The Fish
for 5 April 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

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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

Rat Pack

Your Rat Pack piece is the
best I've read on Suck in a
long while. I don't think the
problem is that there has
been too much writing about
the Clinton presidency; it's
that it has all been so bad.

Superfreak! Hee hee hee.
Wouldn't it be better to call
him a perfect politician?
Isn't he completely amoral
because he doesn't really
care one way or the other
about any of the issues he
deals with and is only
interested in maintaining
power? I am wondering though,
if there isn't another veil
of illusion to be lifted. If
Clinton's real crimes are
that he has been selling out
to the Chinese and that he
has allowed North Korea to
develop continental US
nuclear strike capabilities,
maybe this whole sex scandal
thing has been arranged to
obscure these things.

I know it sounds like
crackpot conspiracy theory,
but why else this unrelenting
focus on the wrong things?

Not pretending to know it

Hart Wheeler


There's your problem (or at
least the most obvious one),
Hart: Start pretending and it
all makes perfect sense. The
oil companies control the
Arabs, who control Mecca,
where methadone (aka
"meccadone") is manufactured.
They sell it through sex toys
onto the international
market, where it gets
retailed in North Korea as
"nuclear capabilities."
Clinton is caught in all this
and - bingo! - engineers the
blow job scandal as the
perfect coverup. The only
piece that is yet to fall
into place is Vince Foster's
role in the recent Baltimore
Orioles-Cuban national team
"match" (aka "meccadone").

Sleeping with my eyes wide
open, especially during the
next Kubrick film,

Mr. M

Fish With Letter Icon

I've been hoping for an
insightful and brilliant
defense of Linda Tripp to
show up on Suck. I'm still

After all, championing the
pariahs of the world
is sort of a specialty at
Suck. At least so long as the
pariahs are Suck editors, anyway.

Sadly, Mr. M. (hold on to
that dark cloud above you), I
think you missed sort of a
big point about Kazan. The
very process with which he
was cooperating was obscene
and hideous, regardless of
the motives, intentions or
beliefs of his former cell
mates. Misrepresentation of
Stalinism - either out of
gullible naiveté or
willful perversion of fact -
is not in and of itself a
crime. The HUAC, after all,
was hardly an innocuous
collection of political
scientists debating accuracy
in pamphleteering. They were
a lynch mob, prosecuting any
form of dissent as inherently
treasonous, ruining lives and
careers with willful,
unrepentant viciousness. Gee,
that sounds a bit like
Stalinism to me.

"Naming names" under those
circumstances can be
considered, at the very
least, an act of cowardice if
not downright betrayal. His
supposed friendship with the
people implicated is, in my
opinion, irrelevant. Having
made martyrs of his former
associates is likewise no
defense. I'm pretty sure the
Hollywood Ten would rather
have kept their high-paying,
prestigious jobs in the
decadent capitalist sewer of
the entertainment industry.

As for his special Oscar, I
won't deny his greatness as a
filmmaker. Who can? And
frankly, I don't give a fuck
about the political
affiliations of movie stars,
be they PETA-pushing airheads
or gun-toting former Action
Heroes. It would have been
gracious for him to at least
have acknowledged in some
small way the angry Academy
members sitting cross-armed a
few feet in front of him, but
doing so would have required
some small modicum of
bravery, which had he
possessed it, would have made
the whole meshugaas

No, in true rat fashion, he
only sputtered that he, too,
was now and had at one time
been a member ... of the
Academy. Then he mumbled that
he would only like to "slip
away" - as any fink would
want - into justly deserved
senility. (When he turned to
ask De Niro if he should say
anything more, I wanted to
shout out, "How 'bout
dropping some more names,
Elia? Miss anyone the first

Sorry, Mr. M., but
comparisons with Tripp fall
short. She only sought to
advance herself, and the only
danger she was in was of her
own making. She can at least
be applauded as a cunning
entrepreneur of sorts. Kazan
sought to save his own ass at
the expense of others. That's
called cowardice, and the
rationalizations be damned.

PS Chris Rock? What the
hell were they thinking? I'll
bet he gets another Oscar gig
real soon.

Rob Seulowitz


It's my pleasure to
disappoint you, as I strive
to disappoint those closest
to me. (In fact, my relatives
on the Stalin side of the
family are ultra p.o.ed at me
for forgetting to mention
that Uncajoe - as we call him
- was really a much greater
monster than Hitler,
Mussolini, Mao, and Pol Pot
rolled into one!)

You're right, of course, that
support of Stalinism is not a
crime per se, whether done
out of ideological fervor or
naiveté. However, at
this late date, when America
is the world's only
superpower (the honorable
Soviet experiment
inexplicably failing and
Superman having taken early
retirement to teach street
kids basketball fundamentals
in the bottled city of
Kandor), we can at least have
fun pointing out what
Clifford Odets, et al. were
in fact defending. If that's
a crime, then lock me up and
throw away the key. But don't
forget the occasional
conjugal visit.

Also, you're right that Linda
Tripp did all this for
personal advancement. The
worst part of it all: It
worked. Not only has she
taken over Tom Snyder's
coveted post-Letterman slot,
there's that starring role in
The Mod Squad.


Mr. M

Fish With Letter Icon

Mr M.,

I have no idea what you're
talking about. Please stop
confusing me and write
articles about things that
make sense and that I know


Colin, the little boy from
the Big Apple


Such confusion is one reason
why little boys from the Big
Apple are supposed to stay
close to home. Or at the
most, go adventuring on Long

Mr. M

Fish With Letter Icon

No ...

The reason we all hate rats
like Linda Tripp isn't
because they tore down our
comfortable illusions or
simply because they inspired
flashbacks of the tattletales
on the playground.

And note, I'm talking about
rats like Linda Tripp or Elia
Kazan, because we dont hate
all rats - remember Kitty
Kelley, Joe Klein, and
Woodward and Bernstein?

But the reason we hate
particular rats is because
they are selfish, insecure,
unprincipled opportunists.
And it's not simply that
opportunism is bad; rather
it's that certain people will
gleefully trample others in
their path, once the store
with the Tickle Me Elmos
opens its doors (i.e., once
that opportunity arises).

We don't hate rats because
they put our faces in the
fact that Nixon was a creep,
or that Clinton is a horny
teenager, or that Lewinsky
wanted to beat both C. Love's
and M. Monroe's records for
fucking the most famous
people, or that there are
wacko liberals around us who
see a certain charm in a
stratified society as opposed
to a fuck-your-neighbor
"democracy." We already
pretty much knew all that
without them having to tell
us; and as far as destroying
our illusions, well, we all
just pretty much wait for the
shit to dry and fall off the
fan before putting up new
illusions anyway.

If there's any stubborn
illusion that this Rodentia
species of rat really
manages to poke through, it's
because we really do live in
a fuck-your-neighbor society,
as opposed to the Rockwellian
America we'd much rather

This brings us full circle to
Kazan and makes me wonder
whether it was better for the
US that he ratted on his ASP
peers, who in turn were
ratting on the realities of
the fucked up society in
which we've lived, oh,
probably forever - and simply
because the opportunity arose
for him to save his own ass.

Opportunism is the reason we
hated rich Wall Street brats
in the '80s, and why we hate
talk show guest wannabes of
the '90s. (Come to think of
it, why hasn't Jerry Springer
had the Tripp-Lewinsky fight
on yet?) And it's the same
reason why so many
journalists and
meta-journalists (like y'all)
hate Joe Klein and the book
he ghost-wrote for A.
Nonymous: You all could have
done it, but he took the
opportunity and fucked the
rest of you over.

Imagine if my co-worker
ratted on me for reading Suck
at work!



Dearest Xycaler (Snuggles),

Thanks for writing me such a
tender note at work. It
really breaks up the day. Is
that a Norman Rockwellian
America you speak of, or a
George Lincoln Rockwellian
America? Whichever, the last
time I checked, the whole
point of this country is that
it's the land of opportunism.
As that great statesman (and
father of alleged Clinton
fuckbuddy Eleanor Mondale)
Walter Mondale once asked,
"Where's the beef?" Are you
saying the little shits on
the playground made it up?
And if so, where does Ms.
Tripp fit in, as she
apparently did not make up
much (other than her rather
grim visage).

And speaking of Clinton,
isn't it a bit selfish that
Elmo is always getting
tickled? Where's the
reciprocity? The fellow
doesn't even give the
occasional well-placed cigar.
It's just like a muppet to
take, take, take.

Imagine if your co-worker
were not simply imaginary,

Until next we meet,

Mr. M

Fish With Letter Icon
The Celluloid Dunciad


That wasn't right what you
did to that li'l' feller. You
didn't even mention Gummo.
Great piece otherwise,
though. Developmentally
disabled folks are as human
as anyone else, and it does
them no service to paint them
in misty Hallmark moments
just to give moviegoers some
feel-good points.

Of course, you also left out
the easiest 'tard-analog
target: US state


Well, I haven't actually
gotten around to seeing
Gummo yet, or Crispin Glover's
What Is It? - which I've
read also features some
unsentimentalized performances
from developmentally disabled
people. But you know you
should never really count on
Suck for an authoritative
take on anything, don't you?
Most of us who write for it
are research disabled.


Fish With Letter Icon

Let me be the first to say:
Har, har, har! Ain't a damn
thing funnier on this earth
than taking half of a joke
and beating it into last
week. Have you seen any of
Polly's recent work? Perhaps
you should try some of the
techniques that have worked
so well for her, such as
expressing more than one idea
in an article, or maybe
satire with some perceptible
point to it.

We're creatures of habit out
here, and once we're used to
reading something decent on a
daily basis, getting
something like this just
hurts real bad. (Although I
do have to give you props for
making fun of retards. It's
about time someone did
something about that dumb

Alesh Houdek

Sorry, Alesh, my whole
strategy as a freelancer is
to limit ideas to one per
article. It's really the only
way you can make a go of it.

I've also found that if you
can keep the points as
imperceptible as possible,
it's a lot easier to recycle
them for future articles.


Fish With Letter Icon

Yeah, I know, you guys make
fun of everybody equally. But
it's one thing when
"everybody" means cultural
icons, politicians, news
media types, or us - your
loyal readers, the young and
urban hipsters who think
we're subversive because we
read Suck at work. But
retarded people?!?! C'mon.

I haven't read something so
pointlessly mean-spirited and
humorless in a long time.
Whatever point you were
trying to make about the
movie industry was lost in
those bucktoothed drawings,
bald stereotypes, and
simplistic interpretations of
how developmentally disabled
people act and speak. Which
might be excusable for the
sake of humor, but the
article wasn't even funny.
What's wrong? Are you guys
running out of ideas?

LeeAnn Gjertsen


Fish With Letter Icon


I'm sure you're going to get
a deluge of similar letters,
and yes, I know I'm not being
very clever by pointing out
the obvious, but isn't the
droll title, Retarded
Son-in-Law, a tad redundant,
given the context?

Chris Watkins


Fish With Letter Icon

Wow. That really, well,
sucked. Yep, you're out on
the cutting edge of humor
there, skewering a group of
people routinely skewered by

I guess next week we can
expect a witty commentary on
the humorous aspects of
malnutrition - gosh, those
swollen bellies sure are
hilarious, aren't they?

Or perhaps that won't happen.
After all, you might actually
be capable of comprehending
that those bloated, starving
creatures are people, just
like you. It's readily
apparent you don't consider
people with mental
disabilities to be fellow
human beings.

I'm not going to make any
bogus threats about not
reading Suck in the future. I
like a lot of what you do. I
just couldn't, in good
conscience, let this kind of
crap pass without comment.


Actually, I do consider
people with mental
disabilities to be fellow
human beings. What I was
hoping to satirize was the
way Hollywood narrowly
idealizes them. (This process
isn't limited to Hollywood,
either; in researching this
piece, I noticed that most of
the sites specializing in
developmentally disabled
people would choose as their
poster people those
fortunates who most resemble
"normal" people, as if their
highest accomplishments and
ultimate value were determined
by how closely they could
approximate the rest of us.)
Anyway, what seemed like a
good idea in the abstract
proved problematic in
execution for many different
reasons, most of which had
more to do with my
limitations as a humorist
than my limitations as a
human being, I would say.


Fish With Letter Icon

Wow, that was rich - thanks.
About a year ago I had a
part-time job driving the
handicapped to their "school"
(ha ha !). I had to put up
with all their shit yet treat
them like they were
wonderful, and I had the
bonus of being paid minimum
wage (I kicked myself for
ever agreeing to the job).
Some of them had never seen a
toothbrush, and I suspect a
mirror, either. Fortunately,
I was required to get
hepatitis shots just for
driving them around (and I
didn't even have one of the
jobs actually working with
them). The really insane
thing about all this is that
institutions are not allowed
to sterilize these subhumans
because it's been decided
they have rights too (excuse
me while I go lose my
lunch!). There were two
clients (that's what I was
supposed to call them) who I
had to segregate on the van,
but no reason was given as to
why. I found out one day when
I was in a hurry and
accidentally let them sit
next to each other - I got
an X-rated view when I saw
them in the rearview mirror.
It made me wonder about the
carnage that went on after I
dropped them off at their
understaffed "homes." I don't
care what anyone says, these
things should be sterilized,
we don't need/want any more!
Anyway, see ya.

Peggy Smiley

Wow. I can only hope this is
your way of chastising me for
my insensitivity. If it is,
it worked.


Fish With Letter Icon

OK, not to nit pick, but you
missed my favorite
flick, which also has the
burning of a 600-pound corpse
scene and Leonardo DiCaprio
before he sank his career:
What's Eating Gilbert Grape?

Plus, if you remember the TV
show LA Law, they had a big
retard played by Dr. Giggles.
When the show started to wane
in the late '80s, what did
they do with this character
who had shown how independent
and strong a retard could be?
That's right, they gave him a
love interest.


Wow, I can't believe I'm
talking with someone who saw
Dr. Giggles. That's pretty
much my favorite movie of the
'90s, even though I never
actually saw it. Just the
trailer, which played on TV
quite regularly in the weeks
before its release and
featured the immortal "The
Doctor Is Out ... of His
Mind" tagline, which was
enough to win my enduring
favor. But anyway, should I
rent it? Or should I not risk
destroying my fond memories
of it by actually seeing it?


Fish With Letter Icon

Holy Holyfield, Batman!

What the fuck is up with the
Holyfield-Lewis fight? Lewis
clearly kicked the shit out
of him!

Rob Anderson

Well, you're not getting any
argument from us, or from
anybody else for that matter.
Although as a fellow Atlantic
City native I feel some
kinship to Judge Jean
Williams (whose financial
difficulties and bribery
allegations I trust you've
been following), I have to
say her excuse for giving the
fifth round to Holyfield -
that she had her back to
Lewis and thus couldn't see
his hits - is clearly
ridiculous. If you watch the
round on tape, they have an
angle from behind Lewis'
back, and when you look at
Holyfield's punchy face he's
got little cartoon parakeets
flying around his head. It's
obvious Lewis could have put
him down if he'd wanted to.

This is why all scoring
should be numeric: punch
counts, punches landed, etc.
If boxing can be decided by
such arbitrary judging, it
might as well be figure

Yr pal,


Fish With Letter Icon

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