The Fish
for 18 March 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]
Erica Gies
Merrill Gillaspy

Copy Editors

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

Hit and Run

Dearest Sucksters:

No more mockery of Ebert,
please! He is a far better
critic than Siskel ever was
(begging pardon from Gene's
restless spirit/thumb). And
he wrote the script to Beyond
the Valley of the Dolls,

which makes him infinitely
cooler than the rest of the
indiscriminate film critic
sycophants who cream their
cords every time their names
are splayed on movie ads
(like Peter Travers of
Rolling Stone, whose weekly
proclamations of "The Best
Movie of the Year!!!" seem to
indicate that about 80
percent of all released
movies are the "best"). Take
Ebert's substantial flesh as
a physical representation of
his substantial critiques.
May Siskel rest in peace.

Chris Kim

You're right about Ebert's
qualities as a critic. But I
don't think we were mocking
him. Hell, we even noted that
he is not nearly as fat as
everybody makes him out to be
- and I haven't seen anybody
else anywhere report on
Ebert's remarkable weight
loss. You see, I don't like
to sound like some kind of
showboating braggart, but
Roger is a close, personal
friend of mine,
and I just
want to make sure he doesn't
botch his choice of a
replacement. To Siskel, we
say only a fond shalom.

Yr pal,


Fish With Letter Icon

This is the second week in a
row you have woven the parts
of your Hit and Run article
together like some sort of
rich journalistic tapestry
instead of your previous
haphazard, quiltlike design.
Next time I think you need to
ask yourself, "Would this
section make sense in the
random Hit and Run generator?"
Then you need to ask
yourself, "Why would someone
actually use the random Hit and
Run generator?" Then I need
to avoid asking myself why I
bothered writing this.



Since studies show that the
random Hit and Run generator
has been used a total of 3.2
times, we're leaning toward
making the column itself more
of a seamless tissue of fun,
wrapping the reader in a
climate-controlled atmosphere
of pure browsing pleasure and
delivering him or her to the
bottom of the page with a
minimum of turbulence and a
sense of total satisfaction.
We aim to have each and every
reader head to the post-Suck
shower thinking, "These
Sucksters have serviced me
like true professionals! I'll
certainly be back for more
next week! Thank heaven I
live in an age where material
of such high caliber is
provided free of charge for
readers like me to enjoy!"

Thanking you for the
opportunity to be of service,
I am ...

Yr pal,


Fish With Letter Icon

Hey Guys!

It's not everyone who can
take such a hit at Rudy and
live: Those of us in NYC
during his first
administration discovered
that in addition to being a
bully and a crypto-fascist,
he's a whining symp [???] who
yells when he can't get his
way. As they were with Mayor
Koch, the police are a
squadron of goons who serve
the mayor by randomly
enforcing the Post No
Fliers laws on unwanted
political messages. That Rudy
supports them "no matter
what" should come as no
surprise. The fact that The
New Yorker
special issue made
it to the stands at all
proves that Rudy hasn't yet
achieved the full pinnacle of
his power.

Now I live in San Francisco,
where the bullying,
egomaniacal Yank, Mayor Willie
Brown, doesn't support
anything except himself and
his own interests. At least
Rudy could be expected to
hold up certain political
issues - as long as they got
him votes. Out here, we don't
even have that level of
mayoral integrity.


Bill Bailey

No argument here on either
mayor. At least Brown
contents himself with being a
neglectful pharaoh rather
than a grandiloquent
strongman whose contributions
to his city's gorgeous mosaic
include outlawing fireworks
on Chinese New Year,
enforcing the ban on drinking at
the St. Patrick's Day parade,
publicly humiliating
inoffensive civil servants
like Ray Kelly and Ray
Cortinez, and performing in drag.
I've experienced
both, and Brown is, if not
better, at least less bad.

Yr pal,

Bartel (Dinkins voter, '93)

Fish With Letter Icon

I think The Onion has covered
the Siskel death best with
two words: "Ebert
Victorious." It was simple, short,
sweet, and much more funny
than anything you guys came
up with. Keep trying.

Steve Anichini

This is your criticism: "I
saw something different from
something you did and I liked
that one better"?

As it happens, I once got an
email from another guy named
Steve, and his mail was much
better than yours. And he
didn't have a ridiculous name
like Anichini, which sounds
like a stage name Charo would
have used in a guest
appearance on The Odd
So there.

Yr pal,


Fish With Letter Icon

Subject: Um, I don't get it.

Hi Polly!

I'll try to be a little more
coherent this time; they've
stopped putting beer in the
vending machine here at work,
so my writing has gotten a
little more lucid. I guess
that's a sure sign I must
have been a pretty crappy
writer to begin with.

After reading today's Filler
I can't help feeling a little
double pang of guilt:

a. Geez, I would hate to
think we (that is, me plus
the other losers who don't
call in sick on Wednesdays so
we can come in to read your
little column) are kind of
preventing you from achieving
personal growth.

Remember Paul Westerberg? I
mean, when he was a mess, I
loved his music; when he
straightened out, I wouldn't
buy one of his records if my
life depended on it (and in
1993, it did). I guess that's
unfair, but so true.

b. I would hate to think you
were being pushed into
irritability by your editor
and that large rabbit simply
to produce an interesting
column. I mean, it's almost
exploitative ... well, not
quite, because they're both
probably pretty irritating to
begin with.

I guess it's not exploitative
if you keep working there.
But still, if you want to be
less irritable, in better
shape, and Marlboro and Ho-Ho
free, I can't blame you.

We'll - sniff - miss you!

Jon Frank

I appreciate your concern,
but please, let's refrain
from using the words
"personal growth" in the
future. It makes me want to
remove any unsightly personal
growth I might have thus far
acquired with a huge wax
strip ("For Face, Legs,
Bikini Line, and Psyche").

After all these years of
cashing in irritability for
food pellets, I've come to
the conclusion that
bitterness is vastly
overrated. And yet we, the
many, the humbled, the
bitter, seem to keep our
bitterness close to our
hearts, as if our identities
might crumble if someone were
to yank all that bitterness
out of our shaking,
nail-bitten paws.

Why must we be such sad
little animals? Why must I be
a teenager in love? Bunghole,
who are you, to take these
many forms?

Tender, tiny pleas,


Fish With Letter Icon

Ms. Esther,

More Evil, Giant, Canadian
Rabbits on Crack, please.
What can I say? I love that

Losing your edge? Could be.
But it's sort of a refreshing
change. It could also be the
dreaded "getting older"
syndrome. I used to have
annoying, cynical opinions
too. I outgrew them. Stopped
caring about television. Now
I have to move away from
those annoying, tiresome,
cynical people at cocktail
parties. Oh sure, I still
have some bitter, edgy
friends, but now, at 30, I
think to myself, "How funny
is that gonna be at 40? 50? I
mean, sure it'll be funny at
80 or 90 - you gotta love
those curmudgeonly old people
- but there's nothing sadder
than some 40-year-old crank."

Which end of a Ho-Ho do you
light, anyway?

Pablo Vetter

My coffee tastes like
Murphy's Oil Soap. Do you
remember that commercial for
Murphy's Oil Soap where a
mother, a son, and a
grandmother all sing in
Broadway-quality voices,
"I've been using Murphy's Oil
all around this house of
mine, 'cause the dirt is
finished, but the finish is
fine!"? There's even a
compelling, triumphant
bridge. Once I think of that
song, I can't get it off my

So wait, where were we? Oh
yes. We were discussing how
I've become soft and old and
decadently self-involved. All
paths lead to Cathy.

At least we can still be
cynical about cynical people.
I went to this party awhile
back and ended up listening
to some guy read Rimbaud at
the end of the night. Welcome
to preteen rebellion,
dipshit. Not like I read
anything but Beverly Cleary's
'50s-style smoldering,
unsullied lust as a preteen
(Jean and Johnny is like soft
porn for frustrated virgins
with big delusions of
grandeur in the love
department). But still.

Feeling superior about my
inferiority, as usual,


Fish With Letter Icon

Dear Nonconforming, Gen X

I am getting so sick of your
complaining! For over a year
now I have been reading your
daily missives, but today you
went too far. Finally, it
looks as though someone is
going to break from the mold,
when she suddenly gets sucked
(pardon the pun) back into
the fold. You preach the
gospel of questioning
authority and going against
the grain, but you are coming
off like all the other
privileged, downtrodden
whiners. In your efforts to
be different you are only
imitating the masses. Try
looking at life for its
potential. You might find
yourself a little less
self-involved and happier at
the same time.


A persistent sucker

P.S. If you are getting paid
to do this, I applaud your
entrepreneurial spirit; keep
up the good work. If not, you
really are pathetic!

Communication is not your
strong suit, friend. But
that's OK, we can still be
friends, friend.

The only gospel I preach is
the Gospel According to Me. I
don't really care what you
do. Question authority, tell
authority you're behind it
100 percent, look at life for
its potential, look at life
for its cream-filled horns,
whatever. In fact, the Gospel
According to Me has a whole
psalm about this, Psalm 36,
entitled, "Song of Whatever,"
which is second in power of
prosody only to Psalm 24, "Do
What You Gotta Do,
Motherfucker, Just Leave Me
out of It, OK, Motherfucker?"

I'm not a good friend; I'm
not a friend at all.

Gratuitously irritating,


Fish With Letter Icon

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