VACUUM

for 8 July 1996. Updated every MONDAY.

 
[Mr.]

Gen-U-Whine reader mail! Send us a
scathing rant and feel the burning
glow of the limelight! All mail
may be edited for vulgarity,
viscosity, or hilarity. Let us
know if you like your job,
girlfriend, and/or anonymity and
we'll change your name to "fraidy
cat" to protect you from the surly
masses.

 


Of Monday's piece, "Glutteous
Maximus
," Steve Silberman
<digaman@hotwired.com> writes:


"And what about all those
politically-correct ex-hippie
academics who're turning our
universities into the Good Ship
Lollipop?"


Well, *what* about them, other than
the fact that they're mostly the
figment of a diligent hype
campaign on behalf of
fag-despisin' NEA-eviscerating
nigra-loathin' commie-fearin'
history-rewritin' tobacco-lobbyin'
bullshit artists?


Is Mr. Skinner talking, for
instance, about low-paid urban
teachers trying to find room in
the curriculum for writers like
Jean Toomer and Zora Neale
Hurston? Or professors who think
that it's all right to directly
address the ways that Whitman's
sexuality informed his poetics?


Does Skinner know that the phrase
"politically correct" was
popularized by gay activists in
the mid-'70s, who used it as a
very Suck-like tongue-in-cheek
putdown of activists who took
pride in adopting fashionably
radical positions on the issues of
the moment? (I have to laugh when
I read neo-con pundits clucking
over the phrase "politically
correct," as if they'd unearthed
it from some secret Kremlin memo.)


I expect Suck to dissect
stereotypes like this - not
proliferate them.


Whoa, chief. Guess we hit a nerve
with that terminology - you should
know that if there's anyone out
there proliferating stereotypes,
it's Suck. Jumping to conclusions
and postulating theories that are
blatantly full of holes are part
of our statement of purpose, and
we encourage our writers to
include at least one gross
generalization per piece.


Let's have another cheer for those
Suck-like tongue-in-cheek
putdowns...


Once again proving the wisdom of
his years, Uncle Bob
<Degerberg@aol.com> writes:


Well-written column. However, being
in my eighth decade, it seems to
me life is a lot easier. In the
old days the person from whom you
got money had to know you and that
was a big pain. In a small town no
one trusted a stranger. Now one
can transact business anywhere
even though the picture on your ID
looks like a retarded child
molester (one of the nicest
comments on my picture). And I
don't care if they listen in on my
phone conversations, for the sun
will rise again tomorrow if they
do. Life is too short to get
panicky about little things.
However I am firmly in favor of
you people keeping most of them on
the straight and narrow.


Hell, Uncle Bob, you've lived
through the McCarthy years, isn't
that enough to stir up a little
paranoia in your gut? While we
agree with your overall philosophy
to avoid panic at all costs, a
little paranoia a day keeps the
CIA away. Although we readily
admit that just because you're
paranoid doesn't mean the space
aliens aren't ducks.

 
[Mr. big]


Abby Goldstein
<tribuniv@prodigy.com> writes:


I am a reporter at the Tampa
Tribune (I'm 21). I am doing a
story on generation xers in the
workplace with regards to
technology. I am trying to get a
feel for the frustration involved
when gen xers are more comfortable
with computers and more aware of
how they can benefit a company
than their superiors who are
occupying the top management
positions. This seems to be a
little-known but pervasive idea.
It also seems to be what this web
site is all about. If you have any
info at all, please e-mail me
back...


We ARE frustrated! I mean, like, we
totally love computers, and the
"bossman" can't even use his voice
mail! What is UP with that?!!! Not
to mention that he puts these
totally lame bands on the CD
player every day - Chris Isaak?
Exsqueeze us? Plus, he wants us to
work our asses off - Hello! We DO
have a life outside of work, and
all, more specifically a band and
a novel in the making and all
these totally creative things that
our culture is way too fucked up
to actually PAY us for!!! It is so
incredibly pervasive, it's not
even funny! We're really psyched
to talk to you...

 
[Neanderthal]


We got some heated and amusing
responses to The NasQuak's piece
on the idea of a Suck stock portfolio,
"Money Changes Everything."
Red <red@lainet.com> writes:


Your everyone-is-Herb Greenberg
piece places dart firmy in
bullseye, but begs a question.
Since *anyone* can turn an E*Trade
account into a million dollars,
isn't the challenge to create a
fund that can lose millions? I
suggest the FI$HS fund shoot for
negative returns. I mean, what's
the fun in investing in Iomega.
It's just gonna go up. Let's find
the real dogs and flush some
serious cash down the crapper in
true '80s style. Who knows? It may
be the monkeys on the typewriter
that actually score big. What's
the worst that can happen?


Novel concept, but we can find
better ways to blow huge amounts
of money than by throwing it at
doomed startups. The worst thing
that can happen is that we line
the pockets of inept bandwagon
entrepreneurs. If we're gonna
"flush some serious cash down the
crapper in true '80s style" we'd
much rather throw back cocktails,
disco-dance, and join in the
sexual revolution with palatable
young stud-things in tight white
pants.


Bill <figarro@azstarnet.com>
writes:


Maybe I'm missing something... but
AOL looks pretty healthy to me. I
have followed this stock since
about last year... it was 26
then.. rapidly went to 35... and
is now at 46+ dollars per share...
man! while I don't think this will
last... I had the stock guys
telling me they see this as a 100
dollar stock.. hmmm. I don't do
the market anymore... I have a
cookie company.. I'll place my
bets on myself...thankyou.. but
think about the return since last
year... 26 dollars per share x 100
shares is 2600.00 would have made
2000.00 in six months.. or
20,000.00 on a 26,000 dollar buy
in... hmmmmm well somebody is
smiling about AOL.. but it ain't
me... my dog... Work recovery..
despite great race sheet stats..
was nothing but a butt sniffer...
went bankrupt with the president
cooking the books to jack the
price of the stock... funny.. so
have a Figarro-Cigarro TM Cookie
Cigar. " The original cookie
cigar" TM 1-800-792-6425


Good math skills, Bill, and we like
the idea of comparing overhyped
stock to a butt-sniffing dog. But
we're a little confused about this
cookie cigar thing. Also, maybe no
one's had the gall to tell you
this yet, but your copious use of
ellipses is a problem. It gave us
that none-too-minty sensation of
trying to have a conversation with
someone with Tourette's. Not that
we have anything against
Tourette's, asshole...

 


Expressing outrage at our idea of
having an investment portfolio,
David Zemke <dzemke@ea.com>
writes:


Suck makes me sick. Just when I
think I have seen every damn
cheezy mass-market article about
how the Internet is the next great
financial frontier, you guys come
out with this tripe. Just change
your name to $uck, cuz now you're
part of the dollar hype.


And the worst part of it is, you're
still going to be tossing that
same elitist "we know the Web"
attitude around, but you'll have
money to do it with. Ugh. No more
indie snobbery for you - you gotta
pay for that table by the window,
or that flashy Mercedes coupe
parked in the garage of your South
Park condo.


Still, I can't blame you; you're
falling prey to the most
destructive vice known to man, the
sweet lure of money. It's about
time too. Good luck. You'll need
it out there. I'll still be
reading Suck, but with a wary eye.
May you all find financial nirvana
out there.


We'd take a moment out of the time
we usually spend rolling in the
tall dollars to answer your
letter, but based on your tack,
you don't make enough cash to be
worth our time. While some might
have considered our loaf of FISH$
to be a bit of a red herring, the
real questions floating through
our weak minds are: 1) How do we
qualify as indie snobs, since it's
clear we sold out to the man ages
ago, and had our Cool Cards
revoked years before that for
admitting to liking one or two
songs by George Michael in our
early teens? 3) Why would we even
dream of buying a condo in South
Park? 4) Why would we need good
luck when we're already RICH? 5)
Don't you wanna ride in our
Mercedes, boy?


Anyway, that's the masseuse on line
2. We'll have one of our stooges
finish up here so we can go back
to lolling around the condo
smoking crack and rearranging the
designer furniture. Our advice to
you is to stop dreaming of
blackened snapper and Italian
shoes, since it seems your
fingerpointing belies your own
temptation to follow "the sweet
lure of money" (just as our
fingerpointing on the Web belies
our secret dream of creating a
website as flaccid as Spiv).

 
[Ape]


Of Ersatz's "Hobby Hoarse," Lucas
Gonze <luke@applix.com> writes:


as regards your phrase: "we're
nothing more than 75 wpm keyboard
monkeys, feeding semi-random
chunks of data into a primordial
infostew". This caused me to laugh
really hard, eventuating a fine
dusting of spit drops on my
monitor, which now looks
disgusting.


My lawyers will be in contact.


Your letter made us laugh really
hard, causing a side-splitting
pain which forced us to choke down
20 tabs of Advil, resulting in
permanent damage to our livers
thanks to the fact that we also
drink too much at work. Don't call
us, we'll call you.

 


Responses to last week's
condemnation of tech jobs continue
to pour in. A worker bee at
at a nearby tech company writes:


This company is "pre-public" and
you are right.... I have never
before been higher paid or more
miserable at the same time. SO, on
friday, after reading your column
and doing some soul searching I
walked into work and quit... Thank
you so much for articulating what
I so needed to hear.


Congratulations. They can't pay you
enough for your misery. They could
maybe afford your vague
dissatisfaction with an undeniable
(though subtle) sense of
longing... but not your misery.


The holiday cheer must've been
contagious last week (or, many
felt happy to be alive after
witnessing the scenes of massive
destruction in an otherwise
hilariously pathetic Independence
Day
). Here's a message from Peter
Bambang <bambang@zymurgy.org>,
titled "bloody fascinating rag":


in an attempt to fill in my empty
hours at the keyboard I'm sending
a trill little piece of admiration
and congratulation on your SUCK. I
have to say it does make me wanna
go out and suck something or
other...but perhaps that's what's
supposed to happen and I am but a
common consumer of the media
unable to disassociate myself from
the written word.


We know how it is! Just the other
day we passed a sign that said
"Smoke" and we lit up a cigarette
immediately. Then we passed a sign
that said "Kill." So, you see, the
urge to suck is relatively
harmless, and could actually
improve your social life, or even
open the doors to a new career...


Jay C. Davis <jdavis@biddeford.com>
writes:


One day, Moms will chide their
daughters for not marrying
"content providers" instead of the
now nearly obsolete doctors,
lawyers, captains of industry.


We wish they'd start the chiding
already. And we'd even be willing
to settle for a whole lot less
than marriage...


George Fogarasi
<ae441@freeet.durham.org>
writes:


Hallelujah! Fantastic. Kundera's
kitsch being the denial of shit
and the Feline One's lack of
orality always left me gob-struck.
Could I (gasp) be on the verge of
Kitty community? And bouncing
around a few websides in my
cyber-innocence, I sniff a
gay/bi/transgender appreciation of
Kitty. Is this indeed the case,
and will Sanrio's Great One burst
upon a het world in fifteen years?


You left us gob-struck. We don't
understand you, but we can tell
you that Keroppi administers
regular beat-downs to Hello Kitty,
just for being so chaffingly
worthless.


And even humble Filler got plenty
o' good mail this week.
Christopher Palmer
<emi@imagem.com> writes:


At least now I realize why I like
Suck so much:


I am a disgruntled tech employee,
lonely technolibertarian (actually
I'm a retro-grouch Luddite who is
uncontrollably hooked on the latest
technology at any given moment),
manic depressive,
obsessive-compulsive, pathological
liar, codependent, future cereal
eater, massively insecure, more
than occasionally pissy, former
snotty college kid, potential
alcoholic (if I drank), power
mongerer (that's from my fathers'
side), and on alternating Mondays
a well-rounded individual,
positive thinker, and highly
affective (sic) person.


Do you care? I hope not! I just
felt like killing some time at
work.


Interesting combination, except
when you get to the pathological
liar part, which leads us to
believe the whole things just a
pack of lies. Plus, you claim not
to eat cereal OR drink - but we
all know you have to do at least
one of the two, not to mention
that fact that sons of power
mongerers drink heavily almost
without fail. To add insult to
injury, you claim to be bearable
on Mondays, yet we all know that
it's absolutely impossible for
obsessive-compulsive tech
employees to think positively on
Mondays without serious drugs, and
if serious drug abuse was in the
picture, you should've mentioned
it.


If you're gonna lie, you could at
least keep an eye on blatant
inconsistencies and omissions.
We're only telling you this
because we care.

 


Finally, a serious request from
Stig <stig@hackvan.com>:


Great site. Beautifully cynical and
cutting.


That said, I think it's a bit
difficult to navigate around
looking for old stuff. A search
engine would be great, but that's
overkill for what I want.


What do I want? I want the Filler
from last week and I can't find
it. Where are they kept??


You are not alone in searching for
the weekly sections' archives. You
can't find them because, so far,
they only exist for net.moguls. But they
will exist within the next month,
at which point you can read old
Filler to your heart's delight. In
the meantime, think of this
waiting period as an important
delay of gratification:
instrumental to developing
self-control, yet pivotal to
nurturing a deeper appreciation of
the thing desired. Or think of it
as another example of Carl's
insouciance.

 

courtesy of
Polly Esther
and you