The Fish
for 23 February 1999. Updated every WEEKDAY.
 
 
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Matt Beer
Matt Beer
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Fantastic Voyage

Subject: False Information

In response to 8 February
1999 -

"False information (Arabs and
Jews have been fighting for
centuries!)"

I'm sorry to say, this is quite
true. Jews have been
defending themselves for
about 3,000 years, if you
count the exodus from Egypt,
but I digress. In more real
terms, yes, their struggle is
not simply a matter of Arabs,
although it was started by
them in 722 BCE, when
Assyrians took Samaria and
exiled 10 Jewish tribes. Then
in 586, the first temple was
destroyed and they were
exiled to Babylonia. In 331,
Alexander conquered Palestine
(North Israel). In 168,
Judaism was prohibited by
Antiochus IV during the
Maccabean revolt. The Romans
conquered Jerusalem in 63 CE.
In 70, the second temple and
Jerusalem were destroyed and
taken by Romans. From 132 to
135, Bar Kokhba lead the
Messianic War against Rome.
From 630 to 640, the Muslims
conquered all of the Middle
East. In 1096, the first
crusade was underway and Jews
were massacred in Rhineland.
In 1190, Jews were massacred
at York, England, and riots
broke out in Lynn. From 1283
to 1287, there were riots in
Rhineland against Jews, and
in 1328, Jews were massacred
in Navarre. 1348 to 1350 saw the
Black Death, when Jews were
massacred. 1391 saw massacres
of Jews in Spain, and in 1506
Jews were killed in Lisbon.
1648 saw massacres of Polish
and Ukrainian Jews. Need I
mention Hitler? So, yes, it's
false that the Arabs and Jews
have been fighting for
centuries. Glad you keep up
to date with your records of
facts. After all, can't let
them friggin' Jews cry wolf
when they've had such a cushy
life for so long.

Kurt Shriner
<gizeh@werewolf.net>

You just proved my original
claim. Out of the 19 events
you name, only three were
between Jews and what could
liberally be called Arabs -
and all three of those cases
are so far back in the mists
of BCE that they barely
qualify as provable, let
alone relevant, history. In
addition, you might have
pointed out that in the cases
of the Crusades, Navarre,
Spain in 1491 (not 1391) and
Lisbon (I think), Jews and
Moors were both victimized by
Christians. In fact, through
much of the period you're
talking about, Jews and
Muslims were effectively on
the same side, since they had
more to fear from Christians
than they did from each
other. This was demonstrated
most dramatically in the
Middle East, where the
Muslims were more tolerant
and enlightened than either
the Romans who preceded them
or the Crusaders who tried to
kick them out. I stand by my
original contention. Jews and
Arabs have not been fighting
for centuries. They've been
fighting in the 20th century
and over very specific issues
that would be very clear to
anybody who would stop
reciting half-remembered
history lessons and
read one or another
of the many fine newspapers
that cover these matters.

yr pal,

Bartel

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Just read Dubliners for my
Modern English lit. class.
Why'd you pick that name? Do
you have a good thesis for a
five- to seven-page paper on
any topic related to this
book?

Rob Schulz
<schulz@hawaii.edu>

Yeah. The text of Dubliners
consists of a series of
acrostics, which, if read in
the proper order, form secret
messages to one "Rob Schulz,"
instructing him to start a
race war by having his
tripped-out harem of hippie
chicks murder selected
establishment types in and
around the city of Los
Angeles. You should be able
to get five to seven pages
out of that.

yr pal,

Bartel

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Hola, Suck:

Great article about The
'60s,
the TV miniseries. I
got a call from my parents
the other night asking if I
would watch it, and I asked,
"why?" Basically, the reason
the '60s are so popular has
nothing to do with what
happened as much as the fact
that it happened to our
parents. As a self-professed
member of the Nintendo
Generation, I've finally come
of age to the point where I
get to do all the stupid shit
(http://www.lycaeum.org/)
that I figure my parents did
in the Era of Love. Indeed,
that's what fueled the recent
obsession with Beatlemania,
etc. Even if your mom tells
you she was listening to
Herman's Hermits, it's fun to
think that you can share in
the hedonism of the era.
After all, what teenager
caught smoking pot doesn't
pull the Woodstock excuse?
It's not about history or
even respect for your elders;
it's about knowing that no
matter what happened at the
rave last night, your parents
believed, for a split second,
that everything really could
be "groovy" forever.

"Floid"
<kanowijj@clarkson.edu>
happy to know that
utopia is a sack of
horseshit

As a member of the Atari
generation, I've now come of
age to the point where I am
too old to do all the stuff
my parents did in the Era of
Love. But since my parents
were squares who spent the
'60s raising kids and voting
for Goldwater and Nixon, I
was pretty much screwed
anyway.

yr pal,

Bartel

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Tiger the Kitten Guy

The only things more
nauseating than whiny,
name-dropping intellectual
provocateurs are whiny,
name-dropping intellectual
provocateurs who make up
stories about their cats.

eli the destroyer
<eli@aadl.org>

P.S. So what if I looked at
his site? I'm on the clock.

If that Tiger the Kitty guy
is an intellectual
provocateur, I'm a 6-foot-
tall platinum blonde drag
queen named The Duchess.

yr pal,

Bartel

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Fuck That Shit

OK, really. The Shit has not
been updated in months. How
am I supposed to add
dimension to my banal,
monotone lifestyle without a
regular infusion of The Shit?
This is pretty fucking
serious. The other day, I was
in a coffee shop, subtly
mussing my coiffed hair, when
an attractive member of the
opposite sex asked me who my
latest favorite band was. Of
course, I had NO RESPONSE! I
mean, what am I gonna say,
"The Jon Spencer Blues
Explosion"!? How am I
supposed to have loud
conversations with "friends"
about all the latest films
while secretly hoping that
woman at the bar with the
black bob will "accidentally"
overhear without The Shit?!?

Please. Have some compassion.
And try to understand that
though I never mention my
little cultural bullets
spring from the pages of
Suck, it's only due to that
whole Wired sell-out thing.
Besides, like waay too many
people read Suck now, you
know?

Yours in spirit,

Jonathan Grant
<chyld@elwha.evergreen.edu>

This is really cool to know
that people actually measure
their cred by what's in The
Shit. When I look at The
Shit, I can't even tell what
the hell they're talking
about. I just see stuff like
"Acid Hands: This is a Long
Way to Drive with Nothing to
Drink About.
Scrolling Days,
1997" and all I can think is
"What's that? Is it a book,
or a band, or some kind of
art thing, or just something
somebody heard in a bar? I'm
gonna go watch TV."

yr pal,

Bartel

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 
Fantastic Voyage

Your view on history is a bit
hypocritical. Half of your
jokes hinge on the reader's
previous experience with
historical tidbits. Are you
saying that the pursuit of
history is useless or is it
the attitude that we have
toward history? The point of
your article isn't very clear
in its criticism.

But then again, this is Suck,
you know?

Stephen Ingram
<gte169f@prism.gatech.edu>

To the extent that the
article had a point, it was
to make me look like a
smartypants. But that's
pretty much the point of
every article.

yr pal,

Bartel

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Napolean?

I think it's part of the
when-I-was-your-age-life-
was-so-much-more-difficult
syndrome. The old complaining
that the young are ignorant
and ahistorical is nothing
new. I'm sure that when I'm
old and gray (and watching
the History Channel 12 hours
a day), I'll be able to mock
the young generations for
their lack of knowledge.
Until then I don't have the
12 hours a day to waste.
Besides, if, as every
generation has argued since
the dawn of time, the
subsequent generations are so
much dumber and less
educated, how come we have so
much more cool stuff (like
indoor plumbing) than people
did awhile back? Maybe it's
better that everyone doesn't
study history anyway; we also
need some engineers, doctors,
plumbers, etc. I once saw an
old guy interviewed about the
'20s and '30s, and the
interviewer was asking really
stupid questions like,
"Wasn't life so much more
interesting back then?" What
made it cool was that the old
guy was honest and answered
something to the effect that
what made those times cool
for him was that he was in
his 20s, but objectively the
quality of life kind of
sucked for most people
compared to what we have
today.

What's really ridiculous in
all of this is to call
anything in the last 50 years
history anyway. These days it
seems like we have to
categorize (and make TV
specials) about everything,
but the truth is that
promoting everything to
historical status before
humanity has had some time to
think about it is kind of
silly anyway. If every decade
were as carefully studied as
the '60s, children would have
to be in elementary school
until they turned 60. Just
because someone might have
lived through it (and it
might even have changed his
or her life), doesn't make it
automatically important to
humanity at large. So, to
those people I say, stop
kvetching already and just
admit you are losing your
relevance.

<Matweill@aol.com>

You've hit on the reason old
people are the only ones with
any historical perspective.
They're the only ones who
have the 12 hours to waste
every day. Even they are
getting worse, though,
because too many of them are
spending their 12 hours
calling John Gibson to say
how irate they are that the
president wasn't convicted.

yr pal,

Bartel

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

I take back the remark about
you being NY wannabes.

You still haven't adjusted to
the fact that a GUI proves
literacey (deliberate, sic)
has vanished. If it ever did.
X+Y+Zers have the
intellectual dept (again, sic)
of a puddle. So did flower
children, whose cry of "hot
sex!" (or free love) echoed
over the landscape for a
while.

Till the realities changed.
Social or otherwise. Guns
still rule most of the
planet. Pumping money into
education didn't work very
well. Welfare turned into a
multigeneration lifestyle,
health care into guarrenteeed
good health.

It doesn't take Wiesenberger
stealing US$6 billion in gold
to get buildings blown up, or
the Chicago 8's trial
to convert high-machs into
drone-clones.

Just pump out the biased
insight and hope they don't
get too proactive ... aka hacker
attacks for you.... Or the bad
money will not only force out
the good, it'll subvert it.

Pat Donovan
<pat@phoenixgrp.com>

Thanks, Pat. Couldn't have
said it better myself.

yr pal,

Bartel

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

First as comedy, then as
farce. So what else is new?

Alan S Kornheiser
<ASKORNHEISER@prodigy.net>

I'm still waiting for history
to repeat itself as a
social-problem movie of the
week.

yr pal,

Bartel

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

You did not include the
greatest thing about THC - it
is not available in Canada.

Tony Prichard
<evilwins@hotmail.com>

Are you sure they're not
eligible for History Channel
International? I've always
thought Canada was what
Francis Fukayama had in mind
when he talked about the end
of history. From the French
and Indian War to today, the
closest Canada has come to an
historical event is the
occasional secession threat
from Quebec. Canadians even
rode bicycles onto the beach
at Normandy.

yr pal,

Bartel

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Speaking of historical
perspective, I heard the new
Hollywood craze is for actors
and actresses to leave the
lush lifestyle behind and
build teepees out in the
wilderness and live off the
land without indoor plumbing.
The word's out that the
Indians are going to drive up
in tanks with M60s and make
them relocate to Oklahoma.

Earth White Horse
<xaqv13a@prodigy.com>

You heard wrong. The new
roughing-it style involves
limiting yourself to eggwhite
omelettes at Barney
Greengrass in Beverly Hills.
There may be some publicists
driving up in Range Rovers,
but they're just looking for
lunch.

yr pal,

Bartel

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

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