VACUUM

for 26 August 1996. Updated every MONDAY.

 

 

Totally true tales from the Suck
mailbox! Drop us a line and do
your mama proud. We reserve the
right to fold, spindle, and
mutilate all missives to fit our
mission. If you can't bear the
thought of Sucking in public, let
us know and we'll change your name
to Closeted.

 

Of DJ Abraham Lincoln's
"Net-crophilia," Kevin Conder
<kconder@interaccess.com> berates
us for branding Pantera fans as
technologically inept AOL users:

 

In your "Suck" column today, you
suggested that Pantera fans were
naive AOL users. I resent this
implication. Just because I enjoy
my music loud and visceral doesn't
mean I am technologically naive.
Nor am I stupid or any of those
other Beavis and Butthead
stereotypes. Please, because you
don't enjoy heavy metal music
don't slam a whole c

 

Why, Kevin, your email got cut off
halfway through. How could that
have happened? We take it back:
some Pantera fans are
technologically inept local ISP
subscribers.

 

Of Ann O'Tate's "What I Saw at the
Digital Revolution
," Joshua
Solomon <josh@3dfx.com> writes:

 

After Digital Pictures went under
(along with the whole Silliwood
charade) I found myself wondering
if I should write a book that
chronicled the whole story:
Multimedia startup creates first
computer game ever banned by
congress, spends $3 million per
show creating interactive digital
movies, finally succombs to fiscal
irresponsibility, etc... it would
have been called "Multimedia
Meltdown."

Now I just want to make a web site
that says "Where are they now?"

 

Indeed, one of our contributors was
once a Digital Pictures stooge,
and she still hasn't purged the
bad taste from her golden tongue.
Such a website sounds like a great
idea: a list of people who had
multimedia jobs, hours they spent
working per week, carrots dangled,
IPOs eventually thwarted, and what
each person is doing now... that
would be far more useful and
concise - not that we're so
attached to useful and concise.
But the rise and fall of
multimedia startups is about as
passé as the word
"multimedia" itself. Not that
passé isn't a good thing. But in
terms of raking in that fat
advance, don't get your hopes too
high. Not that our hopes aren't
pretty high... uh, among other
things.

 

People clearly felt Red Howard's
pain in "It's The Terminal,
Dummy!
." Westy <westy@ari.net>
writes:

 

While I agree with the main point,
I miss the thin lines of
association drawn between the
dumb-terminal hard sell and the
Republican campaign. Isn't the
Dole-Kemp spin aimed at putting
power back to the people? With
Larry's Oracle on the tube, the
power is centralized like
Clinton's grand vision of the
Great Society. If you belive
veteran Dole, quarterback Kemp and
warrior Powell, we'll all be the
master of our own domain - you
know, like the good old days. It
matters not. Many of the folks out
there would rather point, click,
vote, click, flip, sleep, click
and cruise their way into oblivion
anyway. That's why I love America.

 

Red Howard responds:

Glad you connected to the NC twist,
if not the political angle. The
point was grandstanding, and how
it can bulldoze a good concept
(technical or political). But
don't tell me Dole-Kemp want us
individually empowered. They want
us sedated and "dumb." Just like
Ronnie did.

 

Gilmore <gilmore@netacc.net>,
alleged creator of the Exploding
Heads page, writes in response to
its mention in Eugen von
Bohm-Bawerk's "Step Right Up":

 

As the "creator" of the Exploding
Heads page I'd like to thank you
for dissing it in today's Suck.
I'm getting goddamn sick of it
getting media attention, and am
frankly embarassed by the whole
thing; please keep dissing it and
things like it!

I'm sorry I ever made the damn
thing. I have too much free time.

 

Ah, we love the sound of such
laments. We know just how you feel -
the glare of the cameras, and
over what? Some lameass daily
column. The big question here is:
Why does anyone care? Why? Why? Oh
well. At least it uses up all that
free time we might waste doing
something even stupider.

 
[]

Of Filler, Aaron Murraysmith
<amurray@iforce.com> writes:

 

One section in the Suck: Filler
section caught my eye... "The
Jock" was a snippet I couldn't
help but relate to. Going through
my formative years latched to a
computer did not make for easy
times in high school, until I
realized that the only reason I
did not have the upper hand was
because I was in a world ruled by
jocks and cheerleaders, wearing
popularity like a heavily jeweled
crown. From that day forth, I have
done my very best at convincing
those overly attractive monarchs
that the internet is the way to
go. To watch them flounder in
their own ignorance, and their
inability to admit it, was
intensly satisfying. But I
digress.

 

Polly responds:

Um, well, there really isn't such a
thing as "overly attractive" -
unless you're referring to the
barrel o' bad personality traits
that goes along with having
absolutely flawless looks from Day
One, and thus, never having
adequately suffered.

As far as your remarks towards
jocks and cheerleaders go, I can't
help but take O-F-F-E-N-S-E, since
I was a cheerleader in Jr. High
back in ye olde South in the late
'80s. I don't doubt that you were
doing more productive things like
learning BASIC back then, but all
I gave a shit about was luring
innocent boys into dark corners -
dancing Solid-Gold style to Curtis
Blow's "Basketball" seemed like a
pragmatic step in that direction,
if a somewhat twisted means to an
end. Oh, but I'm becoming R-E-D
red H-O-T hot with embarrassment
at how D-E-F-E-N-S-E-ive I'm
getting about this, when
P-S-Y-C-H-E-D, psyched is what I
want to be about your letter.

 
[]

Of Hit and Run, spanker
<spanker@totalny.com> writes:

 

"...About as thrilling (and fair)
as a write-off between Shakespeare
and an infinite number of
monkeys..." sucksters, on Anatoly
Karpov's Monday match against
players of the WWW.

"...But my chances of chess
brilliancy are the 'chances' of a
lab chimp and typewriter producing
'King Lear'" -- "Chess: Kasparov
VS Karpov" in Martin Amis'
"Visiting Mrs. Nabokov."

 

Spanky, we're so flattered! Not
only do you seem to read us every
day, but you also read Martin Amis -
how very NYC of you! We didn't
think you could get your hands on
such literature up there at the
institution, but we were clearly
mistaken. And it looks like you
may have mastered one the of the
first challenges of reader
comprehension - drawing
conclusions! When you get to those
history lessons, drop us a line
and we'll explain all about
Astronomer Sir Arthur Eddington
and the overwhelming popularity of his
monkeys-with-typewriters idea.

But then, this whole thing kind of
reminds us of Bill Hirst's remark:
"I heard someone tried the
monkeys-on-typewriters bit trying
for the plays of W. Shakespeare,
but all they got was the collected
works of Francis Bacon." Kind of
like typing in suck.com and
getting spanker.com, no?

Hey, keep in touch, buddy - your
letters really brighten things up
around here.

 

Boy from Big Blue Bob Dionne
<dionne@watson.ibm.com> writes in
response to our latest Hit and
Run:

 

What's the point Obleo. This piece
has absolutely nothing to offer.
Reads like someone who forgot to
take her morning dose of
Thorazine, or prozac or whatever
is fashionable these days. Please
you can do better than this
sucksters.

 

We can understand your confusion.
However, please familiarize
yourself with the following:

 

Hit and Run n. Quick commentary on
a few different things, linked
together by nothing in particular.
Written by a bunch of different
people (anyone in the office at
the time). Runs every Thursday.

 

Oh, and we're popping Xanax these
days - after IBM's debacle in
Atlanta, you might want to pick
yourself up a prescription, too.

 

David Reich
<dradinsite@earthlink.net> of
Internos Productions writes:

 

Trying to effectively reach an
18-34 year old demographic through
the maze of the Web? Starting in
October, it should get a lot
easier. That's because on October 1st,
INTERNOS PRODUCTIONS will
launch what has been touted by the
industry as the ultimate model in
internet advertising & marketing
promotion.

Our unique model successfully
integrates the loyal audience of a
riveting weekly episodic series,
with the tantalizing buzz of a
game that offers an unprecedented
monthly grand prize of $25,000.
The Internos premier episodic
cyber-mystery,"The Family Jewels",
was designed to actively engage
this demographic by ROUTING THEM
THROUGH TWO FULL PAGES OF
YOUR WEB SITE in search of
vital clues...

An effective advertising medium at
LITTLE OR NO COST TO YOU -
If your web site currently utilizes
banners, the advertising revenue
generated from these banners on
your two selected pages could
virtually pay for your
participation in "The Family
Jewels".

And best of all, our sponsorship
package (2 pages per week for 3
consecutive weeks) is currently
priced at an introductory rate of
$3000 net, (that's a low $500 per
page charge) for the first month's
advertisers. This equates to a
FULL PAGE VIEW CPM OF
$27.78 based on our monthly projected
cumulative full page views of
108,000.* But don't delay, this
program is limited to twelve
sponsors and THESE
INTRODUCTORY RATES WON'T
LAST...

* Based on a projected base of
18,000 participants viewing six
advertiser pages over three weeks.

 

A web ADventure! Our Family Jewels
are tantalized just thinking about
it. What's with this projected
base of participants? You must
have some kind of a scientist guy
on staff to figure that out! And
you're telling us that the
resulting advertising revenue
could virtually pay that $3,000
bill for participating? That
sounds like a virtual bargain!
We're virtually falling out of our
seats in anticipation - the
check's in the virtual mail.

 
[]

Sensitive and caring Robert Milson
<milson@math.umn.edu> writes to
wish us happy birthday:

 

Dear Suck,

The 28th of August is nigh upon us,
and though this may be a few days
premature, allow me to send out a
heartfelt "Bonne fete mon cher
Suck."

No, make that "notre cher Suck,"
for in your own quaint and quirky
way you've managed to find your
way into the hearts (though not
yet the wallets) of so many, many
(say, what exactly are your hit
counts?) digital denizens.

As a faithful reader of Suck
(degradation, sweet as prune
juice) I find myself hoping that
there will be some sort of public
celebration to mark this special
moment. (Getting drunk in private
does not count. You have to tell
us all about it.) Perhaps you
could arrange a session on Club
Wired. (Just like the first gig.
With a high profile host such an
event could go far. How about Jon
Katz to get you off, huh? Or how
about the Winer man. He's getting
into the talk-show-host thing. He
admires your web energy. How can
you go wrong with a host like
that? If you tell him, "Dave,
you're an asshole," he'll just
reply "Coooooool!")

I don't have to do this you know. I
don't know why I read Suck. I
don't know why I waste so much
time on the computer. Maybe I have
nothing better to do. Maybe there
is nothing better to do? I mean,
do you all have a life? Fuck it, I
don't really want to know. No,
wait; I do.

 

Well, we don't all have a life, but
some of us have been known to
sneak outside and slurp down
alcohol and engage in rapid
exchanges of witty banter upon
occasion. But mostly it's all
about bloodshot eyes gazing numbly
into glaring screens, wrists that
ache, caffeine-induced jitters,
and the occasional fruit smoothie,
which lends us the illusion that
we're taking in at least enough
nutrients to keep our fingers
pecking perkily.

We'd tell you why you read Suck if
we knew why we write Suck. But
we'll be talking about all of the
above in an AOL appearance - Club
Wired will be busy Packet-sniffing -
on August 28 (that's Wednesday
to you and me) at 10 P.M. EST
(7 P.M. to us). Winer and Katz will
be notable omissions, but you can
always pretend.

 

As our special anniversary issue
draws nigh, everyone wants to know
the secret of our Suckcess. Joe
Gerber of the Mitre Corporation
<jsg@mitre.org> asks us for
cleaning tips:

 

Dear Company Agent,

I hope you can help me. I am
writing from the Boston Area. I am
searching for a Company in
Cleveland, Ohio called the "The
State Chemical Manufacturing, Co.
Their zip code is 44114. They make
a product called State Re-fresh.
It is a powder that you sprinkle
on a rug. It is suppose to remove
odors from the rug and freshen up
the air. A vacuum cleaner is used
to clean up the powder 10 minutes
after it is applied.

I would appreciate any help you can
give me.

 

Glad you asked. Nothing "removes
odors" from a rug. Odors cannot be
"removed" or "erased," just
"masked." We'd suggest purchasing
a Plug-In Room Deodorizer instead.
They smell pretty, and, boy, do
they look nice!

 

words
Polly Esther

pictures
Terry Colon