The Fish
for 8 February 1999. Updated every WEEKDAY.
 
 
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[the fixin' pixie... ]
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and Rhythm Guitar

 

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Senior Editor

 

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Executive Editor

 

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Sean Welch
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Owen Thomas
Copy Editor

 


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Production Manager

& Ass Kicker

 

[yes, it's a plunger. i'll l
eave the rest up to your imagination ... ]
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Production Manager

 

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Ghost in the Machine

 

Matt Beer
Matt Beer
Development Manager

Hot Copy

In the midst of your witty
screed, you might have paused
to explain why it is OK to
make and remake classical
music, theater, and dance
(nobody seems to mind that
Yo-Yo Ma has now issued two
different versions of the
identical Bach cello pieces,
for example), but remaking a
movie script is somehow just
dumb. Mind you, I think that
remaking a movie script is
just dumb; I'm just not sure
why. So ... why?

Alan Kornheiser
<ASKORNHEISER@prodigy.net>

You know, this fact of
acceptable/unacceptable
duplication is what prompted
me to write the article in
the first place - and once
again, I realize I forgot to
mention the very thing that
inspired me. (I do that a lot
with these pieces.) I was
thinking more in terms of
stand-up comedians and
freelance writers - the
former write 20 minutes of
material then perform for a
decade, whereas the latter
are expected to abandon their
best pieces and lines after
using them only once.

Re: The high threshold for
remakes of classical music,
theater, and dance - I think
it's because no one ever
really pays that much
attention to any of that
stuff, so the experience of
listening to or seeing it
again actually retains a
modicum of newness.

Regards,

Huck

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

I can't believe you missed
your chance to point out that
the '90s are not the "decade
of the penis" like Suck
proclaimed previously.
Rather, the '90s are the
"decade of the clone"! Cloned
music (Puff Daddy), movies à
la Van Sant, cloned vintage
Levis for $180, etc.

<jstevens@lamar.colostate.edu>

I'll be sure to make that
point in the duplicate
version of this article that
I'm publishing in several
other venues.

Best,

Huck

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Great column. I think maybe
people are so worried about
preventing Orwell's future
from happening that we're
going to end up living in
Huxley's instead. Not that
I'd mind as long as I'm an
Alpha. All that sex! Who
wouldn't trade Elizabethan
literature for eternal life
and constant orgies?

<DavidM@fool.com>

Well, given that most of us
seem to have already traded
Elizabethan literature for
Adam Sandler movies, the
bargain you describe sounds
like a pretty good deal....

Huck

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 
British Disease

Unfortunately, this theory
does not translate as well
for the American talent of
taking mediocre British
sitcoms and making them
infinitely worse.

Max Bruce

I didn't write today's
article and thus may be
exceeding my brief, but I'll
bet any amount of quid that
Sanford and Son is a damn
sight better than Steptoe and
Son,
the Britcom on which it
is allegedly based.

Bartel

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Subject: Brit imports

Why do you think we send
them?

Bwahaha.

P.S. Mike Myers was born in
Liverpool, so he's just as
fucking guilty.

"A letter always arrives at
its destination." - Jacques
Lacan

Nick Sweeney
<nsweeney@jesus.ox.ac.uk>

Thanks for the compliments
and correction. I'm more than
a little disturbed by your
sig file, however - a
freakin' no-good frog takes
the starring role. And Lacan
no less, whose name, when
pronounced properly in the
"language of the father"
means little more than
"asshole." Jesus, if the
Brits are a disease, the
French are what's left over
from a tumor.

Cordially,

Mr. M

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

So, the Teletubbies were an
attack on your national
sovereignty, eh? Ever heard
of self-defense? We couldn't
exactly sit there grinning
and bearing it as our country
was overrun by an inane
purple dinosaur. If it's any
consolation to you, my
3-year-old daughter spends
more time speaking with an
American accent than an
English one and she has
never been heard to say
either "bloody" or "cheers" -
I always thought Cheers was
the name of an American
sitcom.

Dan Sumption
<dan@gulch.demon.co.uk>

Dear Dan,

Cor blimey! The L.L. Bean
English Walking Shoe's on the
other foot now, innit,
gov'nor? Should your gal
continue to speaketh with an
American accent, she'll no doubt
have a solid future in the New
World Order.

"Cheers" remains a bad way to
end a letter or a conversation.

Cheers,

Mr. M.

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Subj: Anglophilia

It's only natural for an
empire to pay homage to the
one that preceded it. The
Romans traipsed off to Athens
to gawk at the marbles and
sample "real culture." Of
course, like America with
England, they eventually
became comfortable with their
own culture and accepted
themselves for what they
were. They enjoyed their
orgies, circuses, and
vomitoria with no sense of
shame or failing. Americans
can only be happier when they
liberate themselves from
foreign and obsolete
standards of "culture" and
"civilization."

Mark Samborsky

Dear msambors,

As a student at several
American institutions of
so-called higher learning and
a former resident of New
York, Philadelphia, and Los
Angeles, I can attest that
Americans have absolutely no
sense of shame or failing
when it comes to vomiting.

Mr. M

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Subj: British Disease

Sir (or Madam should the
situation truly warrant),

Lauds and much applause for
your delicious thoughts. Not
just for what you said but
for what I consider truly
good humor.

sincerely,

Rev. P. Gallardo

Dear Rev.:

Hath thou not heard that God
is dead? You're on the dole,
chap. Lucky for you this news
comes in such a ripping good
economy, old bean.

Respectfully,

Mr. M

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Sucksters,

Enjoyable and funny article.
Two quibbles though. I was very
disappointed that the
statement "boring, flatulent
novelist Henry James" did not
included a link justifying
such adjectives. Not being an
English major, I don't know if
Henry James' digestive
problems are common knowledge
(hell ... I don't even know
who Henry James is) among
people who actually read or
if this is just a case of
Suck psychicness. Second
quibble. No matter how
illogically reverent we are
of the Brits, we pale in
comparison to the Canadians.
It took Madonna quite a while
to acquire that
pseudo-English accent, whereas
most Canadians seem to adopt
it after a mere one-year
study abroad program. Not
to mention the half (third,
quarter, whatever) of the
world that still puts the
fucking queen on their stamps
and cash to indicate their
proud membership in the
Commonwealth. All things
considered, I think we are
holding our own.

Bradley Messmer

Dear M'sieur Messmer,

The first draft of Portrait
of a Lady
as well as all
Henry James' other writing
explicitly deals with
flatulence. You can look it
up. In general, though, it's
a standard journalistic rule
of thumb that if two of any
three modifying adjectives
are plausible, then the third
one gets to ride for free.

Please hold your own if you
must. The founder of the
institution to which your
domain alludes (Rockefeller
University) was a bald,
cold-hearted, bastard
billionaire who did much good
by doing well. At any rate,
he never spoke with a British
accent, preferring instead to
mimic the voice of Grandad,
who preferred the flat
inflections of the industrial
Midwest.

Mistur Emmm

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

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