The Fish
for 17 February 1998. Updated every WEEKDAY.
Suck Staff

Joey Anuff
Joey Anuff
Editor in Chief


Terry Colon
Terry Colon
Art Director


[the fixin' pixie... ]
Emily Hobson
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


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


Matt Beer
Matt Beer
Development Manager

Dating Filler

You've hit it on the head,
with another clever usage of
those beloved charts -
essentially, dating is
hopeless. Studying at a
certain East Coast college
where dating is about as
frequent as students
admitting to being wrong, I
can attest that frequency of
dating decreases as the
square of the inverse of
academic aptitude. This might
be why each generation has
lower SAT scores - the high
scorers never breed. Rather
than trying to improve
education, the government
might want to look into some
sort of covert program to get
all the nerdy kids really
drunk all the time. Now
there's an X-Files plotline
for you.

Josiah Madigan <>

Um, yeah. Or maybe declining
SAT scores point to the fact
that high school students
today have too much
self-respect to take a
vocabulary and geometry test
too seriously, let alone
treat it as a true measure of

Oh, but at Harvard, "How'd
you do on your SATs?" is a
pick-up line, right? No
wonder no one gets laid.

P. S. Does your name rhyme
with "mad again"? Just

Fish With Letter Icon

Fish on Fish

Thank you for your response
to Mike B. Clearly, no one
has pointed out to him that
our three green Canadian M&Ms
will only buy half a brown
tootsie roll on his side of
the border. Implicit in the
practice of NOT putting the
US in front of your $ is the
arrogant assumption that
"everyone will know whose
dollars we're talking about;
after all, what other kinds
of dollars ARE there?"

Camille Pagee (Canadian)<>

At Suck, we make you a
personal guarantee that our
readership will always be
made up of at least 85
percent Arrogant Americans.

Fish With Letter Icon

Nothing really to do with you
guys at Suck, but people like
this REALLY piss me off. :)

Mike Barthel (naively) wrote:
"Do you really think that
when you write an electronic
column IN ENGLISH that deals
almost exclusively with
American culture, more than,
say, .000001 percent of your
audience is going to be from
other countries?"

Mike, mate, of course the Web
consists of only North
America, with a couple of
European countries thrown in
for good measure. Maybe you
should expand your horizons a
little. Maybe we should all
pitch in and buy you an
atlas. Or maybe Wired could
start advertising prices in
another monetary unit -
Pesos? Yen? Pounds Sterling?
Lira? I thought Suck was as
much about online culture as
it was about American

Matthew Paxton (Proud to be
in the .000001 percent)

P. S. What do you expect from
a country as culturally
"backward" as Australia :) ;)

As Terry likes to say: "Suck:
American. For Americans."

As Joey likes to append: "Or

Fish With Letter Icon

Believe It or Not

Subject: Unbelievable

Once again, you've outdone
yourselves. Beers' survey of
modern cynicism manages to
breech the limitations of
scorn. He composes entirely
new shades of contempt,
surveys worlds of
indifference, and explores
(dare I say establishes?) the
post-postmodern conception of
what it means to be jaded.
We've moved past infantile
apathy - of course the public
is insensible to the latest
shenanigans in the Middle
East. We've surpassed
superficiality; fuck the B3
bomber, what's up with our
self-styled, hands-on
president? Even documenting
disturbing inversions of
responsibility - like the
fictional reporters'
preference of real news
stories over hype versus our
obsession with Clinton's cum
shots over real news - is
child's play to him.

No, Beers manages to find an
entirely new milieu for
cynicism. He has discovered
metacynicism! How pathetic is
a nation that weans its
future on the glass tit of
television to the point that
we, as adults, weep over
smarmy sitcoms while
dismissing the carnage in
Rwanda as theater? Another
war with Iraq? Sure,
nudge-nudge wink-wink, let's
see another smart bomb. Beers
has transcended mere cynicism
in that he has managed to
become cynical about being
cynical! Genius!

Thanks for touching that
little black spot in my heart
that I thought was long dead.

Jeff Leaning

This, by the way, is almost
precisely what my last high
school report card had to
say: "entirely new shades of
contempt," "worlds of
indifference," and so on....
You're not gonna, like,
expel me now, are you?

Please be assured that I will
be adding "metacynic" to my
business cards.

Peace out.
Ambrose Beers

Fish With Letter Icon

Very nice article - Suck at
its best. Just wanted to toss
in my two cents.

The first penny is about the
"story" that we've been
unrelentingly bombarded with
for the past week or so. For
all the soul-searching and
back-patting that's wasting
media bandwidth, the one
issue that's not being
discussed is simple
professionalism. "Woman Sues
Press for Sexual Stupidity"
is a news story; "Woman Says
Friend Told Vague Sexual
Fantasy" is not, and "High
School Homeroom Teacher Has
Nothing To Say about Woman
Who May Have Told
Acquaintance About Possible
Vague Sexual Stuff" would,
and should, be laughed out of
staff meetings for the Weekly
Shopper. Where is the
professional decision-making
about content? The mainstream
media are finally closing off
their sociodynamic set of
interactions; the people
involved interact more and
more only with themselves,
and so the News is not just
What We Say It Is, but
increasing Only What We're
Perceiving Among Ourselves.
Front Page News Flash: I'm
Writing A Front Page News
Flash (see sidebar, page 1).

Now that I've pretty much
used up my daily quota of
caps, the other penny. My
favorite piece of fiction
about Media (had a cap-M
leftover) is still a
science-fiction novel from
1977 titled Michaelmas, by
Algis Budrys. It's worth
searching out. Michaelmas is
a balding, pudgy, highly
respected freelance
journalist of the late 20th
century. He also plays a
Martin Dreadnaught guitar. He
also lost his young wife
during the riot at the '68
Democratic convention. He was
at the time an early computer
engineer. He's also the
developer, unknown to the
world, of an intelligent
system named Domino, first a
information-gathering system,
later a partner. Their world
is a peaceful one -
corruption gets exposed,
international tensions get
defused. What's always
appealed is that Budrys
ignores the simple-mindedness
of Wag The Dog and so much
other tripe. Michealmas and
Domino don't create the news;
they use the news, and
news-gathering capabilities,
to create the world...

It's adult, and humane, and
thoughtful, and believable.
It's also a real
science-fiction novel - in
that over the course of the
novel's single day, a very
strange SF kinda threat
emerges. But the type of
threat isn't gratuitously
spacey; it fits perfectly
with the theme of how our
perceptions of pattern create
our world. I think you'd
enjoy it.

And if it isn't already
happening, it should be.

Andrew Sincinito

Thanks for the info on
Michaelmas. I'll check it
out, although the "to read"
pile in the corner here is
pretty big, and it'll take a

The neat thing about the
professionalism you mention -
and I mostly agree - is that
the news media has become
highly "professionalized" and
has changed from a trade that
you can practice with a high
school diploma to a job done
by people with master's
degrees from Columbia. Kind
of funny.

Ambrose Beers

Fish With Letter Icon

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