The Fish
for 4 August 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

Finger Painting

I enjoyed your piece on The
Artist's Way
- it's great to
hear all that self-absorbed
shit getting a kicking. But
are you going to approach the
author about her plagiarism?
I hope so.

Joseph Gallivan

I'm going to send my inner
child to do it for me.

Or not. I've thought about
how closely Cameron's book
mirrors Ueland's, and I think
it finally has to be
described in Beatlemania
terms: not plagiarism, but an
incredible simulation. That
is, she's lifted the ideas,
used largely the same
skeleton, but in an original
(bad) context, with no
direct, uncredited lifting of
word-for-word passages.

But it still sucks.

Ambrose Beers

Fish With Letter Icon

Aww, why ya gotta be knockin'
The Artists Way? That book
gave me the kick in the ass I
needed to quit my job and
make music all day. Now I
never wake up to an alarm
clock, make my art whenever
the muse deigns to hang with
me, and love my life. I
record other musicians and
fix Macs for spare cash. I
own my time free and clear.

Your prose was ever the witty
banter. The cartoons made me
laugh. Cartoon funny. Funny,
funny. But the dogmatism bled
through in your perspective
of the source and purpose of
art; surely such
considerations are best left
to the individual, and
whether it's some loopy
self-help book or a
cattle-prod directly from the
fires of the gods, anything
that inspires people to
create, and to respect
themselves as the creator, is
good by me.

In addition, I really like
rice milk and encourage
everyone to give this
non-dairy treat a go.

Yours in ham,


Ham into rice milk will not

And I will argue that the
dogmatism didn't "bleed
through," since it was right
up front. Subtle I ain't. But
I don't doubt the book has
done some good for some
readers; if you follow the
core suggestions - work on
your art every day, reject
attacks from people who don't
respect or understand - I
don't doubt that you'll have
success with it. "It's bad"
and "it doesn't work" are two
different criticisms,

I'm glad it worked for you,
but I'll take Brenda Ueland
and Annie Dillard.

Enjoying a breakfast pop
Ambrose Beers

Fish With Letter Icon

Dear Beers,

Lordy, lordy, I'm confused by
your highbrow talk about that
art monster that would eat us
all if you weren't 'round to
serve and protect us from the
art monster. Thanks for
keeping me pent up and
negative. There's crap in
every profession; why do you
see art through the worst it
offers? I don't see much art
at all, and what I do see is
usually awful, but I'm always
searching for the next chance
to see something great, and
it's not always where you
expect it. If the gurus let
you down, you're not alone. I
think its nice that old farts
can paint "happy little
roads" in the old fart's home
and not stare at TV or the
wall all day. But I don't
think you need that therapy
since you're not an
85-year-old Shriner. Perhaps,
a tattoo would allow you the
freedom of expression, the
suffering, and the angst,
without you having to
actually do any of the work,
and chicks dig 'em!

Speaking of which, making art
to get chicks is very
therapeutic even though the
art is lousy looking - the
chicks are cute and gullible
I guess. I'm not sure what
the chicks get out of it - an
A on their report card? But,
they all do it, and they look
good on canvas. I wish I
could get the chicks like
that. My art never gets the
chicks, and I paint anyway. I
guess I'm pretty stupid!

Another advantage of being an
artist is that you don't have
to work too much, and you're
gonna be poor, so why not be
a poor artist? That way you
can get the chicks even
though you're poor and
stupid. But I'm poor and
stupid, and I don't get any
chicks, poor me. I guess this
suffering in poverty and
stupidity should be worth a
few million when I die. If
some chick married me and
outlived me, she could retire
pretty nice, I guess. I think
I could write some books on
where to take your inner
child and lessen my
suffering, but my paintings
would be worth less after I'm
dead. Right now my paintings
are worthless, and I have zero
chicks. If I copy Picasso, I
could do drugs and whores
till I get famous. But that
means the ghetto is full of
artists? Hmm.

Well, I'm glad you're
employed, say whatever you
have to to keep that
vaudeville job.

Love and paint buckets,


I am an 85-year-old Shriner.
Wanna see my little car?

Ambrose Beers

Fish With Letter Icon

My Life as a Has-Been

Surely making fun of
washed-up childhood stars is
about as
shooting-fish-in-a-barrel as
you can get, but I can't get
enough of it! Bravo! And
excellent links, as well
(I've downloaded the Leif
Garret sound clips from the
Feelin' Groovy site, and I'm
quite happy, indeed).

Jennifer Jarett

Well, this topic is sort of
dear to our hearts, since
Carl and Joey are sort of
like washed-up childhood
stars themselves.

Fish With Letter Icon

Dear Destiny,

Take a look at Judy Garland's
productivity. She was run
into the ground by her
producers who had her on a
hellish cycle of downers and
uppers, just so she could
belt it out for them. She was
wrung out by her workload.
She didn't die for her art.


Jack Garman

So, she died as a result of
her art. How's that?

Fish With Letter Icon

Subject: Evil to him who evil

A good story requires a
moral; alas, you fail to
supply one. Let me therefore
only suggest that we try to
differentiate between
"actors" and "celebrities."

Actors are real people with
thankless jobs. A good one
can't be only thin skinned;
he has to be "no skinned" (to
steal a phrase); that's what
acting means. Unfortunately,
even the very best working
actor (an oxymoron at
multiple levels) is rejected
many times a day, typically
for things he can do nothing
about. Is there any wonder
that so many block the pain
any way they can? (True, one
can say similar things about
almost any artist, but at
least writers and painters
typically are rejected less
personally, more remotely,
and not nearly as often.
[Models also are constantly
rejected personally and for
irrelevant reasons, but I'll
let someone else work up pity
for them.])

What an actor wants to do is
act; he or she is fairly
judged only by how well that
is done; and the rest should
truly be none of our
business. Give them a break.

Celebrities, now ... those
odd people famous for being
famous ... now that's a
different story. He who lives
by the media dies by the

Alan Kornheiser

The Doctor Is an Unemployed
Off-Broadway Actor (as, when
you think about it, who is

You put forth a good defense
of actors. But we have to
disagree with your statement
that "The rest should be none
of our business."

Most actors want at least
some of the rest to be our
business, otherwise how would
InStyle magazine exist?

Actually, we also disagree
with your statement that
"What an actor wants to do is

As far as we can tell, what
many actors want to do is go
to hot parties and date
Winona Ryder.

Fish With Letter Icon

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