The Fish
for 16 March 1999. Updated every WEEKDAY.
 
 
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Dream with the Knishes

Subject: I had a dream

I had a dream a couple of
nights ago. I dreamt I went
back in time to 1982. I went
into a record store and
started looking for early
dance/electronic music
tracks, figuring that in 17
years I'd be the coolest DJ
ever. I started talking to
the guy who worked at the
record store, telling him
about all the music to come.
I told him about how all this
Flock of Seagulls new wave
stuff would pass. He politely
nodded, so I continued to
ramble.

I told him about how rap
would be the shit in about
four years and to watch out
for Run DMC. Then I told him
how all this glam rock would
get big in the late '80s, but
not to worry. Then Carol
Burnett showed up (go figure)
and she started to agree with
me. But I knew she was full
of shit; how would she know?
Then I told him how all this
grunge music would come out
of Seattle, and he was like,
"Seattle? Yeah, whatever." I
told him about Kurt, and
Carol said, "Yeah, I know
Nirvana," but we just ignored
her. Finally I told him about
electronic music and all
that.

It's late and I'm a bit
drunk, but I really had this
dream, and I'm 38.

Douglas Miller
<dmiller_5@hotmail.com>

That's a great dream, and it
may actually have an
antecedent. There was a very
weird skit on The Carol
Burnett Show
once, in which
Carol herself couldn't get
anybody to pay attention to
her. Very Twilight Zone, with
Carol shouting in people's
ears, causing a ruckus in a
restaurant, etc., but unable
to get anybody to acknowledge
her. In fact, I'd say this
was definitely the seed of
your dream, except you don't
mention the part where Tim
Conway and Harvey Korman
start laughing hysterically
because the bit is so funny
and spontaneous that even the
performers themselves can't
keep from laughing, no matter
how hard they try!

Oddly enough, someone else
recently sent me her dream
journal, in which Vicki
Lawrence made an appearance.
Just more proof of my theory
that The Carol Burnett Show
has always been the secret
subconscious of America. Lord
knows I've had some red-hot
dreams about Lyle Waggoner.

yr pal,

Bartel

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Planet Blair

If anyone on this planet
deserves a kick in the ass,
it is you people!

Do you really think I read
your stupid column? What is
the point of sending this
garbage to me? I do not read
it, so it takes up your
computer time - that is an
unproductive system.

Ron Skrobutan
<ronskro@gbd.com>

Good opener! What a zinger.
And who wouldn't agree with
the premise you set forth?
Absolutely breathtaking.
Pulls the reader in at the
first possible moment.

Unfortunately, we run into
some problems of logic in the
second paragraph. Because you
do not read our column, it
takes up our computer time?
Thus, "that" is an
unproductive system? We don't
follow you.

Confusion ensues. And
disappointment, after such an
enticing lead-in. Try making
some edits and send us a
revised copy. We've got total
faith in you - we all agree
this piece is really gonna
break new ground. It just
needs some minimal work. A
little tweaking here and
there, no big deal.

Best of luck!

Editors of Suck.com

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Dear Suck

all right mate i would just
like to say hello to the 8th
year at the OPS

keep on sucking

from God
<pupils.ops@mail.rmplc.co.uk>

God!

We were hoping you'd write.
Boy, we've waited long
enough. Remember how we used
to put a piece of toilet
paper on our desk and request
you rip it in half, just so
we'd know you exist? We'd
even leave the room so you
could do your good work in
private. Why didn't you ever
rip the damn toilet paper,
huh? What's the big deal? We
realize you had hurricanes
and mudslides to supervise in
some Godforsaken place
(irony, ha ha!), but come on.
What's more compelling or
urgent than small, privileged
white people with big,
existential questions?

You've always really liked
us, though. We can tell.
We're so special and clever,
aren't we? We always knew you
thought so.

Anyway, praise be to you or
whatever. Peace out,
motherfucker!

(You know we mean that in the
best way, right? Of course
you do. You understand us.
And you think we're clever
and special just the way we
are.)

Basking in your love for us,

Sucksters

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 
Pay to Play

E. L.

Your quote:

"While plenty of commentators
argued how much more genteel
a hockey game is than a
nuclear holocaust, that
hardly made Americans, drunk
with Reaganism, any more
attractive."

FYI:

Ronald Reagan's term as
president: January 1981 to
January 1989.

Winter Olympics at Lake
Placid, New York: 13 February
1980 to 24 February 1980.

Personally, I think Americans
were loopy-high with
Carterism. He was so d...d
infectious.

Regards,

Jonathan Miller
<millerjs@rocketmail.com>

Actually, old Dutch took
office on 20 January 1981,
but that's picking nits.

Reagan was already surfing a
wave of tremendous popularity
(and its catalyst,
anti-Carter malaise) in early
1980 - peaking nine months
later in his landslide
victory.

Incidentally, the White House
biography of RWR gives the
following uncharitable
factoids: Reagan was shot
just 69 days after taking
office and he frequently held
press conferences in front of
a taxiing helicopter, the
better to expedite his
"interaction with the press"
and bolster his reputation as
the "Great Communicator."
(Duh. Apparently no one
actually heard him babbling
about the Evil Empire.)

E. L. Skinner

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Your deriding of Mormonism as
"buffed hypocrisy" is right
on target, but some
clarification is necessary to
better illustrate your point.
I've lived in Utah for 10
years, during which time I've
seen an incredible amount of
hypocritical, malformed bills
go unopposed through the
state legislature (all GOP,
all Mormon) and then be
signed off on by Governor
Mike "Boy Wonder" Leavitt.
I've seen smearing (by
right-wing social groups, in
particular the Eagle Forum
and Gayle Ruizicka, its
executive director) of gay
candidates running for the
legislature. Most of this
backwardness and hatred can
be traced to the religious
education Mormons receive.
Attending at least two-plus
hours of church every Sunday
and an hour of "seminary"
every morning by the time
they get to high school (not
to mention the two-year
church mission at age 18, a
time when most people start
to think for themselves) is
enough to brainwash even the
most morally upright,
intelligent, and kind person.
Even if the church is
officially neutral (on
whether members should be
Republican or Democrat, on
most social issues, on the
Olympics until two years
ago), those who do all the
preaching and teaching will
almost always impress their
own (right-wing,
conservative, sometimes
bigoted) personal morals on
what the kids (and parents)
hear. Brainwashing
perpetrates brainwashing,
with no end in sight; the
wash is not really "buffing,"
it comes closer to a
full-service wash, with a
free towel drying.

Michael King
<mhking@worldnet.att.net>

I was prepared to say that no
religion has an absolute
monopoly on hypocrisy, but
you've got me reconsidering.

The trouble with Mormonism
(and - to be fair - so many
other channels in the
Judeo-Christian mode) is its
power to institutionalize
human foibles. Like, say,
fear of black people. More
noble aspirations tend to get
eclipsed by these finer
points in the theology.

You're right: Mormons seem to
have a unique power over
their youth. As a result, the
Christian mainstream has
understandably considered the
Church of LDS a cult. I
remain undecided. But any
institution that sends young
men in suits soliciting at my
door is generally suspect,
and that includes the Sertoma
light-bulb people. Sertoma?
What the hell is THAT about?!

E. L. Skinner

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Dear Younger Brother of BF:

Do not be so quick to condemn
the replacement of warfare
with commerce. Does anyone
doubt that for half of what
we are now paying to keep
troops up and down the Korean
border we could buy everyone
in North Korea a Hyundai,
give them a full tank of gas
and a Visa Smartcard with
$500 of spending power on it,
and ask them where they want
to go today? North Korea
would be in the dustbin of
history by nightfall.

Alan Kornheiser
<ASKORNHEISER@prodigy.net>

This, of course, is precisely
what brought the Iron Curtain
down. Although we couldn't
actually drop Seiko watches
on the Osties, you can bet
they almost wished them out
of the sky, they wanted 'em
so bad.

It is not useful to consider
whether they are now pleased
with their lot.

E. L. Skinner

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

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