The Fish
for 8 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
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

Reality Plus

Subject: Re: Lemmings

Animal killing is nothing new
in the "Wild Kingdom."
Remember that old movie with
the lemmings running off the
cliff ... turns out that the
Disney film crew actually
herded the lemmings off the
cliff. "Reality in a
simulated environment tends
to die off in ways that
really are kind of
educational." I suppose it's
everything you could ask for.

CMB
<baptistacm@email.msn.com>

Yeah, and you wanna know the
worst part? Those lemmings
got points on the Net. As if!

herding myself toward doom,

Ambrose Beers

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Subject: Beers, cheers, and
fears.

Beers to you,

I really enjoyed your mockery
of appropriated didactic
history. I was laughing aloud
at the Nerf Inquisitors kit.
The laughter turned to
coughing and wheezing as I
tried to imagine myself
pulling down on the bellows
of time travel. It was at
that point that I became a
bit pensive
(hyperventilation?) It seems
that your primary audience
takes in its information
through text. Your point
falls upon the eyes of your
peers' ears, beers. Many
people, however literate or
contrary, think with other
senses and have imagination.
It could be argued that these
are exactly the people who
are likely to be sent into a
hypnotic trance by the visual
stimulus of a woman in a
white gown romping over green
rolling hills for a tampon
commercial. I like to think
that some of these displays
reach some of the people, no
matter how few. It's too easy
to sink to the level of film
critic. While great fun to
giggle, it's much better to
suggest an appropriate manner
of portrayal. I wonder why
this smacks of sex education
class. At any rate, I give
your article one thumbs up.

I was a bit puzzled by the
absence of the Memphis
Titanic display in your
story. My favorite part was
ending the tour in the gift
shop (we were funneled
directly into it). This is
where I encountered the
expected keychains and
refrigerator magnets. Thanks
for informing me about the
Disney thing ... I'd never have
gone to see it and I doubt
CNN would run a blurb on dead
Disney animals.

Varion William Mauritzen

The Nerf Inquisitors kit is
the wholly owned comedic
property of Mr. Terry Colon,
comedic stylist to the stars.
The rest resembles sex-ed
class because most of us
still giggle and blush when
we say "vagina" in public.
Hope that clears things up.

Oh, and as for Memphis: I
thought your reference to the
"Memphis Titanic" was some
sort of sly and knowing dig
at Elvis, but then I
gradually realized that this
wasn't the case. Didn't see
the Titanic thing, although I
did see Graceland. Please
note that Elvis covered the
ceiling and walls of at least
one room of his house in
green shag carpet.

But I'm right there with you
re: the Titanic audio
tour, as you describe it,
with bad acting and so on.
Awful audio re-creations are
popping up in the worst
places. In London earlier
this year, I visited
Churchill's underground
command center - where bad
actors had recorded a
simulation of what might have
been said in that space
during the war. Forty million
dead, and I'm snickering like
a teenager: I say, chap!
Jerry's putting on a rattling
good show, eh what?

Eek.

tears, deers, and ears,

Beers

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Ware had lied about his own
life, Coughenour allowed, and
inappropriately borrowed a
hugely painful piece of
another man's private
history, but he had a
selfless and uplifting sort
of Robin Hood motive: He
stole from the rich-in-pain
to give to the
poor-in-understanding, to
teach to, as Coughenour put
it, "heighten the public's
awareness of the evil of
racial hatred."

Surely you are aware that it
is perfectly all right, noble
even, to lie for a good
cause? That's why they can't
fire Judge Ware. His "heart
was in the right place," even
[if] the rest of him wasn't
on that bicycle in Alabama.

And, of course, when the US
President lies, as they are
in the habit of doing, it's
purely in the public
interest. They wouldn't do
anything to harm the nation
for their own selfish
reasons.

If you repeat a lie often
enough, people will actually
come to believe it is the
truth. I'll just keep telling
myself that.

Sincerely,

Kevin C. Rolfe
<KevinRolfe@aol.com>

Actually, funny that you
mention it. That line about
"If you repeat a lie often
enough, people will actually
come to believe it is the
truth" is the first sentence
in Suck's secret mission
statement. But we're pretty
sure it's for a good cause of
some kind....

Ambrose Beers

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Isn't today's Suck column,
"Reality Plus," what Umberto
Eco's book Hyperreality is
all about? And isn't there a
response to all this
simulation nonsense in a
museum in Southern California
called The Museum of Things
That Never Were? or
something like that.

Randy Quinn
<rquinn@fore.com>

Umberto Eco stole all of his
ideas from advance copies of
Suck essays. Everybody knows
that.

Ambrose Beers

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

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
<ted@light.on.ca>

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
worth.

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
<goop@onramp.net>

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
more-realistic-than-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
defeated.

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
found.

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
<Matweill@aol.com>

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!
Gasp!

Ambrose Beers

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

you have your finger on the
pulse of a generation.

<chris.day@autodesk.com>

Chris,

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
 

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