The Fish
for 16 February 1999. 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

When Activists Attack

I think maybe you've written
a long essay about the BBB
that could have ended with
the paragraph: "Oh. OK. I
think I get the point now."

The BBB, and the other
piepersons who've been doing
this sort of thing
internationally for some time
are, I think, poorly
evaluated by the ordinary
standards of political

Although it may have
transient (or, perhaps,
"pro-transient") political
agendas attached to its
actions, the only thing
it's really accomplishing
is to be the court jester in
the political debate - and
that's not unimportant.

The Satan Pied, Evil Vanishes
graphic sums up the tone of
your article well - ha, these
silly people, thinking that
they're accomplishing
anything substantial by
throwing pies! But, take away
the snide Evil Vanishes from
the headline and imagine
Lucifer hit in the kisser
with a banana cream (ooh,
he's not invulnerable; even
he looks silly covered in
crust and filling) and what
effect that would have on his
minions compared to the more
reasonable zillions of pious
prayers of the faithful that
have no effect at all. Would
it make evil vanish; no, but
neither would the prayers.
Would it make evil lose its
Heavy Metal dignity? Yup.

If you debate Willie Brown
about the issues, you just
dignify his position; if you
toss a pie in his face, you
desanctify him.

I think the BBB (as opposed
to the other piefolk who have
targeted Bill Gates, et al.)
has made too much a point of
announcing PC motives for
its attacks, thus confusing
commentators like yourself.
Perhaps this is deliberate,
and it's thereby
targeting the media and the
knee-jerk liberal culture as

Check out
hoax/perfart.html for some
more stuff on pie-tossing and
other types of performance

Dave Gross

Perhaps the fact that I've
never had trouble
desanctifying Willie Brown is
what makes me think the BBB
is, from a political
perspective, largely
pointless. However, from an
entertainment perspective, I
love what it does and
sincerely hope that Mike
Darnell of Fox will devote a
whole World's ... show to
the BBB's work.



Fish With Letter Icon

Subject: flacktivism,
hacktivism, pies, etc.

I'm not sure I buy the
comparison between the SLA
and the Biotic Baking Brigade
... the SLA, for one thing,
had a far, far cooler name,
and significantly less of a
"wussy-ass tree-hugger" feel
to it, given that it
actually shot at people.... I
don't remotely approve of
its actions (violence =
sucky), but from a media
standpoint, the SLA was way
more bad-ass than a bunch of
Critical Mass rejects with
yucky organic pies.

I will say, though, that the
comments you made about its
lack of focus and dearth of
genuine activist intent were
right on. The pie to Bill
Gates' face was an
appropriate and fascinating
piece of activism, but past
that it's gotten a little
unoriginal. It strikes me
that the BBB could keep the
spotlight a lot better if
it stayed on target, but
changed the assault, rather
than flitting from generic
villain to generic villain
with a mountain bike full of

Because I empathize with your
dissatisfaction with
real-world activism in
general, I was kinda curious
that you didn't mention
hacktivism, however snidely
... being fairly close to the
center of the formative mess
that "hacktivism" is right
now, it seems to me that it
fits the category of
mediagenic "terrorism" (not
that terrorism's an even
remotely appropriate term,
but that's how hacking is
referred to, time and time
again) far better than
anybody's face full of pie.
As an added bonus, nobody,
and nothing, gets hurt. While
hacktivist acts to date (back
orifice, bustin' China's
firewalls, briefly;
innumerable Web-page hacks)
have been marred by
philosophical muddle and an
overabundance of zeroes, this
is an incredibly vibrant
form of emergent social
protest, and I would hope it
would be reassuring to any
elder statesman coffeehouse
Marxist that would put pen to
daily column.... Take a look
at and and (for a little
background and some sloppy
editing) and see if you like
what you find.

Tweety Fish,

Sifu & Grand High
Cult of the Dead Cow

I agree with you
wholeheartedly about the lack
of focus and the notion that
a better strategy would be to
aim different types of
assaults on a few targets.
For instance, it would be
interesting to see, say, the
Novartis CEO pelted with
rotten-but-organic tomatoes
or Charles Hurwitz tickled
mercilessly with pine

Re: hacktivism - I didn't
mention it because I'm not
that familiar with what's
been happening, but I'll
check out the links.



Fish With Letter Icon

That's all well and good that
you ... think that the Biotic
Baking Brigade isn't
effective, but what form of
protest is? At least by
throwing a pie at the mayor,
you get more (short-lived)
attention for your cause than
a succinct and effective
letter to the editor or a
gaggle of limp-wristed,
knee-jerk jerks yelling "Hey
hey! Ho ho! XYZ has got to
go!" And, hey, you get to hit
the mayor.

Joe Garden

The problem is that the BBB
seems to be assigning a value
to "attention" that it
doesn't really have, thus
reducing their activism to
the sort of Springeresque
personal vindication you
suggest with the last line of
your email - "you get to hit
the mayor." If they were that
candid about their intentions
and their effects, they might
seem more viable.



Fish With Letter Icon

When Activists Attack

St. Huck,

Just wondering, but mightn't
Cinque's name be taken from
slave history, the recent
notoriety of which was
brought to our attention by
Steven Spielberg's
made-for-TV-movie Amistad?


Yes, the man originally known
as Donald DeFreeze took his
new name from an African
chief who was captured by
Portuguese slave traders in
the 1830s and designated



Fish With Letter Icon

You have created a great new
term in "cathode olestra" and
you should be proud. However,
many of the links in today's
piece are funky: Your mailto
says "" and
a link in the story says
"http://year2000.html" ...
are you on crack?

Bjorn Porn


It is a new strategy. Suck
was founded on the principle
of links and so can't really
abandon them without "losing
face," but now we really
don't want you to go anywhere
else. Broken links seemed
like the best solution.



Fish With Letter Icon

Subject: Re: Hearst

Quite possibly the longest
lead I've ever read ... but a
very satisfactory payoff.
Might even consider givin'
the ol' ball 'n' chain some
foreplay tonight! Thanks for
the idea.


An article about kidnapping
and pie-throwing gets you
horny? You Fools are zanier
than I had imagined.


Fish With Letter Icon

Subject: Now the serpent was
the subtlest of beasts ...

Dear Sainted One:

The Historical Buddha (i.e.,
The Enlightened One) is
frequently represented in art
as sitting on a throne with
the "naga" protecting his
back. This is a borrowing
from Hindu symbolism; the
naga is a giant cobra who
wrapped himself seven times
around the Buddha while he
meditated and in an
interesting artistic shift is
thus often shown
seven-headed. While
apparently a frightening
figure, the naga is actually
a protector of the holy in
Buddhist imagery. The
multiheaded serpent of the
SLF is clearly taken from
this image.

There, you've learned
something. Aren't you

Alan Kornheiser
The Doctor Is IN

There was a lot of
appropriation going on with
that logo apparently, because
it also had a Kwanza element
- each of the seven heads was
supposed to represent one of
Kwanza's seven basic
principles: unity,
collective work and
responsibility, cooperation,
etc. etc. I am thinking that
perhaps Terry could redesign
the Fish with seven heads, as
these are coincidentally all
of the same principles that
have informed Suck all these



Fish With Letter Icon

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