The Fish
for 25 April 1997. Updated every WEEKDAY.
Suck Staff

Joey Anuff
Joey Anuff


Terry Colon
Terry Colon
Art Director


Ana Marie Cox
Ana Marie Cox
Executive Editor


T. Jay (the man) Fowler
T. Jay Fowler
Production Manager
& Ass Kicker


Heather Havrilesky
Heather Havrilesky
Senior Editor

Suck Alumni
Suck Alumni Text

Carl Steadman
Carl Steadman


Sean (Duuuuude) Welch
Sean Welch


Owen Thomas
Owen Thomas
Copy Editor

Running on Empty

OK, while I did not
necessarily agree with all of
your comments ... I happen to
like a lot of reruns -
including, since you didn't
mention them, Taxi, Mary
Tyler Moore, Cheers,
and for
some unknown reason (perhaps
because it is force-fed at 6
p.m. and 7 p.m. EST on Fox)
Tool Time, or whatever the
hell that Tim Allen sitcom is
called. I would be very happy -
ecstatic, in fact - at the
prospect of never having to
leave my apartment (since
food delivery is not a
problem in NYC), if only
Nick's spinoff station, TV
Land, were available through
Time Warner Cable Manhattan.
But my point is, while I did
not agree with most of what
you said - excepting anything
you said relating to Lucy,
Three's Company,
and The
Dukes of Hazzard
- I found
your column extremely funny.
As fall-down funny as I still
find Carlton the Doorman. But
perhaps I shouldn't say
"still." You see, I did not
watch most of these reruns
when they were on the air. I
really did not start watching
TV until a few years ago -
prior to that I did not have
access to a remote control
that was not already in use.
Maybe this is why I find
these shows funny, I watch
them now as they must have
been seen when they were
prime time.

Anyway, I just had one
question. I have seen that
very special episode of
Family Ties - once, years
ago, when I was home sick
from school and my mother was
kind and placed a TV in my
room to keep me occupied so I
wouldn't demand more soup or
orange juice or chocolate
cake (weird desire I always
endure when I am sick), I
watched what seemed to be a
Family Ties marathon. But
perhaps that is only because
any amount of Justine Bateman
seems interminable. Back to
the point: I watched the
best-friend-death episode and
I have spent the last 10
years or so believing it was
Skippy, the next door
neighbor, who died. Please,
this is going to bug me for
days, please, was it Skippy
or was it really some
fictional best friend?

That's it. Thanks a lot.

Jenna Hibner

Dear Manhattan Shut-In:

Alas, it was not Skippy, but a
dyed-in-the-wool fictional
best friend whose name at
present escapes me. Skippy
hung in there, in to the
bitter end of Family Ties, and
is doubtless scrounging for
change and turning tricks on
the corner of Hollywood and

As long as you're writing for
psychological aid (and
responding to Web screeds is
a surer cry for help than
yelling Help), I might
suggest that the reason you
enjoy reruns is precisely
because they are not reruns
for you. Trust me, the
1,000th time you see Latka on
Taxi go, "Scoodobya?" Mary
Richards' lower lip tremble,
Cliff split his pants on
Cheers, or Tim Allen plug in
a whackily dysfunctional
appliance on Home
the bloom will
be off the rose.

Get out more. And watch more
first-run TV.

Cordially, von Humboldt

Fish With Letter Icon

Repeat the Ending



I forgot to add: They can
tattoo this on our collective
asses, although it will not
persuade us to shop in their
stores, drive in their cars,
consume their beverages, or
have sex in their hotels. We
are the age range impervious
to the sting of the
advertising bee. Our teflon
exteriors repel the toasted
cereals flung at us and the
microcrap poured on us.

So, keep on trying (or should
I say wasting your poorly
spent money), Madison Avenue,
with ad campaigns that fly
past us with the speed of a
Box Car Willy CD on fast

Peace my Sister,

P.S. If you would like a
companion to join you as you
report on Burning Man this
year, I would like to apply.

References and
résumé upon


David Chamberlin

I usually know I've managed to
miss my mark whenever
responses to an article
assume anything other than a
cautiously combative
stance. Requests for photos,
private email, or a date all
indicate I've either waxed
hopelessly earnest or was
just completely wrong.
Getting asked out to Burning
Man obviously means I've hit
a new low as a Suck columnist
and should probably hang up
my hat.

I am, however, intrigued by
the concept of
cereal-resistant teflon
exteriors. Is this a new line
from North Face or just an
epidermal anomaly?
Specifically, how would I go
about getting one? I find
myself surrounded by flakes
on an almost daily basis.

Snap, crackle, pop,


Fish With Letter Icon

Hate Mod

"Meet the new fart, same as
the old fart." This was my
frame of mind after reading
your 21 April essay on TV
overload, wherein your
culture-maven act wears thin
early on.

Oh, child of irony, how well I
know thy looks. Here's my
guess: You are a young,
well-educated Anistonista who
has read more than his share
of TV Guide, Premiere, and
Tad Friend's pieces for
Esquire, and you are buckling
under the strain of standard
operating opinion. You have
been told that 1960s
television at its lowest
never shat a greater turd
than The Beverly
you have likely
also been told that I Love
Lucy, Mary Tyler Moore
- and
by extension, Rhoda - Johnny
Carson, Sid Caesar, Milton
Berle, and M*A*S*H are
sacrosanct institutions.
Well, you have decided, fuck
all that - and so, after a
night quaffing deep drafts of
Pauline Kael's "Trash, Art,
and the Movies" essay, you
decide that TV at its worst
is - voilà! - TV at
its best. Under the guise of
a column devoted to David
Foster Wallace's not entirely
worn-out premise that America
is amusing itself to death,
you admirably seek to rewrite
TV gospel.

The flaw in this kind of
debunking for its own sake is
obvious: anyone who believes
that The Beverly Hillbillies
is good television likely
won't catch on to Johnny
Carson's unique genius.

Those who do catch on, of
course, will only rarely be
impressed by anything in

Rodney Welch

P.S. By the way, you're wrong
about The Mod Squad; it was
never seriously considered
mod by any seriously mod
person. In fact, all I
remember was the heapin'
helping of derision it
received from every corner of
the youth market. None of
which, of course, stopped it
from being a hit. I even
bought the trading cards.

OK, so you were one of these
"seriously mod people,"

Why should we trust your
opinion? Some forms of genius
are just a little bit too
unique, if you know what
we're saying (see also: not

Yet, sadly, as Unique
Non-geniuses, we'll continue
to pander to the Rarely

Fish With Letter Icon

Hate Mood

Your site makes me FUCKING
sick. I'm in my hate mood,
and you guys SUCK - get it?

Virginia Marti

Most people call it PMS,
Virginia. Once you recognize
a pattern, it becomes much
easier to handle. We suggest
you seek the help of a
trusted physician - and a
therapist, while you're at
it. But thanks for the
constructive criticism,

Fish With Letter Icon

How to Wear Your Suck Shirt


It did not come as a surprise
that a day after receiving my
Suck T-shirt, a "Suck T-shirt
user-guide" appeared on your

I first attributed it to the
clairvoyant nature of your
editors in providing info for
the greater good of all, then
I thought again and
remembered my delusions of
grandeur, and decided it was
just for little old me.

It was only when I was
standing in line at the
Andronico's in Berkeley
wearing said T, and I
overheard a couple behind me
say, " - weirdo
Internet porno freaks," that
I realized you have triumphed
again with your marketing


Skip Barger

Ahh. We actually toyed for a
long time with the idea of
having T-shirts that actually
say " Weirdo
Internet Porno Freaks." But
then we thought the message
might be even stronger if we
let people come to the same
conclusion by themselves. A
risky choice - but it seems
to be working beautifully!

Thank you for that informative
report from the field.

Fish With Letter Icon

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