VACUUM

for 29 July 1996. Updated every MONDAY.

 

 

Authentic reader mail! Blow smoke
up our asses via email and show
the world you Suck harder and
better than anyone! All mail may
be irretrievably damaged in
pursuit of a bad joke. Let us know
if you'd rather be anonymous and
we'll change your name to "fraidy
cat."

 
[Bitchy Library Girl]

Clearly it's only a matter of time
until we burn every bridge and
alienate every last demographic.
We crossed "library science
professionals" off the list of
Suck readers last week with A.C.
Needlesome's "Prime Time Gold
Mine
." Library Bitch is duly
enraged:

 

Okay, I've had it. You can fuck
with Meckler, asshole, but don't
fuck with library science
professionals. You fucking idiot.
What's your problem, frightened of
a woman with more professional and
graduate education than you'll
ever have. I've worked in the
profession long enough to know
that moronic statements like yours
are nothing but a lack of self
confidence. You're probably still
living at home with mommy.

"best known for their ability to
collect nickel and dime fines from
patrons who needed an extra day or
two to finish the latest Judith
Krantz novel"

Yeah right! Fuck you! Less than 20
percent of all information
professionals work in public
libraries, moron. Most work in
companies and orgranizations and
they don't do that shit. More and
more are developing the web
resources that you use, you little
terd. Open your fucking eyes and
take look at a fucking profession
before you make stupid, asshole
remarks like that!

Of all the stupid statements made
by ignorant jerkoffs like
yourself, this one came with the
most shock and the most
disappointment, I thought the
writers and editors at the twenty
nothing rag had more class. I
guess not. I guess I can't expect
much from a bunch of spoiled,
pseudo-nerds. We'll see who's
around in three years.
Well-trained professional content
providers like myself or your
fucking little rabble of shit
whining twenty-nothings.

 

While we can understand the level
of defensiveness that accompanies
collecting chump change from
sluggish teens checking out
Wifey for the sixth time, we
should clarify ourselves on a few
points.

We're only afraid of those with
more professional and graduate
education than us because they're
best known for their frightfully
bitter, defensive behavior. But
the operative phrase here is "best
known for," get it? Sort of like
"alleged" killer?

More importantly, it seems you need
to do some serious soul-searching
about your situation. Might we
suggest The Giant's House by
Elizabeth McCracken? It's about
this librarian who's really really
smart and really really disgusted
with the preconceptions people
have about librarians. Then she
meets this giant, and everything
changes! But then, what are the
chances that you'll meet a giant?
Just try to stay away from sharp
objects.

 

PATRICK MAIER
<PMAIER@hklaw.com> writes:

 

Being a library science
professional, I winced at your
reference. My indignation forces
me to respond that nickel and
diming patrons for overdue books
is not what I'm best known for. I
am, in fact, best known for my
awesome Kurtis Blow impersonation.
You'd be amazed at how many
librarians can do it. The next
time you're checking out a book at
your local library, ask the person
behind the counter to do their
Kurtis Blow.

 

Library Bitch, maybe you should try
your hand at Kurtis Blow - it
might make that job much more fun,
and it's probably good for
hearty laffs all around!

[Baby Playing with Dead Dog]
 

With last Monday's piece, "Big
Money, Little Clue
," Howard Beagle
eliminated any remaining victims
or relatives of victims from the
potential Suck reader
list. Eugene Bradley
<ebradley@pegasus.rutgers.edu>
writes:

 

I have a major problem with the
beginning of your piece 22 July
1996 - especially the end of the
fourth paragraph.

CNN started its Flight 800 crash
coverage *an hour later* than MSNBC
did. I personally hate saying
this, but give MSNBC some credit
for being first on the scene in
terms of reporting the crash,
while CNN was covering Patrick
Buchanan's (mis)performance on
Crossfire.

Then again you are probably sipping
too much Starbucks Coffee in San
Francisco to care about 230 people
being burned beyond recognition
and drowned near New York's Long
Island. Perhaps your attitude re:
MSNBC's lack of coverage of
Netscape crashes and more towards
a plane crash would have changed
if a relative or a girlfriend of
yours were among the dead. And if
your attitude for some odd reason
didn't change if a relative or
girlfriend of yours were among the
dead, then you are in dire need of
help, dude.

 

There's no doubt that many of the
members of the Suck staff are in
dire need of help. Suffice it to
say that there's some internal
disagreement regarding jokes about
recent tragedies, but those who
find great joy in pouring acid
into recent wounds seem to be in
the majority. And, based on the
fact that our Flight 800 quotes
were picked up by The New York
Times
, apparently the greater
public enjoys pouring acid into
recent wounds just as much as some
of the Sucksters do.

But if you really want gruesome,
insensitive coverage that hides
under a thinly-disguised veil of
empathy, look no further than the
very first paragraph of Newsweek's
coverage: "But most of the corpses
[Dr. Charles] Wetli and his team
examined had been killed by the
impact of hitting the water after
falling from a height of more than
two miles - a long (a minute and a
half) and terrible way to die."

 

Our good buddy Uncle Bob
<Degerberg@aol.com> sent us
his usual charming anecdote:

 

Enjoyable column. As I am in my
eighth decade when that loud stuff
they call music enters my life I
just turn off my hearing aids and
wait for the Carter family (Johnny
Cash's in-laws, they were great in
the thirties). The hearing aids
work great for my first wife also.
Thanks again.

 

Well, Uncle Bob, the headphones on
our Power Macs are our personal
equivalent to the hearing aid, and
rest assured, productivity (if not
sanity) is utterly
impossible without them. The only
difference here is that we put the
phones on in order to listen to
that loud stuff they call music,
and to drown out our coworkers,
who are in many ways worse than a
first wife could ever be.

 

Of Bartleby's
"What the Market Will Bare,"
Peter Szymczak
<szymczak@teleport.com>
writes:

 

First Molly Ivins, and now Suck
issue columns on the state of the
Stock Market - the ups and downs,
the unbridled greed, Dockers and
loafers, blah blah.

I'd've gladly traded the nifty
rollercoaster-boosted verbage for
a more thorough synopsis of the
high-tech industry's effect on our
collective financial future. And
since you're so quick to point
fingers, how's about pointing out
some investment _alternatives_?

The fear that rises when I read
about "Let's talk hypothetically
here for a moment" market crashes
is not ascribable, metaphorically,
to some headfirst plunge down the
"Wall Street Whizzer": rather, I
envision being strapped into a
much more devious device.

To be frank, we're being bound,
gagged and fucked up the ass,
fiduciarily-speaking. The
advisors, the analysts, and the
advertisers -- while they heave,
we turn into a bunch of
puke-sopping hoes.

And as far as Suck's stock is
concerned, I'd leverage
performance on their ability to
translate quip quantity into
quality content.

 

Bartleby responds:

 

Thanks for the comments, Pete.
Let's leave the market-watching
synopses and investment
alternatives to the confederacy of
geniuses at The Red Herring and
The Wall Street Journal. As the
name suggests, Suck's merely a
siphon, tapping the gas tank of
mainstream culture and trying to
power up a national conversation
that's running on fumes.

Instead of climbing aboard the wild
ride metaphor, the piece suggested
viewing the market's ups and downs
as a kind of Dow Jones eating
disorder; I'm sure it could be
argued that the slap-kiss
manipulation of A Clockwork
Orange
(the source of Quentin
Tarantino's gulp friction) is
equally instructive.

Rest assured that your
performance-leveraging advice will
pass through proper channels to
the chief financial officer.

 
[Shoes]

Of Last Thursday's Hit and Run,
K.T. Wiegman
<byrne@webstorm.com>
writes:

 

My world is coming apart.

Let me set the scene for you: I
sell dildoes for a living. On the
World Wide Web. Thus [and
understandably], I have a wee
motivational problem when I get to
the office of a morning. The
prospect of working to turn
another bored and horny netling
into Another Satisfied Customer
is, shall we say, less than
inspirational.

In order to work up the vim, the
vigor, and the sheer intestinal
fortitude necessary to make it
through another day in the box,
then, I have two choices:

A] shoot amphetamine into my
eyelids; or

B] read Suck.

Amphetamine costs money. I can Suck
on my boss's time. Guess which one
I choose.

This coping mechanism, frail and
arbitrary though it may be, has
served me moderately well. Until
this week.

I hate a lot of people. Always
have, always will. But even after
soon-to-be-twenty-three of steady
detestation, there are only two
people whom I loathe strongly
enough as to be physically unable
to look upon their faces. One of
them is Tina Yothers.

The other is Alanis Morissette.

As of today, Suck has made two --
no, THREE -- Alanis references in
a single week. And it isn't even
Friday yet.

Her music - well, there's nothing
to be done about that. I can carp
my way into a case of Carpal
Tunnel by rehashing the usual
bitchery on that subject. What I
find truly disturbing about Alanis
Morissette - and I have no idea
why this issue has not yet been
broached in the popular press - is
simply this:

The woman has a face like a
goddamned shoe.

Horrifying, but true. She looks
like a frigging Hush Puppy. It is
not possible to look at her image
without imagining shoehorning
one's foot into her mouth and
going to town. And the hellacious
part is that she herself is aware
of this! She has immortalized,
even glorified her condition in
her own verse! ["I recommend
sticking your foot in my mouth at
any time... Feel free."]

And you have made reference to this
abomination three times in the
last week. This does not make for
a restful morning at the porn
shop.

I'm asking you nicely. Quit making
with the Alanis spoofs. Please.
Before somebody gets hurt.

 

The women of Suck respond:

 

Now, we rail on people for all
kinds of reasons, but Carl Sagan
aside, we rarely attack someone on
the sole basis of their
less-than-stellar looks. We
understand every angle on hating
Alanis - maybe you think she's
Debbie Gibson in Courtney Love
clothing, even though Courtney
Love might disagree ("Tell Alanis
she sucks."). Maybe you think
going down on men in a theaterrrrr
is nothing to brag about, or maybe
you don't like peace signs,
high-fives, or the word "ironic"
(overused and misused) in a song.

But this quickness to dis female
actresses and rock stars because
they haven't been surgically
reconstructed to resemble Pamela
Anderson Lee is far from an
honorable cause to rally behind,
no matter how much we admire the
knee-jerk, below-the-belt
snottiness to the urge. There are
countless borderline-repulsive men
in the spotlight, some of whom
work in this office, yet their
physical flaws escape scrutiny.
Meanwhile Vanessa Williams is
slowly but surely being
transformed from attractive black
woman to plastic, raceless mutant.
It's enough to make a girl give up
on men forever.

Oh... but, could you send us one of
your, uh, catalogs? We'll go
back to dissing Glenn Davis thrice
a week instead...

 

Someone writes:

 

I hope that you will consider me a
candidate for your opening.

 

Uh, please see above.

 

Sean Furuness
<furuness@deltanet.com>
writes:

 

Why Suck? The name I mean. Is that
supposed to be clever
self-mocking? Self depricating
humor? It's really in you know.
All the hippest funny people do
it. Perhaps it's even way cooler
than that - perhaps you are part
of the ultra-sophistocated
SUPER-HUMBLE. You know, like
Shaq-deisel. I'm just doin' my job
man. I'm just a hard workin' joe,
and I admire and respect
everybody.

Maybe the best defense is a good
offense, even if there is only one
participant. When somebody starts
hitting himself, it kind of takes
the fun out of slapping him
around. When you get a "YOU SUCK"
EMAIL, do you smile at each other
knowingly? Do you nod?

Or do you even get "YOU SUCK"
EMAILs? Perhaps you have cleverly
defused everyone's expectations
for more, with that hip, clever
name of yours. Like naming you kid
"Loser" of buying a Dodge "Lemon".
With this front loaded strategy,
the most you probably get is a
mild shrug and some raised
eyebrows.

Perhaps it's a clever marketting
plan. Being "tuned in" as you are,
you realize that most of the
people surfing the web are a bunch
of closet perverts, who will
quickly stumble onto a web site
named "Suck". Most are so
desparate, they will actually
spend their valuable time here,
looking for juicy payoff.

No - wait. All these explanations
imply some plan, some thought,
perhaps even some forsight.
Perhaps you were just gathered
around your computer one Saturday
night (as usual), drinking your
second Zima and eating your
cheeze-its, and for some reason
the word "Suck" made you giggle.
Pretty soon everybody started to
giggle. Boy that Zima sure is
good!! Let's get crazy and split a
third!

Help me out here. Why suck?

 

We'll let Bruce Bollacker
<Bbolla@worldnet.att.net>
answer that one for you:

 

where did u get the name it is kind
of cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Our target audience has spoken.

 

Jamie Avera writes:

 

I love your zine. There is entirely
too much ass-kissing bullshit
journalism out there, and it's
refreshing to find that there are
still some people out there who
can spell, put together complete
sentences, AND speak their minds
all at the same time.

 

Well, we can't really spell, and
bullshit journalism practically
defines us. But, it's true, we
don't kiss ass, unless we're
nookin per nub.

 
[Stinky]

David Michelson
<dmichels@solectek.com>
writes:

 

I wouldn't usually do this but
since you're just a click away, I
had to. I was reading the "Who we
are" section of Suck where it says
you have an obsession with Gina
Arnold. Unless more than one roams
the earth, they must mean the
music "writer" (term loosely used)
for San Diego's own The Reader.

I have to tell you that a guitar
toting friend of mine also had
some strong feelings for Gina
which he passionately expressed in
rock anthem. "The Aroma of Gina
Arnold" can be heard on Trumans
Water's second (?) album (I can't
remember the name off hand, but it
comes after "Of Thick Tum" and
before "God Speed the Punchline.")

This is probably a waste of
electrons since you, being an
indie rock cognoscenti, must know
of this tune already -- but just
in case you didn't, I urge you to
drop what you're doing, go to
Tower and trade some money for it.

 

While it's true that some of the
Sucksters pride themselves on
knowing a thing or two about indie
rock, others would sooner take the
badge of "crusty smock
cognoscenti," so abhorrent is the
term you hurl, and would, in fact,
prefer studying, fixating on, and
hunting down crusty smocks, rather
than skulking around clubs and
release parties in hopes of
sniffing the B.O. of some
self-important squirt with a
Fender Mustang, some retro effects
pedals, and a handful of power
chords.

 

But we all agree on Gina Arnold:
Yuck.

 

Finally, spanker
<spanker@totalny.com> writes:

 

Suckersters dearest,

How does it feel to be my bitch?

tough love,

spanky

 

Mmm, spanky. Here we've been
Sucking away for almost a year
now, secretly longing for some
retribution, and along you come,
with your big flat hands, and that
sexy cigarette hanging from your
mouth. We especially liked:

"Now these poor bloated kids are
kept in a basement room like New
Media veal, bleating out a daily
excretion of 'wry Web commentary'
that only they can understand..."

Finger-lickin' good, spankmaster!
We may be veal, but at least we're
getting fed...

 

courtesy of
Polly Esther
and you