The Fish
for 23 March 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
and Drink Taster


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

Appearance and Stuff

First of all, remember that
email about how fat people
don't live very long? Well,
some guy gave me an address
for where he posted a photo
of his old, fat father. If
you wanna check it out go to and
look under "backgrounds."

Physical appearance is good
for one thing: getting laid.
I don't know about your
priorities, but in the scheme
of things, for me, this is
fairly low.....

Anyway, following your logic, you
wanna steal shit, so don't
lie to yourself; become a thief.

I just meant that no
real relationship is
predicated on this (which
reminds me: I was watching
Titanic and I forgot that
their relationship was
predicated on love at first
sight. So I was like, how
much of a relationship could
these two people really have?
Lust denied just doesn't tear
at the heart strings).

Master X

Uh, we hate to sound like
Dr. Drew, but fat affects a
person beyond physical
appearance. Naturally, we're
not talking about people who
are 5 pounds overweight or
just not model-anorexic. But
being obese is horrible for
your health. Any doctor on
the face of the planet will agree.

However, we're glad
you've found proof that
there's at least one fat guy
who lived to a ripe old age.
There's also at least one
chainsmoking, doughnut-eating,
heavy drinker who
lived past 100. But take a
stroll through a hospital
sometime and count how many
of the people under 40 are
massively overweight.

Prejudice against fat people
is common and despicable. But
don't kid yourself about the
health risks of being

Fish With Letter Icon

Tuning Fork

Hey Fish,
Sorry to see you've
been woefully suckered in by
those anarcho-socialist
one-hit-wonder wannabes
Chumbawamba. After suddenly
striking the big time with
"Tubthumping," it looks like
they don't know how to keep
themselves there. So, do they:

a) release an awfully
tacky new record as soon as
possible to feed off their fame


b) try to keep
themselves in the limelight
by semi-amusing media japes
under the cover of making a
vague political statement?

"Frenzied whirlwind or media
attention"? More like a storm
in a teacup.

Fact is, the
ChumbaChumps are so used to
being laughed at by the world
that they have absolutely no
idea what to do with their
newfound fame, and it's
understandable: Anarcho-socialism
as an ideal is all
well and good but Karl Marx
never had a hit record did
he? What do they do now???
Suddenly people are taking
notice and the embarrassing
truth is coming out:
Chumbawumba and a bunch of
ex-politics students are
rebelling against "the
system" and playing really
bad music. They whine about
not getting recognition from
the British press. That's
because they were a bunch of
arses for 15 years and now
that they've had
"Tubthumping," they'll be arses
for 15 more.

Chumbawamba should have stayed in the
'80s along with the rest of
the Young Ones. We laughed at
Rik then and we're laughing
at them now ...

Have a better one


really hit a nerve with you,

Fish With Letter Icon

Two months ago Maximum
published a
segment of a 10-year-old
interview with Chumbawumba
wherein they stated they
would never "sell out" or
sign to a major label -
needless to say Max RnR was
having a goof over the band's
eventual signing and was
having a self-righteous
laugh over the whole thing,
as it has done with countless
other bands who haven't met
its rigid standards. Keep in
mind that Max RnR stopped
covering Chumbawumba's new
releases when they released
an album of old English
socialist-leaning folk
songs, which apparently
didn't fit into its
definition of "punk" - if it
weren't for the major label
signing, it may never have
written about the band again.

It's quite obvious that the
members of Chumbawumba know
that this is a one-off deal -
no band member expecting to
develop a long-term career
performs on The Tonight Show
wearing a T-shirt saying
"one-hit wonder" - and
although I'm a little
disappointed that the message
of the song was so oblique
(an inevitable sacrifice made
to appeal to a
non-politicized majority of
the listening public, I
suppose), it does make for a
fascinating gambit, opening
up many questions about
whether it is still possible
to effect change through a
medium so constricted and
co-opted as the music
industry. Let's face it, even
during the fabled
breakthrough of the punk
movement, the big music execs
never completely lost control
of what made it to the major
media outlets, otherwise the
Ramones would have taken over
the mantle of reigning "Best
Band in the World" from the
Rolling Stones back in 1979
as they should have. In a
way, it's quite remarkable
that Chumbawumba have been
able to get away with this
much and have made this much
headway into the marketplace.

As for this struggle that you
mentioned in your article
over "reinforcing the meaning
of what is sung," etc., etc.,
it is a noble concept, but
like most leftist (or more
correctly, leftish) ideals it
is too idealistic to be
carried through in actual
practice. On the other hand,
like many leftist concepts,
it is worth fighting for
nonetheless, not unlike Neil
Young's battle over corporate
tour sponsors a few years
back - it needs to be fought
even though the outcome is
all but inevitable. Neil
Young recently admitted on
Muchmusic (Canada's more
modernist, and incidentally,
more cost-effective answer to
MTV) that "we" had lost "that
fight over corporate
sponsorship" ... but what a
fight it was, eh?

Anyway, great article. Keep it up.

Dave KCB
Toronto, Ontario

So you're accusing us
of publishing noble concepts,
ones that are too idealistic
to be practical?

Now this is a first.

Fish With Letter Icon

I am interested in
Suck's opinion of the readers
who choose to contribute. For
example, just for fun,
wouldn't you like to reply to
many commentaries with
something like, "Thanks for
taking the time to let us
know how you feel, but that
idea is basically shitty, and
no one cares what you think
or how verbose you can be"?

I think Suck is hilarious, but
I am afraid that I may be the
only reader who doesn't take
himself, and the world in
general, too seriously.

Too many readers want to just be
heard, and don't have
anything to say. One thing
that truly sucks about Suck
is that you put down
everything. What's the big
fucking deal? Granted, it is
hilarious, but relax a little
bit and it would be even funnier.

Take it easy, and
keep up the excellent work.

By the way, I suck and I am
an idiot, and you don't care
what I think.

HA! Beat you to
it! Thanks for the laughs,
Patrick Kahney

We don't put
down everything. We're
idealistic and noble. Get
with it, you stupid dummy.

Fish With Letter Icon
Identity Crisis

You probably won't
think this is important, but ...

If I remember my WWII
history, the infamous bombing
of Dresden's urban center
with incendiary munitions was
actually done by the RAF (the
British and Commonwealth air
forces) during night raids
from high altitude. The
American Army Air Force was
then, as our USAF is now,
prepared to believe that
lower altitude, "precision"
(daylight in 1945) raids
against "strategic" or
infrastructure targets with
high explosive bombs were
more useful, even if vastly
more dangerous, to American
aircrews. And so they
targeted Dresden's railhead
with daylight raids. I think
there was even some problem
with the smoke caused by the
British raids making the
American targets harder to
hit. I believe that the
Americans felt confirmed in
these tactics by the results
of earlier campaigns against
the ball-bearing plants in
Swabia and the oil facilities
at Polesti: a nearly direct
hit on heavy industrial
equipment being needed to
stop production for a longer
period of time.

Of course,
the British, after the
bombing campaign over England
earlier in the war (and the
V-1/V-2 rocket attacks late
in the war) were probably not
too concerned about
collateral damage in Germany.
Also, by the end of the war,
some historians have noted an
extreme interest in the
British high command for
holding British casualties to
a minimum (having sustained
heavier losses over a longer
time in the war, British
public opinion, a desire to
maintain a force so as to be
a greater political power
after the war, etc.).

What may be a better example of
American "terror bombing" is
the air campaign over the
home islands of Japan. The
fire- bombing of Tokyo is an
example. I don't recall what
reasons, if any, have been
forwarded to explain the
difference in tactics between
the two theaters. It is
tempting to think that the
extensive racist propaganda
against the Japanese was a factor.

Like I said, you
probably won't think this is
important, and were using
Dresden as a "meme" more than
as a real example. But I am
not sure that we are best
served as a nation when our
media commentators (or, for
that matter, our history
teachers) appropriate history
and retell it as a series of
memes. The complexity of the
historical incidents are
lost, and with that loss, I
believe, goes much of the
value of history's
instruction to us now. In
this case, the pattern of
different levels of concern
over collateral damage based
on the ethnicity of the
targets, belief in the
utility of precision bombing,
belief in using airpower
against an enemy's strategic
infrastructure, and problems
of "coalition warfare" are
all topics that could be from
news reports in 1998.

The historical examples from
almost half a century ago
might be useful to our
current understanding, if
only we were ever taught
them. Ah, the devil in the

Best regards,

Yes, but at least
I'm smart enough to know that
Dresden is in Brazil.

Thanks for the information.

Ambrose Beers

Fish With Letter Icon

I knew it, I knew it, I
knew it! I lived in Denver
for over 20 years (I recently
moved to LA), and knew before
my cursor ever got touched
the link that you were
writing about the Denver
vs. the News.

Thanks for making me homesick.
Joe Pacheco

You know, it's funny
that you mention Denver.
Because it was just very
recently that I was sitting
in City Park, on the grass in
front of the Natural History
Museum, looking out past
Ferril Lake to the skyline
which was, if I remember
correctly, etched against the
clean, clear image of the
snowcapped mountains.
It was stunning.

And how's LA?

>Ambrose Beers

LA is good, for
the most part. It's reminding
me more and more of a porn
magazine that's been opened.
purchased but has yet to be


P.S. Do not be
fooled by that "clean clear"
air. It's dirty.

Fish With Letter Icon

Spam Bam, Thank You Sir, Ma'am, or Other Excellent riff.

I do think
there's a difference, however
marginal, between unwelcome
inanity like spam and the
invited, participatory
inanity of "Re: Fwd: Re: Dogs
suck NOT" crapola, although
both are admittedly neck-and-neck
in the race to
kill all meaning and value on
what, in the good ol' days
when PCs was PCs and you had
to know your AUTOEXEC.BAT
from your CONFIG.SYS, we
called the Internet.
Yessirree, back then we
didn't have spam like "Lose
Weight by Eating All the Ice
Cream You Want" - no, we end
endless diatribes and
personal dick- swinging
contests about the Kennedy
assassination and the
trilateral commission in such
appropriate places as
CompuServe's Model Train
Forum (remember CompuServe?
Whatever happened to them?).

Although I wouldn't want to
gnaw away at anyone's first
amendment rights to
advertise, I would like the
ability to refuse delivery of
any piece of junk mail,
especially one that came
postage due. OK, so how much
does it really cost me to
download another 400 MB with
my last batch of email?
Admittedly, next to nothing.

But, dammit, we're talkin'
about principle - and every
once in a while there comes a
time when a man has to put
aside facts and do what's right.

Damn the Spam, that's
what I say!

Thanks again.
Rob Seulowitz

I don't think
you'll be needing to defend
"participatory inanity" to
anyone at Suck. We know.

As for your question about
CompuServe, a secret: It
became unbelievably "hip" and
"underground." Twiggy is on
"The CS," for example, and so
is Anthony Michael Hall. We
call him "Tony." A lot of
people bought that whole "H&R
Block" thing, so keep this
one under your hat.

Ambrose Beers

Fish With Letter Icon

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