The Fish
for 22 November 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

 

[Phillip Bailey]
Phillip Bailey
Production Editor








	
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



Children of the Corn

Masterful essay. "Locally
grown form of Orientalism"
— perfect! As a
Mississippian, and thus from
a breed roughly analogous to
one of those Zagros mountain
tribes the Sean Connery and
Michael Caine characters were
lording it over in The Man
Who Would Be King,
I know
what it is to be romanticized
and loathed. (Well, not me
personally. Only culturally.
I don't have the charisma for
romantic loathing, myself.)

Yr. obt. svt.,

Amy O'Neal '01
<aoneal@brynmawr.edu>

Thank you, though, to give
credit where it's due, the
Orientalism coinage comes
from my masterful editor, the
Jersey-bred BarTel. Go
figure. And don't sell
yourself short — isn't
Bryn Mawr something of a
finishing school in romantic
loathing?

Holly
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


Greetings,

I enjoyed and very much
agreed with your article
"Children of the Corn." The
attitudes toward the Midwest
are similar to the attitudes
toward the South, or let's
say toward rural America.
Consider the movie
Deliverance; all the country
people were either congenital
idiots of depraved killers,
or some combination of the
two. Unlike the book, which
didn't, in my memory, make
much of this, the movie was
all about urban paranoia,
conscious or unconscious.
People from the cosmopolitan
centers are just very
uncomfortable with
noncosmopolitan America, and
they often express that
feeling with scorn born of
ignorance. Although I guess
I'd have to say the sentiment
is returned, also usually
based in ignorance.

Frank Drew
<f.drew@starpower.net>

Apropos of Deliverance, did
you happen to see the quite
unintentionally hilarious
Meryl Streep vehicle The
River Wild?
It's a
Yuppie-triumphs-over-nature
allegory, in which hapless,
negligent dad/architect David
Strathairn gets to redeem his
frontier patrimony on a
rafting trip by contriving
— with the aid of the
family dog! — to rig a
Rube Goldberg device out of
abandoned riverside machinery
to rescue Meryl and their
plucky son from the backwoods
psychopath Kevin Bacon.
Basically, a Rambo-style
revisionist take on
Deliverance in which the
urban professionals win.

Holly
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


Dear Holly,

You crack me up! "Pliant and
forgiving polarity of hipster
auteurship," "pusillanimous
egghead?" Have you ever
played the game Balderdash?
You'd be really good.
As a once and future
Midwesterner, I applaud what
I perceive to be your plea to
the entertainment industry to
make a decent movie or TV
show about the "echoing
symbolic warehouse known to
moviegoers as the Midwest."

Although set even farther
south than Oklahoma, I think
David Byrne's (more "hipster
auteurship") film True
Stories
showed the plight of
small but good people in a
big and crazy world with
emotion and empathy that
makes the viewer want to join
them, not detest them like in
American Beauty. Perhaps this
is what Lynch is trying to do
with his current film.

Mike Orlet State College,
Pennslyvania

PS Aren't "pliant" and
"forgiving" synonyms, at
least when used in the above
phrase?

No, actually, I think you can
be rigidly or dogmatically
forgiving, as is the case
with some of the world's
major religions. And thanks
for your kind words —
though we differ, to put it
mildly, on arch-exoticizer
David Byrne. I was actually
thinking about how all these
stereotypes contrast with the
small furor kicked up by the
portrayal of the "rabbit
lady" in Michael Moore's
Roger and Me. That was
assailed for being mean and
scornful, but it was obvious
to me (and, I would argue, to
anyone who had spent time
around any such people) that
the bunny-clubbing interview
subject was quite self-aware,
and even stringing Moore
along. And so I think the
really upsetting thing about
such footage is that it hands
the mike over to such
subjects, revealing them as
complicated humans, able to
laugh at themselves, wield a
good deal of their own irony,
etc. And that robs everyone
else of the pleasure of
making them into
two-dimensional glyphs of
heartland cluelessness-
cum-guilelessness. But, as
usual, I digress.

Holly
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


The New Biography

While I think associating
Microsoft with fascist Italy
is a tad heavy-handed, I
appreciate the visual pun
(bundling/fascio) you
employed. Sort of ...
appropriately complex. Oh, I
also enjoyed the article, in
case you were wondering.

Benedict Warr
<warrped@hotmail.com>

Fascists make great party
guests and pun targets, and
the reference is even more
appropriate in light of
Friday's findings of fact
regarding Microsoft's friendly
overreaching in some of its
business dealings.

But the kudos for that go to
Terry Colon, the artist,
not to me. Glad you enjoyed
the piece and that you got
the Fascista reference. We've
gotten some good feedback and
will attempt to employ
Mussolini-esque art whenever
possible.

Cheers,

Peter Hyman
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


Peter,

Fascinating. I am writing my
own autobiography (whose
else?) and would like to cite
you (for contempt, or perhaps
for paraphrasing the obvious).
Your permission is not
required, but appreciated.

Mark
<beer@dirtroad.net>

I have absolutely no idea
what your email meant,
beginning with the
paranthetical "whose else"
... did you mean who else's?
And if so, what were you
referring to? The obvious
fact that only you could
write your own autobiography?
In the literal sense,
obviously you are correct.
That is why my piece was
called The New Biography, not
Autobiography.

The Morris book is Biography
as Borgesian memoir, a sort
of first-person insertion
exercise. I cited the review
quote simply as a means to
get into my piece. Very
opportunistic, eh?

If you do cite me, please
make sure to do so in proper
bibliographic format. That
way you'll be protected when
they link the sourcing back
to my obvious essay.

Best of luck with your book.

Yr pal,

Peter Hyman
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


Why is it that our first
thought when recalling
killing and murderous people
is of "hate-mongering white
supremacist groups" and not
of hate-mongering black,
Hispanic, and Asian street
gangs? I do it too; it is my
first thought when thinking
of such things. I have taken
an informal survey and the
results are staggering:
Ninety percent have no idea
why they think of whites
first. Most of the remaining
10 percent believe it comes
from a higher expectation of
whites than from other racial
groups. The higher
expectation leads to more
shock at the behavior.

I wanted to get your unique
perspective, as I noticed the
phrase "hate-mongering white
supremacist groups" in your
words.

Michael Davis
<bearcot@yahoo.com>

Yours is quite a serious
question and as such, I'll
refrain from making a
sarcastic remark. I cannot
claim to have scientific
evidence of the increased
propensity of whites to
inflict hate crimes and to
then defend those crimes
under the banner of some
"higher" calling (e.g., an
Aryan Nation, the Creator),
but there have certainly been
rencent articles that examine
this.

I did not, however, mean to
imply that only whites commit
murder. My point was to
reference Buford Furrow,
Benjamin Matthew Williams,
the killers of Matthew
Shephard, and other recent
events (Jasper, Texas;
Columbine) in connection with
the boiled-down party line of
the NRA (that guns don't kill
people) in order to satirize
the notion and link the two
thoughts. I'm sure there are
plenty of nice, honest,
well-intending members of the
NRA and, conversely, plenty
of hate-filled white
supremacists who are not
dues-paying NRA members, but
I'll just bet the points of
intersection are bigger than
anybody can prove.

Peter
 
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)
Webvan
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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