The Fish
for 4 September 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

Reality Plus

Everybody sells out,
eventually. If you haven't,
in 20 years - look me up, and
I'll buy you a case of
Tanqueray Gin.

Ted Sturk

If I double-super-promise,
cross my heart and hope to
die, that I won't sell out
ever ... can I have the booze
now? It would soften my mask
of pain, for whatever that's

Ambrose Beers

Fish With Letter Icon

Hey there,

As usual, today's suck is
nice and full of the cynical
vituperative that warms my
heart. You guys seriously
fucking amaze me. I mean, is
it just a function of being
media-savvy (which I ain't)
or just culling the Internet
all day and night that you
guys have all of this
information? Or both? And if
it's one of the last two, how
did you get hooked up with
that job?

Also, one other thing that's
been nagging me for a while.
As I said, my savoir-faire
does not extend to the data-
glutted realm of the media
(I couldn't even tell you what
new media is). Please pardon,
then, this humble neophyte
for asking "What do you guys
have against Salon Magazine?"
Don't get me wrong, I think
it's funny as shit and I
wince to think about being on
your bad side.

Just curious,

Chris Watkins

What do we have "against"
Salon Magazine? Why, Chris,
what on earth do you mean? We
love Salon Magazine.
First-graders need to learn
to read somehow or another.
(Suck, by way of contrast, is
strictly Montessori.)

Ambrose Beers

Fish With Letter Icon

I too have felt the simulated
nausea caused by watching "an
exhibit on an exhibit." In
fact - and I realize this is a
bit of a subject leap - I was
surprised how accurately your
article described my
experience of watching Saving
Private Ryan.
But the
parallel is there. Ryan is
this summer's "good"
blockbuster, and by "good" I
mean the one with the
valuable moral and ethical
lessons about important
subjects like war, death,
race, etc. In other words,
the media has already made it
very clear that watching Ryan
is learning, while watching
Armageddon say is the
intellectual equivalent of
taking a roller-coaster ride.

Before I say anything else, I
do have to admit that I agree
with the rest of the world.
Ryan is extremely well-done:
well-shot, well-acted,
well-made all around. The
thing that bothers me though
is that it starts out as a
documentary look at
WWII with a gruesome D-Day
scene that humbles even
Friday the 13th types but
doesn't manage to extend this
commitment to
truer-than-truth truth to
other aspects of the movie.
The focus is lost before the
end of the D-Day scene. I'm
sure if you counted the
deaths in that segment and
compared it with the number
of soldiers landing, it would
be clear that no more than five
GI's made it aground. Yet, the
Germans are rather quickly

The real problem, however, is
that the plot still rings of
Indiana Jones. We follow a
little band of soldiers
through a series of rather
implausible adventures
(complete with silly
punchlines about the Germans
being behind the wall that
accidentally gets knocked
down) and are given as large
a sample of war happenings as
one can sit through in
two-and-a-half hours. I don't
really know (I'm not a
veteran), but I find it hard
to believe that war really
happens like that. In the
end, the side characters are
really too predictable and
the plot too twisted. It just
seems that if the point was
to make an ultra-realistic
movie about WWII, a more
suitable plot could have been

Fairy tales are fairy tales,
and documentaries are
documentaries. I don't think
fairy tales need graphic
details such as half-eaten
human carcasses strewn about
the ogre's house to make them
better. We know ogres. The
carcasses would be gratuitous
and wouldn't really add
anything. And Ryan plays out
this way. The simulated
realism of the battle scenes
clashes with the inventions
of the story. When I watch
Indiana Jones, I am not
concerned with the realism of
the battle scenes. And if I
watched the History channel,
it wouldn't be to see cutesy
plot lines. It all boils down
to Ryan being a simulation:
It's well done, but it's a
simulation. So, please, don't
try to pass it off as an
important learning tool. It's
just a war movie.

I'll stop rambling now, but I
hope what I've said has made
some sense.

Not hip, not smug, but
beginning to get the point,

Mathieu Weill

I know just what you mean.
Although Ryan really was
pretty awful to watch, I kind
of ever-so-slightly doubt
that I have now purchased an
understanding of fighting a
war because I've bought a
seven dollar movie ticket.
Also, this kind of split in a
movie - really close
attention to some historical
detail, complete disregard
for others - is pretty
standard. I remember reading
story after story about James
Cameron's rigid attention to
detail in making Titanic -
the dinner plates were just
right! - and comparing all of
that attention to the
absolute shit that turned up
on the screen. I'd rather be
his whore than your wife!

Ambrose Beers

Fish With Letter Icon

you have your finger on the
pulse of a generation.



Two things:

1.) I have my finger on
something, but I'm not sure
it's a "pulse."

2.) You didn't really expect
anything but the cheapest,
most obvious joke in
response, did you?

giggling at potty-humor,

Ambrose Beers

Fish With Letter Icon

Filler: Low-Level Jobs

i may only be a naïve
College Boy, but i'm
currently on my third
internship, and i'll have you
know that my co-workers and
superiors have NEVER been
thankless boors. they are
wonderful, understanding,
professional people with a
healthy invested interest in
me personally AND my future.
and they read suck.

by the way, with a name like
that you should give more
credit to interns in lieu of
recent events.

Burr Settles

Soak it in, college boy,
because you're probably in
the only supportive office
environment you'll ever
encounter. Keep in mind what
you are to them: You're a
college boy. Mild-mannered.
Naïve. Waiting to be
filled with knowledge.
Polite. Cuddly.

Of course they're nice to
you. With a role like that,
it's funny you should bring
up Monica. Keep in mind what
Monica turns into once the
support and cuddling dry up
and she's competing for work
in the real world, sans

Linda Tripp.

Ah, yes. Our commitment to
disillusioning America's
youth never dies.

Future Krusty the Clown,

Fish With Letter Icon

I wish I could react to your
denigration of the technical
writing profession with a
blistering rebuttal ... too
bad your aim is so good.
Indulge me in an educated
guess ... might Polly E. be a
"frustrated writer" (after
all, she does work for Suck)
who deluded herself into
thinking that because
"writer" shows up in the
phrase "technical writer"
that she'd get to Express
Herself and Be Creative as
Part of Her Job?

Those people never last long.

Or maybe she thought, along
with a gazillion other
Executive Secretaries,
Administrative Assistants,
Mothers Who Want to
Telecommute and Stay Home
with the Kids, and C-minus
Engineering Students,
"technical writer? I could
get a job like that. How hard
could it be?"

Those people sit a few
cubicles down from me.

We in the field are often
known best for our lack of
humor regarding how we are
characterized: glorified
typists, people who make crap
"pretty," nontechnical types
who live at the way-far end
of the information food chain
who exist solely to write
tortured instructions that
justify poor designs and
follow the engineer's creed
of "We'll fix it in the

When you think about it, it's
astounding how overpaid we
are. Ch-ching!


E. Harris

So I hear!

I spent a few years typing
for a technical writer, and
ended up writing as a result.
It was during this dark
period that I wrote in my
journal, "I'm a technical
writer, which means that
technically, I'm not a

The good pay meant I could
work part time and support
myself, which meant I kept
the job much longer than I
should have. At the time I
was learning to play guitar
and often drinking to excess.
I had bangs. I ate steak a
lot. I bought a juicer that
I've used twice.

I don't remember the money,
but I do remember how much I
hated my job. Then again, I
was pretty bad at it, and
very lazy, and hung over most
of the time.

Vowing to go broke instead
next time,


Fish With Letter Icon

Hit & Run: Clinton Stuff

It's a matter of national
security when any high level
politician sleeps with a
woman other than his wife if
married. Anything could be
divulged to the wrong
parties. Wake up, man. Don't
you read Clancy? Is it an
accident that so many of his
story lines about this sort
of thing actually materialize
at the White House? Clinton
himself said "If a President
lied to the American people,
he would not deserve to be


Two questions: 1) You say
that it's no accident that so
many of Tom Clancy's story
lines actually materialize at
the White House. Are you
implying that Clinton is
actually molding his
presidency around Tom Clancy
plots? Fascinating!

2) Given our access to
hundreds of opinions on
Monicagate from every talking
head who ever set foot in
front of the camera, people
like George Snuffleupagus and
others whom we know and
distrust, what would give you
the impression that we'd be
interested in your opinion?

Fish With Letter Icon

Subject: In Quest of Silence

Want an end to the endless
blather about the blow job
that blew away the
presidency? Take the pundits
seriously. If sexual
indiscretion is the threat to
American moral integrity and
family freedom, the way
godless communism was in the
fifties, let's demand that
anybody who comments on
l'affaire Lewinsky first sign
a Purity Oath (as in Loyalty
Oath, but updated). Such an
oath would consist of two
parts: an affirmation and a
promise. The Oath Taker would
affirm that s/he never has,
or would have, extra-, pre-,
or supra-marital sex, any
homosexual contact at all,
has never viewed pornography,
and has never, under any
circumstances engaged in any
sex act forbidden in any of
the 50 states. The promise
would be to allow the Oath
Taker's name to be posted
prominently (say here,
maybe?) and to cooperate in
any investigation concerning
the oath's veracity.

Anyone who wanted to comment
on Clinton's sexual behavior,
or anyone else's for that
matter, would either have to
sign the oath or expect that
most of the responses to
their comment would be
remarks like "If you yourself
won't sign a Purity Oath,
maybe you would like to meet
me later for a little, you

If the Purity Oath ever
threatened to become as
commonplace as the Loyalty
Oath was in the '50s,
think of the silence we'd
enjoy. Failing to be diverted
by the sexual behavior of the
famed and feckless, we might
have time to contemplate our

Howard Weinberg

You've uncovered an
interesting point - that
fascination with Monica
constitutes a distraction
from our own sexual behavior.
What you misunderstand is
that this is a willful
distraction - if Americans
weren't interested in
distracting themselves from
their own sexual behavior,
what would become of Monday
Night Football?

Contemplating supra-marital
sex in the same way we
contemplate supra-size fries,

Fish With Letter Icon

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