The Fish
for 21 December 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

 

Heather
Havrilesky
Heather Havrilesky
Senior Editor

 

[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

 

[the fixin'
pixie... ]
Emily Hobson
Production Manager
& Rhythm Guitar

 

[Ian
Connelly]
Ian Connelly
Marketing Manager



Battle Figure

Coolness and ironic
detachment are great, but
they work a lot better if one
actually knows what one is
talking about. It is clear
that as far as "freedom" of
trade (more accurately,
"freedom" from labor and
environmental restrictions
for investors), inequality of
terms of trade (hint: Chinese
factory workers' wages as a
fraction of American ones,
adjusted for productivity),
historically successful
strategies for third-world
economic development (hint:
South Korea), and US economic
history (hint: tariffs), you
are in desperate need of a
clue. Here's a good place to
start:

http://www.prospect.org/
columns/sawicky/
sa991203.html

Enrique Diaz-Alvarez
<enrique@ee.cornell.edu>

I followed that link hoping
to get some big wonkish
policy analysis but found
just another rant. Are you
aware that the WTO was
designed to reduce those
"tariffs" you claim make up
the whole of US economic
history? Is anybody actually
aware of what the WTO does?

Yr pal,

BarTel
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


I'm afraid you failed to
mention one of the main
lessons of the Battle of
Seattle. With his
"resignation," Police Chief
Norm Stamper provides a
much-needed scapegoat for
Mayor Schell's bumbled
handling of the protests.
Doug Henwood, among others,
is correct when he points out
that had New York Mayor
Giuliani been in charge,
things would not have spun
out of control. Il Duce would
have denied all parade
permits and would have
flooded downtown with
regiments of New York's
finest who, as you know,
would have jumped at the chance
to beat puddles of blood out of
festive protesters and
probably would have left a
few popsicle-sticked with
their own signs, à la
Abner Louima. Mayor Schell,
to his eternal regret, was
more concerned with free
speech than with law and
order, not to mention the
right to make a bundle during
the holiday shopping rush. No
doubt the nation's mayors
have understood the moral of
the story; even so, I bet the
next convention takes place
in somewhere like Jakarta or
Singapore.

Peter Kilander — an
avenging lesbian trapped in a
man's body
<peterk@enteract.com>

Yours has been the only
letter expressing anything
approaching sympathy for the
mayor and the chief of
police. I'm inclined to your
view, but most of our readers
seem a bit more image driven,
and will condemn cops in
helmets even when the cops
are trying to stop people
from breaking windows.

Yr pal,

BarTel
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


Comparing the Nazis'
atrocities launched on
Kristallnacht to anarchists
smashing Nike windows?

Do you have any scruples at
all?

Luckily, the market for easy,
thoughtless, detached "irony"
from flush twentysomethings
with vacuum chambers where
their knowledge of history
should be is just about over.

Elizabeth McLellan
<orlando2k@earthlink.net>

Sadly, the market for
cliché-slinging bores
affecting pointless umbrage
appears to be infinite.

Yr pal,

BarTel
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


Battle Figure

Jeez, that was a pretty
compelling essay you brought
forth. You navigated at a
distance the shifting terrain
of competing perspectives,
bringing forth a landscape
rendered more authentic by
your elimination of each
side's illusions and
contradictions. Even your
summation capped the affair
in a believable way —
that in the final analysis
Americans' only want to
ensure our own hegemony and
keep up the pace of ever
increasing riches and goods
through the lamentably
unavoidable labor
exploitation equation. And
all this by those united in a
flurry of coffee drink
indulgences! Pegged!

But I think with all that
fancy writing you surely must
know that there is more to
the story of opposition to
the World Trade Organization
than merely ensuring the
American slice of the pie
stays hefty, especially since
a great many American
corporations are still
getting fat off the backs of
foreign labor with no change
in sight. And you must know
that for those on the side of
real labor concerns, the
depth of commitment goes way
beyond crocodile tears and
posturing over the woes of
foreign labor practices.

Your essay seamlessly skirted
between the extremes, hewing
each side down, but in the
end it was hard to tell
whether you wore the free
garb of a social critic, or
were merely doing a fancy
dance for the
pseudoenlightened, a
marionette staged with
blasé savoir-faire.
Your removed glance at the
overarching scenario gave
what might pass as some
perspective, but was any real
insight proffered? After all,
we know we're fat Americans
in collusion with the Olean
stream, so readers of Suck
ought to be way past wordy
reminders of how their
selfish conspicuous
consumption is rife with
denial. They ought to be
ready for some real
dissection — in glib,
readable terms of course
— about the underlying
issues for and against the
WTO. But keep working at it.
I am sure you must know a
little more than you were
willing to dig into just yet.
And if you're not the puppet
of someone else, I am sure
you should be willing to
bring forth something more
substantial.

Sincerely,

Lindsay H. Cook
<aeons@cstone.net>

"Free garb?" "Fancy dance?"
These sound like terms from
the annual Philadelphia
mummers parade! Are you a
mummer? I'm guessing that
makes you a 59-year-old man
who drives a Habersett meat
delivery truck and who,
though heterosexual, still
enjoys dressing up in
feathers and playing a
ukulele.

Those crazy mummers! If
they'd had mummers in Seattle,
I'd have been right there
with them, in my boa,
chanting, "Fuck the corpos!"

Yr pal,

BarTel
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


Worst drivel I've read for a
long time, or maybe I missed
your point and it was just a
"let's pretend we're stupid"
kind of paper. Being stupid
is one thing, not checking
your sources is another. "To
the best of our knowledge,"
my ass. Jose Bové can
hardly be called a terrorist
(twice). He's only a farmer
union leader as hungry for
media coverage as any
politician. His union (la
confederation paysanne
)
doesn't advocate
protectionism. In fact, their
first successful protest this
year was against unilateral
American trade sanctions. Did
you know McDonald's launched
a major advertising campaign
in France casting American
farmers as stupid fatsoes to
promote the European origin
of their products? I don't
think they were that
satisfied with sales to
depart from their usual
Disney/family line. So, do go
back to "remote-controlled
luxury," but next time try
harder to "avoid getting into
too many specifics."

Michel Bazieu
<michel.bazieu@CNEN.DE.EdF.Fr>

Funny that Bové is
protesting the WTO, since
unilateral trade sanctions is
one of the main things the
GATT and WTO
were invented to fix.

But you're right: If
McDonald's has to advertise,
it must not be very
successful.

Yr pal,

BarTel
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


Dear Sucksters,

Some days this rag is
brilliant, some days it sucks
(and I mean that in a nice
way), but there's usually a
point to it. What happened
today? There's more substance
in a sidewalk rant from a
brick wielding madman. (And
if you consider d'Arcy's
Starbucks comments, maybe I'm
on to something there.)

After the rococo cynicism and
oh-so-clever sidetracks have
been pared away, what remains
of today's outburst is
roughly this: The anarchists
are bogus, protesting is
bogus, Teamsters and Greens
having anything in common is
bogus, several insignificant
writers are bogus, the French
are bogus, and furthermore,
it's pointless to try to
influence economic policy and
anyone who tries to do it is
bogus.

Who cares who's bogus? We're
all bogus. The fact that
wealthy corporations are
exploiting the people and
environment abroad would be
no less a fact coming out of
the mouth of Kathy Lee
Gifford in Nike sneakers at
Disneyland than it would be
coming out of the mouth of a
hungry and jobless Pakistani.

Anyone who's written for a
college newspaper knows how
easy it is to rail against
hypocrisy the way d'Arcy
does. No target is
ideologically pure. But when
you've run out of bricks and
windows, it helps to have an
answer for the old lady who
comes out and asks, "Now what
do you have to say for
yourself, young man?"

The only affirmative point in
today's screed is roughly
this lazy retort: Slavery,
extortion, and environmental
exploitation are the only means
to prosperity because that's
how we did it here in the
already developed world, and
anyone who says otherwise is
bogus.

Sucksters, if I want that
kind of entertainment, I can
read Steve Dunleavey's column
in the NY Post. I expect
better from you.

This Thursday evening,
there'll be a few bogus
souls, myself included,
marching down Fifth Avenue to
protest labor abuses by
manufacturers (and no doubt
we'll all be wearing garments
made by exploited labor, so
sue us). May I assume Tim
Cavanaugh has a less
pointless activity planned;
shopping, perhaps?

Kurt Opprecht
<arjaynine@yahoo.com>

Let me guess: It's brilliant
when you agree with it; it
sucks when you don't. It's
funny the way that works.

My objection isn't to people
who are ideologically impure,
but to people who are
ideologically wrong, people
who would rather return the
poorest people on Earth to
lives of subsistence farming
than put up with the
aesthetic offense of
sweatshops. Poverty is not
something created by a
conspiracy of capitalists.
It's the natural state of
humanity, and the only known
cure for it is economic
activity.

Don't know whether I'll be
shopping this Thursday, but
as a matter of fact, if you
really want to help poor
people you'd do better to
skip your little march and
buy something instead.

Yr pal,

BarTel
 
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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