The Fish
for 5 June 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


Matt Beer
Matt Beer
Development Manager

Fit to Be Tie-Dyed

In your piece on the "hippies"
you managed to rehash the
same bullshit that the
mainstream media has been
slinging for three decades
and counting. You did wax the
Web angle but that kind of
happens by default in an
online column doesn't it?

Your tone read something like
this: "Oh those pathetic
hippies sold out and now
they're all over the Net
trying to host yet another
love-in and oh they're
charging admission again ...
blah blah"

Christ, you sounded just like
John MacLaughlin.

Kick it up a little, will you?

Tony F.

You drive a hard bargain.... I
guess we're losing our edge
after just a wee bit too much
experimentation with the
drugs and lifestyle we so
readily lampoon.

Anyway, despite the best
efforts of "the mainstream
media," we still feel - to
quote Mary Tyler Moore - that
love is all around, and there
just aren't enough people
lashing out in random and
hurtful ways.

But thanks for doing your
part. And thanks for taking
time to write.

E.L. Skinner

Fish With Letter Icon

I liked your "Tie-Dyed" piece
very much. These old hippies
really piss me off (having
been one myself). There is
some good material over on
Salon with some asshole
called David Horowitz. This
guy is an archetypical
shithead, unless his last
piece was some kind of parody -
I don't think it was, but
it was so ridiculous that
perhaps it was some clever
put-down of money-grubbing
"old age" jerks. Check it
out. I guess Farakhan was
right in many ways - it's all
too much.

Lee Roskin

Thanks for your note, Lee.

We often cogitate on the
possibility that Salon is
engaged in an elaborate
parody of itself - an
approach, by the way, that we
at Suck have trademarked and
copyrighted nine ways from
Sunday ... so you can bet
when we have it figured out,
we'll slap them with a
whopping lawsuit that'll send
'em running for their Dead

Thanks again,

E.L. Skinner

Fish With Letter Icon

A bit too young myself to
truly live in the summer of
love, I guess I was old
enough to be a running dog
(or a running pup). I've been
seeing lately a real upsurge
in the kind of incision your
rant in exemplifies.
I must say I noticed all the
symptoms you excoriate, at
the time (e.g., as a
14-year-old, getting
moratorium petitions signed
...) the egotism, unearned
bravado, sexism, and numerous
varieties of personal

What these expressions of
your point of view invariably
leave out (nothing witty
about it) is the coincident
death and destruction "way
over yonder in Vietnam".... I
can tell you that even if
what occurred (stateside) at
the time and what largely
remains is a
counterculturalism, a
consciousness of senseless
mass murder, uncontrollable,
was the fundamental pedal
tone of that era. The hippy
stuff just happened on top of
it, and was amplified by it.
Today, it's much harder to
make money off a war that
everyone wants to erase -
much easier to recycle Wavy

We never stopped the war.
Those of us who remained home
(even pups like myself) and
who remained alive will
always carry that around.
What you're seeing, I think,
is basically compensation
nostalgia - it's pretty beat
I agree - but it mainly grows
out of a tremendous sense of
pain and failure.

Gillies, Lindsay

Thanks a lot for your
thoughtful note. I think
you're right on the mark -
and those of us that were too
young to remember see only
the pop-cultural trappings
that keep coming back to
haunt us. But then it seems
to me that this fundamental
ambivalence lies at the heart
of the era: Freedom to break
with puritanical mores (sex,
drugs, rock & roll),
counterbalanced with freedom
to protest institutionalized
immorality (war on

In other words, there was
plenty of pain - so where's
the gain?

Anyway, thanks again for
enunciating an important, and
serious, facet of this easily
lampooned era.

Best wishes,

E. L. Skinner

Fish With Letter Icon

Over The Hump

Well, this sex-doll thing is
kind of strange. It is not
like a toy in the same sense
as a vibrator that becomes an
extension of the self. The
doll is a simulacrum of the
lowest level. It is pure
object, but it is not even a
form of cultural
totalitarianism. It is not a
product of the system or of
capital. It is a strange form
of narcissism, because, I
would assume, when one is
having sex with a doll, one
becomes even more aware of
one's own movements and
sounds. The silence of the
doll only heightens the sound
of the real person. One
becomes all too aware of
fucking something that is not
a person. Is this really the
point? And it is not really
masturbation, because the
object replaces the self as
the subject. In other words,
when you masturbate, the idea
is that you are having sex
with yourself, possibly
imagining you are with
someone else, but you are
still self-interested. With
the doll, you (as an object
of desire) are replaced by
the doll, a pure object. Now
that's creepy....

Peter Bebergal

You sound extremely familiar
with this subject. Define

Fish With Letter Icon

Wow. It's been a long time
since a Suck column has made
me feel torn between being
entertained and offended, but
the "Over the Hump" article
was really on the mark. This
is exactly the sort of thing
I started reading the Suck
for in the first place some
year and a half ago. It's
encouraging to know that you
haven't lost touch with the
fundamentals. And to think I
had considered not reading
Suck every day. Please
forgive my lapse of faith.

Chris Woody

P.S. Making relevant jokes
about the name would just be
too easy, so bag it, okay.

Well, we're always pleased to
hear that we're still
pleasing those woodies.

P.S. Going for the easy laugh
is one of those Suck
fundamentals, you should know

Fish With Letter Icon

I enjoyed your issue "Over the
Hump," regarding love dolls.
Although this comes
<heh> too late, I do
feel that the reference to
Michelangelo could have been
profitably replaced, or
expanded upon, by a reference
to Ovid's Metamorphoses.
Although, as I recall, the
statue built by Pygmalion is
animated by a prayer to Venus
(rather than, say, hiring
Archimedes as a consultant),
it is legitimately an ancient
Roman tale of a man
constructing his own
techno-mate. (And yes, G. B.
Shaw's play and the later
musical My Fair Lady are
based, rather loosely, on
this tale.)


Charles Tenney

It's always heartening to see
a good education put to bad
use. Thanks for the tip, and
let us know if your doll
starts talking back.

Fish With Letter Icon

Ha, ha.

I was watching a video based
on the "raw, confessional
letters of American writer
Maryse Holder," called A
Winter Tan.
The video cover
called her 91-minute whine a
"plunge from euphoria to
degradation, humorous
self-awareness to pathetic,
cringing supplication."

Other people's self-pity and
doll ownership is a great way
to be plunged into deep

In my country we have blow-up

Andrew Hart

Yeah, well, in our country, we
have nuclear capability.
Every culture has their own
area of expertise, huh?

Fish With Letter Icon

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