The Fish
for 16 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
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

Dew X Machina

Dear St. Huck,

I enjoyed this a lot. As a
person who only has a TV to
view rented movies, I obtain
all my news about media from
the Net, particularly Suck.
It amazes me that they've now
made what we did as kids on
the street into televised
sports. We used to play a
variant of the Scottish game
called Kick the Keg in my
mom's barn, a game that
involved two teams and the
simple goal of moving an
object from one end to the
other (no holds barred). This
was obviously best done under
the influence.

Not to be too critical, but
all the Suck writers seem to
be striving to achieve a sort
of low-brow version of Lewis
Lapham's monthly whining in
Harper's. I truly enjoy it, as
well as your wonderful sense
of humor.

Regards,

Bob Dionne
<dionne@ontyx.com>
Newbury, Vermont

If you turned off your
computer every so often and
read a newspaper, Bob, you'd
know that what I'm really
after is a sort of high-brow
Dave Barry. I'm pleased to
hear you're relying so
heavily on Suck for your
information needs, however.
If we can only persuade a
sizable number of followers
to adopt a similar level of
devotion, it will be much
easier to just rip stuff off
from other writers instead of
also having to "personalize"
it.

St. Huck

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

For St. Huck,

C'mon, the X Games? I know
its supposed to be like
shootin' fish in a barrel ...
but really, you have too much
time on your hands if you're
watching that kind of crap.
What's next, MTV's Summer
Beach Boob-a-thon? Or did you
do that one last March when
MTV did their annual Spring
Break coverage? And why are
you watching TV this time of
year? Are you a loser or
what?

>>>insert Terry Colon parody
of R. Crumb "Keep on Truckin'
T-shirt" here...

Keep on sucking....

Mike.
<hibarger@aware.com>

Yes, I am a loser,I suppose,
but don't assume I feel the
need to actually watch
something in order to
criticize it. The thing is,
if I wrote about the things I
actually spend my time on -
walking to the convenience
store to buy more soda,
wondering if I should move to
France for a few years like
Molly Ringwald did to "sort
things out" - who would read
it?

St. Huck


St. Huck,

I would!

In fact, this week's Filler
is all about me, walking -
no, driving - to the
convenience store to buy more
beer and those salsa-flavored
Doritos,and wondering if I
should move to Alaska for a
while like that guy in Into
The Wild
did.

Things didn't turn out so
good for him, so close to the
end of the cartoon, I decide
not to move. Then a bunch of
hostile strangers show up and
attack me by playing on my
insecurities, and,
ever trying to seem humble, I
admit that their attacks are
deathly accurate. Then the
fish and the hack act like
assholes, and everyone feels
better.

Hey - can I write about your
trip to the convenience store
next week?

Polly

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

I'm always glad to see the
networks take it in the
shorts for the sports that
they televise. While it isn't
directly their fault that
arm-chair quarterbacks sit
back and consume mass amounts
of fat and the real
quarterbacks sit back and
consume mass amounts of
dollars, it is at least
mostly their fault that they
are paying out the nose to
televise the events that they
basically created the
audiences for. Imagine if the
big networks decided to quit
televising the pro sports in
favor of high school sports
and college sports alone.
Would the populace quit
watching? No. Would the industry
quit advertising? No.
Although advertising dollars
might drop, I would venture
to bet they wouldn't drop as
much as the cost of airing
such events. The bloated
wallets and egos of
professional athletes are
ours to bear, we created
them. But they are also ours
to take back. I, for one,
would prefer to watch (if I'm
going to watch television at
all) X Games instead of the
NFL or even my beloved Jazz.
Better yet, I would prefer to
tie on a pair of 'blades and
try to maim myself and see if
it really is as easy as they
make it look. Your essay was
interesting, but I wonder if
you missed the point as well.
Keep up the good work, though;
Suck is still the best way to
start the morning.

Dave Klein
<dave@pmpc-eng.com>

Suck essays are like
ice-skating routines - some
compulsory moves must be
executed, then the rest is
freestyle. Not that this
really addresses your
response, but I'm not exactly
sure which of the article's
blown double-whatevers you
were penalizing.

In the end, I think the X
Games face a perhaps
insurmountable obstacle: To a
significant portion of the
potential audience, sports
are compelling only if they
are conducted by compelling
personalities. And usually it
takes money to make someone
compelling.

St. Huck

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

St. Huck,

Working in snowboard design
and manufacture for the past
thirteen years, I have had to
endure the escalation of the
hype and boorishness which
leads to the prevailing level
of hubris that is evidenced
in part by the X Games. As
biting as the commentary was,
the truth unfortunately is
way worse. (I believe that
any logos from individual,
non-participating, sponsors
are strictly banned from
display.) Our society has
eliminated what was once an
important career channel, the
gas-station attendant, which
leaves the would -e's with
far too much time on their
hands. It makes me want to
pay more for gas, and read
more.

Thanks.

Shaw
<shaw@active.ch>

"Our society has eliminated
what was once an important
career channel, the gas-
station attendant, which
leaves the would-be's with
far too much time on their
hands." This, I think, is the
most intriguing observation I
have ever received in
response to anything I've
written. You should turn it
into an essay.

St. Huck

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Hypatia,

Does it strike you as odd
that the news about Lyndon
Johnson's amazing disregard
for America, Vietnam, ethics,
and, ultimately, for 58,000
American boys and God only
knows how many Vietnamese, is
still not nearly as
interesting to the American
media as the Clinton-Lewinsky
peccadillo?

The most irritating
thing about the
Lewinsky matter is that it is
self-perpetuating. Married
men are supposed to lie about
their extramarital affairs,
and they're not supposed to
be questioned publicly about
them. Frankly, it's nobody's
business. So, you ask a
married man about an affair
and he denies having it - of
course. So you go and ask all
his friends and her friends
about it, and he starts trying
to cover his tracks. So then
you get him on the cover-up
(obstruction of justice -
does justice insist on
knowing everything about an
individual's sex life?)
saying that's what the real
issue is, without ever
questioning why he should be
defending himself against
this type of personal attack
in the first place.

On the other hand, we have an
ex-president who started a
war for the sake of political
expediency, and he still can't
knock Monica off the front
pages. What a crazy,
backward, small-minded
country we live in, where a
blow job is more interesting
to the people than the truth
about a war.

Steve Harrison
<sharris@rfc.com>

Correction: A blow job is
more interesting to people
than just about anything.

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Hit and Run

Subject: Patricia Smith

OK, I've heard the "I'm soooo
shocked! Who could have
guessed she was making it
up?" cries about a hundred
times by the pseudo-pundits
in the media. But guess who
wasn't shocked to
learn that Patricia Smith
was faking? Me, a nobody
child therapist in Worcester,
who "knows nothing" about the
great matters of the fourth
estate!

I glanced at a copy of The
Boston Globe,
laying on a
friend's table a few weeks
before the brouhaha, and
scanned a Patricia Smith
column about some supposed
African-American women doing
a young girl's hair for
church on Sunday morning. It
was so syrupy and wistful I
almost gagged. I read the
supposed conversation and
said to myself, "This is
bullshit. People don't talk
like this. Is this supposed
to be real?" I decided
Patricia Smith was another
liberal mealy-mouthed yum-yum
who feeds the white
suburbanites their feel-good
articles with a smattering of
guilt trips with coffee
for their daily angst and that
she definitely belongs at
the Globe. And I reinforced
my repulsion of that bastion
of Haaaahvard
intellectualism.

And then I found out that
the article was a fake. The
biggest surprise to me was
not that she was caught, but
that the Globe squealed on
her. Word must have gotten
out, and they were afraid of
getting exposed. No, I'm not
cynical, just been around the
track a few times.

Peter Fay
Worcester, MA
<pfay@tiac.net>

Since when has having been around
the track a few times not
rendered a person cynical, if
not significantly winded?
Why, in this crazy, false
world, is being cynical such
an insult?

We're waiting for cynicism to
be listed as an "un-American
activity" so we can get
grilled on national TV. Also,
that ice water always looks
so delicious....

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Dear Sucksters,

Despite your
wittier-than-though piece
tearing down The Truman Show
as a cheap rip-off of
everything that has come
before it, I still think it
is one of the best movies to
come out in the '90s. Here
are some reasons why:

1. If you looked hard enough,
you could find the plot of
any movie repeated somewhere
else. For instance, take Wag
the Dog,
which I'm sure your
politically astute writers
gushed over. It had actually
come out several years before
... under the title Canadian
Bacon.
Here's the difference
though: Canadian Bacon was a
poorly written movie, so no
one really bothered to pay
attention to it. Wag the
Dog,
on the other hand, was
not only better written but
much more timely. The same is
true for The Truman Show. And
that brings me to point number two.

2. Timeliness. The Real
World,
Jerry Springer, and
other television crapulence
has people begging to be
entertained by other people's
problems. The so-called
news broadcast every day on
television is no better, with
its constant coverage of
sensational stories, such as
Princess Diana's "murder at
the hands of the paparazzi"
and, of course, Zippergate.
Actual consequential news has
been taken over by
second-rate entertainment.
Consequently, The Truman
Show
is able to sum up many
of the problems of our
media-driven society.

3. I just think it's amusing
hearing the occasional idiot
come out of the theater
saying, "What good was that
movie? Jim Carrey didn't talk
out of his ass!"

At any rate, my point is that
brilliant originality is not
always necessary or even
present in fiction. The
Truman Show
was able to
rehash an old concept in a
way that makes the audience
actually think, and that is
its strength.

Jeremy Clymer
<jclymer@clarku.edu>

If originality were a
prerequisite for quality, and
(more important) quality
were a prerequisite for
popularity, (1) We'd be out of
work, (2) Hollywood would look
like Death Valley, and (3)
Camille Paglia would be
elected president.

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

When did suck start getting
so hot under the collar about
stealing ideas? So someone
makes a hit movie and people
who had a similar idea come
out of the woodwork to jump
on the bandwagon, crying
"Stop! Thief!" As Willy the
Shake said so many centuries
ago, there's nothing new
under the sun, and if a
corporation collected
royalties for all the times
he's been ripped off, it
would dominate the galaxy
several times over.

The premise of The Truman
Show
is as old as humans
telling tales: Someone gets a
burr under the saddle and
decides there might be a
world worth looking at beyond
the confines of the one they
grew up in. They try to leave
and meet resistance. Roughly
1.8 billion stories are
founded on this idea - only
the situations change. It may
be a shitty movie, or you may
think it's just super-duper,
but who cares if it's
original?

Maybe you should vomit all
over Armageddon for the same
reason - after all, the Bible
had stories of the apocalypse
2,000 years ago.

Lantz Hawthorne
<lantez@email.msn.com>

Um. The point was that the
critics are proclaiming The
Truman Show
the most fresh,
explosively original movie in
the history of Hollywood. Or
maybe that was just Joel
Siegal.

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

C'mon guys, you know you had
to get an unhappy response
from this one. Describing the
US military as "a class of
handsomely paid welfare
recipients whose only purpose
is to defend us from Costa
Rican aggression" is just a
bit narrow-minded. Do you
really think our defense
forces are unnecessary? We
should disband them then, and
let any two-bit third-world
army waltz right on in to
Washington, DC? See how long
your webzine is allowed to
exist once a less tolerant
government is in place. This
is, of course, a worst-case
scenario - you guys off the
Web. You only piss me off
once in a long while. The
rest of the time, I laugh my
ass off. Keep up the (mostly)
good work.

Rich
<av8r@usa.net>

The government loves Suck,
you know why? Because Suck
loves the government! That's
right - We (heart) The US of
A!

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

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