The Fish
for 6 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

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

Discovery Channel

"Gas stations charge you a
quarter for gas and water,
rather than giving it away."

What kind of gas do gas
stations sell for a quarter?

The copy editor was asleep at
the switch, I surmise,
because you did say "air and
water" later in that same

Ever niggling,

Mike Forester

The day I find that gas
station, I am going to buy
myself the largest possible
SUV. Or maybe one of those
giant campers, with a
sophisticated porta-toilet
and a TV satellite dish. In
the meantime, though, me and
the Suck copy editors will
continue to share this one
communal unicycle. It gets us
where we need to go.

With egg on my face,

Ambrose Beers

Fish With Letter Icon

I read an advice column the
other day that lectured a
23-year-old who was living at
home. The question was, "Why
should I move out of my
parents' house if it helps me
save money?" The answer: "The
one thing that kids don't
understand is that 'free' is
another word for someone else
footing the bill."

And, as of late, that phrase
has become more and more
meaningful to me, regarding
things I dislike and even
things I like (unfunded
mandates for instance). I was
never for enforced term
limits, either for political
positions or my own jobs (yuk
yuk), but it would seem that
the people who put them in
place really felt that these
politicians would leave politics
after their terms were up.
I'm not really sure why that
is the case. A congressional
staffer told me this winter
that the 1992 pro-term limits
congresspeople are
trying very hard - and as
quietly as possible - to get
those statutes overturned as
"no longer necessary."

Similarly, I got into an
argument at work with a woman
who blamed drug violence on
Generation X and could not be
convinced that drug violence
started in the 1960s with
heroin and the mafia and was
inflamed by her generation's
proponing mind-expansion via
drugs. She felt that her
generation's views were a
free ride with no
consequences, but her freedom
is on my dime.

Don Smith

But mom makes such good
pancakes ...

Well said,

Ambrose Beers

Fish With Letter Icon

Of course you are correct to
view with derision attempts
to prevent gas stations from
charging money for air and
water, but your argument is
bogus. Oh, boo-hoo for the
poor downtrodden corporations
who are having such a hard
time making a buck these
days. Please!

Just because the large oil
companies have suckered large
numbers of schleps to run
their stores, people who
really must believe that it
is a privilege to kick back
all that dough in franchise
fees, doesn't mean that the
oil companies don't keep
tight control over the whole

Then there are all of those
corporate welfare provisions
ensuring that most of the
revenues generated by the
state gas tax, federal gas
tax, state and local sales
taxes, etc. are funneled
right back to the oil
companies too. Come on.

Now, up here in the 53rd
state of Kanadia, we are
having a hard enough time
getting unleaded gas to run
those catalytic converter
thingies. It will be a while
before we can consider
switching to air-filled

Stephen Targett

Yes, let's nail those
sons-of-bitches for making
money, not to mention
providing all those goods and
services. What are they
trying to pull? And they're
employing tens of thousands
of people and providing
thousands of other people
with the chance to own their
own businesses with their
franchising program ... They
must be stopped at once
before they pay out even more
payroll and dividends, which
are destroying our once-great

Gassing up,

Ambrose Beers

Fish With Letter Icon
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

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