The Fish
for 9 July 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 Rhythm Guitar


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

Subject: Ten Steps to Getting

In the interest of providing
accurate reader feedback,
here is a step-by-step
description of my personal
reader experience with
today's Suck.

1. Read today's Filler.
Chuckle appreciatively all
the way through.
2. Finish ... feeling oddly
3. Sit and ponder
lack of satisfaction.
Realize it is the product of
three contradictory facts:
a. In Traditional American
Humor, a list must always end
with some sort of zinger,
which provides both a big
laugh and closure.
b. Suck, and
especially Filler, always
proudly and rigorously hews
to the trail blazed by
Traditional American Humor.
c. "Girls named Heather are
usually evil," while
undeniably true, clearly
argued for by the film
Heathers, and kind of an
inherently funny sentence in
and of itself, is not much of
a zinger.
4. Contemplate the
statement "Girls named
Heather are usually evil."
Parse for oblique pun,
obscure literary/pop-culture
reference, roundabout slam at
David Foster Wallace, etc.
5. Shrug, tell roommate to put
on Meat Puppets II, pack
dummy pipe.
6. Play canasta.
7. Suddenly remember: Wait,
isn't there someone named
Heather Haver-something
that's on the credits page?
Hey! I bet that's it! It's
probably a mean little
in-joke that they figured
only true Suck aficionados
would catch. In fact, it's
probably some sort of secret
signal that this Heather
chick is on her way out. Or
maybe Polly's just got it in
for her. I wonder if she
slept with Polly's boyfriend.
Yup. I bet that's it.
8. Interrupt card game, give
roommate shiny object to play
with, go back to computer,
log on.
9. Go to Suck, find
listing for Heather
What's-Her-Name. Click on
10. Discover your
terrible secret.

Polly, I stand in awe. All in
the space of six magical
words, you managed to achieve
an Easter Egg worthy of
Warren Robinett, an Author
versus Avatar self-critique
worthy of Steven Millhauser,
and an example of pointless
self-referentiality worthy of
me. And you did this all
while adhering to the tenets of
Traditional American Humor.
You are a goddess. Tell Terry
I really like his drawings,

Jesse Fuchs

Forget all this Warren
Robinett - Easter Egg crap. I
just want you to explain

"6. Play canasta."

So when you're not hanging on
Filler's every word you're
... playing canasta?

Quality flattery is so hard
to find these days. There's
always a catch.

Fish With Letter Icon

City Page Turner

Dear Sucksters,

A few words in defense of big
city columnists. Hit and Run
number two took a potshot at them for
their use of bogus
statistics, false ire, and the
habit of quoting toddlers and
the senescent. This may or
may not be true of some
columnists, but it is a far
cry from the glorious work
done by the great city
columnists of then and now:
men like Pete Hamill, Mike
Royko, Murray Kempton, and
A. J. Liebling, to name a few,
not to mention their
predecessors like Chesterton,
Addison, Macauley, and other
giants. A big city columnist
works in a genre all his own,
in which he is a
larger-than-life Citizen
giving voice to truths
reporters can't. People come
to know him and believe in
him. His voice is meant to be
emotive and grandiloquent,
just as a Hit and Run is
meant to be supercilious and
laconic. Statistics and other
dubious "hard facts" have no
place in a column except as
punctuation, and faking them
is a wrong squared.

Joshua Ozersky

Sounds like a good gig -
being a "larger-than-life
Citizen," telling it like it
is, with no hard facts to
stand in the way....

That emotive and
grandiloquent stuff is hard
for us to manage, though.
Grandiloquent, maybe.
Emotive, never.

Cold as ice, baby!

Fish With Letter Icon

The Department of Corrections
and Inquiries

The miserable people in
Breaking the Waves were
Calvinists, not Catholics.
Also, Ambrose Beers forgot to
mention that investors have
historically been
irrationally risk-averse and
stocks therefore have been undervalued.
So that may be why the
pyramid scheme may not
collapse. Finally, do you
plan extensive Lilith Fair

Karl Marksred

Someone else said they were
presbyterians. Looked damn
near Catholic to these
Catholics, but what the hell
have Catholics ever known
about Protestants, anyway,
other than the usual
from-the-true-faith crap?

Interesting perspective on
stocks historically being
"undervalued" - emphasis on

Extensive coverage of Lilith
Fair is indeed on the
schedule, including a
thoughtful piece titled: "Why
does an all-girl event spawn
so much automatic scorn?"
Alternate title: "Sarah
McLachlan: Why?"

Fish With Letter Icon

Dear Sucksters,

I just browsed in the Net
moguls trading area and I am
outraged at what I saw! Upon
closer inspection, I noticed
that your gum is actually
made from a scum base and
shit! How can you so
flagrantly sell this crap
(literally!) to children who
just want to collect and
trade their favorite Net
moguls. Do you really think
that children want to buy and
eat, er chew, shit?!?

J. Noah

Ah, the question that answers

Fish With Letter Icon

really excellent article. you
might want to also consider
that the economies have been
playing fast and loose with
the idea of value for quite a
while now. for example - the
forex markets. it's a shot
here, but it seems that the
departure from the gold
standard for currency
valuation seems to have
restructured our
understanding of 'worth' to a
more esoteric level all
around. not that i'm
complaining, though....

many thanks (yet again).

m. faraz javaid

Absolutely. Money is paper
from a printing press - who
cares if we play with it in a
slightly unreal fashion? It's
like: Hey, you're not placing
your Barbie in real-life
situations, children. Maybe
we can switch to, like, the
wood standard or something,
re-inject a little reality....

Ambrose Beers

Fish With Letter Icon

Austin Stories

"The Adults w/Brown
Whornet[sic] @ Electric
Lounge, Austin, Texas, 8 May
1998" is the shit, huh?

You fucking clowns. I can
understand misspellings,
maybe even in a .gif. But to
have it up since the end of
May . . .

It's clear that Austin is a
great place to live; there's
a steady stream on geeks
getting off the Southwest
Airlines Nerd Bird and not
getting back on. But it's
not because of the bands,
venues, or theatre companies.
Number one reason Austin is a
great place to live in ...
zero tolerance for pompous
black-attired folk that jump
on the Next Cool Thing Band

Don't be fooled by the
pouting hipsters already
here. They're from out of
town just like you. Try
wearing one of those outfits
to the lake at 3 p.m. Seen the
Wizard of Oz

Kick it,


I'm not sure exactly what's
being said here, Robert. Is
the implication that liking
the Adults and Brown Whornet
necessarily makes me a
"pompous black-attired ...
pouting hipster ... from out
of town"? Pompous, I grant
you, but the rest is a slur
to which I bear no (close)
resemblance. Neither the
Adults nor Brown Whornet are
terribly "Next" or a "Cool
Thing," although I once
helped Brown Hornet, pre-"W,"
load their equipment into a
"Band Wagon" after they
played at a friend's house.

As for the suggestion that
proof of Austin's being "a
great place to live" rests in
"a steady stream on [sic]
geeks getting off the
Southwest Airlines Nerd Bird
and not getting back on,"
well, I think you may have
simply misspoken. The influx
of the business class is
obviously what's making
Austin more economically
unlivable by the day (for my
income bracket, anyway).

Finally, and most
wrongheadedly, the idea that
Austin's greatness inheres in
its intolerance may just be
wishful thinking on your
part. Austin may be an
appallingly segregated city
(one of the worst I've seen,
in fact), but it's still
pretty live-and-let-live, at
least in my neighborhood.
You're right about one thing,
though: The way the city's
demographics have been going
(yuppies, Dellionaires, and
the Guero's-, Four Seasons-,
and Speakeasy-visiting big
shots from out of town),
Austin's student population -
traditionally the seat of
hipsters and poseurs - has
been diluted from about 15
percent of the population to
under 10 percent.

Pouting and Pompous in the
River City,


Subject: Well, fair enough
... but black still blows.

LeTeXan, Boy, I felt like a
goose when I found out they
changed their name. (Of
course, I'm guessing that;
I'm seeing Hornet and Whornet
cross-referenced all over the

But, that doesn't change the
fact that the most visible
immigrants to Austin are the
same type of folks that ran
to Seattle in the early '90s.
You mention two places that
are so far removed from the
Austin way of life that I
can't even consider them part
of the city limits: Four
Seasons and Speakeasy. (Hey,
and watch what you say about
Guero's and Dell; that place
is South Austin to the core.
And Mike Dell pays a good
amount of my bills)

As far as the Buffy and Mitch
go: All I can hope for is a
major recession to eat up
their discretionary spending.

Hey, I'm just a simple South
Texas boy who went to UT. I
liked Austin, learned how to
code in college, and I stayed.
We both agree that Austin is a
wonderful place to live (or
visit, I guess).

But, how the hell do you
know? Because you saw a show
and helped one of a thousand
bands put their equipment in
a car? Why is a Web magazine
based in San Francisco saying
that Austin is so great?

I sure as heck didn't mean to
insult you personally. I've
always been a huge fan of
Suck (and the rest of the
online Wired family). But,
you folks ought to stick to
what you know.

(Oh, yeah ... and that
statistic is full of crap.
Redefine the Austin area as
bordered by the 183/290/360
"loop" and see what you come
up with. Remember, UT is now
the largest university in the
nation, it continues to grow,
and students don't leave very
quickly after getting their
degree. (Unless of course,
they're business majors and
who needs them anyway.)

Sic 'em,


Did I say Austin was so
great? That's a pretty big
inference. I just said I
liked this one music show.
Anyway, the "how the hell do
you know?" gets the response:
Because at least one of us
(me) lives
there/here/whatever and has
since the nasty economic
"trough" of the late
'80s/early '90s. But it could
just as easily get the
response: While certain
anthropological theorists
might make a convoluted
argument to the contrary,
"indigenous populations"
(aka: Locals, Townies) aren't
the only ones capable of
observing their own cultural
formations (in this case,
Austin music).

Not to get all factual and
stuff, but here are the stats
I was working with: Between
1960 and 1970, the size of
The University (love that
capital "T" they insist on)
doubled to almost 40,000
students, while the city
population as a whole grew
only by about a third. As a
result, throughout the 1960s
and 1970s, Austin's
college-age population
hovered between 13 and 15
percent of the population as
a whole. Although UT is now,
as you say, the nation's
biggest (a dubious honor,
btw), the city's population
growth post- Slacker has
substantially diluted this
figure, to just a hair over
10 percent. And if you
believe the city's population
projection for 2000 (621,795
- tres specifique!) and
assume a more or less static
university population (UT
itself actually predicts a
decline), it'll be under 8

Thanks for writing,


Fish With Letter Icon

Filler's Summer Movie

Subject: Deep Impact

I hit the point where they
were making wedding plans
before the mission ...

"That's it, they're gonna

Never EVER make romantic
plans before leaving on a
dangerous mission, because
you will die.

John Muller

Well, there's got to be some
reason to care, right?

Fish With Letter Icon

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