The Fish
for 21 May 1999. Updated every WEEKDAY.
Suck Staff

Joey Anuff
Joey Anuff
Editor in Chief


[Tim Cavanaugh]
Tim Cavanaugh
Special Guest Editor


Terry Colon
Terry Colon
Art Director


[the fixin' pixie... ]
Emily Hobson
Production Manager
& Rhythm Guitar


Heather Havrilesky
Heather Havrilesky
Senior Editor


[Ian Connelly]
Ian Connelly
Marketing Manager


[Brian Forsyth]
Brian Forsyth
Production Editor
& Pool Monitor


[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 & Run

"The discovery of Mount
Everest explorer George
Mallory has kicked the
community of Everest geeks
into a frenzy, with the
possibility that Mallory,
coiner of the 'Because it's
there' aphorism, may have
beaten Sir Edmund Hillary to
the top by some 29 years."

Actually, Hillary's Sherpa guide
is recognized among Sherpas
as the first man to the top.

I can't believe you'd miss a
chance to point that out.

Joe Garden

The fact that Tenzing Norgay
conquered Everest with
Hillary was treated in the
Suck article on Krakauer,
which I linked to in Hit &
Run. I didn't feel like
belaboring the point,
especially since Norgay is
one of the most widely
credited uncredited people in
history. People fall all over
themselves in the rush to
point out that the English
guy shouldn't be taking the
glory from the Sherpa. Much
as I like the idea of
knocking the British in
particular and white people
in general, it was Hillary's
charter and his ambition to
get to the top. If it hadn't
been for rambunctious
Englishmen, nobody ever would
have reached the top of Mt.
Everest. How much difference
that would make in anybody's
life I'll leave for you to

Yr pal,


Fish With Letter Icon

Thanks for the press. It's
always rewarding when someone
truly (and I mean truly)
recognizes what a crapfest
our site is.

I have to tell you, though, I
wasn't too happy with the
interview they ran on
HeadHunter. They completely
cut out the part where I was
talking about my day job as a
Super Hero and all of my
Super Powers. It's like I'm
some kind of ordinary person
or something; the fools.

Sam Penguin Nerd in Charge
Tiny Penis, Ltd.

My dad used to own a bunch of
summer rental slums, and
every spring he'd Shanghai my
mom and all the kids into cleaning
out the mold, broken glass,
used prophylactics, "art,"
and human offal that each year's
tenants left in their wake
so that the places could be
fixed up for the next
season's wave of Main Line
Patrician college
ne'er-do-wells. My mom always
referred to the properties as
The Crap Houses, and when
the previous tenants had left
us a particularly awful mess,
she'd announce, "It's gonna
be a real crapfest this

Thanks for the memories,


Fish With Letter Icon

Ratings Sweeper

I worked for Dr. David
Satcher, and this is the
second time you've unfairly
maligned him. He's an
intelligent African-American
doctor, a former dean of a
university, and a very
reasonable and levelheaded
surgeon general. At worst, his
plans are merely status quo
yet medically feasible and
socially workable. In the
last column you criticized
this member of the
military-related Public
Health Service for wearing a
uniform. Egads, do you
realize the Marine Corps does
as well? And it's not just them;
there's this government
agency called the Air Force,
and they do too. I'm beginning
to think that as a small child
your parents took you to a
public health conference, and
you were frightened by the
big surgeon general with his
red bulbous nose and his
balloon animals. Don't take
it out on every surgeon
general you meet, OK?

Don Smith

Dear Dandy D.,

What can I tell you about my
childhood other than it
involved none of the
experiences that seem to
weigh so heavily -
suspiciously so - on your own
consciousness (or facsimile
thereof)? My previous piece
on the surgeon general
bestowed ample put-downs on
past holders of that position
in order to suggest nothing
personal in my animus against
the current wearer of the
uniform but, rather, contempt
for the very concept of a
public-health commandant
telling me what I can do with
my body. I've got at least
three voices that have a
discussion about that when it
comes up. Wherever there's a
fool in uniform, growing fat
off the taxpayers' dollar,
wherever someone other than
their parents or priests is
telling kids how to
masturbate, wherever someone
is scolding someone for
having pleasure, I'll be
there, fighting the good

Thanks for the tip about the
link between the military and
uniforms. Now I get it.

Mr. M. (cough cough)

Fish With Letter Icon

So you basically hate
everyone, right?

Suck is an interesting and
seemingly endless array of
sarcastic quips. Perhaps in
the next column you write regarding
societal problems you would
like to place your solution
to the problem in question on
the table. This would give
others the opportunity to
wax poetic in sarcastic prose
about your ideas as you
do about everyone else's efforts.

Very unimpressive.

Have a good one,

Steve Suranie

Dear Steve,

Thanks. But how do you really
feel? Indeed, I was remiss in
not posing my particular
solution to the "societal
problem" of Stanley Kubrick
films. Luckily, that one has
pretty much taken care of
itself without any proactive

As the song at the end of Dr.
puts it, we'll
meet again. And for the
record, I LOVE everyone -
even the little people
(especially the little

Mr. M.

Fish With Letter Icon

Subject: Ignore the
adjectives ...

... and you have the facts. I
don't necessarily disagree
with you on ratings, but to
argue that "no causal linkage
between media and violent
behavior has been
established" is simply wrong.
Don't believe me? Wade into
the jargon below:

"Factors moderating the
effect of televised
aggression on viewer

Some researchers and
theorists still question the
existence of a link between
televised aggression and
aggression by viewers of
televised aggression, but
most quantitative reviews of
the literature have reported
overall positive linear
relationships. Using basic
learning theory, a sample of
correlational studies, and a
meta-analytic strategy, this
article posits ..."

(Article title omitted to
avoid getting most of our
readers fired for napping at

Alex Berenson

Dear Alex,

I'll ignore the adjectives if
you'll ignore the nouns. When
I drink whiskey, I drink
whiskey; when I say causal, I
mean causal. There is a
well-established and widely
accepted correlation between
"more aggressive" kids and
their interest in "more
aggressive" TV shows (the
quote marks are not simply
cute here - these things are
defined in bizarre ways that
call attention to their
construction). That is,
more aggressive kids like to
watch more aggressive TV, a
relationship that falls into
the "duh" category for
obviousness. The standard
range is that between 1
percent and 10 percent of
variation in aggression can
be explained via TV watching
habits. That's not nothing, but
it's not a lot either. However,
very few researchers seriously
claim that watching causes kids to
go aggressive. (I might add
that what gets called
"aggressive" in lab settings
hardly translates neatly into
criminal violence in a high
school classroom.)

Professorially yours,

Mr. M.

Fish With Letter Icon

Subject: Hooray for

The Suck party line about the
Kosovo bombings is very
upsetting. Ambrose has done
the most to parlay his "Why
didn't we do anything in
Rwanda?" feeling into a "Let
the Kosovars die while we sit
and watch" position, but I
noticed a couple of comments
in your piece today that were
equally infuriating. You're angry
that we've bombed Serbia "back
into the Stone Age," and you
make some passing comment about
destroying pornography like
"so many Serbian villages."
Let me tell you that when the
smoke clears and the Serbs
have happily disenfranchised,
raped, and murdered like so many
Tutsis, the Kosovars are
going to appear much more
deserving of pity than the
Serbs. For every Serbian
casualty in this conflict,
there are 100 of his
countrymen who have used
atrocity to advance their
careers in civil, military,
and academic service. They're
evil in a banal way, but
they're still evil. And
they're going to get away
with it. As soon as Phillip
Gourevitch writes a book
about it, you and Ambrose are
going to wish we had acted
more quickly and more

Why stop at flip comments?
You should act on how
you feel. Catch a flight
to Washington and give
Tom DeLay and Trent Lott
big high-fives for their
brave and moral approach
to international diplomacy.
Tell Jesse Jackson and Pat
Buchanan that you think
they're right to endorse
internment camps, forced
expatriation, and systematic
rape. Maybe there are still
some sweet government posts
available for you in Pristina,
if you have time to learn
Serbian. (Don't bother with
Albanian, it hasn't been the
official language for a while.)


Anson Lang

Comrade Anson,

You'll be surprised to learn
that Suck does not have a
party line or even, in my
experience, any parties at
all (though I may be kept in
the dark about the latter, as
I have a tendency to ruin
such gatherings with offensive
language and odors). Suffice
it to say that Milosevic is a
piece of shit. Whether that
necessitates US military
involvement - i.e., you, your
father/mother, or your
children (even or perhaps
especially the illegitimate
ones) being sent there to
kill other people - is
another matter wholly.

Mr. M.

Fish With Letter Icon
Hit & Run

Lemme see if I got this
straight: You publish a site
that is terribly laid out:
It's like three or four words
across in a very narrow
column, which readers have to
scroll through laboriously to
read the little nuggets of
wisdom you produce. I send
you a private satirical email
pointing out the design
flaws, and you publish this:

"It's not so much the site's
unfriendly design that
puzzles us; after all, the
Web is still crawling with
incompetent 'professional Web
designers' who are still
foisting their lousy wares on
an unsuspecting public.
What's odd is the way Tiny
Penis honcho Ryan Seabury
feels the need to moon about
his manly and menacing
site-building skills."

The "incompetent
'professional Web designers'"
links to my site, and the
"lousy wares" links to one of
my customer's sites, even
though you were apparently
talking about some sort of
gay porno site. And you have
the gall to imply that I'm
incompetent! Sheeesh! And
then you also ripped off a
copyrighted graphic I
designed for my customer's
site! Are you guys looking
for a lawsuit or what?

What exactly do you consider
"incompetent" about my site?
And what exactly do you
consider "lousy" about my
customer's software (which I
am certain you have never
seen, much less used)?

Mike Ross

1) Two words, Mike:
background GIFs
2) As for that lawsuit, we're
willing to settle out of
court if you pay us for all
traffic referred to your site
from and give us a
finder's fee when you sign a
customer who isn't related
to you.
3) There are no "private"
messages to Suck aliases,
though we will always honor
"not for publication" notices
or other requests for
secrecy. You provided neither
and thus were fair game.
4) Suck's layout was
considered spectacular and
bold when you still thought
the Web was something you put
on wounds to prevent
infection. Whether it has
since outlived its usefulness
is a topic for consideration,
but we find it helps bring
out the maddening tediousness
of our prose. Reader comments
are appreciated if politely

Yr pal,


Fish With Letter Icon

I followed your link to, and it was
quite an amusing site. Best
of all were the Flash and the
advice column. I can't agree
with your negative review; I
think the site was designed
well. It sickened me whenever
I read the Netscape/Mac-lovin'
drivel you unexpectedly spouted.

"=] =]"

Ordinarily, we'd never
respond to a person who signs
his or her name with
emoticons. I'm strongly
opposed to webmasters who
start out by berating readers
for not having up-to-date
browsers. My mother surfs the
Web, damn it, and I won't have
her being insulted for her
clunky software when she's
just trying to enjoy some
tiny penis.


Fish With Letter Icon

I started to read your Suck
page and found that you are
basically antiadult. You
will find yourself thinking
the same things when you have
kids ... get a clue and don't
encourage the use of guns,
drugs, or other damaging
behavior on your site.

Do us a favor and stop
putting up your messages.
Please do not reply; I know
reading a return message from
you won't be a fruitful use
of time.

Matthew Tessier

You're right. In 20 years
we'll have forgotten that
teenagers like to skip school
and get high. It'll help us
give the appropriately
puzzled responses when we
find out our kids aren't as
clueless as we are.


Fish With Letter Icon

Omiagus garfungiloops,

I noticed Suck finally
covered the LSD-in-the-coffee
incident, and what struck me
was the irony of the
situation: Educators
constantly assault students
with D.A.R.E. and other forms
of antidrug "education,"
claiming LSD can cause
flashbacks, brain damage,
Folger's crystals in your
spine, low sperm count,
three-headed children, etc.
Yet when a teacher is dosed,
the "authorities" say he'll
be fine and recover within a

There's a moral to this story
but I'm too lazy to find it.

Floid the "Ooh, Green Gel!"

What struck me was this
teacher seems to have such a
stunted imagination that the
only effect of the Lysergic
Surprise was to give him
shortness of breath. Granted,
a vivid imagination is
probably not an important
skill for a high school
teacher, but heck, this guy
sounds like somebody who has
dreams about being asleep.

Yr pal,


Fish With Letter Icon

It's nice to know that here
in the United States we can
still take time out of our
busy schedules to perpetuate
destructive stereotypes.
After all, black is the
archetypical color of evil,
so maybe all these kids are
bad. Sure, suspend them for
"not being sensitive," and
"talking about wearing trench
coats the next day." And then
order a bunch of those
peachy-keen masks from The

Meanwhile, we cheerfully
endorse chucking 20-foot-long
pipe bombs at Serbian school

Reading all these "know your
enemy" things in the news
mags reminds me a lot of a
spread Time magazine ran
during World War II. It was
called "How to Tell a
Chinaman from a Jap" and
included neat-o diagrams of
facial structures and body

All this just goes to show
that if you want a reaction,
don't bother killing little
Arkansas kids or inner city
gang members; go after the
bourgeoisie. What's another
dead black kid to Katie

Poor enough to be suspended,

Nathan Fleming

The first time I saw that
"How to Tell a Chinaman from
a Jap" chart was in second
grade, when I pored over an
illustrated history of World
War II. For years I really
thought there was something
to the principle that the
Chinese had round, jocular
cheeks and the Japanese had
evil, menacing eyebrows. It
wasn't until I got to high
school that I met a Chinese
kid who said even he couldn't
tell the difference based on
physiognomy alone.

Yr pal,


Fish With Letter Icon

Subject: Ramblings of a weird,
wired Gothic nerd.

Greetings, Sucksters!

As a high school student
(well, sort of a student) who
goes to a southeast Denver
school, I relate rather well
to your 6 May article. I
dress in black and nothing
but; I do not feel dignified
wearing white or pink, for
that matter. Was it just me,
or did that author you
referenced say he sometimes
wears a three-piece suit and
skirt? Bizarre. I used to
wear a black trench coat, but
not anymore. The day after
the shooting, DPS (Denver's
Publicly Screwed, as other
students like to lament)
cancelled school. That day,
one of Those Who Know Best
(the assistant principal or
something) called my mother
(my mother!) and said, "Your
son's name has been mentioned
as someone who wears this ...
uh ... sort of ... attire,"
and then he continued to say
that this "type of attire"
was not to be worn for my
"safety and welfare."

There are (were) 15 of us or
so at Thomas Jefferson High
School who wore trench coats,
and most of us were called.
There was one who wasn't; he
wore his coat and was sent
home. This made some of us
slightly angry. Never again
will we be able to wear such

Finally, the point: Those Who
Know Best are overreacting.
At our school, they locked
all the doors and posted
signs on them telling people
to use the main entrance. OK,
I guess I can see that. But
if the main entrance is the
only one used, students who
park in the student parking
lot have to walk around the
damn school whenever they are
going to or from their cars.
Then they closed the library,
where I used to go for my two
free periods (I'm not bitter,
oh no), and then they hired
several Rent-a-Cops to ask me
where I was going. I tried to
leave one time, and a
security guard screamed at
me, "Use the main entrance!"
While I walked there, another
guard asked me what I thought
I was doing. "Uh, I dunno,
trying to get the hell outta
here?" Then I finally reached
the main entrance, where I was
told that if I left I couldn't
come back in. In other words,
they have successfully turned a
school into the Fourth Reich.
I do not like making that
analogy, but who locks people
in and out of a (public)

I'm glad to get that off my
chest. Thanks. Dylan must
write some wild program in
Win32 and then take a nap.
Yeah, a nap.


Quit yer bellyachin', junior.
When I was your age, I walked
five miles to school and called
the security guards "Sir!"


Fish With Letter Icon

Subject: Have you had a bad
experience with nerdy teens?

Hello Sucksters (you again,

I am amused, perplexed, and
offended (though not
necessarily in that order) by
your latest take on
teenagers. Though you seem to
ambiguously make a point that
perhaps the fallout from the
Colorado massacre has
resulted in a grossly
overblown and panicky
official crackdown on oddball
teens (a concession necessary
after the last Hit & Run,
which slammed these kids
indirectly but tangibly by
dissing Jon Katz), you then
sanction such an overreaction
with, I sense, an inadequate
amount of irony. Granted,
"to amuse, perplex, and
offend" is probably included
somewhere in the Suck
charter, but I prefer to be more
amused than offended whenever
it is not too much trouble.

Elizabeth Durack


Message not understood.
Please resend in English.
Without split infinitives.

Yr pal,


PS Does this mean Katz has
replaced Dick Clark as the
world's oldest teenager?

Fish With Letter Icon

Yo, these school shootings
haven't been taking place
where the traditional
scapegoats have their
strongest foothold: the
lawless inner city. Weren't
we subjected to endless hours
of drivel from pundits about
how it was the decline of
family values, etc., that was
to blame for crack addiction?
In fact, it's the places with
the greatest amounts of
structure and (bleah) family
values that are getting shot
to pieces - Colorado, for
god's sake!

What is the intrepid solution
ushered in by a fed-up
society? Let's regulate more!

A big part of the reason I
felt so much (nonhomicidal)
rage toward my suburban alma
mater was that I was treated
not only as a child but as a
child with no rights
whatsoever. These
institutions that are
supposed to educate children
to participate in a democracy
are completely fascist, and
the student vote bears only
on what brand of mystery meat
the cafeteria serves up on

I'm not trying to put any
"oppressed" spin on the
shooters or the Shooting; it
was a bad thing - no argument.
But maybe, just maybe, the
buttoned-down, stuffed-shirt
atmosphere these fascists so
adore is contributing in part
to the problem.

Talk to you later; till then
take care of yourselves ...
and each other.


You got to vote on what
mystery meat they served?
What are you complaining


Fish With Letter Icon

 The Shit
Left for Dead in Malaysia, Neil Hamburger, Drag City, 1999
The Pyrotechnic Insanitarium: American Culture on the Brink, Mark Dery, Grove/Atlantic, 1999
Crazy from the Heat, David Lee Roth, Hyperion, 1998
Keep It Like a Secret, Built to Spill, WEA/Warner Brothers, 1999
Abbott's Pizza Company, near the corner of Abbott-Kinney and California, Venice Beach, Los Angeles (delivery hours limited)
Piper at the Gates of Dawn, Pink Floyd, CD remaster, EMI 1994
Motorhead, CD remasters, all
Det Som Engang Var, Burzum, Misanthropy, 1998
Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, Nashville, Tennessee
A History of the Modern Fact, Mary Poovey, University of Chicago Press, 1998
V., Thomas Pynchon, HarperCollins Publishers, 1999
The Coffee Mill, Emeq Refaim, Jerusalem, Israel
The Salesman and Bernadette, Vic Chesnutt, Capricorn Records, 1998
Good Morning Spider, Sparklehorse, Cema/Capitol, 1999
Third Floor, Anderson Building, Los Angeles County Museum of Art

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