The Fish
for 17 December 1997. Updated every WEEKDAY.
Suck Staff

Joey Anuff
Joey Anuff
Editor in Chief


Terry Colon
Terry Colon
Art Director


[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


Ana Marie Cox
Ana Marie Cox
Executive Editor


Sean (Duuuuude) Welch
Sean Welch


Owen Thomas
Owen Thomas
Copy Editor


T. Jay Fowler

Production Manager

& Ass Kicker


Matt Beer
Matt Beer
Development Manager

Das Book

I've missed the Fish for a
few weeks. Has anyone been
asking why you're using
Barnes & Noble's site
instead of to push
the Suck book? It just seems
that, the first
successful Web-only book
store, would be the fitting
place to sell the first
successful Web-only magazine.
Of course, you could argue
that sentiment within a
medium with such a short
history as the Web is
pointless. You could also
argue that selling out to the
big boys is excusable, even
admirable, if that's what it
takes to survive financially.
Did anyone worry about this?

Will Hines

We used to say things like
"Isn't anyone worried about
this?" Then we'd say things
like "Didn't anyone worry
about this?" But, you know,
keeping up a strong
commitment to quality (to say
nothing of integrity) only
lasts for so long. Truth is,
we'd sell the book out of
Pamela Anderson's asshole if
it would help us sell more
copies. (Not a bad idea -
workshop this with marketing,
pronto. - ed.)

Anyway, thanks for calling us

I was going to buy the Suck
book, but then I found out
that not only are there not
any Fillers in it, but there
also aren't any letters from
Alan Kornheiser.

What the hell gives?

Patrick Mortensen

Good question, Patrick. Oh,
the sleepless nights I've
spent pondering the very
same. Anyway, the least we
can do is throw in a few
letters from Dr. K himself.
Read on.


Fish With Letter Icon

A Few Good Comments from Alan

Subject: Turning and turning
in the widening (helix's)

If you're tired of (or annoyed by)
watching Robert Heinlein's
complex defense of the
fascist virtues reduced to
bug squishing in Starship
you might try to
find a copy of what I think
is his earliest novel,
published in 1939: Beyond
This Horizon.
Although it's
not really a very good novel -
sci-fi wasn't published in book
form in 1939 and he had to
squeeze what he wanted to say
into a format that the
magazines would buy - it
remains the smartest and
sanest thing yet written
about genetic engineering.
The author postulates a
future society in which
parents can choose the best
possible combination of their
genes for their offspring ...
but no more. They can load
the dice as much as they want
to get the best possible roll
of the dice, they can
eliminate any genetic
diseases, but they can't add
anything. No supermen
allowed. As the author points
out, a chimpanzee designing a
superchimpanzee might end up
with many things, but a
human? No way. This is, when
you think about it, just
about as sensible a solution
to the issues of human
genetic engineering as we're
likely to come up with.

Indeed, as you suggest (and I
agree), we'll probably muddle
through the entire genetic
engineering adventure without
too much damage; our common
sense and unwillingness to
move too far too fast will
probably be our best friends.
Still, it's interesting to
see just how much ink is
being spilled over all this,
especially when the
technology not only doesn't
exist to do very much, but
may never exist. There's a
moral here somewhere.

Alan Kornheiser

The Shortest Letter Ever from
Alan Kornheiser

Subject: The ineffable
essence of lousy reportage

Most excellent writing. Keep
it up. The sand you see
around you, grasshopper, was
once a boulder. Effort is
rarely wasted, even when no
immediate results appear.


Alan Kornheiser

Fish With Letter Icon

Shut Up & Kiss Me

"... where your reward for
reading three pages of
Courtney Weaver's
International-Coffees dialog
would be a nude shot?"

Hey, the French, ahead of the
Americans in things sexy, as
you point out earlier, have
already gotten around to
this. They have
music-video/strip shows where
the reward for watching a
video is another piece of
clothing removed from the
hosts' bodies.

Sometimes Suck is the 20th
century's Jules Verne, and
sometimes they're just
Americans' JV.

Nicolas Dade

I believe MTV's new ratings
gambit is to have Matt
Pinfield do the same thing.

Mostly Suck is America's
Louis Jourdan - only prissier
and more effete.


Fish With Letter Icon

My Dearest Darcy,

While Kieslowski's Red
certainly had a bit of the
surveillance "bug" to it,
this is no reason to suggest
that the whole of the trilogy
"depicted a united Europe
attaining peace through
non-stop, pointless
surveillance." This is a
serious misreading.
Kieslowski embraced broad
themes in his work and indeed
thought nothing of embodying
the fate of nations in his
characters. And it is indeed
true that a unified Europe
will probably be a massive
cross-surveillance project,
but it doesn't follow this is
Kieslowski's point and I
don't believe the facts of
the film bear this out. Where
in Blue is there a
surveillance? In White?

Just asking,

Brian Mahoney

You give us hope. We run a
barely intelligible story as
window dressing for some
blatant click panders, and
the one element you seize on
is French cinema!

That "embraced broad themes
in his work" business sounds
suspiciously like critical
white noise, but in this case
it's true. Very quickly: In
Blue, the piece of music
Juliette Binoche's dead
husband had been working on
was a symphony or something
in honor of the United
Europe. In White, Karol
Karol, who is trying to keep
his international marriage
together, becomes a model
nouveau riche in
post-communist Poland. And in
Red, which ties all three
movies together (through an
event which occurs during a
crossing of the English
Channel), there are
suggestions of the fall of
communism (the giant red
poster of Irene Jacob), hints
at European Union (the
fictitious "Van den
Budenmeyer" symphony),
reminders of how small the
individual European nations
are (the "personal weather
reports" gimmick), and a
whiff of internationalism
generally (the film is set in
Geneva). All three movies are
saturated with the idea of
European unification, or at
least of a post-Cold War
continent, and the
surveillance theme in Red
wraps it all up.

Nobody said that's the whole
point of these movies, or
even that these movies have a
single Point. This is art,
son, not TV.


Fish With Letter Icon

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