The Fish
for 14 November 1997. Updated every WEEKDAY.
Suck Staff

Joey Anuff
Joey Anuff


Terry Colon
Terry Colon
Art Director


Ana Marie Cox
Ana Marie Cox
Executive Editor


[yes, it's a plunger. i'll leave the rest up to your imagination ... ]
Erin Coull
Production Manager


Heather Havrilesky
Heather Havrilesky
Senior Editor


[Ian Connelly]
Ian Connelly
Marketing Manager


[Copy Edit]
Copy Edit

Suck Alumni
Suck Alumni Text

Carl Steadman
Carl Steadman


Sean (Duuuuude) Welch
Sean Welch


Owen Thomas
Owen Thomas
Copy Editor


T. Jay Fowler

Production Manager

& Ass Kicker


Matt Beer
Matt Beer
Development Manager

Suck Stock Down 4 1/4

Subject: Self-deprecating, my

Anyone who has had the
experience of reading Suck
once will have come across
Suck's modus operandi for
keeping us here, even if they
don't recognize it (or don't
fall for it). But having long
ago fallen for the trap
myself, it would make me feel
a whole lot more justified in
my arrogance if I explained
it in a letter to Suck.

Self-deprecation is the resin
that lets Suck slide smoothly
over the strings of our
consumerism. But what is
self-deprecation, but an
underhanded honesty? It's
reverse psychology, stating
the truth so that people
won't believe it. But the
truth it is (example: I am so
lacking in what is commonly
termed "a life," that getting
my letter published on Suck
would be the best - the
highlight of this month.
Self-deprecation? Gospel
truth!). But by beating the
reader to the things the
reader would have realized on
his own, they take away the
disillusionment that comes
with those realizations.
"This Web site sucks, I'm
gonna check out Wired"
becomes "Hehe. They call
themselves 'Suck.' They
can't Suck, if they say they
do. Forget Wired."

And the barrage is constant,
so no revelation of sucking
comes to us without them
telling us about it first.
They even make sure to
mention that all the
self-deprecation is really
true. It is, but in the end
we don't believe it's true,
and keep coming back. But in
reality, Suck really is just
in it for the money. Their
writing really is just
excessively verbose prose
with more arrogance than
substance. All those letters
where they respond by saying
"you really figured us out"
really did figure Suck out.
And the closest thing to true
honesty (honesty without the
intent of hiding itself) are
examples such as a recent
letter-response that was a
generation-spanning defense
of the characterization of
George Bush as "milquetoast."

In order to practice this
obviously successful strategy
for myself: This letter is
nothing but pretention and
arrogance, with a touch of
insecurity. I just want to
get my letter printed, and I
thought this was a good way
to do it. And despite what
I've said, I read Suck daily.
Why? Because I'm a slut.

Chris Burke

You sure figured us out.

Fish With Letter Icon

I enjoy your site very, very
much! And I really like that
show with all yer fellas on
the Cartoon Network. The
funny thing is that the dog
is a really brilliant
scientist, and the boy is
like his pet! That's so

I have a clever Web site too!
Any English major with a copy
of FrontPage can build an
empire, like you! Except, you
know, I'm not making any
money or anything.

You guys have any jobs?

It's so great to be cool! Van
Morrison is awesome! No, I
mean Atari Teenage Riot!
Because Atari Teenage Riot is
awesome, and Van Morrison
isn't! Shit. I always forget.


Chris, this is what your
letter should have looked
like. Jason's message says
the same thing as yours,
except his is much more
succinct and infinitely more
disturbing. Chris, you are to
Jason what Bob Costas is to
Stuart Scott, what Donny
Wahlberg is to Mark Wahlberg,
what Adam Smith is to Adam
Sandler, what The Baffler is
to the Hack, what
surprisingly detailed and
thorough is to surprisingly

Keep trying, Chris.

Fish With Letter Icon



I represent a group of very
rude, somewhat smart-alecky
engineers. As many of us are
CS majors (you know the
), we have nothing better
to do than goof off with all
kinds of programs. Some of
the aforementioned "goofing"
has resulted in a cache of
prank ad banners. At first,
we thought we would create a
ficticious Web site to
display these on - but we
soon realized that we didn't
have the traffic, or, for
that matter, any content

I then brought forth the idea
that we submit said ad
banners to Suck, as you
had initially displayed
parody ads on your site. We
want to display our banners
on your site. For free. We
want you to let us, also for
free. Everyone wins - you
don't have to deal with cries
that you've sold out to a
bunch of corporate goons, and
we get to share our own
particularly saucy sense of
humor with the world.

As always, your cynical
friend in low times,

Lo Phunk

"Greets"? Jesus Christ.

We have sold out to a bunch
of corporate goons, Mr.
Phunk, and we have enough
cynical friends in low times.
We could use a few more
cynical friends in High
of course....

Fish With Letter Icon

Devil in the Details

Thank you ever so much for
sending up that god-awful
Details comic/advertising
spread. Just when I thought
Details couldn't get any
worse, it got, well, worse. I
laughed, I cried, I snickered
with holier-than-thou glee.

Mindy Matter

Suck: Holier-than-thou glee
for everyone.

Fish With Letter Icon

George of the Bungle

In your swell rant about
George Bush in the Fish
today, you just forgot one
thing: That he grew up being
called - and is still called
by his family - "Poppy." Not
Pansy. Poppy.

And as for his self-made-man
lie, Jim Hightower nailed
that: "The man acts like he
hit a home run. He doesn't
realize he was born on third

Mike Forester

Wouldn't Belong to a
Club ...

Fish With Letter Icon

Writing to say that though
you do it with a condesending
atmosphere (mind the
spelling!) and a good bit of
exellent humour, what you
guys write about is very
important. More important
than you may know.

It is frightening and
mind-boggling to me the
obscene level of stupidity in
today's world, especially
America. Newver Before have I
seen a Magazine (or whatever
the hell you guys call this
thing) that so acurately
points out the substantial
decline in what seems to me
to be basic common sense in
the past couple of years.
What is causing humans to
become so stupid?

My opinion is that it is not
so much caused by the
proliferation of stupid
TV/radio/intranet media that
dulls the mind to a festering
heep, but more the
super-commercialized force
feeding of these media. I'm
sick of going into a
bookstore (if one can go so
far as to call Borders a
bookstore) and having Kathie
Lee Gifford shoved down my

Do you guys remember back
when books didn't have any
pictures and had words in 11
point font, not 20? Or when
Books had multisylabic words
in them?

What the hell is going on?

Am I the only one who notices
just how F*cking stupid
people are? Have become?
Apparently not. Thanks to
Suck, I have not had to take
out my anger on some poor
pimple-ridden McDonald's
cashier who had to count my
change four times. Thanks to
Suck, I kept myself from
bludgeoning a co-worker who
asked what an oxymoron is,
and after telling him, not
being believed.

I see now that there may just
be some more people in the
world like me, only
marginally stupid, and aware
of their surroundings.

You Guys don't Suck, It's the
rest of the world.

E. Oshinsky

There are more people like
you in the world, E., though
you probably wouldn't like
them very much. Hey, neither
do we. As for us former
cashiers, well, we're not
like you at all.

Fish With Letter Icon

Filling Our Needs

Subject: To the Point

What is the hope of the
modern poet?

Why is the grope of the
modern poet too beyond the
time he leads?

Too, beyond the rhyme he
feeds, he has the need to
fill the needs of those who
simply cannot grow it.

Still safe,


What is the hope of the
modern poser?

Why does the grope of the
modern poser fall too short
of its intended mark?

Too, far short with no bite,
all bark, he has the urge to
light the dark, but his Bic
doesn't even spark.



Fish With Letter Icon

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