sure they're
made with the same petroleum
products as the automotive
preparations two aisles over.

Don't forget the Slurpees. You
know all they've done for

Grey <>

Slurpees are overrated,
friend. They're just ice, and
sugary water, and gallons of
empty ironically-embracing-
white-trash hype, and no
amount of campaigning on
Apu's part is gonna change
our minds. Now maybe, just
maybe, if cola Slurpees were
more widespread, instead of
the more familiar and
hauntingly pungent cherry or
lemon-lime flavors, we could
start to see your point.


Attack of the Killer

What with the responses we've
gotten to Furious George's
America First tirade on
Canadian comedy, you have to
wonder how NAFTA ever got

The American contribution to
Canadian comedy is
significant, but only as a
source of comic material. We
are greatly amused by our
neighbors to the south, and
have a great time spoofing
them. However, we also have a
great time spoofing
ourselves, and that is
perhaps where the major
difference between our
respective comedies lies: We
are able to laugh at
ourselves, and that is why we
produce so many world-class
comedians and so many
genuinely funny people.

Unfortunately, for too long,
we have had a horrible
tendency to feel that our
comedians, artists and
musicians haven't made it
until they break into the
American market. Our Canadian
inferiority complex has
caused great harm to our
comedy, film, television and
music industries. This is
changing, I'm happy to
report, especially in the
music industry. Hopefully it
will spread to comedy, film
and television as well.

In closing, gimme Bob as an
uncle over Sam any day!

Your pal in Toronto,

Luis Cardoso

Hmm, you're right... if you
include the music industry in
an account of Canadian
culture, it's easy to
recognize how many "genuinely
funny people" have come out
of Canada... and we don't
just mean "funny-looking"!
Alanis Morrisette's success
is probably the biggest prank
pulled on America since the
we got suckered into buying
Alaska (which condemned us
forever to trans-Canada


I believe it was an SCTV
alumnus who summed up the
success of SCTV thus:
"Americans watch TV, but
Canadians watch American TV."
It is our status as outsiders
that gives us our ironic

And in Canada, this phenomenon
is evident at the next level
down. Our funniest show right
now - This Hour Has 22
Minutes - comes from a bunch
of Newfoundlanders. These
outsiders, who didn't even
join the confederation until
the 1940s, are to Canada much
as the rest of us are to the
United States, and so they
can offer us a perspective
that we do not have.

I can only wonder what you
Americans (twice removed)
would think of them?!

Roy Schulze <>

Hmmm, your point is
well-taken, but there's
something not quite right

Newfoundland : Canada ::
Canada : United States

We read E. Annie Proulx (and
we listen to Big Black), so
we wonder if a more
appropriate analogy might be:

Newfoundland : Canada ::
Jordan, Minnesota : United


You have an attitude all too
typical of many Americans
that really grates on your
neighbours [sic] up north.
(And if you put a after
"neighbours" [sic], I'll
shove my toque down your

A few years ago, Saturday
magazine devoted an
issue to publishing views on
Canada from non-Canadians,
especially Americans. One of
the contributors was a
Hollywood screenwriter/
producer/brown-noser; his
article was about a
French-language movie from
Quebec called Le
Déclin de L'Empire
Decline of the American
Empire," if you must know)
which was very successful
not only in its native
Quebec but in the ROC as
well (sorry... "Rest Of
Canada"; was that too
culturally specific?).

The writer - if I may be so
liberal as to apply the term
to someone who makes a living
in Hollywood - first declared
that he could see no
difference between Canadian
and American culture. He then
went on, in the rest of the
article, to specify how he
would have to change this
Canadian script in order for
it to be successful in the
American market, despite his
previous declaration of how
indistinguishable our
cultures are. (For example:
"The characters spend too
much time talking about sex
and never doing it," I recall
him saying. "There would have
to be more real, on-screen
sex," he declared, proving
he'd missed the point of the
movie entirely.)

Oh, the dramatic irony! I
still wonder if the article
was a hoax cooked up by a
Saturday Night staffer, but
when I see the typical dreck
generated by studios in
Southern California, the
sheer vapidity of the article
was entirely believable. And
comments like those in
yesterday's Fish only
reinforce my belief that a
real American wrote the

Keep on suckin'...

Ron Stewart

Oooh... what's a toque?