The Fish
for 26 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

 

[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

 

[Brian
Forsyth, " we're just spanning time "]
Brian Forsyth
Production Editor
& Pool Monitor

New Adventures in Critterdom

A bubblejet printer that uses
toner, huh? Well, I'll be
damned.

Sorry, I had to call you on that
one.

Scott Hobizal
<hobie-wan@mindless.com>

That's nothing. My laptop
runs on Flintstones vitamins.

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Subject: Jar Jar

How about somebody realizing
Jar Jar Binks is the virtual
actor Stepin Fetchit,
brought back from the dead by
Jorge Lookus and those
shameless fiends at ILM?

Dave Oshel
<dcoshel@pobox.com>

Holy non sequitur, Batman!
On a related note — each
box of Honey Nut Cheerios
is fortified with 14 essential
coupons and special offers!

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

John,

I thoroughly enjoyed your
recent article "New
Adventures in Critterdom."
You're so funny. I'm
absolutely mystified by your
capacity for humorous wit.

Sincerely,

Becky Reid, covetous admirer

You are clearly a woman of
profound wisdom and
impeccable taste. Either
that or you're a woman of
searingly dry sarcasm. In
either case, you make me tingle
in special ways. For this
I thank you.

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Someone Should Tell the Czar

Dear Mr. Mxyzptlk,

I enjoyed your piece on the
drug czar. Thanks for writing
it. I'm a legalization
activist and I really get
"fired up" when I read a good
article that just "shoves
their noses in it." Thanks
again. I'm gonna go write
a couple more emails now.

<lazlomd@bellatlantic.net>

Heyyyy Lazzzzlooo,

I got "fired up" reading your
response about getting "fired
up" reading. Thanks again.
I'm gonna "shove my nose in
it" and go write some more
emails myself (sniff, sniff,
hock ptui).

Mr. M

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Based on your market
worldview, why not simply
make murder, rape, and
prostitution legal? Less
money would be spent on law
enforcement if the police had
fewer laws to enforce.

<sales@moxel.com>

Dear Sales,

Though my eyes are bloodshot
and every cell in my body is
stress-free (hey, without
chemicals, life itself would
be impossible), I can still
spot the flaw in your
argument a mile away. Last
time I checked, rape and
murder violate other
people's rights, whereas
taking drugs and shagging
pros don't. Still, if we
outlaw laws, only outlaws
will have laws.

Bowlin' alone,

Mr. M

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 
Hit & Run

Just thought you guys might
want to see the letter Jenni
of JenniCam fame wrote me
after I informed her she was
the subject of my fake
interview this week:

Not sure how I'm supposed to
respond to that sort of
portrayal. Am I supposed to
be flattered or amused or
offended? If it weren't so
entirely off base, I'd have
found it quite amusing. Your
writing style is quite funny,
I just wish I had some idea
why you wrote an interview
repeatedly insulting me and
then emailed me a
"congratulations."

I was just having some fun!

Lance Martin
<lancemartin@coastalnet.com>

Sorry, Lance, but we're on
Jenni's side this time.
Suck's interviews are 100
percent real. That may be why
they sometimes fall flat. But
we don't make them up and
don't suggest that you do.
The idea of inventing an
interview — especially
with a person who leaves so
little to the imagination
anyway — seems
mind-bogglingly pointless.

Yr pal,

BarTel

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Hey,

I idolize Susan Faludi as much
as the next lass, so when I
read in yesterday's Suck that
New York and LA both "have
unattached-women oversupplies
in the six-figure range," I
thought to myself: I could
really go for some polenta
right now. And then I
thought: That seems kinda
high.

Anecdotally speaking, I
couldn't swing a cat without
hitting several unattached
guys when I lived in New York
(which was all of 18 months
ago). Plus, I managed to find
a high-quality, completely
unattached guy in New York
who was, for all intents and
purposes, withering on the
vine for lack of suitable
companionship.

But never one to rest on my
anecdotal laurels, I raced
over to the US Census
Bureau's fact finder Web site
(www.census.gov), which
yielded this demographic info
about Manhattan in 1990:

Never-Married Men: 288,272
Separated Men: 24,629
Divorced Men: 43,418

Total: 356,319

(I've omitted widows of both
genders because the problems
of the elderly don't concern
me and they certainly don't
concern Suck's readers and,
frankly, aren't we all
happier that way?)

Never Married Women: 282,934
Separated Women: 37,723
Divorced Women: 69,964

Total: 390,621

Two things: It is completely
fucked up how many more
divorced women there are
than men. What's up with
that? Are the divorced men
moving to Akron, Ohio, or what?
The difference between
these two numbers is 34,302.
That's the mid-to-low five
digits, not six, and it's not
numerically possible to round
it up to six unless you're
blind, drunk, or both. It is
a bit of an oversupply, I
grant you, but nothing to run
home crying about.

Moreover, I would go so far as
to theorize that a certain
percentage of those women are
never going to settle down
and so are not really
competitors. Take Martha
Stewart. She lives in New
York: Who could she marry? I
submit that there isn't a man
in the Tri-state area who
could keep up with her. Men
will always need wives, while
in some cases, all women
really need are dates.
Therefore, any demographic
crisis, real or imagined, is
not so much a crisis as a
demographic bump in the road.

A much bigger problem, from my
point of view, is the advent
of computers as the salvation
of the geek. (I can
practically hear the sarcasm
from here: Oh, computers
benefit geeks, do they, Kate?
Boy, read a paper in the last
20 years? But give me a
minute to flesh out my
thesis.) In olden times, the
geek suffered because of his
or her obsessive love of the
unconventional (and it was
much more likely to be his,
in my experience). It might
be fencing or ham radio or
science fiction, but whatever
it was fueled a complete
submersion in the subject
matter, which then became a
stand-in for what nongeeks
obsessively love: social
success and fiscal
well-being. The geek thus
lived on a fault line: On the
one side, he could do
whatever he loved but it
wouldn't be materially
rewarding, and on the other
side, he could act like a
nongeek and make enough money
at the credit union to pay
his bills. In walking between
these two extremes, many
geeks could attain a
Buddha-like middle way.

Then came the day when what
the geek loved most became
materially rewarding.
Suddenly, there was no
contrast between what the
geek wanted to be and what,
according to society, the
geek should be. Now, if only
geeks could have maintained
their charming, geeky low
self-esteem and loyalty to
fellow geekkind, everything
would have been fine. But the
geeks became drunk on their
success and decided to take
for themselves the plums of
"normal society": social
success and material wealth.

In the blink of an eye, we
have tech guys gossiping
behind each other's backs,
buying thousands of dollars'
worth of electronic toys (and
titanium boxes to keep them
in), and worst of all,
talking about their
electronic toys as if this
were actually an appropriate
stand-in for interesting
conversation. Oh, for the days
when a man might be wooed
into talking about Led
Zepplin's references to the
work of J. R. R. Tolkien or
recounting the plot devices
of every Jackie Chan movie
ever made! Now it's nothing
but Mac versus PC, PalmPilot
versus Windows CE, Lara Croft
versus Pamela Anderson and so
on until you want to gouge
someone's eyes out with a
plastic stylus. And worst of
all, every mistake these
idiots have ever made in their
lives — getting kicked out
of college for brawling on
their frat house lawn, failing
to get a college degree after
six years of trying — now
becomes part of their grand
master plans because it has
delivered them to this moment
of triumph, these stock
options, this corner office.

And there's so many of these
imbeciles, there's no way to
avoid the reality of the
situation: Some of them will
actually breed and pass on
their profoundly aberrant,
quasi-geek identity onto
future generations. A
once-glorious, beautiful
nation of geeky talent
mutated into a slimy mass of
arrogance and rationalization.

Kate Powers
<katepowers@jellyvision.com>

It's true, overconfidence in
nerds is becoming a major
problem for women today.
What's worse is realizing your
date will never marry you or
realizing your date will
never stop talking about the
lame fight he got into with
the sysadmin about whether
dexterity or charisma are
more important for a chaotic
evil thief in Dungeons and
Dragons? Join normal society
long enough to notice your
date is falling asleep
in her crème brûlée.

Then again, this in itself is
a fantasy game since no one
actually goes on dates
anymore. Or maybe our
charisma is at an all-time
low.

At any rate, thanks for the
free thoughts replete with
statistical research.
Remember: You'll never be
arrogant and loaded if you
keep giving this shit away.

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Dearest Sucksters,

"... that were actually shot
in Belgrade, Tehran, Ottowa,
and other hot spots, where
the locals relish any
opportunity to wipe their
asses with our colors, not to
mention our bogus ..."

Not to belittle the
flag-burning efforts of the
Yugoslavians or the Iranians,
but I think it demeans them
slightly to include a
nonexistent city in a list of
pyromaniac rabble-rousers. I
can't imagine you would be
referring to the lovely, if
dull, capital of Canada.
Certainly the boffins at Suck
who are slaving away at the
coal face of online
journalism would not have a
problem spelling the three
syllable name of America's
largest trading partner.
Rather, you are probably just
using your American
spellchecker (with the
Ebonics plug-in), wherein if
enough people spell something
wrong, it's got to be right!
Who needs the "u" in colour
anyway? It just confuses
things!

By saying this, I am not
suggesting every Canadian can
spell or that we are beyond
the odd ytpo. I am just
trying to highlight the fact
that when you had loftier
goals and were burning down
your White House instead of
some faded piece of spun
cotton, I imagine Ye Olde
Suck.com didn't refer to your
capital as Woshington.

Ass-wipingly yours,

The Nit-picking Canuck
<jeff_bertram@prqa.co.uk>

PS Now where's that bunny? I
need a hit.

Oh, shut your piehole.
Today's Hit and Run
contained everything our
target demographic is looking
for in a publication: home
and garden news,
spirituality, politics,
entertainment, and just a
hint of romance! Get off your
weird, pinko flag-burning
"trip" and be grateful
somebody brings you such
top-notch entertainment day
after livelong day.

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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