The Fish
for 30 June 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 Vice President
of Snacks

 

Heather Havrilesky
Heather Havrilesky
Senior Editor

 

[Ian Connelly]
Ian Connelly
Marketing Manager

 

[Copy Edit]
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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

 

[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

Good Old Tabacky

Dear Sucksters:

If you have any interest in
further covering the tobacco
settlement quagmire, today's
LA Times' coverage might
merit your attention.

It's no secret to the free
world that the tobacco
industry is an invidious
entity bulging with profits.
It's also no secret that a
big money grab is underway,
from the Feds to the states
to the poor, abused lifelong
smokers who now want to be
reimbursed for the lung
cancer. ("I honestly believed
that smoking 50,000
cigarettes wouldn't adversely
affect my health, your Honor.
Little did I know that those
bastards were lying to
Congress!")

The bottom line is, these
people agreed to a settlement
a year ago, then the
demogogy and grandstanding
toppled the damned thing.
Washington seems to be aging
quicker than a rotten lung.
The baby boomers have
ossified and are convinced
that a "take that out of your
mouth" (cigarettes, booze,
marijuana) policy constitutes
effective domestic policy.

As for me, I say fuck 'em.
Their zealous pursuit of cash
for lame TV spots has become
uglier than Monica L.'s
Vanity Fair photos. I'll vote
the "throw the bums out"
ticket (and for that bore
Gray Davis, I suppose).

Incidentally, your columns
have been especially rich
lately. Thank you for being a
voice of sanity.

Cheers,

Jay Burnley
<Jay.Burnley@hbo.com>

We're the voice of sanity?

That is really unhappy news.
We thought we were the voice
of bitterness, alienation,
and mental instability.

Please, rethink your views on
this.

P. S. Monica looks sort of
sexy, in a flat-footed,
munchkin-handed kind of way.

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Filler

A PR person once called me
back after I interviewed a
CEO and said, "I just want to
follow up now that you've had
a chance to get some
knowledge nuggets from our
thought leader."

OK, so it's not a metaphor.
But it's a heck of a buzz
phrase.

Whit Andrews
<whit@iw.com>

"Knowledge nuggets"? Do those
come in 6- or 12- packs?

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Subject: Overprofessionalism
sloganeering

Please, please, please do not
become another Scott Adams.
We do not need to see any
more inane "Corporate culture
... wotta riot!" features on
a regular basis.

Besides that, keep up the
good work.

Joe Garden, Temporary
<j-garden1@nwu.edu>

Your concerns are duly noted.
However,
slogans/buzzwords/corporate
culture versus metaphors
employed by new-media
peoples: Different. Little,
yellow, different. Sort of
different. Kind of.

I would never try to steal
Scott Adams' real estate. I
think Dilbert is pretty
fucking funny, actually, but
then I've worked in several
offices that employed
cartoonishly annoying
imbeciles.

Tune in next week for my
caustic take on those pesky
self-involved college drama
students that we all love to
hate!

Filler: Custom-made to suit
your particular bag of
gripes.

Polly

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Manifest Destiny

Hypatia,

Are you quite young? Your
piece on the current
incarnation of The Communist
Manifesto
seems to come from
a young person. Your only
reference to the persons of
Marx and Engels reflects an
interest in assesing [sic] their
breeding potential. The rest
of your piece seems concerned
with sussing out the vacant
psychostructural dynamics
that consistently miss the
history of communism. More
like a political essay for
Tiger Beat; "shocking irony,"
it is not. BTW - shocking
irony is thin gruel. Try
again.

Jack Garman
<jackgrmn@cruzio.com>

Ah, little Jackie, there was
a day when I too thought I
could see through an argument
to the person behind it (we
called it ad hominem and
looked down on it then). I
tried using British "slang"
terms such as "suss" to show
that I fit in with the crowd
I was "running with." And I
never thought about the
ironies of history, felt it
was insincere or bad form to
let myself be so brutally
frank: what we nowadays would
call "politically incorrect."
But for fuck's sake, if
you're going to act older and
wiser, make some fucking
sense. You complain about my
"reference to the persons of
Marx and Engels," but you
don't seem too familiar with
Marx's actual writing career,
which was deeply affected by
those carbuncles - try
reading his letters sometime!
Am I really trying to "asses"
[sic] Marx and Engels'
breeding potential by telling
people to look past their
appearances to the ways
readers have used their
texts? You might wanna try
reading that part of the
essay again, young Jack. What
on earth are "psychostructural
dynamics" - the psyche of whom?
The structure of what? Did you
have an actual point about
the history of communism?

Maybe one day you'll be able
to see that there is
something a teeny-weeny bit
ironic about the history of
communism - an irony that
might enrich your view of
both history and communism.
In the meantime, I suggest
piling on the starch to
thicken that oh-so-thin
ironic gruel.

Hypatia

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

In your haste to ascend to
the usual Suckish heights of
sharp-quilled hipness (which,
of course, is what keeps us
Suckers coming back day after
day), you tripped yourself
up. You spent a little too
much time checking Marx's
conclusions for prescience,
before slamming this activity
as "not the point," at least
for "receptive readers."

Further, just because it is
all everyone else ever does,
doesn't mean you had to
uphold the absurd notion that
Marx's raison d'etre was
soothsayer-to-the-world. Step
past the propaganda in the
Manifesto, and you'll find
some analysis. Coupling their
analysis with ominous
statements about the imminent
fall of capitalism to the
specter of communism was Marx
and Engel's special way of
showing the downside of the
dominating structures of
Western society while selling
people on an alternative. A
little more than merely
sitting cross-legged in the
town square with funny hats
on, laying out socioeconomic
tarot cards.

Reading the Manifesto, we
find discussions of
globalization, the
monopolizing tendencies of
capital, the ever-increased
concentration of capital in
fewer hands. Gee, MAI, FTAA,
Microsoft, bank-merger mania
... hmmm....

Sure, the language and
substance of a lot of the
Manifesto is prescient. The
point is that maybe if more
people had heeded Marx at the
time, we wouldn't be in such
an inequitable mess now. And
it just might be worthwhile
to look into the rest of his
writings for tips on how to
get out of the mess we're in. No,
I'm not talking about any
type of communism, but
meaningful adjustments to the
system we have. Call it what
you will.

Stephen Targett
<targetts@mail.cibc.com>
Toronto, Canada

Touché, Stephen, but
are you saying that if we all
listened to Marx we'd be more
like, you know, Canada?

Hypatia

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

dearest hypatia,

first of all, bravo on the
article. this is the suck
literature i like to read.
the best i've read since,
say, "the gospel according to
luke," or something along
those lines. i write you
today to relate a similar
experience in a broadly
different context. i traveled
last year through budapest,
hungary, and decided to take
a day trip into szobor park.
it's a "statue museum," which
houses the remains of
"communist" statues that once
laced the city. it was kind
of weird actually. there were
statues of lenin and the
general bolshevik aesthetics
- certainly nothing that
appeared hungarian ... but
when i walked in, the museum
shop was playing russian
military music and selling
"shockingly ironic" t-shirts.
for instance, one depicted
lenin underneath a mcdonald's
style "M" saying "McLenin's:
A Real Taste of Communism."
another had this expression:
"Marx is dead, Lenin is dead,
and I'm not feeling so great
either." before i left, i
purchased a real hungarian
certificate of communist
military service. from what i
understood (my hungarian is
not so good), it was the
woman's son's when he
completed his tour. i bought
this symbolic totem for about
ten bucks. when i got back to
state side, i mentioned that
i visited szobor park to a
hungarian friend. he
responded: "oh, you mean that
junkyard outside of the
city?"

which means to say, you're
right (on many more levels
than you thought). marxism
*is* a commodity (we don't
even need to discuss che
gueverez or rage against the
machine). whether an insignia
of nostalgia or an image of
horror, communism is dead,
dead, dead. even marx, who
(ironically?) once claimed
not to be a marxist, would
probably not be able to live
without the "shocking irony"
of which you speak in
approaching critical social
theory. living past-world
spirit and the end of history
(or dialectical materialism,
that is) is scary, but also
pretty inspiring. marx is
indeed dead, but
surprisingly, i'm not feeling
so bad about it....

clark
<beastie@sunsite.unc.edu>

Jesus fucking God.

Hypatia

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

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