The Fish
for 13 March 1998. Updated every WEEKDAY.
Suck Staff

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Matt Beer
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Development Manager

Gas Mask

Right on! Back before the
bombs were going to fall in
the original Bush blitzkrieg,
I did some research in my
university library and found
enough information in a
couple of hours to support my
cynical suspicion that we'd
been on The Butcher of
Baghdad's side awfully
recently (perhaps it was the
similarities to Noriega's
demonization that made me

Before the Gulf War, our
government was split, with
Congress taking a
comparatively hard line
against Iraq and the Bush
administration more
interested in closer ties.
When Congress voted to bar US
Export/Import Bank credits to
Iraq in late 1989, for
instance, Bush decided to
waive the ban in January

A Western journalist was
executed in Iraq in March,
and Hussein's agents were
caught trying to buy nuclear
weapons triggers in the
United States as well as
parts for a huge projectile
launcher in Great Britain
that same month.

So by April, Congress was
trying to put more sanctions
on Iraq; the Bush
administration was still
opposed. A "senior
administration official" was
quoted at the time as saying:
"It is certainly better to
deal with him than not. He is
more moderate than he was in
the past, and there is a good
chance he will be more
moderate in the future." Bush
then sent Senators Arlen
Specter and Bob Dole to Iraq
to reassure Hussein that the
country had support in

And it just goes on and on:
assistant secretary of state
John Kelly asking the House
of Reps to hold off on
sanctions, Hussein bragging
about his chemical weapons
arsenal and threatening to
"burn half of Israel," Kelly
telling the Senate that
sanctions against Iraq would
interfere with the United
States' "restraining
influence on Iraqi actions."

The punch line goes like
this: I published my findings
in the student paper on
campus, where they were
ignored of course. My sources
- clippings from The New York
I'd xeroxed from our
library's microfilm, mostly.
Then, about a year after the
war, the Los Angeles Times
"discovered" the same set of
facts and published a
front-page story that had
some nationwide play for a
couple of days (but it was
old news about an old war at
that point).

I like the politically
critical attitudes I've been
seeing more and more in Suck
lately; thanks for doing your

Dave Gross

P. S. If you want to see me
doing my part, check out:

The single thing that drives
me up the wall about the way
the news is reported is that
there's no connection to even
the immediate past. So that
the hot-shit Times story you
mention should not only have
come a lot earlier, but it
shouldn't have been so
uncommon as to cause that
two-day storm of attention;
every newspaper should have
been publishing that story
already. Sad.

Note that newspapers have
been reporting on a
confrontation that just
happened between Madeline
Albright and a Senate
committee; the senators were
griping that the United
States didn't bomb, and so
made us look soft. And
Albright replied (testily, as
always) that we didn't create
the problem. (Senator Ben
Nighthorse-Campbell told her,
by the way, that we didn't
create cancer either - but
that doesn't mean that we
shouldn't chop it out of a
body when we find it. You go,
senator! Whooo!)

Not everybody sucks, though,
and check this out:

And the parasitic infection
of culture can, in fact, be
buffooned into shruggery.
Bless your fine work, young
man. (One word: plastics.)

Ambrose Beers

Fish With Letter Icon

Our Best Applicant in Years

Well my company is cutting
all salaries as of the first
of the year, so here's my
fucking résumé.
Hire me.

My Résumé

Work History
I was born a real go-getter.
A real people person. I
learned at a very young age
that family and guests didn't
exactly appreciate the smell
of poopy diapers, so I would
hide behind the curtains to
do my business. Now that's a
level of public
responsibility that most
infants cannot claim, and I
feel that I have continued to
be conscious of appropriate
social behavior throughout my
life. My first word would
become my moniker, or more
appropriately, my call in the
coming years. Much to the
chagrin of my loving mother,
one of my father's degenerate
artist friends decided to
teach me the word "bullshit,"
which I happily applied to
all conversations within
which I was included. Little
did I know how important that
word would become in my life.

Childhood was bullshit. I
spent the first two years
after my parents' divorce
living in some ratty
apartments in the South
Bronx. My father married a
Jewish woman who worked in
psychotherapy. There's a
shocker. How come everyone
even remotely involved in the
field of psychology is so
terminally fucked up? Just an
early observation, anyway, if
you aren't familiar with the
South Bronx, I was the white
cultural influence there. I
remember screwing up the
"7-Up" game on my first day
in second grade and getting
my ass kicked by Tyrone and
Jesus after school.
Apparently, the "7-Up" game
was sacred to the denizens of
the South Bronx, and I most
certainly deserved a good
ass-beating for the sacrilege
I had committed. But this
experience taught me to be
aware of the cultural
morés and rituals
prevalent in my surroundings,
a character trait that will
most assuredly be a benefit
for me in the work force.

Culture shock is bullshit. I
moved from the South Bronx to
Norman, Oklahoma, in the third
grade. I met my first friend,
Richie, who apparently was
one of many children in
Norman that had a booger
collection. Using the
knowledge I had gained from
my previous ass-beating
experiences in New York, I
praised his booger collection
and all others that would
come across my path. I was a
big hit. And unbeknownst to
me, I was demonstrating a
level of ass-kissing that
takes most men decades to
hone. Once again, building my
skills to eventually enter
the work force. Norman was
not a town full of high-brow
intellectual stimulation, a
perfect environment for me to
develop the proper skills
needed to become a respected
and valued worker in
corporate America. I learned
that when your father is
drunk, just like when your
boss is pissed, stay out of
the way and look busy.
Invaluable information for
the young, ambitious,
corporate-ladder climber.

Junior high was bullshit. We
had a teacher in Wisconsin
that had free reign to beat
the shit out of us kids. He
used to call you up to the
front of the class, make you
hold out your hands, and
smash them with a ruler with
all his might. Everyone was
too scared to say a word. We
got him back though. Calvin
had an attack dog that had a
penchant for old white-ass.
We waited until Halloween,
all of us in masks, and set
the dog on him in the parking
lot. When there was an
investigation by the
principal, I stepped forward
(being the "A" student),
expressed my innocence, and
exposed his violent
behavior toward the children
as the reason for the attack.
Ms. Campbell turned out to be
quite a pleasant replacement.
I have read that the best
people in business learned at
an early age how to handle
difficult situations with
extreme measures and
inter-personal manipulation.
I cannot think of a better
example than this.

High school was bullshit. But
I did learn another lesson
that should assist me in my
mission to be all that an
employee can be in this
country. Charisma is
everything. Forget algebra,
learn to be charming. Charm,
and if you are lucky, good
looks, can get you into any
door in the world. My
freshman English teacher
literally gave me an "A"
because he liked my style. I
didn't even turn in half the
moronic projects he had for
the class, and if that isn't
a hard sell then I don't know
what is. I mean really, what
the fuck is my haiku poem
going to do for me? I'll tell
you what nodding my head in
agreement during a political
conversation after school
did. It got me a free ride.
Once again, demonstrating the
art of schmooze that will
propel me to fiscally
abundant heights with
whatever company realizes my
lifelong dedication to the
Art of American Business. I
also learned to weigh my
strengths and weaknesses. My
father was on the board of
deans at Syracuse University,
so who gives a shit if my
Spanish teacher thought I was
an asshole? Know what your
future is likely to hold. And
know whose ass to kiss.
Important lessons for a
young, ambitious, corporate-
ladder climber.

College was bullshit. All the
drugs made me forget all the
lessons I'd learned. By the
end I almost had to start all
over. Sex, alcohol, and
illegal substances can cloud
even the clearest of business
minds. But I did learn yet
another important lesson. Men
judge other men by how
fantastically good-looking
and charming the women they
are with seem. And, in all
fairness, quite often
vice-versa. For all intents
and purposes, you could be
the biggest schmucko on
campus, but not with Babs, on
your arm. With Babs, you get
into all the best parties.
With Babs, you don't wait in
line at the most popular bar.
With Babs you are the envy of
every horny 18-year-old
dormroom dork. And they fear
and respect you. Gaining
respect through fear is
almost the most important
business-related lesson you
can learn. I cannot stress
this enough.

Art is bullshit. Resist the
urge to explore your innate
creativity. In my case it was
music. Heading down the path
of artistic enlightenment can
only hinder your chances at
financial stability. After
college, I spent almost two
years in Boulder, Colorado.
This town, and all like it,
including Madison, Wisconsin,
should be avoided at all
costs by any serious-minded
future businessman. Although,
while finding the rampant
sex, illegal drugs, and
trippy music quite pleasing,
it was a hollow experience.
Luckily, the lessons I had
learned earlier in life, were
enough to get me through it
alive. This is another point
I cannot stress enough. At
all costs, avoid people
wearing tie-dye.

Marrying rich is bullshit. I
know what you're thinking,
don't look a gift horse in
the mouth. Well, I am here to
tell you I learned a valuable
lesson while engaged to a
millionaire. Living
vicariously through someone
else's wealth is not all it's
cracked up to be. Sure waking
up at noon, eating a
continental breakfast,
watching the movie of my
choice on our big-screen TV,
then retiring to the computer
room for a hard afternoon of
computer gaming doesn't suck.
Sure, eating out at the
finest restaurants, buying
tickets to all the hottest
shows, and experiencing all
that Chicago has to offer its
elite isn't immediately
stale. But when the love
fades and the music dies
down, who do you think is
going to end up on the
streets, eh? That's right.
Very important lesson in
business. Earn your own damn
money, then you can treat
people like shit all you
want. Tired of your current
girlfriend? Get a new one!
Throw the old hag out, I'm
sure she's got family! Now
some folks have asked me,
"Why didn't you use the
lessons you learned earlier
in life, and kiss her
ass?" Well for one, nearing
the end of our relationship
her ass was getting so
fucking big I was afraid I'd
get sucked into its
gravitational field and never
be heard from again. By the
time we were through her ass,
two, tiny, quivering mounds
of scented flesh had become
twin peaks of Gouda and Brie,
with rivers of cottage cheese
running down her thighs. But
that's beside the point. The
drive to earn lots of money
is an important step for any
young businessman. And never
let anyone talk you into
taking a philanthropic job,
such as helping abused
children. It was an entire
waste of my time, no one told
me those children had no

Mortgage banking is bullshit.
I thought I'd finally found
my calling. Here was the kind
of ruthless, backstabbing,
vicious occupation I was bred
for. Chock full of political
subterfuge and voracious,
unrelenting greed. Oh daddy.
There's nothing like taking
an 80-year old woman to
the cleaners, by charging her
an arm and a leg for a loan
that jacked her interest rate
up so high she was in
foreclosure within a year.
And it's still not enough.
But, hey, what did you
expect? I'm a product of my
environment. I take no
responsibility for my
actions. I am going to take
and take and take until there
is nothing left at all. I am
an American businessman, and
I am going to squeeze every
penny out of every sale I can
get my bloodstained hands on.
I'm going to bury every dream
I ever had in pursuit of the
almighty dollar. So whatever
the job is, I am the man for
your company. Whether it's
selling stocks or selling
souls I have the skills. I am
a team-player.

Eric Wilsoni

You're the most qualified
applicant we've stumbled on
in years. Unfortunately, we
haven't been hiring in years.
Also: Web sites are bullshit.

Can't someone out there pay
this man for something? We'd
suggest either replacing
Spin's Genius Lessons with
your own, much more bitter
version (Bullshit Lessons?)
or possibly joining the ranks
of Salon's columnists with a
regular gig, perhaps titled,
quite simply, Bullshit? You'd
have to sprinkle it with
intimate details from your
sex life or your friends' sex
lives, but other than that,
it's a no-brainer. Which is
nice, because Having to Use
Your Brain is the biggest
Bullshit of all.

Thanks for prostituting your
life story for our amusement.
Feel free to do so again at
any time.

heather havrilesky
(hav-ril-es-kee) havrilesky
polly esther i
wednesdays @

Fish With Letter Icon


I'm just a pseudo-linguist,
but wouldn't number four be
funnier if bachelor number
one spoke of bachelors dos and tres instead of
uno and dos? Or is it part of
the joke that he's no cunning
linguist either? Or is this
one of those
in-the-third-person things?

P. S.: Miss Wiffleworth says
that the lower-left-hand icon
should be "Previous Page,"
not "Last Page." She also
says not to start a sentence
with "and" or "or," but Ned
don't pay her no nevermind on
that subject.

Ned Kittlitz

Re: the bachelors - The panel
was designed to have a number
of possible interpretations,
Ned. Your failure to choose
one decisively indicates a
fundamental flaw in your
psyche, which your subsequent
reference to the phantom Miss
Wiffleworth only accentuates.

Our assessment: seek help.

St. Huck

Fish With Letter Icon

I'm viewing your cartoon
balloons from a 19-inch TV
screen, and they are too
small to read. I don't wear
glasses and my opthomologist
tells me I have normal
vision. With no cartoons, the
colomn if great. Though, at
times, The verbal garbage
becames a bit overwelming.

VTU, Richard

Maybe you should get a bigger


Fish With Letter Icon

Gas Mask

Subject: Teenage wasteland

Other than my instinctive
reaction to disagree with
everything you write just for
the sake of a good argument,
I honestly think there are
two legitimate criticisms one
can make of your fine

1. It really is dangerous in
the Gulf. Even if nobody
shoots back (and somebody
will shoot back), taking off
and landing and just flying
around carriers is inherently
risky. In 'Nam, medical tests
showed that pilots were
actually more scared when
landing on their carriers
than when making bomb runs.
And don't forget John Glenn's
crack about what it was like
being in the space program:
"Sitting on 10 million parts,
all of which were sold by the
lowest bidder." These guys
are flying with several tons
of Bang, all of which was
made by the lowest bidder.
It's scary. Let them crow a

2. Our policy toward Iraq in
particular, and the Middle
East in general, is lousy,
full of contradictions,
morally inept, and very
confused. The technical term
for this situation is "life."
We are not responsible for
all of it; most of the
problems result from the
behavior of somebody else. We
are doing the best we can
(OK, we're doing a lot less
than the best we can), with
what we have. Perhaps it's
time to come to the
realization that not
everything that goes wrong is
our fault. Not everything
that breaks can be fixed. Not
all problems have neat

These are the lessons
children must learn to become
adults; not all learn them.
Maybe it's time we learned
them as a nation.

This isn't a criticism of
your analysis, which is
accurate and effective. And,
most certainly, it isn't a
plea for us to "trust our
leaders." It's just a
suggestion that maybe the
world can't be fixed by even
the best zine column.

Alan Kornheiser

But there's no disagreement,

In re: "Even if nobody shoots
back (and somebody will shoot
back), taking off and landing
and just flying around
carriers is inherently
risky," note that I wrote,
and emphasis added, here:
"One suspects that the
sailors, being highly
disciplined professionals and
well accustomed to getting
their work done in an
atmosphere of real and
persistent danger,
this." The point was simply
that the added danger that
would come from shooting at
Iraq didn't rise to the level
of drama that the newspapers
took it to.

In re: "Not everything that
goes wrong is our fault. Not
everything that breaks can be
fixed. Not all problems have
neat solutions," I would have
to say that 1) I agree, and
2) it's our effort to "fix"
the world - arming Iraq to
fix Iran, for example - that
makes things worse,
sometimes. I think the very
problem here (recently, in
addition to the arming Iraq
thing) is that the Clinton
administration has been
trying to sell a picture of
"neat solutions," of firm
posturing being a real
solution to something more

I must go fix the world, now.

Ambrose Beers

Fish With Letter Icon

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