The Fish
for 15 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
Co-Founder

 

Ana Marie Cox
Ana Marie Cox
Executive Editor

 

Sean (Duuuuude) Welch
Sean Welch
Suckgineer

 

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 and Run

Dear Tim:

Have you actually read Turn
of the Century?
More
amusingly, have you read the
incredible hatchet job done
on it a week or so ago in The
New Republic?
Once again, we
find ourselves drafted into a
war we didn't know we were
fighting.

Now, I kinda liked the book
and I think Lee Siegel, who
savaged it, is more wrong
than right in thinking it is
without real irony. Never
mind. It is a wonderfully
evil review and it contains a
truly great line. Save it, it
will come in handy some day:
"There is a protection in
self-knowingness against the
vulnerability of
self-knowledge."

Don't study it too hard or
you may have trouble getting
out of bed in the morning;
scary stuff.

Loved the interview. Got to
go now and stuff tinfoil
into the telephone jacks so
the Internet doesn't sneak
into the house while I'm
asleep.

Alan S. Kornheiser
<askornheiser@prodigy.net>

Alan,

Lee Siegel's review seems
like a good opportunity to
remind ourselves of Kurt
Vonnegut's thesis that a
person who attacks a book is
like a man who wears a suit
of armor to attack a banana
split. Kurt Andersen's
literary offenses are two in
number: 1) He goes on too
long without creating a
narrative crisis, and 2) he
continually violates the
writing-workshop rule that
you should show the reader, not
tell the reader. (This second
fault is just the kind of
mischief that was bound to
occur once Tom Wolfe became a
benchmark of serious fiction
writing.) For my money,
neither of these offenses
seriously impedes enjoyment of
the book, but the New Republic
review
might have scored some
points by concentrating on
these issues rather than
making phony-baloney populist
pleas and going so laughably
ad hominem on the author.

You're right about that
knowingness aphorism, but the
split between
self-knowingness and
self-knowledge is pretty
clearly a main theme of the
book. You might not like the
way the author treats this
theme, or you might not like
the class of people who
puzzle over such a question,
but to slam Turn of the
Century
on that basis alone
is like condemning The
Invisible Man
because you're
opposed to invisibility.

I'm also suspicious of any
reviewer who claims to be
speaking for "the rest of
us," we who are waiting "for
someone somewhere to
re-imagine for us the life
that we know we really are
living, away from the
computer, away from the movie
screen and the television
screen, away even from
money." Whoever these
hypothetical real Americans
are, let's face it — they
sure as hell ain't reading
The New Republic. Maybe Lee
Siegel is out there working
the truck stops and Elks
lodges, singing the real
America like some
book-reviewing Charles
Kuralt. But Turn of the
Century
is a book about New
York yuppies. There are
certainly enough reasons to
despise yuppies that I don't
need to rehearse them here,
but again, objecting to their
inclusion in a book is like
objecting to The Island of
Dr. Moreau
because you oppose
metamorphosing men from
brutes that go on all fours.

Yr pal,

BarTel

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Sure, it was clever, but I
still have to mop up this
vomit that clawed its way
out of my innards after
seeing your use of
<marv albert joke> </marv albert joke>.

You're soooo cool,

Keith
<Keith_O'Toole@praxair.com>

It's all just
overcompensation on our part
for our failed careers as
Catskills stand-up comedians.
The truth is, our first
drafts are inevitably filled
with schnorrer gags, jokes
about Ike's golf game, and
countless bits that end with
somebody yelling tochus. Be
thankful that we manage to
edit out as many of them as
we do.

Sucksters

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

A fine, fine installment of
Hit and Run ... Yeah, talking
to you punks ... inbox every
day
... this may sound a bit
paranoid/delusional to a
certain ... I would like to
make note of my proper use of
commas as evidence that I am
more than sane as long as ...
the et cetera marks are
merely a way to make you
understand (if you are really
Suck ... yeah, right) that I
have a normal train of thought
that follows logical ...
I wonder if I leave my
fan in the window like that
during a storm it will catch
fire.... Wow, I wish I had
kids sorta, but ones who
would bathe my feet with ...
Bewitched was really a great
show with the first ... Man,
that Mr. Suck! guy, whoever
the fuck he is, is really
gonna get it for flooding my
in-freakin'-box with his
tripe and personal attacks
... wonder how many asses
Marv bit ... goddamn Net ...
that Finnish porn channel
should really drop the
magenta levels ... certain
parts are starting to look
like choice cut ... Maybe
I'll mindmail that Suck
muther and make my Web site
link to something titled
kickSUCKass and then it would
kick HIS ass and then he'd
stop sending this ... I bet
Camille Paglia would dig
me.... Must have been that
expired milk I drank.... If
he thinks he can pose as
"Polly" the angry bitch every
week, he's got another thing ...
I bet she wants me too ...
but other times, I find
the Christian Right extremely
appeal- ... an orange, an
apple, a pertater, need some
peanut butter, can't tell
'til later ... Looking
forward to your next
"email"... Suck!

Chauncey Billups
<pwrmeasap@yahoo.com>

You said it, Chauncey!

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

I believe I am being
controlled by the Internet.
Can I have some medication
too?

Th. Bernardi
<tbernardi@pcolor.com>

PS Dr. Pepper dosages were to
be administered at 10, 2, and
4.

Is that 10, 2, and 4 thing
generally known about Dr.
Pepper? I'm so old that the
only thing I think of when
somebody mentions Dr. Pepper
is that guy in the vest who
dances around singing the Be
a Pepper song. But I suspect
I'm not the only one.

Yr pal,

BarTel

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Apparently it never occurred
to you (or the good doctor)
that "the Internet" and "the
World Wide Web" might be ...
metaphors. There was a time
when I could count on your
writers to have read
Foucault. Or at the very
least to be pretentious
enough to reference Marshall
Mcluen instead of Sandra
Bullock. Give up.

Demmy Rooster
<cmaan@julian.uwo.ca>

You're right. From now on
I'll instruct all the people
I interview that instead of
giving their own answers to
my questions, they should
tailor all responses to
please some putz who drops
McLuhan's name without
knowing how to spell it.

Yr pal,

BarTel

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 
Filler

Subject: ABLAGABLKHABLAG

Dear Polly,

I spent some time reading the
archives of Suck recently,
and I found that the issues
of big-headedness,
no-neckedness, and even
hassling the illustrator had
been touched on in the past.
I didn't realize there was a
moratorium on remarks about
your appearance (declared in
response to reader mail on
... uh ... one day or other)
and so I must apologize for
the content of my previous
letter.

I would express this with a
tasteful card or floral
arrangement, but I'm sure
that, in your eyes, the most
appropriate action would be
self-flagellation with tire
chains or Pasta-Roni noodles.
I know as well as you do that
physical discipline is the
only effective measure for
suppressing the urge to make
derogatory comments about
others' appearances, no
matter how uproariously
funny.

I just know that one day
Terry will decide that a
reader has criticized his
style for the last time, and
he'll give everyone necks and
ordinary proportions. And
suddenly Suck will look
exactly like Prince Valiant
(heaven forfend).

Sincerely,

Andrew
<burnt@satanic.org>

That's so weird, because in
real life, I look exactly
like Prince Valiant!

No, actually I look just like
Steve Roper. I mean Mike
Nomad. I mean Mary Worth. I
mean Marmaduke.

I'm a little bunny rabbit,
actually. No, I'm a shoe
horn. No, I'm a very thin
slice of lunch meat.

That'll learn you fer reading
them archives, boy.

Dizzy, disoriented, neckless,

Polly

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Subject: Shiny, happy sheep

Polly,

Your cynicism continues to
touch me on a deep,
pseudo-spiritual level.
Sometimes it even fondles me
there, but your cynicism
always is a bit cheeky.

I avoided the curse of
Catholicism by being raised
with the curse of Southern
Baptism. The chief difference
between the two is that the
repression in Catholicism is
much more ritualized, but at
least you guys get to drink.
I can't pinpoint exactly when
I realized it was all pretty
silly, and I certainly didn't
go through all those
epistemological stages you
did as a little
atheist-in-waiting. But I
think I came out OK despite
my rather sudden and inexact
awakening.

Because of my generally
healthy attitude and my
boundless, dirty monkey love
for you, I'm inviting you to
join my new religion. It only
has a handful of tenets, and
aside from the biggies in the
Ten Commandments, now easily
found in any public school,
there are really no
prohibitions. You have only
to follow these three simple
rules:

1. Never, ever wear a fanny
pack for any reason.

2. Be kind to your fellow
humans unless they cut in
front of you at the video
store, vote Republican, or
bogart the joint. In these
cases, you are encouraged,
nay required, to verbally
humiliate them until they cry
like little girls.

3. Anyone caught without a
pornographic film in their
possession will be
excommunicated and forced to
watch reruns of Charles in
Charge
until they repent.

There, isn't that simple? So
far the only member is me,
but as soon as my Web site,
www.preachdatfunkyshit.com,
is up and running, I expect
the acolytes to come flooding
in quicker than shit through
a goose. Can I sign you up?
There's an initial fee of
US$50 to cover the cost
of your membership packet,
which includes a subscription
to Mother Jones, an official
"High Priest Ty Webb Laid
Hands on Me" T-shirt, and a
Jello pudding snack pak. Just
leave the check in your
underwear drawer before you
leave for work, and I'll get
it when I do my daily
rummaging.

Yours in beatific stupidity,

Ty Webb

Is the subscription to Mother
Jones
some kind of punishment
ritual, sort of like hazing?

Can't we add a fourth rule
that requires followers to
watch The Real World and talk
about the people on the show
like they're close friends?
Shouldn't we have a rule
about stashing away candy
bars for a rainy day? Or what
about a rule requiring the
faithful to drink to excess,
pinpoint the insecurities of
others (subconsciously, of
course), and then ruthlessly
attack them based on those
insecurities? You know, if
you're going to join our
religion, you have to show
signs of being seriously
fucked in the head.

Speaking of — next time
you're rummaging through my
underwear drawer, could you
not eat the Snickers bars I
keep stashed in there?

Polly

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Hit and Run

G'day,

"All this guy knew was that
his friends were more
computer savvy than he was.
He didn't have a computer or
anything, and he believed his
friends were going to use
their knowledge to mess with
him and embarrass him."

Ha, imagine if he read this —
his paranoia would skyrocket!
A site called Suck, writing
about his inadequacies,
sponsored by Bill Gates!

(Although Suck tends to have
that effect on me anyway.)

"What he thought was that he
was so under the Internet's
spell that his friends, once
again, had made this Web page
that contained photos of him
masturbating and had put in
these links just so people
could come along and mess
with him some more — make
him jump and kick. Actually,
when we were seeing this
gentleman, he was kicking and
moving his arms around and
saying, 'See? This is all
part of that Web page.'"

Hmmm. Not so far fetched. I
remember meeting Stelarc (a
veteran performance artist
into prosthetic arms, etc.)
while he was planning a
project to hook himself up to
the Internet with electrodes
that made his limbs twitch
and move.

The idea was so that people
around the world could log on
to a body part and control
it. I think it was planned
for October 1995. Anyway, I
forgot to actually log on to
his Net-stimulation when it
happened, but I did get to
send a buzz through his body
locally, and try on his robot
arm.

Bergaak,

David Sheehy <dsheehy@
vic.bigpond.net.au>
Panoramic New Media

Did you have to remove your
own arm in order to try on
his? That seems like a pretty
decadent length to go to in
search of stimulation.

Yr pal,

BarTel

 
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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