The Fish
for 5 January 1998. 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
Co-Founder

 

Ana Marie Cox
Ana Marie Cox
Executive Editor

 

Sean (Duuuuude) Welch
Sean Welch
Suckgineer

 

Owen Thomas
Owen Thomas
Copy Editor

 


T. Jay Fowler

Production Manager

& Ass Kicker

 

Matt Beer
Matt Beer
Development Manager

Guinness the Buinness

What? Nothing about the
company that owns Burger King
acquiring Guinness? I suppose
the merger isn't big enough
to set any records, but one
would think you could come up
with a wry comment or two.

Jimbo
<jstoiche@Adobe.COM>

No kidding, Jimbo -

And now that Burger King has
reportedly introduced the
world's greatest french fries
(the Irish know a thing or
two about spuds, right?),
we're talking about a circle
jerk of universal
proportions.

Now if we could just convince
Burger King to pull stout at
the drive-through (hell, it
looks just like the syrupy
shite they call Pepsi), we'd
be in business.

Thanks for your note -

E. L. Skinner

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

It's Dumb Mail Week

Please discontinue my
subscription to Suck as my
children are finding more
ways of getting into things
than I can keep up with....

Sincerely,
<Name Withheld>

No problem ... But, do you
have an email address we can
use to contact your kids?

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Here Kiddie Kiddie

Saw your volume of words and
pics in a bookshop in
Cambridge (UK, not the other
one) ... prominently
displayed ... beside a book
on Christmas carols for cats,
Victor Meldrew's Merry Xmas,
Lenny Henry's Christmas
Recipes,
and other such
English cultural icons. A
shock for the kiddies when
they reach for Suck and see
your spleen being vented....
Blow anyone?

Roger
<rday@harlequin.co.uk>

Anyone? We've blown everyone.

Hey, do you have email
addresses for those kiddies
you mentioned?

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

The Way We Weren't

Nice piece.

You'll get plenty of email
like this, but since Suck
readers tend toward being the
kind of assholes who nitpick
tiny details to death to the
exclusion of the point of the
diatribe, I'll just toss in
my own annoying correction
that the century will end on
31 December 2000. This is
because there is no year "0"
(1 BCE [or "BC"] is followed
by 1 CE [or "AD"]), so 1 is
the first year of the 1st
century, 1001 is the first
year of the 11th century and
2001 will be the first year
of the 21st century.

Having gotten that out of my
system, I'll also comment
that there are two ironies of
the '90s nostalgia/retro
fetish that irritate me:

1. The uncritical embrace of
the '70s version of the '50s,
itself a corporate whitewash
of a socially and politically
charged decade (from Rosa
Parks to the Rosenbergs) into
a bland, homogenous sitcom
universe of cheerful morons
(Laverne, Shirley, the Fonz,
etc.) designed to bury any
awareness of the drastic
alterations to the political
structure (blacks, women,
liberals gaining in influence
and visibility) in a putrid
heap of aggressively marketed
bad taste.

2. The fact that this same
technique is being employed
again to transmogrify the
very ugly realities of the
early '80s (anyone remember
"The Doomsday Clock,"
so-called Creationism in
textbooks, and Reagan's "I've
just outlawed Russia" joke?)
into the feel-good movie of
the year in which even Nixon
is just the victim of a
dysfunctional family and the
Evil Empire has simply wanted
to be like America all along.

Hey, I lived my real life
"During Wartime" - living in
the brownstone and the
ghetto, the gunfire off in
the distance, storing the
peanut butter, having no
records to play. I was there,
and I have no desire to
revisit it through either the
cracked, blood-smeared
windshield of the
McDonald's/Disney
Entertainment Omnibus nor
through the pinheaded musings
of postgraduate layabouts
with a Web page and nothing
better to do.

On the other hand, I'll
probably check out Ben Is
Dead - just for shits and
giggles.

Thanks again.

Rob Seulowitz
<rss2@idt.net>

Shits & Giggles - wasn't
that the working title of
Trots & Bonnie? Remember Trots
& Bonnie
?

Anyway, the first draft of
this piece included the
parenthetical: "(please, no
mail about the next century
starting in 2001)."

Ersatz

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Dear Ersatz and
Person-Who-Wrote-
the-5-November- Onion-Piece-
on-Retro
: Hi. My name's Daron
Murphy. I'm an editor at
Word. I was amused and
freaked out to read the
Ersatz column on Retro Hell,
which linked to the Onion
retro piece. Mostly because I
wrote a satirical retro piece
for Word, published in
February of 1996, that's
eerily similar to the
combination of the end of the
Ersatz piece and the entire
Onion piece. You should
seriously check it out. It's
in our archives, definitely
make sure to click on the
"20008" link. I'm sure this
is just a coincidence and
that there was no intentional
similarity - neither of you
guys may have ever even seen
my piece. But this is really
weird....

Yours,
Daron

There's nothing even remotely
weird about it - though I
haven't seen your piece (or
the Onion one, for that
matter - I don't do the
links), Marisa Bowe (editor
of Word) is a friend, and
we've had many, many
discussions on this subject
over the past two years.

In fact, I wrote an essay
titled "Retroism" for my zine
(also called Ersatz) in
September 1994, which is in
Marisa's possession. Even
more so: The British journal I
used to work for, The Modern
Review,
had an early issue on
Irony and Nostalgia which M.
says she kept over her bed
for years. One of the
writers? Word contributor Tom
Vanderbilt....

But it's not just that
publishing circles are small,
ensuring that ideas travel
like airborne viruses. As Hal
Rubenstein has said: If you
are one in a million, then
there are 4,000 people just
like you.

Ersatz

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Filler

That Hack guy's face looks
just like my ass. Shehaha!

<burp@ezin.net>

There's nothing even remotely
weird about that. Though I
haven't seen your ass, I have
seen several asses, and Carl
Steadman, who is an ass, is a
friend, and we've had many,
many discussions about asses
over the past two years.

In fact, I wrote an essay
titled "AssFace" for my zine
in August 1991, which is in
Carl's possession. Even
more so: The Peruvian merchant
ship I once worked on, White
Lady,
took an early morning
cruise to a very tropical
island that was quite
beautiful but had nothing at
all to do with asses, except
that the deck officer was a
real ass, in retrospect. His
second cousin? Carl
Steadman....

As Hal Leonard once said: If
you have an ass, then there
are billions of people just
like you.

Polly

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Advice for Suck Readers

I would like to share some
advice with my fellow Suck
readers.

The naive approach would be
to lavish Suck with praise:
"You're better than Spy used
to be. I don't care how
unsuccessful the IPO was or
that you're partners with
Wired or how poor you are, I
still think you write better
than that guy who did the
opening sentence for Amazon."
This approach sometimes
works, probably when the
Sucksters are having a bad
day and need the ego boost.

The slightly less naive
approach is to use "reverse
psychology," and insult Suck,
hoping that Suck will see in
your email the potential for
many witty retorts: "You guys
really do suck. I would
rather read back issues of
Spy. And you're poor." This
approach tends to be more
successful than the first
approach, but there are many
perils. You will be tempted
to try to help your cause by
making Suck "inside"
references: "A warren of
giant, evil Canadian rabbits
on crack could make a better
Web site than Suck." These
references won't help because
it makes your approach too
obvious.

There are many successful
approaches. The William S.
Burroughs approach ("jism"),
the Local Yokel approach ("I
like fried 'taters"), the Bad
Writer/Easy Target approach
("You should have seen it!").

Erich Von Hollander
<hh@xcf.berkeley.edu>

Thanks for sharing your handy
tips with our readers, Erich.

Hey - Von Hollander rhymes
with "colander"!

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

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