The Fish
for 13 July 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

Host with the Most

Mr. Skinner,

Er, whatever the citizenry of
Des Moines did to displease
you, I fail to see how it
could warrant today's
unfunny, unimaginative essay
on the city's purported bid
to host an Olympiad. If they
did in fact compete with
Turin for the 2006 games,
perhaps you'd have a point.
Seeing no evidence to support
such a claim, it seems only
that you've chosen to
fabricate an Iowan bid of
straw, which you then proceed
to burn.

Iowa's flat! Imagine that. Oh
no, they like mayo! These are
some quality yuks you're
serving up, yes sir. What
about the jilted Swiss, whose
bid possibly lost out of
whistle-blower retribution?
Surely there's enough
material among the
utility-knife-anonymous bank
account cultural reference
set (ages 4 and up). Maybe
you could even bring in the
Nazi concentration camp gold
story for some broader
cultural significance —
that, or at least a Swiss
Miss marshmallow-cleavage


Zack Haberer

We appreciate your taking the
time to analyze the complex
vectors of reality and parody
in "Host with the Most" and
regret that you found it

While we might have weighed in
with a pithier perspective on
the IOC, Swiss time pieces,
and cleavage in general, we
never lost sight of the fact
that you didn't pay a damn
thing for Suck this month.
And we can't afford to waste
time actually researching our
"topics" with the water bill
due and the lights flickering

When you're trying to decide
whether or not we're being
funny, topical, or oblique,
it pays to remember that
pragmatic old chestnut of
common sense: Sometimes a
cigar is just a big, black


E. L. Skinner

Fish With Letter Icon

Up yours, you smirky little
pissant. Des Moines may be
easy to make fun of from a
distance, but that just makes
me wonder why someone as
lofty and sophisticated as
you would even bother to do
so. Do Des Moines a favor and
stay in your pansified,
big-city world, because the
people of Des Moines have no
use for snobby dickheads like


Keep your pants on, Graham. I
happen to love Iowa, its
being the home of both Greg
Brown and the Amana Radar
Range. As a native Minnesotan
who grew up within spitting
distance of Mason City, I'm
under obligation to produce
at least one Iowa joke a day.
As you know, we only hurt the
ones we love.

I think you're exactly right
about the people of Des
Moines, though; I've found
Iowans as a whole to be
no-nonsense folks — if
they have any single fault or
flaw, it would be a distinct
lack of humor in some

You think Iowans are mad about
that Suck piece? You should
see what the IOC is saying
— it's truly scandalous!

E. L. Skinner

Fish With Letter Icon
Wait a Minute, Mr. Postgay Man

Dear Miss Dec:

Jeez, 'bout time you guys had
a real queer columnist. Polly
Esther can certainly evoke
the diva-mommy worshipper in
prick and pussy loving men
alike, but I've been
hungering for a real-live
queer perspective; a 100
percent Ginuwine Postgay
Rant; a big, pink triangular
Real Seal to cement Suck's
culturalist grass-stained
roots, a ...

Actually, I just like fat,
hairy guys. Somebody's gotta
fuck 'em — why not me?
And thanks for the Bear/WWF
references, but have you been
watching ESPN2 lately?
World's Strongest Men, baby:
It's like the Miss Universe
pageant with an athletic cup
and a flaming semi. They even
show them touring the
competition site, taking in
the local flavor while
wearing nothing but skin-
tight, ass-hair-sprouting

I still can't get my dad
(yeah, he's fat and hairy,
but I'm honestly not
attracted to him) to admit
the inherent homoeroticism in
either wrestling or the WSM
competition, both of which he
keeps archived on VHS.

Cheers from the bar around
the corner from the house
with the closet,

John Kusch Milwaukee,
Wisconsin (fat/back-hair

Dear Miz Kusch,

Indeed, some neo-Freudian
analysts would suggest that
the Bear movement is just a
keeping-it-real twist on
the queer quest for a girl
like dear, old Dad. But, um,
that's kind of gross.

You're astute in noting that
there's something about
Milwaukee — perhaps it's
the cheese? Really, though,
aren't we just replacing one
stereotype with another?

Jonathan Van Decimeter

PS Don't you dare say
anything mean about Miss
Polly! She's my media diva
heroin(e). I'm nothing
without her.

Fish With Letter Icon

Subject: Yuck, or the demise
of the hyphen.

Appearances can be deceiving.

So while you're probably not
just another fag-baiting,
stereotype-mongering pseudo
Web journalist, I do have a
problem with your connecting
my image with those two
obese, speedballin' hetero
comedians, Chris Farley and
John Belushi.

And while I weigh upward of
275 pounds and have a hairy
chest and forearms, assuming
that I'm part of some sort of
"Bear movement" is akin to
calling Clarence Thomas a
Black Panther. Besides, none
of the Bears I know can cite
Edith Wharton. If there's
some subtext to the Bear
movement, it's the
intersection of a refusal to
succumb to the Tyranny of the
Buffed and their (the Bears)
digital sophistication. How
the hell do you think all
those fat, hairy guys meet,

Is this Emily's revenge for
my 86ing her from lunch after
Condé Nast bought the
magazine? She probably could
have stayed if that
insufferable German hadn't
started complaining about
being served leftovers ...
and now I have to worry about
the guys at Hog Island
cutting off my supply.

Pretty funny, though —
you managed to get my partner
Patrick Goodwin in as well,
however oblique the
reference. He's the guitar in
Pansy Division; that cartoon
got them in heaps o' trouble.

Did Owen have something to do
with this?

Kontext Uber Alles

Well, perhaps I did set out a
bit of bait in today's essay,
but I hope it was clear my
intent was to lure, not trap.
Stereotype-mongering? I
don't think I did much of
that. Come on, now. Pseudo
Web journalist? That I'll cop
to right away.

Re: "If there's some subtext
to the Bear movement, it's
the intersection of a refusal
to succumb to the Tyranny of
the Buffed and their (the
Bears) digital sophistication."

Yes, exactly. Which is why
they're the one gay
subculture that fits all
facets of today's Zeitgeist.
It's all about rewriting the
body's territorial map and
creating new ones in
cyberspace, see?


Jonathan Van Decimeter

Fish With Letter Icon

I was quite pleased to see
your take on "Pride" after I
spent the weekend hiding out
in my apartment to avoid the
masses of circuit queens and
small-town gay boys who
descended on Atlanta for the
rainy festival.

And the movement has gotten
to the point where a guy like
myself is pretty much trapped
within its confines. I'm
expected to go for guys with
a similar look, and while I
would take Steve Austin over
the actors in Get Real any
day, it is odd that internal
lines are so clearly drawn in
a community that so
celebrates buzzwords like


Out of the closets, into ...
our apartments?

You've hit on a really keen
thing about diversity in
late, really late, oh-fuck-
capitalism: It's a great
excuse to offer more
conveniently labeled, easily
consumed objects. Hey,
whatever floats your boat, as
long as it moves product.


Fish With Letter Icon

On the one hand, I was
pleased to see that Suck, a
site I like, ran some gay
content for once. However,
there were a lot of problems
with the piece.

"Since November 1996, we've
been living in a postgay
world, as erstwhile Vibe
editor Jonathan Van Meter
dubbed it."

"Postgay" is a concept that
was articulated by several
people writing roughly
simultaneously. Van Meter
didn't invent it.

"Under ordinary
circumstances, Christian
Curry's denial of his own
gayness would just be funny
(there is, after all, a
reason they invented the term
too good-looking). But it's
a little disturbing that the
fired Morgan Stanley Dean
Witter pissboy is
simultaneously claiming to be
straight and depicting
himself as a victim of

Curry has charged Morgan
Stanley with homophobia
because he was fired days
after nude photos of him
appeared in a gay porn mag.
The photos were taken by a
freelance photographer years
earlier for the photographer's
own use, who only afterward
sold them to the porn mag.
Hence, it islogical for Curry
to claim to be both straight
and the victim of homophobia,
based on the facts that have
appeared in the media so far.
If you want to make a further
claim about his sexuality —
based apparently only on his
looks — you're on your own.

"But after a combined four
hours, neither film asks a
question more profound than,
'Why must I be a teenager in

Both Edge of Seventeen and Get
are more profound than
that. Difficult gay teen love
is far different from
difficult straight teen love
simply because gayness adds
another layer of (sometimes
complications. The gay
protagonist of Get Real,
after listening to his
straight best friend complain
that it's too hard to ask a
girl out, angrily replies,
"It could be a lot harder."

Also, both films are unique
in that they're moving the
coming-out tale to a younger
age than ever before. See
thisWashington Post article.

"With professional wrestling
as the new camp, is it any
surprise that Bill Goldberg
is today's gay male sex

Wrestling may be straight
camp, but I don't know a
single gay man who even knows
who Bill Goldberg is.

"It's curious that a magazine
that spilled a lot of ink
denouncing the postgay
movement last year now allots
so much space to it."

Over the past year, recently
fired Out editor James
Collard attempted to
transform the magazine into
the very embodiment of
postgay. Any attacks that the
magazine ran were simply
attempts to give equal time
to the critics of postgay.

The lack of knowledge and
understanding in your piece
makes it read as if it were
written by a straight man —
or at least a gay man who's
young and naive, which
after all is one definition
of postgay.


Brian Zabcik

Dear Brian:

We're sure Jonathan Van Meter
was merely acting as a vessel
of the Zeitgeist when he
wrote his piece in Esquire;
nevertheless, it's the most-
cited work on postgay
identity in recent times. But
we never claimed he invented
it; if anything, we'd claim
he set the idea of
postgayness up for the royal
beat-down it got later on.

We're hardly on our own when
it comes to making claims
about people's sexuality
based on their looks —
know we keep picking on
Salon, but they keep doing
crazy things like devoting
three pages to yet another
gay guy with a crush on Tom

And you're so right:
Difficult gay teen love is
different from difficult
straight teen love because,
well, because, it's gay, gosh
darn it!

As to your ignorance of Bill
Goldberg as gay male
lustmonkey du jour, I'd
advise you to pick up either
the April issue of
Entertainment Weekly that put
his savagely glowering puss
on the cover: He's got that
ambiguously violent yet
sexual does-he-want-to-
headlock bar glare down pat.
Or pick up a more recent
issue of Instinct magazine,
which singled him out as the
hottest piece of queer
beefcake on TV. Or look at
the WCW's recent advertising
campaign, which features Bill
Goldberg leaping on various
gay icons (cowboys, club kids).
The tag line? "It's out
there." Yes, indeed, it is.

As for Out's postgay
variations, all the articles
I allude to happened on the
hapless Mr. Collard's watch.
Perhaps the problem wasn't so
much the editorial line he
took as the fact that he
could never decide on one.

Thanks for your letter,
though. It's always a joy to
be instructed by other queers
that I lack the knowledge and
understanding they do. Maybe
over time, I'll lose this
pesky sense of humor — or
gee, I guess I'm just plain
not gay enough. Perhaps
Christian Campbell would do
the trick?



Fish With Letter Icon

 The Shit
"Gary's Trajectory," A Wanderer in the Perfect City, Lawrence Weschler, Hungry Mind Press, 1998
The Parallax View, Alan J. Pakula, Paramount Pictures DVD, 1974
Rogues to Riches: The Trouble with Wall Street, Murray Teigh Bloom, Putnam,1971
Actual Air, David Berman, Open City Books, 1999
Tibor Kalman: Perverse Optimist, Peter Hall and Michael Bierut, editors, Princeton Architectural Press, 1998
Canary-wing parrots, Dolores Street, San Francisco
Super Shitty to the Max, Hellacopters, Man's Ruin Records, 1998
Request magazine (any issue after June 1999)
On the Road to Vietnam, Bob Hope, Cadet 4046 vinyl, 1964
The Flying Ballerina, Drums and Tuba, TEC Tones, 1998
Dino, Nick Tosches, Delta Alpha Publishing, 1999
The Soft Bulletin, The Flaming Lips, WEA/Warner Brothers, 1999
Big Red soda

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