The Fish
for 1 September 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


Filler

Polly:

I think you are tops. There
is one thing about you,
however, that I find
confusing and alarming.
Whenever you face to your
right, your hair is parted on
the left side, and when you
face to the left, your hair
is parted on the right side.
How do you do it?

Yrs,

Scott Dolan
<Sadolan@aol.com>

It's an ancient Chinese
secret.

Actually, I never even
noticed that. I must be
possessed!

Confused and alarmed,

Polly

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Subject: Ants a-prancin'

Polly:

I hope that scenario with the
ants caving in to lethal
threats really happened. I
believe that if you explain
to pests that there are very
clear conditions related to
their continued existence or
utter destruction, they will
fall into line with insect
precision.

I have such a relationship
with roaches in the
apartment: They are free to
live with me, but if I see
them, they die. It's very
simple. There was a colony
behind the stove when I moved
in, and these punks didn't
like the arrangement. So they
died ... oh, how they died!
Most were crushed by my
barely touched copy of
Infinite Jest, natch.

Finally, one emerged that at
first I thought was covered
in dust, as it was strangely
white. Then, as it scuttled
around, I realized it was
TRANSPARENT! It was some kind
of freak albino god-roach!
Obviously, it was the shaman
of the colony or priest-king
or something. I destroyed him
with the footnoted might of
David Foster Wallace, and the
colony withered on the vine
and now troubles me no more.

Certainly there's still the
odd palmetto bug that
appears, forlorn and confused
on the linoleum before
vengeance descends, and I
imagine there are grizzled
old veteran roaches, deep in
the walls, shaking their
heads in disappointment at
the brash newcomer who
couldn't live by the rules.

It sure would be great if I
could exert this kind of
control over my personal
life. It's a sad state of
affairs when the roaches are
more cooperative than friends
and lovers. Nobody else ever
understands the clear
conditions related to their
continued existence or
destruction.

Chris Mohney
<cmohney@menasha.cncoffice.com>

Maybe you need to submit your
terms to people, so they're
absolutely clear on what will
get them killed and what will
save them from your
vengeance. In order to be
understood, Chris, you have
to communicate with others
and let them know your
expectations, your feelings,
and all the limitations of
your clearly handicapped
emotional state.

Forlorn and confused on the
linoleum,

Polly
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


Polly,

Oh my goodness, I'm amazed
you printed my letter! I'm so
happy I could pee myself!!!
Were the other letters really
that bad? This makes two
printed letters now. Now I'm
having all this guilt about
not buying that Suck T-shirt
earlier. I suppose for
someone raised Methodist,
this is as close to a
Catholic-level guilt as it
gets. OK, well that was
interesting. Anyway.

Gregory Pyatt
<gpyatt@uclink4.berkeley.edu>

Forget the T-shirt. Send
expensive gifts or cash
prizes.

<sincere look of drooly avarice>

Polly
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


I was so excited when I saw
your mention of rabbits in
the 3 August Filler. Imagine
my disappointment when, in
the last frame, you had what
appeared to be another of
Terry's excellent renderings
of the infamous Canadian
crack-smoking rabbit ... sans
crack pipe! What gives? Your
fans deserve better.

Disappointedly,

Ben Miller
<benmiller@email.com>

Look. The Canadian crack
rabbit still exists because
... well, big rabbits are
always kind of vaguely
amusing. But mostly the crack
rabbit is a tradition, and
like any tradition, however
worthless it might be, it's
upheld over the years because
... well, we forget why, but
we don't forget to remember
the tradition itself.

Having said as much, crack is
over. "I'm on crack, our
channel is like E! on crack,
stop smoking crack, buddy":
All are overplayed, very bad
jokes. Remember when everyone
was saying, "Seeeeeeee ya!"?
And then it was on national
commercials and it was truly,
painfully unfunny? Remember
when everyone was doing the
Macarena? Why, I saw an ad
for a major car company (not
Skittles or some lame MTV
brand) that ended with the
line, "What's up with that?"
Do these things make you
slightly nauseous? I'm not
saying I'm so incredibly hip.
All I'm saying is crack jokes
aren't funny anymore. I like
the rabbit, but the crack
part is not so tremendously
zany. It never was, to be
honest. The Canadian part is
still chuckle-inducing, kind
of ... But even that's been
mainstreamed by South Park
and Co. But then, will making
fun of Canadians ever get
old?

Oh, who gives a shit, really?

Thank you, uncle fucker!

Polly
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

I Got a Friend in Jesus

That was a very nice article
indeed, but there is an
important distinction that
must be made between the
organizations you describe
and the recent spate of
killings. All the recent
killers were — to use the
"term of art" we in the
caring professions prefer
— loonies. They were
legitimately and certifiably
crazy in a somewhat different
way from the way we describe
their beliefs as crazy. The
two do overlap, which is why
lawyers and forensic shrinks
keep busy, but they aren't
really the same things.

Most of the killings —
Columbine, day trading,
several others you may have
missed — were actually
suicides. No real attempt was
made to survive the acts, and
the "planning" involved more
closely resembled ritual
masturbation fantasies than
actual plans. All of those
involved in these suicides
were clinically depressed
(several were being treated
for depression), and the
behavior that a credulous
media characterizes as causing
the killings (e.g., trench
coat mafia, day trading,
whatever) really represented
last-ditch attempts at
self-medication, with
adrenaline substituting for
Prozac. It works, too; lots
of things can relieve
depression temporarily.

The most recent loony, of the
loony Christian right, was a
loony of a different color: a
paranoid rather than a
depressive. However, he, too,
was certifiably crazy and had
been treated (or almost
treated) for his disease.
Paranoids don't usually kill
themselves, and this one
didn't either. Paranoids
usually latch onto odd belief
systems, and this one did
too. How do paranoids differ
from the run-of-the-mill evil
SOBs? In this case at least,
he differed by being
strikingly ineffectual. Even
if one accepted every one of
the underlying premises of
this loony, walking into a
day-care center and spraying
it, then killing a postman,
then taking a cab to Vegas
... these are not how you
accomplish your goals. Again,
what is being called planning
is clearly a ritual of some
sort, and the final actions
are not so much a hate crime
as a horrible, uncontrollable
spasm. And if you want to
draw some analogies with
pornography and masturbation,
you probably won't be too far
afield. In short, this guy is
simply a loony, and analyzing
the behavior by looking at
his "reasons" takes you
nowhere except down the
rabbit hole.

Where then do the
missionaries of his twisted
beliefs come in? Well, they
certainly fit any convenient
definition of evil, and by
giving a structure and a
reason to his madness, they
certainly lit the fuse and
tossed him at those kids. But
they didn't cause the attacks
because the attacks don't
have external causes, and if
these Masters of Disaster
hadn't existed, this poor
loony probably would have
invented his own convenient
devil and gone after him. If
our loony had been attracted
to a decent therapeutic
community instead of a
supremacist organization,
things would have worked out
better, sure, but loonies
aren't attracted to therapy
... which is one reason why
they're loonies.

Accordingly, all the nice
thoughts and all the legal
crackdowns in the world
aren't going to keep things
like these murders from
happening. The United States
is always going to have a few
more loonies than many other
places because our culture
exalts the wild and free
spirit more than many other
cultures do. Since we aren't
going to start
institutionalizing people en
masse, that means the only
sensible remaining thing we
can do is try to keep guns
out of the hands of loonies.
Of course, this will happen
when I'm tall and blonde, so
don't hold your breath.

I damn well wish I were wrong
about this. But when the
first Columbine shooting
happened, I worried (out
loud) that the depressed and
crazy are always with us and
once they realize they can
take their "enemies" with
them when they go we should
all start being afraid ...
being very afraid. Don't you
hate it when I'm right?

Alan S. Kornheiser
<ASKORNHEISER@prodigy.net>

While I enjoyed this letter,
it depends on a definition of
crazy that I don't subscribe
to in the slightest, so I
can't agree. Why did it take
the depressed several
millenniums to realize they
could take their enemies with
them when they go? And yes,
if you were right, I'd
certainly hate it.

Cordially,

Eugen
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


I loved your amazingly
precise dissection of the
hate-mongers, but I'm baffled
by the idea that no prominent
Jew was called Jerry before
Seinfeld.

Have you never ventured into
a theater long enough to
recognize the genius of West
Side Story
or Fiddler on the
Roof
or the internationally
renowned ballet, Dances at a
Gathering?
Is there a
classical dance parody to
rival The Concert? Is there
any honor that has been
denied the late Jerry
Robbins?

You guys should really move
to Silicon ALLEY if you want
to take art seriously.

Harry Matthews
<matthews@panix.com>

Ooof. Thanks for spoiling
lunch.
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


No Vacancy

Subject: You depressing shit

Thanks for making me feel
worse about my already
miserable life.

Ted Metzler
<metzlert@proxicom.com>

Look at it this way: It could
be you that's one of the
individual lap machines the
First Couple is taking out
for a spin in upstate New
York. In any case, it seems
likely that whatever vacation
you did or did not take
turned out better than that
of the prince of America,
JFK Jr. (That last point,
BTW, does represent the
official opinion of
Proxicom.)

Mr. M
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


Dear Sucksters,

Mr. Mxyzptlk's article hit
upon many great viewpoints
about the mystery of
vacations. We can't escape it
all ... but I'd like the
chance.

Even up here in Canada, we
can identify with this
viewpoint: The vacations we
work for are way too short. I
think all of North America
could take a lesson from some
of our overseas neighbors.

In Italy, the entire country
shuts down for the entire
month of August. (Granted,
several million Italian men
in Speedos at the same time
should be a crime.) In
Australia, most white collar
workers receive a generous
four to five weeks of
vacation within their first
three years of service.

Let's give peace (and quiet)
a chance.

Regards,

Russ
<savagedragon@hotbot.com>

Sorry it took so long to
reply, but it took me a long
time to convince myself to
struggle past the line, "Even
up here in Canada...."

While my knowledge of the
Canuck emigration policy is
limited — gleaned mostly
from reruns of SCTV and
secret readings of Gordon
Lightfoot and Anne Murray
songs — I believe that
unless you're in one of those
concentration camps Pierre
Trudeau established during
the Disco Era/l'age de
Disquoe, you possess an
absolute right to ship out to
Italy (as long as you check
your work ethic at the dock)
and Australia (as long as
there are no rabbits in your
pockets or luggage).
Incidentally, Crocodile
Dundee is considered a
white-collar worker in
Australia; so are uranium
miners.

As for giving peace a chance,
didn't John Lennon give peace
a chance in Toronto? A few
years later, he was dead.
Thanks but no thanks.

Mr. M
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


I'm not quite sure what place
your dig on Appalachia had
amongst the other nonsense
you contributed on Tuesday.
Have you ever been anywhere
near this region? If so, you
would know that many of the
people here have worked as
slaves for the coal industry
for more than 100 years. This
area was devastated by
post–Civil War
reconstruction and has never
recovered. This is not to be
compared to that yellow cloud
some people call LA. I'm sure
that living in an
overpopulated welfare state
has clouded your perception
of what hard work actually
is. Perhaps you could've
replaced "residents of
Appalachia" with "slack-ass
editors of a conservative
libertarian rag"?

As a libertarian and a
journalist, I'm embarrassed
by you.

John Doe
<tackdriver@netscape.net>

Indeed, I have some
acquaintance — that is to
say, too much acquaintance
— with Appalachia. Here's
a tip for those 100-year-old
coal-mining slaves: Move.
Somewhere over the next
holler is a city with jobs.
As for the LA-Appalachia
comparison, I believe the
philosopher Jed Clampett
definitively answered that
one about three decades ago,
though Gatlinburg still has
it all over Disneyland, and
West Virginia remains a
Mountain Mama in the truest
sense of the word. I plead
guilty to the most heinous
slack-assery and know only
that I won't trust my soul to
no backwoods southern lawyer
'cause the judge in the
town's got bloodstains on his
hands.

Pleased that I can embarrass
someone else now that my
folks are dead,

Mr. M
 
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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