The Fish
for 13 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]
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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

Filler

In both Suck and the Fish
today, it seemed that there
were a lot of letters from
Canadians (and others)
bashing America, and a lot of
letters from Americans
defending, via irony or
otherwise, their own nation.
Only today did it occur to me
that this is not something I
am used to seeing. It's a new
thing, and because it's on
Suck, it's a thing worth
waking up and paying
attention to.

For about a year and a half
or so, I have been a loyal
Suck reader. Almost every day,
I touch base to laugh at the
jokes I do understand, smile
dutifully at the ones I'm not
educated enough to - but at
least have the facility to
recognize as jokes, and
remind myself to be more
attentive to the world around
me for the rest. No matter
what kind of smartassed
comments you may have in
response to this, Suck
remains an excellent media
barometer and outlet for
social commentary. While
Salon can only express it's
sycophantic devotion to that
one guy in the White House (I
forgot what his name was -
sorry, I don't watch a lot of
TV), talk about sex, and bash
my religion; Suck gives me
the goods and leaves it up to
me to digest them.

Thanks.

Brian Root

Well, we only disagree with
one point you made:
"[B]ecause it's on Suck, it's
a thing worth waking up and
paying attention to."

Common misperception. Here's
the correct interpretation:
Because it's on Suck, it's
something someone at Suck is
paying attention to. Period.

Polly

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Fish Tacos

One of the readers sent in
this message, which you
printed in Fish:

"'Gorditas' with a capital G?
'Dew,' I can understand -
Mountain Dew is a trademark.
But gorditas is just another
word for really thick
tortillas (or the tacos you
make with 'em) here in New
Mexico and over in Texas.
They can't trademark that,
thank God."

I'm not sure if they are
lying about being from
Texas/New Mexico or if they
are just disconnected from
the Mex half of TexMex ... but
the word "gorditas" is
commonly used as the short
version of "fat girls." Gordo
with a feminine -ita. While
tacos with a thick shell
might be called "fatties," it
is not a name that I would
imagine being used by a Taco
company....

This is pointless and
irrelevent of course, but as
a Texan, I don't like to be
misrepresented - not that it
doesn't happen quite
frequently in the media. See
Jasper hate crime, or the
"real" government of the
republic of Texas.

Peace and Joy,

Shai Bing
<shaiii@hotmail.com>

Wow. This makes for an
excellent deconstruction of
the Taco Bell commercial for
Gorditas, revealing its true
meaning to be not unlike that
of the Queen anthem which
includes the words,
"Fat-bottomed girls you make
the rocking world go 'round!"

And now, fat girls have been
rendered "a thing worth
waking up and paying
attention to" by dint of
their inclusion on the pages
of Suck.

God bless you, Taco Bell.

Polly

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Seasick

Dear Bartel,

as it turns out, there is
already a cruise, which is
offering a very intimate
contact between the makers
and the readers of a press
organ: the special-interest
magazine in the field of
mammary glands, Score
(pardon), offers a ship
cruise, aptly named "boob
cruise," to its readers. The
overwhelming beauty of that
concept reveals itself upon
the thought that this vessel
of hyperreality (the mag, not
the ship) is institutionally
sinking itself metaphorically
once a year. A toast to
Baudrillard and my chapeau off to
you, for your great
alternative joyride, which is
almost guaranteed to keep
everyone out of the gutter,
in comparison.

yours sincerely,

d.pool
<d.pool@lrz.uni-muenchen.de>

What exactly does one do on a
"boob cruise"?

Images flood into minds ...

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Subject: Suck tour

What's funny, what's REALLY
funny, is that it would work.
Do it as a bus tour through
the SF wine area, stopping at
the local vineyards to slurp
a few, throw in some of the
writers and editors (all of
whom need to get out more
anyway), charge a few bucks.
Incredible publicity. It
would even show a profit. Not
to mention providing material
for a book.

As you know, my lady just
came back from running such a
thing through Iran - first
class hotels, art lectures,
and death-to-America posters.
Compared to that, the Suck
tour is plain vanilla.

Sign me up as guest lecturer.
It just isn't Suck.com
without The Doctor, right?

Alan
<Askornheiser@prodigy.net>

Right.

But sunshine, Dr. Kornheiser,
red wine? It might attract
the wrong element.

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Mondo Cannes

Subject: Selling Private
Ryan

I haven't yet seen Saving
Private Ryan.
I may or may
not do so this summer, though
if and when I see it on a
VCR, I'll probably pine
somewhat for a larger screen,
higher resolution, and better
sound. While everyone is
spewing drivel over its
visceral realism and its
supposed "war as it really
is" schtick, my own visceral
sensations are more of
annoying irritation over the
Death-of-Princess-Di-like
media-hype carpet bombing.

I've found most of
Spielberg's work spectacular
though schmaltzy. Overdone
theatrics, cutesy dialog and
characterizations,
supermarket tabloid
sensationalism, and possibly
worst of all, John Williams'
unbearable nuclear cornball
musical scores. Schindler's
List
was a tremendous,
valiant attempt by Spielberg
to not be so Spielberg, and
I'll give it to the guy that
he had some success. The
trailers for Saving Private
Ryan,
however, seem like a
solemn promise to moviegoers
that the ultimate, super
colossal, bar-none, maximum
cornball-schmaltz-mindless-
noise-and-action-holyshit-wow
orgasm of Spielbergiana can
be had for the measly price
of a movie ticket.

I cannot escape the endless
hype. The legacy of our time
is hype. Nothing is real
without hype. If something
does not have a tsunami of
talking heads, reels of tape,
slick magazine photos, sexy
celebs emoting in my face,
and megabytes of feverish
keyboard slapping behind it,
it can't possibly be worth
what few moments of attention
I am supposed to invest in
it. Finally, 50 years after
the damn war ended, some
schmo tells it like it really
was. Gee willikers.... [About
three paragraphs were omitted
here - ed.]

Holy shit. I'll bet half the
damn Saving Private Ryan
audience will secretly wish
we could really have a war,
'cause it looks so cool and
all.

Heinz Hemken
<zotz@franchiseloan.com>

How fabulous that you'd
write, just as our new
concept, "Movie Reviews by
People Who Haven't Seen the
Movie," is being revealed in
Filler.

The hilarious thing is, your
refreshingly uninformed
review is almost exactly the
same as the fictional one
that appears in Filler this
week! Proving once again that
fact is always funnier and
stranger than fiction.

Saving Private Ryan isn't a
perfect movie, but that first
war scene most definitely
will kick you in the ass, and
it most definitely will not
make you think war looks
cool.

But then again, you probably
shouldn't see it, because
then you can continue to
share your shockingly
original and informed views
with the world with the same
fervor you've demonstrated
here.

Polly

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Filler

Subject: Oh, Canaduh!

Polly,

Lovely tirade of 4 August.
I'm sick of these people
(regardless of their
nationality) who feel they
can safely generalize about
American culture and people
based on our exported media
and tourists. What makes me
glad I'm nowhere near these
letter-writing critics you
quoted is how fervidly
patriotic some of them are
for their own country - that
they feel the need to hold
some lame, uninformed pissing
contest with ours.

Sure, a lot of crappy art and
crappy people are produced
here - but I'm sure every
place has these problems, to
a degree. One moron
complained about slavery
still existing in America: a
dumb exaggeration (which
belittles the terror of real
slavery), unless you're
trying to be poetic and
hyperbolic about the minimum
wage laws (which the writer
was not). But racism is
everywhere, and it always
will be; and the same goes
for Baywatch. Hey, Ted Sturk,
why do you think the show is
broadcast in every country in
the world? Because every
country, including yours, has
crowds of horny low-brow guys
(and horny high-brow guys
too, I suppose) that want to
watch it. Who's more the
fool: the creator of shit, or
the consumer who eats it?

Meanwhile, do I believe all
Canadians are beer-swilling,
losers (as depicted on TV)
and parka-ed Eskimos? No; I
haven't been to Canada since
I was a kid, but I'm
imagining there's every kind
of person there, just as
there is here, and I'm sure
they have a varied culture
too....

Rev. Phobrek Taz
<taz@sph.harvard.edu>

I was with you 100 percent
until that last part. All
Canadians are exactly like
Bob and Doug McKenzie.

Polly

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

I read all that Canadian hate
mail, and I just have to warn
you about our "brothers and
sisters" in the North.
Canadians are not our
allies... rather, they pose a
graver threat to America than
the Communists ever did.
Canada is hellbent on
destroying us, not by
embodying our polar opposites
but by BECOMING us! Canadians
only reality is to mime and
thereby completely fuck with
America's national identity
by severing our cultural
sense-of-self with any real
set of tradition, history,
and shared experience. That's
why Canada would more
properly be named New
America, or Mimic America.

To prove my point: When I
travel, it's always nice to
recognize other Americans.
They mirror me and relieve my
culture shock, that
alienation, loss of identity,
and such that travel always
brings.

But then there were always
those "Americans" that were
not quite right. There was
something ... wrong with
them. And sure enough these
strange Americans would
always turn out to be
Canadian. But I could never
pin down their difference
enough to recognize them for
what they really were, for
there IS NO discernable
difference between a Canadian
and an American! They've
completely copied us, right
down to living on the same
continent! Upon discovering
that my fellow American was
really a Canadian, I'd feel
betrayed, disillusioned and
panicky that the
self-identity they'd
stimulated in me was
misplaced, false, unreal. I
started wondering if
Americans really existed,
never mind whether I was one,
or if I was proud of it. That
line from Mr. Lind
criticizing Americans for not
being patriotic is SO ironic.
I mean, whose fault is that?
How can I say I'm American if
those damn Canadians are
better at it than me? Eh?

... There aren't any Mimic
Brits out there ... at least
Australians have funny
accents and kangaroos and
shit. It's really an evil
trick to play on an entire
country. Canadians are a head
trip that I don't need.

Elora Lee
<ELR@Brown.edu>

What the hell are you talking
aboot, Canadians don't have
funny accents?

Canadians are totally
different from us. I think
you're getting confused by
the half-Canadians,
half-Americans. Just go see
Strange Brew..It'll tell you
all you need to know about
true Canadian culture.

Polly

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

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