The Fish
for 21 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]
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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

Class Struggle

Vicki -

I couldn't tell if you were
lampooning the problems in
the school system that create
the urge to drop out in our
students or if you were
lamenting that dropouts seem
to be doing well in this
society.

As a college dropout (16
credits short of a BA from
NYU) I agree with you that
the purpose of school is to
convince us "that life is a
rat race." I'm only sorry it
took me 12 years of public
school, plus five years of
very expensive college, to
come to that conclusion. A
former roomie of mine,
recently married, has now
completed his masters in
psychology and earns exactly
the same salary as I do. His
new wife, with a BA and eight
years of experience in
advertising, earns three
times either of our salaries.
It would seem that there is
no connection between degree
status and income, even if
one leaves Hollywood and
looks at the local office.

The true irony is that I now
work for a university in the
departments that train
teachers - Catholic school
teachers, no less. In teacher
education, sacred or secular,
there is one purpose: As St.
Ignatius said of his Jesuit
education system, "Give us
the boy till he is 10, and
we will be responsible for
the man." Thank the stars,
techno music, Hollyweird, or
even smart drugs and pot that
the kids are learning faster
how to get out of the maze -
and go learn what really
matters.

Of course, autodidactic
education, like all socially
Darwinian tactics, creates
its own class system.
Generations X, Y, and Z may
be the first batch of kids
since the Industrial
Revolution to sign most of
their names with a mark on
the line: they may also be
the first ones using the
Internet to put that mark on
the paychecks of their
over-schooled but
under-educated employees from
a vacation villa in the
tropics.

Yours,

Bill Bailey
<bailey@usfca.edu>

Yeah, Bill, those Generation
Z kids are sneaky little
devils. I'd think twice
before underestimating St.
Ignatius, though. The Jesuits
may not look so rich in their
little skirts, but they're
always pulling the strings
somewhere in there with the
Freemasons and the Trilateral
Commission.

Vicki

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Vicki,

I really liked today's
article, "Class Struggle."
Now, when I hand my money
over to the school at a rate
of 30K a year, I can think
"Wow. Maybe someday, with
enough hard work and
determination, I can own a
life raft with my name on
it." 'Cept the government
will probably take that to
pay off my loans, which I
can't get increased (I don't
have 30K a year, obviously)
because I have credit cards,
but then, of course, the
credit card companies will
still tell me that owning 10
different Mastercards and
being hundreds of thousands
of dollars in debt is not
only "good for everyone, but
good for establishing a line
of credit" (actual quote from
Mr. Dick Telemarketer, who
likes to call me every week
now and offer me some
wowie-zowie credit card). And
amazingly, with the new GTE
Super Duper Whamo Zammo card,
I can earn a big fucking 20
dollars back in calls to
Jamaica between the hours of
3 and 4 a.m. on Sundays in
March when it's cloudy
outside for more than 10
hours that day.

Sometimes I wonder why
everything sucks so much, and
why it seems that there is a
subliminal message being
perpetrated by the government
- that the middle class don't
deserve to be educated. The
message that some lame-o with
30 billion dollars whose
biggest academic achievement
is passing the third grade is
somehow better than someone
with the perseverance to get
a Ph.D. from a major
university. The message that
academia sucks, knowledge
isn't worth having, and that
the meaning of life is
getting a lot of credit cards
and having lots of revolving
debt. The message that it's
the middle class, their stair
masters and ab rollers, their
salad shooters with the
optional fellatio attachment,
their QVC credit cards, their
big fucking cars at 300
percent interest, their work
and taxes and toil that keeps
this fucking racist elitist
system in place.

When I think like that I
usually start drinking.
Suck on,

Justin Baugh
<baughj@rpi.edu>

I'd rather say "I be rich"
than "I am po'."

Moses Malone

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Beautiful Dwarf Buddies,
Etc.

Your article on Howard
Stern's beautiful dwarf
buddy, Ataturk et. al. failed
to mention one of the great
betrayals of all electoral
history.

When David Bowie (who has
long made sad and
unsuccessful attempts to
identify himself with
technology, the Internet, and
interactivity in his public
persona) was promoting his
comeback tour of the UK in
1990, he ran a computerized
phone-poll so that fans could
"vote" for the oldies they'd
most like to hear.

The process was promptly
hijacked by the UK's most
credible music broadsheet,
the New Musical Express, and
its many readers were
encouraged to vote en bloc
for "The Laughing Gnome" - a
'70s novelty hit that Bowie
would very much like to
forget.

He could have earned himself
so many credibility points if
he'd had the good grace to
come up with a
"Major-Tom"-style parody or a
cod-Serious-Moonlight
pastiche or a
look-how-far-we've-come retro
cut-and-paste gag version,
but he chose to dismiss the
votes for any song not on the
approved list.

If it's any consolation, I'm
sure he stole the idea from
Elvis Costello's late '80s
Wheel Of Fortune-style "Wheel
Of Oldies" anyway....

John Horner
<johnny99@sydney.dialix.oz.au>

Wow. That's a nice little
early-adapter anecdote.

Wishing we had written:
"cod-Serious-Moonlight
pastiche"...

Sucksters

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Class Struggle

Vicki--

You make some very
interesting points in today's
article. As for
home schooling, the very idea
of staying at home with my
mother for 12 years makes
me shudder. But assuming you
suffer through the high
school routine, why keep
going when every household
name lacks that degree you're
(sort of) busting your ass to
get? Maybe it is pointless. I
am sure I could have gotten
my part-time job at the movie
theater even if I weren't in
college. I'm sure I could
perform the mindless tasks
just as well. But then again,
I couldn't seethe inwardly at
the 19-year-old manager who
is crazy with the power of
being "the youngest house
manager in the country" for
this particular chain and
wouldn't have the joy of that
caustic, bitter chuckle when
I remember that his salary
maxes out far below the
starting one for my chosen
field. Of course, that's
assuming I can get a job and
I'm not still ripping tickets
in 10 years.... So, I guess
I'll just keep repeating to
myself that it's for the
inherent joy of knowledge.

Kerry Searle
<bf18050@binghamton.edu>

As a former ticket ripper, I
suggest you stay in your
present job. My college
degree brought me access to
decent salaries, comfortable
positions, insurance, 401(k)
plans, and all the rest of the
perks, but nary a day goes by
when I don't look up from my
cozy desk, let out a queasy,
coffee- and Danish-scented
belch, and think, "I'd give it
all for a job where they pay
you to watch The Goonies 75
times in a row."

Vicki

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

just read your "class
struggle" article and i
couldn't agree more. i just
went through years of college
and grad school, only to be
dating a high school dropout
that makes more money then i
do.

the sad fact is, school, as
it is, is a waste.
not because the idea of
schooling is bad, but because
it does not teach you to
think. the rare teacher that
gets you to question the
truth gets "fired" all too
quickly.

but schools have changed of
late. once upon an
unmemorable time, they used
to teach you how to expand
your mind. now they want to
teach you how to get by.
basically, they're turning
out human machines that can't
see past the nose on their
faces.

it's not so much that you
have to get out of school
while you still can. a degree
won't destroy you. but you
can't minimize yourself and
specialize and mold yourself
into only one thing, because
a harsh reality awaits for
those who do so - you'll be
shit out of luck trying to
succeed by your own
standards. let's face it -
there's a reason there are so
many disgruntled postal
workers, and it's not because
they just like guns. fact of
the matter is most people are
unhappy in their jobs, due to
the disillusionment school
has given them. they tell you
you can be whatever you set
your mind to being - yeah,
and the streets are paved
with gold in the land of
opportunity.

fact of the matter is school
is a hard sell for the
corporate world. i mean, what
do your parents tell you from
the get-go? "go to school and
get good grades so you can
get a good job." man, what a
way to ruin a childhood. and
talk about school not
preparing you for the real
world. i'm sorry, but in the
real world, you don't get up
at noon, the workday doesn't
end at 2:30, and you don't
have regular three-day
weekends.

what's the world's answer for
this? specialized schools.
get your degree in 16 months,
forget the mind-expanding
classes, all you need to know
is what you need to get by.

Maddalena Romano
<romano@businesscycle.com>

Wait, take it from the top
again, Maddalena. What's the
fact of the matter?

Up at noon and getting ready
for the three-day weekend,

Vicki

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

"Everybody knows the world's
richest man and the world's
richest drop out are one and
the same...."

Well, that may be, but I
don't think that the Arabs
typically make that info
public. Bill G. is not the
richest man. Not by a long
shot. He is, however, the
richest man in this
particular country. But his
dreamy house down by the lake
looks like the cabana boys'
toilet compared to your
typical Saudi oil-baron
sheik.

Regards,

Bosaiya
<v-bosaiz@microsoft.com>

Yeah, them Arabs are sneaky
little devils, Bosaiya.
However, in terms of
wealthiest individual, you
may be thinking of the Sultan
of Brunei, who is not
actually an Arab, since his
monarchy is located on the
northeast coast of the island
of Borneo. He does, however,
subscribe to that zany
no-hot-dogs-and-beer
religion.

Even in the case of the
Sultan, however, it's
unlikely you could call him
personally wealthier than
Chairman Bill. As is the case
with your "typical Saudi
oil-baron sheik," the
Sultan's wealth only belongs
to him in the sense that he
is the king, and his country
has a lot of oil. Gates, on
the other hand, is actually
the owner of that US$60-some
billion dollars. Moreover,
since Gates' fortune is
mostly in the form of equity
in Microsoft, his money is
making him richer all the
time. If he doesn't lavish as
much on palaces and Bentleys
as his eastern rivals, it's
because he's smarter than
they are.

Who's better off? You make
the call. On the one hand,
Gates doesn't have to spend
10 percent of his fortune on
defense. On the other, the
Sultan gets to sport a far
more imposing name: Sultan
Sir Muda Hassanal Bolkiah
Mu'izzadin Waddaulah.

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

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