for 12 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


Cracked-Up Morons

This is great... I am taking a
lame suck-ass Internet-based
computer course at my local
college, and we (for a
assignment) were to pick any
one WWW site, and review it.
Like, looking for their use
of pictures, frequency of
updates, and general

I (of course) picked good ol'
Suck... my professor (cough)
said in front of the whole
class that my choice was "a
poor choice considering all
the useful data out there,
and you should have picked
something better than a total
waste of bandwidth written by
cracked-up morons"... There's
a good one for you, total
waste of bandwidth,
cracked-up morons...

Just thought I'd let you know
about this one..

Sean Maguire

Actually, we pay Professor
Cough to spread the good news
of Suck in just such a way.
It's called Insidious
Negative PR, and it's
sweeping the nation. Here's
how it works: Leaning heavily
on the Very Cynical Attitude
of today's youth, we pay an
Authority Figure, preferably
a slightly buffoonish one (in
this case, Professor Cough),
to slander us publicly and
ruthlessly. Because we know
that in the context of a
Suck-ass Internet-based
Computer Course,
aforementioned ruthless
slander by Buffoon With
Authority will be immediately
translated into Positive PR
for Suck!

After all, what do you think
each and every one of your
classmates looked for that
night on the web? One of the
countless sites Professor
Cough said contained "useful
data," or the one site he
said was "a total waste of
bandwidth written by
cracked-up morons"?

The commercial world proves it
over and over and over again -
start with a brief
comparison of PBS and Fox TV:
Useful data is all very well
and good, but cracked-up
morons are far more


More Alert Readers Chime In!

From The Feature with 1000 Faces:

What's more, alert readers
will note that Suck has yet
to weigh in with anything
even approximating an insight
on the film itself. What does
that say about us? 

I'd say - as an alert reader -
that Suck is touching upon a
fundamental shift, not just
in the agenda of magazines,
but in the way we all think.

Philosophers have been
wondering whether objectivity
is all it's cracked up to be
for at least 150 years and
journalists, with the idea of
New Journalism, have been
wondering the same thing for
at least the last 20 years -
but the mass media has
continued to present the
(sometimes ludicrous)
façade of objectivity.
It has no choice - without
objectivity how do you
maintain a semblance of
"editorial authority"?

The Internet (even with all
the hoopla about being
"virtual") ironically moves
the question away from the
realm of the abstract and the
optional towards the realm of
the actual and inevitable.
There is no objective space
any longer.

"I don't miss it much at

A. Lert
Adelaide, Australia (an
Odwalla-free zone)

BTW Who'd have thought that a
parody of the way magazines
treat a blockbuster film
would lead to philosophy?
Wish I had the time to really
think this through...

* credit - line in a Tom Petty

Well, we'd have to double back
and admit that, although
occupying an objective space
may be impossible, it
certainly doesn't hurt to
try. Otherwise, we're all
just free fallin'.*

* credit - line in a Tom Petty


Lamb to the Slaughter

Maybe you would rather hear
about your right to free
speech be taken away on the
show Hard Copy than C-SPAN.
Do you even know what C-SPAN
stands for? The Cable
Satellite Public Affairs
Network. What in the world do
you want from them, Mayor
McCheese detailing Trent
Lott's address to the

It is the viewers who want
unbiased reporting on issues
and Brian Lamb responded in
kind with an outlet for the
viewing public. A network not
devoted to one corporation or
the other, nor affiliated to
any ideological stripe. It
might be boring to most, but
to people who tend to think,
it is a sorely needed


David Boyer

Thanks for your letter, David
- but given that I watch a
lot of C-SPAN, you letter
frankly puzzles me. I've
never even once seen
programming on C-SPAN that
addresses the issue of free
speech with the moral gravity
it deserves; instead, I've
seen our elected
representatives and a variety
of well-groomed corporate
journalists shilling for a
non-existent "vital center."
When truly remarkable
intellects do show up (Tom
Frank was the example I used,
but you may like somebody
else), their message is
usually diluted by the
amateurish aesthetic C-SPAN
wears as a badge of honor.

Portentous acronym aside
(after all, I could call
myself GOD [Glorious Orator
of the Day] and get away with
it) C-SPAN adequately
performs a badly needed
public service. But don't kid
yourself with that "not
devoted to one corporation"
stuff. Tell you what: Go to, read Brian Lamb's
talk at the National Press
, and then tell me he's
not "affiliated to any
ideological stripe." Besides,
not being affiliated is the
same as... being affiliated
to nothing.

Which was my point.



Color Me Sucky

I was checking out your site
at, and I
noticed that the colors suck.
In particular, your HTML
source reads

<body bgcolor=#ffffff>

Alert readers will note that
while you've selected a
lovely shade of white for the
background, there is no
specification for the actual
text. I can only assume that
you consider the background
to contain more vital
information that the actual
text on your page, since you
care enough about that to
give it a color, but have no
room in the file for the poor
text. On the other hand,
perhaps you actually wanted
people to read the text, in
which case you've made a
basic beginner's error, and
I'm just a wee bit
disappointed in you. I am
willing to point out that the
fix for this takes about 15
keystrokes and 10 seconds.
Feel free to send email if
you wish more detailed
technical information.

It's heartening to know that
there are some alert readers
out there. And you're right -
we do consider background
more important than text,
just as the beery haze, loud
music, and smoky fumes of a
bar are far more important
than any of the conversations
occuring therein.

We only wonder what color
you've chosen for your
default text... white,
perhaps? Good thinking! And
congratulations! You're
experiencing Suck like no one
else can.


More On Slurpees

I have to agree with you
regarding Slurpees as being
colorful, foul-tasting shit
in a polystyrene cup.

Except here in Sydney, they're
called "Slush Puppies" - the
flavors are equally as bad,
however. Although they've
made some fairly astounding
leaps in ice technology, the
stuff never melts... actually
I'm beginning to suspect that
I've been sucking down small,
chilled silicone ball
bearings sneakily posing as
ice particles...

I guess that could explain the
full-body hair loss and
muscle tics i've been
experiencing of late.

Anson Parker

Slush Puppies! Gosh, you
Australians do the cutest
things with names. But don't
even try to throw me that
Unfrozen Caveman routine with
all things sugary and fake.
Your country embraces
vitamin-free, sugary foods
like no other. When I was but
a wee lass in Melbourne, kids
would bring sandwiches made
of Wonder Bread, margarine,
and those colorful sprinkles
for lunch. They called them
"Hundreds and Thousands,"
though they had zero
nutritional value. Plus, my
elementary school sold black
licorice, hot balls, and
Sugar Daddys! Quite a
money-making venture, but no
wonder those Australian kids
were such ornery, hyperactive
little freaks... And don't
even start with me about
Vegemite, I don't care if
it's the most protein-rich,
precious food on the globe,
it's still inedible by anyone
up and over the land down

On the other hand, Australians
taught me to appreciate the
musical genius of ABBA, and
for that, I am eternally



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