The Fish
for 21 June 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

Eye on the Ball


Nice work on your essay. I
agree: Major League Baseball
should own up completely to
its fans and to the general
public. Its organizers should
admit that they're sellouts,
not purist lovers of the
game, like the fans of any
other blue-collar sport.
After a while, the public
would get over the initial
shock of blatant advertising
and would return to the game
in droves. No one would care
that the pitcher's rubber was
brought to them by Trojan.

Unfortunately, you make your
point after a few hundred
words of clichéd
baseball bashing. Baseball is
slow!? Horrors! It's
corrupted by the populo
It can't hold your attention
like Sable?! Holy shit.

Buck O'Neil said, "You just
can't kill baseball 'cause
something always comes along
and brings it back. You got
the Black Sox scandal in
1919, and here comes Babe
Ruth bringin' it back. Then
there's another lull for a
while and here comes Jackie
Robinson."* To which I add:
You got 1994 (if baseball
could die it would have then)
and here come Mac and Sosa.

Baseball was not built for
television, and that is its
only nonendearing flaw. It is
accessible, historic,
memorable, and yes, yawn
inducing, but I'd take the
kind weed over crank any day.

Interviewer: How do you feel
about artificial grass?

Pitcher: Don't know. I never
smoked the stuff.*

*All quotes are from Ken
Burns' documentary.

High on minutiae,

N8 Fleming

Your little endearing love
letter to baseball puts you
up there with George Will on
our list of swell,
All-American guys with a
tender spot for nifty
traditions. But Nate, baby,
if it's not made for TV, it's
not made for a new generation
of Americans approaching the
challenges of a new

Shirking the challenges of
the new millennium,


Fish With Letter Icon

Eugen ...

"Baseball itself — the
actual playing of the game —
is so patently dull that
passions can only rise
over the compiling and
comparing of statistical
minutiae. Endless carping
over ancillary matters like
the designated hitter rule,
real grass versus fake, the
league's antitrust exemption,
whether or not the Commish is
a tool of team owners, league
restructuring, how Murdoch
could so blithely raise the
player salary bar above $100
million — anything is
more interesting than
actually watching the
pitches, the scratching, the
swings, the yawns, the
catches, the stretching, the
walks." (, 7 June

I have one thing to say to
you about this ... I don't
know what your personal
history is when it comes to
baseball, but our nation's
pastime is one of the most
exciting things to experience
in the first person. Indeed,
it is too bad that the issues
you mention above get more
publicity and public
attention, but "baseball
itself — the actual
playing of the game," is by
no means "so patently dull"!
As an avid baseball fan, I
have been to more than 30
games in my 19 years of
existence. I have seen games
where the final score was
24 to 6 and every other batter
had a base hit and an RBI.
The offensive duel is
definitely an exciting thing
to experience. However, I
have seen many a game where
the final score was 1 to 0 or
2 to 1, etc. Even when the
offense isn't explosive, the
defensive side of a game like
this is intriguing and
compelling. These are the
types of games where a Cy
Young–capable pitcher can
toss 16 strikeouts and stifle
a team's offense (i.e., Pedro
Martinez vs. Atlanta a few
nights ago). This is also the
type of game where the
defensive stars, the Gold
Glove contenders, shine.
Griffey Jr. makes a diving
catch in the gap to make the
third out and save the runner
on second from scoring ...
that's exciting!

Unfortunately, issues such as
arbitration, designated
hitter rules, and the like
have become seemingly more
important than the game. That
is the fault of two things:
the media and money. Whenever
money enters the picture, a
worthless story about
something that was
speculated will dominate the
front page. That really is
too bad.

Baseball is exciting when you
look beyond all of the issues.

Anyway, keep up the good work
with the columns. (I'll admit
it, your column about
baseball was amusing; I just
had to get this off of my mind.)



Uh. Wha — what?
What's that?

Oops. Sorry. We just nodded
off for a second there.

The media without the money,


Fish With Letter Icon

While I'm glad you don't
succumb to the "myth" of
baseball like so many of your
colleagues, while I'm gladder
still you see that the
McGwire/Sosa home run contest
did NOT single-handedly save
baseball, I still feel that
your entire view is
undermined by your lack of
appreciation for the sport
itself. Calling baseball
"dull" is worse than calling
it the "thinking man's
sport," as so many George
Will lovers feel the
incessant need to do.
Baseball is about patience
and timing and hot dogs and
the ability to get up from a
bleacher seat, grab a beer,
go to the men's room, and
return to your seat without
missing a lick of action.
Baseball is not about what
you think it is about —
which, after reading your
column twice, seems somewhere
out in left field.


Nice work! We were able to
get up from our desk, grab a
cup of coffee, go to the
bathroom, and return to our
desk and still catch your
crafty use of metaphor in the
last sentence.

Sporty spice,


Fish With Letter Icon
Suck Goes to War

Are you fucking insane? The
only thing worse than a
smarty-pants social critic is
an Army boot camp washout.

Jerome O'Neil

"Boot camp" is the Marines,
Jerome. In the Army it's
"basic training."

In San Francisco, "smarty-pants
social critic" is actually
"one helluva guy."

One helluva guy,


Fish With Letter Icon

Subject: Army boy

Hey, I've got a question: Why
the Army??

I mean, you have spent years
railing against how fucked up
the government and the
military are and how most
campaigns are poorly
thought-out fiascos. What do
you think you are going to
do? Fix the military? I'm
sure you have your reasons
for joining. Hell, I tried
the Marines right out of
high school (knowing full
well that I hated the
military). I thought it would
be a great way to get money
for college, etc. I ended up
getting kicked out/quitting
boot camp. They called it
"failure to adapt"; I called
it "doesn't listen to
idiots." The Army is probably
a lot less fucked in the
head, but you picked a weird
time to join. You might end
up holding your guts in while
watching your buddies get
blown up and shot during some
well-planned raid that's
using three-year-old maps:
"We didn't know they had
built several thousand
machine gun bunkers." Oh
well, I guess you're already
gung-ho and joined up. I hope
you keep writing. Maybe your
friends at Suck are right — you
can work in psychological warfare.

Peace, antiestablishment, and geese,

Robert Childs

Fixing the military is easier
than you might think, Robert.
You simply fix your eyes on a
goal and then attain that
goal, no matter what the
consequences. Perhaps you've
never risen to that level of
challenge before. Pussy.

Being all that we can be and
much, much more,


Fish With Letter Icon

Menace II Society

I was seven years old when the
phenomenon known as Star
first appeared. Of all
the Star Wars fans I have
polled in the last year or
so, it appears the majority
of them were also kids at
that time.

I was hoping someone could
clarify something for me:
Forgive my ignorance, but
these are kids' movies, aren't

Looking to Suck for
philosophical enlightenment,

I remain,

A seven-year-old Star Wars fan,

Jim Van Meggelen

You know, Jim, we'd love to
hear more about your boyish
love of Star Wars, but we're
scheduled to get bamboo
shoved under our fingernails,
so we'll have to pass.

Yr pal,


Fish With Letter Icon

Eye on the Ball

Subject: USA v. Canada? Chill

Once again, by painting
American capital and product
(a huge portion of which is
reliant upon Canadian talent
and perspective — e.g.,
film, TV, animation, gaming,
technology) as the only
significant criteria for
cultural identity, a
big-mouthed, my-way-or-
the-highway, must-win-
all-the-games American
has grabbed the mic
and spotlight and let loose
with his old-news, heard-it-
before-and-sick-of-it opinion.

You know, the only thing we
Canadians resent is the
notion that there's no room
for or acknowledgement of
something other than big ol'
Uncle Sam. It's not that we
hate all things American; God
knows we eat it up like
everyone else. But we do have
our own tastes, and living
next to the biggest, richest
kid on the block means that
after playing with his toys
for a while, you want to go
home and play with a few of
your own.

By assuming that the issue of
cultural difference is based
on a "USA: take it or leave
it" philosophy, some pretty
black and white sides are
marked, and of course, people
get their backs up. We aren't
the same as you. We have a
different history,
government, ethnic makeup,
social values, world views,
and cultural beliefs. Just
because we want the same
things generally doesn't mean
we are the same things

[Editor's note: Canada
exports lots of products,
like Canadian bacon and ice!
Several paragraphs detailing
Canadian strengths omitted

I believe the American empire
is the most widespread and
successful empire of any
sort that humanity has come
up with so far, and I
believe, for the time being,
that the advantages outweigh
the disadvantages (saying
that takes a lot of nationalistic
pride-swallowing, the likes
of which I've never seen any
American do). But don't
forget that no empire
is forever: Pride and
presumptuous arrogance look
pretty sad in retrospect, eh?

Raven Daly

Eh-oh, Dipsy! A major portion
of our capital and product,
however widespread, is
reliant on Canadian talent
and perspective! We're merely
pawns in their global
marketing games!

Pride and arrogance look
pretty sad in retrospect, but
you look pretty sad right

Arrogant forever,


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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