The Fish
for 18 December 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


Monte Goode
Monte Goode
Ghost in the Machine


Matt Beer
Matt Beer
Development Manager

Trance Mission


Another in an
ever-lengthening list of
brilliant riffs. Superb.

I want to heartily endorse
the need to reassert the
specificity of crimes,
criminals, and victims. The
single lasting effect of
sociology (one of the worst
ideas of the 20th century,
along with Amway and tofu) is
the reduction of every event
to an exemplar of a social
order or condition. While
these things may in fact
exist, I've never met anyone
who claimed to embody one.

The most horrible thing about
the Shepard murder was the
protest at the funeral. I'll
repeat that: Protest at the
kid's freakin' funeral. Good
God, is that not totally
devoid of any redeeming

Thanks again - I look forward
to your continued punditry.

Rob Seulowitz

The people who demonstrated
at Matthew Shepard's funeral
needed to have their fucking
knees broken. (Any Suck
readers in Wyoming?)

And there is nothing wrong
with tofu. High in
isoflavones! Don't be pickin'
on soy products.

Ambrose Beers

Fish With Letter Icon

I'm a Penn and Teller fan
from way back. Once, I
watched them on Geraldo, back
when the Phil Donahue Show
was still on. They were
showing how to make jello
bleed like a stuck pig when
you cut to serve it.

Anyway, in a Q&A with the
audience, a woman asked
whether or not Penn and
Teller were a bad influence
on children. Penn Gillette
replied at length about the
culture of voodoo. He defined
voodoo as the belief that
manipulating the image of a
thing influences the thing in
the real world. He said that
censoring the image of
violence in media for the
purpose of reducing violence
in society was akin to
sticking a needle in a voodoo
doll to zap somebody.

At the time, I was much
swayed by the rationality of
his argument. However, Penn
deftly side-stepped the fact that
voodoo does influence real
world events when the culture
believes in it.

Drawing a mountain on a map
won't create one on the
surface of the earth. But it
can change the plans of those
who use that map later.

Sorry this is so rambling. I
didn't have time to make it

Simon Peter Adkins

I've seen rambling, and this
ain't it. And I love the Penn
and Teller thing.

OK. So. People who believe
in voodoo can be manipulated
by it - but they believe in it
first. To drag the
analogy back to the real life
we're talking about, the
people who use that
map have seen at
least some of the landscape;
if they choose to believe the
map, who's the jackass? The
guy who drew the false map,
or the guy who used it even
though the flat, empty desert
was right in front of him?

The burden we should all
expect one another to carry
is the burden of empiricism.
Matthew Shepard was a human
being; the men who killed him
were human beings; the pope
was not in the room. The
landscape was clear and at
hand, and they made their

How do you make jello bleed
like a stuck pig when you cut

Ambrose Beers

Fish With Letter Icon

Just a quickie to say that

I just sent a friend a
blistering critique about
what bullshit hate-crime
legislation is after he sent
me one of those endlessly
huge emails "sign here to
support ..." regarding
Matthew's murder.

"Hate-crime laws are
bullshit! Is it somehow worse
for someone to beat to death
a man because he is gay
than it is for someone to
beat to death an 80-year-old
woman in a home invasion?

People should be accountable
for their ACTIONS in a
criminal court, not in their
thoughts. Trying to prove the
motivation behind a crime is
pure conjecture - even if
it's obvious.

The real problem is that
police and prosecutors do not
investigate violent crimes
against homos with the same
vigor that they investigate
the property crimes against
their rich old white buddies.
The problem is systemic.

Governments can pass new laws
with ease because it makes
them look like they are doing
something, but this does
nothing to change the
institution of law
enforcement. It's a cop out."

Your story is well written,
your analysis right on, and
your illustrations sumptuous.

Bravo, and thank you,



Um. OK. If the real problem
is that police and
prosecutors don't investigate
violent crimes against - ahem
- "homos" thoroughly enough,
if the problem is systemic,
then how do you propose
changing the system?

Hate-crime legislation, like
Affirmative Action, is an
imperfect but necessary
attempt to change a system
that's fucked up, and to draw
attention to attitudes that
are beyond fucked up. When a
black man gets dragged behind
a truck in Texas, is that a
bigger deal than an
80-year-old woman getting
shot in the act of robbery?
You're goddamn right it is.

A Dissenting Suckster

Fish With Letter Icon

Ambrose, Joey,

Suck has, well ... sucked for
some time now, the columns
often chock-full of awkward
conglomerations of
10-cent words that both
obscure what the writer is
actually trying to say, and
make someone like me want to
run for the nearest outbound

So today I tuned in, I'm not
sure why because I haven't
been back in six months to a
year. Wait, I remember. I
couldn't hit another Web site
and I thought, "Gee, I wonder
if my company's connection to
the Internet is down." So I
typed in a random URL, the
first one that came to mind,, to see
if I could get another site
to come up.

Suck came up just fine. Our
connection to the Internet
was surely up! And low and
behold, today's column
("Trance Mission") is just
wonderful. It's clearly
written, lucid even, and it
provided me with a few
chuckles at the frequent
absurdity of our "protect our
children," paranoid culture.
(Yeah, chuckles just like in
the old days of Suck.
Amazing!) This encourages me
to stop by more often in
hopes that this kind of
journalism will continue, or
should I say, return, to the
pages of Suck.

Craig Mitchell

1. They're 14.578 cent words
- we've been acquired by a
publicly held company, and
the stock market is HOT!

2. Funny that ours was the
first URL that came to your
mind, don't you think? Isn't
it just a little bit possible
that a certain someone has,
admit it, missed us just the
tiniest bit
? (Don't be
bashful - it's OK to love!)

3. Crack. Canadians. Big
rabbits. See what I mean?

A journalist in the old Suck

Ambrose Beers

Fish With Letter Icon


Recently on a film set, the
hair stylist showed me her
can of Bed Head, a thick,
waxy gel designed to mimic
the effect of its namesake.
She swears Bed Head is the
next big thing and that it is
already used by male
Hollywood stars who want that
"messy" look.

All the best,

David Harrison

I expect that Stephen Jenkins
of Third Eye Blind has a
whole closet full of this

Yes, Hollywood has always
been on the vanguard of
vanity-based technology - jet
skis, for example, were
invented for the 1977 James
Bond film The Spy Who Loved

Paging through a copy of
Wallpaper this weekend, I saw
an ad for Diesel's winter
line - the models were
sporting long icicles from
their noses. Fashion should
be painful, right?

Thanks for your note -

E. L. Skinner

Fish With Letter Icon

What is frightening to me is
that not only have I no idea
how much of this piece on
cosmetics to simulate weather
damage is invented and how
much (if any) is real, I'm
not even sure how to find
out. I mean, clear sticky
mascara that is supposed to
look like ice crystals makes
some sense, but fake shiny
snot for the upper lip does
not. Although it is easy to
imagine one of those SoCal
means-east types going to
great lengths to generate a
"Minnesota look," perhaps for
a movie? And then someone
who's like, famous, and in
this movie where they have
been made up to look cold -
Gina Davis perhaps - is
taking a break for lunch
without cleaning it all off,
and gets, um, sighted by a
celebrity-watcher, perhaps
photographed in the makeup,
and the next thing you know
Revlon is selling fake snot
at fine cosmetics counters
all across our great nation.
Is that what happened?

David L Nicol

It wouldn't be the first time
we were all more-or-less
bewildered by what the
experts call "high fashion,"

Actually, the Minnesota Look
is a good call - this
specialized subgenre of
Low-High Fashion cycles in
and out of popularity, and
has a number of expressions -
such as flannel shirts,
stocking caps, down coats,
and hockey franchises in

Keep up the good work -

E. L. Skinner

Fish With Letter Icon

The terms Eskimo and Inuit
refer to the same people.

Douglas Heath

Thanks for the clarification.
If we weren't so busy smoking
dope and making sure Dawson's
gets beamed into
Manitoba, we'd have seen this
oversight. Then again,
redundancy is what we do
best. And we often repeat
ourselves. Because it seemed
to work so well the first

E. L. Skinner

Fish With Letter Icon

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