The Fish
for 25 October 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
Senior Editor


Ian Connelly
Marketing Manager


[Copy Edit]
Erica Gies
Merrill Gillaspy

Copy Editors


[Phillip Bailey]
Phillip Bailey
Production Editor

Suck Alumni
Suck Alumni Text

Carl Steadman
Carl Steadman


Ana Marie
Ana Marie Cox
Executive Editor


Sean (Duuuuude)
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
Ghost in the Machine


Matt Beer
Matt Beer
Development Manager


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

Good Grief

I agree with the
gist of your article, but
Bettleheim was found to be a
violent abuser of the
children he "treated" in his
infamous Chicago Institute.
He had nonautistic children
committed there so he could
show he "cured" them. He is
famous for a psychoanalytic
version of fairy tales that
your quote was probably in
reference to, but it was
later found that he
plagiarized that book. Though
not a psychologist, he had a
following that believed
autism was caused by the
mother and that the children
should be removed from the
home immediately upon
diagnosis. A prominent
psychologist said at
Bettleheim's death, "He will
not be missed." Maybe you
could do an article on him.


I have nothing to add to this
critique of Bettelheim, and
no reason to defend him —
his theories (if they were in
fact his) are useful mainly
for the degree of power they
seem to grant children. That
is, he seemed to think
children had the emotional
resources to cope with
violence and sadism, albeit
"fairy tale" versions, and
this rather optimistic view
of the human psyche is one of
the few defenses we have
against the PG-13ing of the

And I bet he would have loved
South Park.

Fish With Letter Icon

Touk equals tuque. I live in
the Yukon (Canada — hang
a right at Alaska, and we're
the triangley bit next to
it), which has nothing to do
with your wonderful piece on
cults ... just wanted to
apologize for all Canadians



Oh, Mike,

Would that it were out place
to forgive Canadians. As it
is, we simply pity them.
Being Canadian is its own
kind of penitence.

Fish With Letter Icon

Christ, Ann, you can spell
pabulum. I am in awe.

This sets you apart from
99.44 percent of the
nattering classes (and even
dictionary editors) who think
it's pablum, e.g., Pab-Lum, a
trademark for gruel owned by,
I think, the Gerber baby-food

This makes you smarter than,
say, Andrew Sullivan and
Andrei Codrescu (both of whom
should know Latin, if not
American consumer products),
and puts you in the erudite
league of Alex Cockburn.

Good for you.

Mike Forester

I'm sure the good folks at
Gerber will appreciate the
egregious product placement,
Mike, but let's not confuse
Pab-Lum with Pabstulum, the
lighter beer and mood
enhancer brought to you by
Anheiser-Busch. And surely
we're all familiar with the
diet cola and analgesic, Pab.
And how could anyone forget
Pier One's Pabasan chair,
guaranteed to cuddle you into
infantile bliss. There's a
whole family of pab products
out there, each and every one
of them geared toward
drowning you slowly but
gently, suffocating you in a
nice warm bubble bath.

Fish With Letter Icon

It's difficult to tell, of
course, whether your spelling
of our national hat was a
sly, witty piece of subtlety
or simple ignorance.

My secret copyedit fetish is
temporarily unleashed. But,
this feeds into my automatic
self-doubt generator. I must
ask: Do I look like a chump
if I write in to tell you
it's a tuque, not a touk? As
if playing netiquette police
is somehow transformed from
sheer geek in the chat room
to informant to the stars by
virtue of it being a Suckster
who is corrected?

I dunno. I'm Canadian and
therefore short of wit
(rapierlike or otherwise), a
raft of polysyllabic
invective, and the ability to
get a joke.

Please help me — is it
ever cool to send this kind
of email?

Laurie B. Miller

Ah, the automatic self-doubt
generator. What fuel does
yours run on? Ice? Beer?
Canadian bacon?

And, you know, Laurie, you
don't look like a chump for
writing, you just look, well,

Fish With Letter Icon

Break the Mold

Subject: Re: One-note

You can provide support for
your argument that
one-shtick actors should
stick to what they know (wow
— thanks for bringing
back the nightmare that was
Joe Isuzu). You are, however,
forgetting the terror of
those who did stick to it:
The Jim "Ya know what I mean"
Varney, that sad old Lone
Ranger (and Adam West),
Martin Short. And Pee-wee DID
wear his suit again at an MTV
awards program, where he
asked the crowd, "Heard any
good jokes lately?"


You've got a point. But then,
think about it this way:
Tiresome as Jim Varney's
"Know what I mean" routine
may have been, wouldn't it
have been worse if he'd done
King Lear instead?

All right, actually Jim
Varney doing Lear would be
awesome. But you get the

Yr pal,

Fish With Letter Icon

I liked Bill Murray in
Razor's Edge.

Even read W. Somerset
Maugham's book and saw the
old black-and-white version
to compare.

Liked Murray's better than
the other two. Thought
he did an outstanding job.
Unfortunately, I know I'm one
of the few.

David Winberg

You're actually right. But
sadly, The Razor's Edge was a
movie I saw with a
then-girlfriend and had to
pretend to be enthusiastic
about because the girlfriend
was a very poised and
artistic soul. Thus it's
always been a personal
benchmark of the kind of
self-censorship men will
endure in the name of romance
and domestic peace. And do we
ever get any credit for it?
Fuck no. When they find out
we really don't like the
things they like, they just
see it as proof of our
duplicity. We really have
been Stiffed!

Yr pal,

Fish With Letter Icon

Nice job on the Tony in Paris
thing. You do some pretty
good work. Keep it up. I
don't know how you learned to
write in Ebonics, since it's
not part of the school
curriculum anymore.



We learned it all on the
street, Trusty.

Yr pal,

Fish With Letter Icon

Normally, I don't give a
rat's ass about trivial
inaccuracies in the online
drivel I use to distract
myself from work, but I had
to let you know about a
couple of errata in your Pee-
wee Herman intro. It somewhat
undermines the reasoning
behind the rest of the piece.

Pee-wee did an appearance at
the MTV video awards. All he
did was emerge onstage to a
standing ovation. Then he
said, "Heard any good jokes
lately?" eliciting another
raucous reaction from the
crowd. "Yeah, so funny I
forgot to laugh," was his
response, and he exited.

Paul Reubens was one of the
featured vampires in the
movie Buffy the Vampire
His performance was a
standout in an otherwise
mediocre production. You
shouldn't short him this

So, your claim about
typecasting is weakened by
Pee-wee's MTV gig, and he
breathed way more than life
into Buffy. Check your facts
next time if you're gonna
base a whole column around

Seedy Edgewick

Are you going to sit there
and pretend that crepuscular
walk-on and hammed-up death
scene in the Buffy movie
amounted to a performance
worthy of comparison with
even Reubens' small roles in
Cheech and Chong's Nice
or Cheech and Chong's
Next Movie
? That that one-off
appearance on the MTV awards
was anything more than a sad
shade of the great Pee-wee
Herman? Now I've heard

Fish With Letter Icon

More ironic commentary

Perhaps I just need a higher
dose of anti-irony in my
multivitamin, but Jedediah
Purdy and his aw-shucks
wide-eyed earnestness smack
of nothing more than Shamela
and her precious "vartue."

If I were a satirist/
marketing genius, I
would write a book like
Purdy's, make the talk-show
circuit, and wait for someone
to call my bluff (à la
the Lingua Franca fracas a
few years back). It seems
that the best way to hop on
the sincerity bandwagon is to
take For Common Things:
Irony, Trust, and Commitment
in America Today

Elaine McGirr

What makes you so sure
Jedediah Purdy himself isn't
pulling a big practical joke?

Fish With Letter Icon

Hi Sucksters!

Just a note ...

I have been reading your
magazine for more than a year
and have found that recently,
the quality of the humor of
Suck has dropped off. The
subject matter for the last
couple of days is severely
lacking in humorous content.
Is it that your creativity is
waning or is it just that all
of your normally funny people
are on vacation this week?
Or is this problem terminal?
I hope not.

Previously, I held your humor
in the highest esteem. Now, I
must say I will have to cease
recommending Suck as a
perennial source of
well-timed wit to people I

Further, the easy-to-read
format that is "normally"
used by your organization
(the one page with cartoons
and a link to the next page)
has digressed to a long-line
format without many cartoons
in between. This has only
been for the last couple of
days, but I am concerned.

Obviously, the persons to
whom you've been delegating
the task of writing Suck are
not up to your normally high
standards. I just hope that
these people are merely
"substitutes" for the real


Darlene Mcpeek

We "substituted" our usual
coffee with Folgers Crystals.
We're returning to our usual
high quality espresso roast
in order to ensure that every
day we stick with the
all-cartoon format "normally"
used by our organization. On
1 November, we will also be
renaming Suck "The Cartoon
Place." We think that has a
little more zing.

Thanks for your valuable
feedback, and please continue
to recommend Suck to those you
know. Tell anyone who'll
listen — and those who
won't, darn it! It's people
like you, Darlene, who make
our new bag-lady direct
bullhorn marketing program
work! What an effective,
efficient way to get straight
into the faces of the
demented denizens of our
target demographic.

"Normally" yours,

the Sucksters
Fish With Letter Icon

 The Shit
Seeing Calvin Coolidge in a Dream, John Derbyshire, St. Martin's Press, 1996
Peekaboo's Masks, 2492 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco
West Beirut, director Ziad Doueiri, 1999
"The Smartest Cartoonist on Earth," Daniel K. Raeburn, The Imp, Vol. 1/No. 3, 1999
Mad Monster Party, Rankin/Bass Productions, VHS, Deluxo & Black Bear Press, 1967/1999
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill, America's Best Comics, 1999
Hermenaut No. 15: "The Fake Authenticity Issue," editor Joshua Glenn, summer 1999
Guillow's Sky Streak rubber-powered balsa-wood glider (without landing gear)
Very Emergency, Promise Ring, Jade Tree, 1999
Mean Magazine No. 5, summer 1999
Slickaphonics, Replikants, KillRockStars/Rue St. Germaine, 1999
"Cash, Interesting, Summer Holiday", The Young Ones, Foxvideo (BBC Video), 1988
Driver (PSX), GT Interactive, 1999

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