VACUUM

for 30 September 1996. Updated every MONDAY.

 

 

Really Nice Reader Mail! If our
writing's got you itchy, drop a
line and make us bitchy! And if
your name's the only catch, tell
us, and we'll call you "Scratch."
Edited for your pleasure.

Last week brought some comfortingly
vitriolic reader mail.... You're
out there, you're listening, and
you don't like us, you really
don't like us! We'd like you to
like us, but worst of all is
apathy, thus, we were quite
pleased to hear from you.

 

Of DJ Abraham Lincoln's "Number One
With A Hail of Bullets
," Bill
Clinton <Billy@whitehouse.gov>
writes:

 

If this is mind food for the masses
I'm going on a diet. When the best
you can do is bash on Bill Gates
and the like you should really
think about a transfusion of new
writers. Who's next? Sadam
Hussein? Who cares.

Is this the most interesting piece
of writing you can do about Tupac
Shakur? If it is then you should
ask yourself "Was the death of
Tupac Shakur inherently
interesting?"

I've got an idea for the next Suck
issue. Why don't you write about a
hip online magazine that has
become a parody of itself. If you
need help I know several angry
white college students that have
absolutely nothing original or
insightful to say who would be
glad to work at Suck.

P.S. Please continue to produce
quality all-form-no-content media.

 

Mr. President! We're quite honored,
but how did you find the time to
write us such a perceptive note?
Don't you have campaigning to do,
or something?

Maybe Chelsea is at the wheel of
your email account, railing off
thoughtful feedback in a style
appropriate to the style of the
publication at hand! If that's the
case, Chelsea, those years of
schooling have really paid off!
Your parody of bitterness and
feigned apathy are a stunningly
accurate portrayal of the Suck
m.o.! Who cares about Saddam
Hussein, indeed! The irony is so
thick, we're literally choking!

You and your daddy's guys certainly
know more about
all-form-no-content media
(nudge-nudge, wink-wink)! The
irony is so thick, we're literally
immobilized and blinded!

P.S. Don't tell your dad about
knowing those angry college
students... You're really too
young to be hanging out with them,
and he'll just worry.

 
[]

Dr. Dreidel's "1:1 Republic"
prompted Bob Dudley
<dudleyrw@soho.ios.com> to write:

 

I truly enjoyed your scroll of the
day. I assume that with a little
more knowledge of how genes work,
we can marry genetic prediliction
programming with what the kids
click after school to be able to
create truly irresistable
candidates in the Manchuria of
tomorrow. So by the time you reach
voting age, your votes will be
accounted for your lifetime, and
that the only way we can change
politically is with long-range
crossbreeding. I am the walrus?
No. I am the spider. Koo Koo Ka
Ju.

 

We always thought that was spelled
"Coo Coo Ka Chooo"... but God
knows, we've been wrong before.
We're not sure what you mean by
voting preference as genetic
trait... but anything that
requires more breeding is okay by
us. We always wanted to be the
Eggman, actually.

 

Of Cleary S. Day's "Genius Envy,"
Yan Borodovsky
<borodovsky@ptdoa1.al.intel.com>
writes:

 

Com'n people. Koons took pop-art as
far is it goes from its
pretensious conceptual origions to
its ultimate end as kitschy
pornography in his Jeff and Elona
(?) (whatever his wife name is).
series.

It was not a parody but "end of
art" trip just as much as
Fukuyama's "End of History".

Such labors should not be
marginalized (they are NOT
parodies) even if you are not
enjoying their fruits.

 

Clearly S. Day clearly explains:

Thanks for writing... but I have to
disagree.

To many, Koons exemplifies the
excesses of the '80s art market -
little talent, outrageous prices,
lots of press coverage. I would
argue that the media-savvy Koons
manipulated the popular press to
write stories ("They Call This
Art?") that questioned the very
industry which pulled him out of
the Wall Street ghetto. But Koons
would have to be nuts if he were
after the "end of art," because
he'd risk having his collectors
wake up and smell the coffee. At
which point he'd see his own "end
of income."

I'm definitely not marginalizing
his efforts, but only enjoying
them for what they are -
repackaged goods.

As for Koons' kitschy pornography,
I have a feeling it left most
viewers with the same reaction
they had to his vacuum cleaners -
"I definitely could have done
that."

 

Michael Murphy <mmurphy@bsands.com>
writes:

 

Wow! Metaparody's already been
done!? Really? Could "the founder"
of Suck been at the helm of this
"displaced" creation? Could this
be a plug as shameless as John
Katz's talcum powder pamper of
MSNBC on The Netizen this week?

Give up the self-promotion. The
only thing that displacing or
placing does is blow the
masturbatory horn of the author (while
showcasing the "diverse" sum of
his thoughts; frailwoman+
helplesswoman+sexywoman+aquanet).

Displacing = boring "art."

Suck just sucks; nothing's changed
now, has it?

 

No, nothing has changed. From the
start, we've simultaneously
scoffed at self-promotion and
engaged in it shamelessly at every
turn. But it was glorious comrade
and cofounder Webster who did the
original product placing; it took
Ann O'Tate to come up with the
brash brand extension.

Regardless, we were overjoyed at
your use of the metaphor, "blow
the masturbatory horn"! And as if
that didn't get us hot enough,
your proclamation of displacing as
boring "art" really got us going!
Yum. Thanks for the memories.

 

Not a day goes by when we don't
hear from our favorite uncle,
Uncle Bob <degerberg@aol.com>.
Steal This Article prompted him to
write St. Huck:

 

St. Huck, you sneaky person. I
should have guessed that behind
all that interesting and well
written stuff that I have been
reading for a while now, there was
an English Teacher. As one of your
oldest students I do not have to
toady anymore for a passing grade.
I was caught in 1936 for the first
time doing a number on Caesar (in
partes tres etc.) so I will give
you an "A" for content and
enjoyment. I will watch your stuff
in the future, like a hawk.

 

St. Huck responds:

Well, I've actually been a
corporate drone for a lot longer
than I was ever a teacher, but
that urge to issue my half-baked,
pompous opinions still
persists...

 
[]

Robert Seulowitz
<rss2@mail.idt.net> writes:

 

Nice work, St. Huck - one of the
best suckscreeds in a while.

I knew the web was playing a
valuable role in American
education; it's teaching young
idiot-savants how to appropriate
and repackage creative work for
their own material gain. It's
Capitalist playschool!

 

Who better to teach idiot-savants
than other idiot-savants? We've
been repackaging creative work for
our own material gain ever since
we stole the clay ashtray our
sister made and painted with "I
[heart] Harrison" (in honor of
Harrison Ford) and repainted it
with "I [heart] Mommy" and gave it
to our Mommy, upon which she
increased our allowance
substantially.

But where is this capitalist
playschool you mentioned? Ever
since you mentioned it we've been
daydreaming about playing Monopoly
with four-year-olds. Oh, the
joy...

 

Grant Carpenter <grant@tiac.net>
writes:

 

I've been pondering getting my boss
a fresh new can of whipass (aka
whoop ass) for her birthday. I was
wondering if you have a favored
vendor and/or what some novel
means of presentation might be?
I've grown somewhat tired of just
opening up a tidy can of whipass
on the recipient's head, have
moved onto new ground and now find
myself dousing same with a frothy
canister of the indignant
concoction...

Incidentally, much like the
Scorpions, you continue to rock us
in the fashion of a hurricane.

 

Polly responds:

I've been compared to the
Scorpions! Oh frabjous day!

Actually, I should warn you: The
quality of the whoop ass you
purchase has a lot to do with its
effectiveness. And let me tell
you, quality whoop ass costs a
pretty penny. Luckily, I've
inherited a lifetime's supply, so
my shelves are always stocked...
which is nice, considering the
preponderance of subjects just
begging for a beatdown in these
parts.

Sometimes I like to serve my whoop
ass piping hot with an
oops-upside-da-head garnish, other
times I like to season it with
salty insults and dish it out
generously just before dinner. But
my favorite serving suggestion is
lukewarm, straight from the shelf -
just pop open that can and dish
up a heaping helping! You wouldn't
believe the satisfaction it
brings!

And if the serving size is
consistently too small for the
wharf rats in question, I'd
suggest The Whoop Ass Family Pak.
It'll rock them in the fashion of
a hurricane until the cows come
home. At least it says so on the
can...

 
[]

Of E.L. Skinner's Zero Baud, "Slash
and Burns
," Joe Seither
<joe@bigbutt.com> writes:

 

Your commentary, er, meandering
monologue about the Ken Burns
phenomenon was a little odd. Do
you really think his work is THAT
useless and bland? I suppose if
one had the time and the
inclination to study up on the
West, one might be disappointed
with the material presented, but
there were portions of the series
I found particularly riveting. I
readily admit that I didn't know
what a bunch of fucking assholes
the land-thirsty, profit thirsty
and downright beastly 'settlers'
could be. The Native American
Indians suffered every concievable
indignity, individually and
culturally. I only remember a
brief discussion of the 'Indian
Wars' from my schoolin' days,
always couched in terms of an
essentially level us-vs-them
contest where we won out because
we were superior militarily, and
oh yeah, we were right and
entitled too. What an embarrasment
that period was, and only 150
years ago. That's only two Bob
Doles ago.

When I read today that the Indian
was withdrawn as some Miami
sporting team's mascot, afer 68
years, it occurred to me that,
under a guise of political
correctness and sensitivity to the
Indian memory, we will continue to
drop these Indian images from
popular culture until we
eventually just forget those
peoples altogether. Bring back the
Stanford Indian. Leave the Atlanta
Brave alone. Let the Washington
Redskins stay Red (they're already
the "'skins", dropping "Red").
We're only looking for a marquee
persona for the teams, and the
mascots are honorably portrayed.
Are the Irish pissed at Notre Dame
for the implication that they're
all drunken brawlers? Ah blah blah
blah...

 
[]

Your feedback, er, meandering
monologue was a little odd. Do you
really think all time can be
measured in Bob Doles? How
bizarre. So, most of us are about
one-third of a Bob Dole old.
Columbus discovered America almost
seven Bob Doles ago! Actually,
that's much easier to remember
than 1492... Why, this
quantification method of yours
could really revolutionalize
modern schooling... But wait, what
happens when Bob Dole gets older?
The standard would have to shift
every year on Bob's birthday.
That's a little complicated, but
hell, we learned the metric system
awful fast, didn't we?

Run, don't walk, to the Patent
Office and set those wheels in
motion, boy. Then sit back and
watch the tall dollars march in
your door. Uh, better rent a movie
or something in the meantime...
How about "Dances With Wolves"?
Or, better yet, that sequel,
"Rambles Endlessly Without A
Point"...

 

Cory Dunham
<delfwago@ix4.ix.netcom.com>
writes:

 

How come Macarana, that !@#$% dance
isn't at the top of the list of
things that suck, as it is truly
the master of all that sucks?

 

Because we love the Macarena. We
love it. We do it every morning,
after the quad frap. We feel it
builds team spirit, the spirit of
cooperation. Can you say that
together, with us?
Co-op-er-a-tion! Yeah, that's the
spirit! [I assume this is supposed
to be irony. If I catch you
dancing in the office again, I
will have you fired. - ed.
]

 

And finally, some interesting
feedback on Vacuum! The Cunning
Linguist <twink@slip.net> writes:

 

Be Bitter. Be very Bitter.

It's Monday morning and I want to
hear about how the rest of the
world sucks. If there is something
good in the world then keep it to
yourself. I guess I had a bad
weekend, or maybe it's just my
body and mind rebelling against
sobriety.

Keep on bitching.

 
[]

Bitter bitching is practically
guaranteed for some of us, much to
the chagrin of our closest
companions. But fuck them anyway.
We have the same feeling today...
bitter, annoyed, tired of seeing
the same stupid faces we see every
morning, tired of always going
home at the same time each night,
tired of eating out at the same
restaurants, tired of going out
with the same people to the same
bars and having the same
conversations.

We think it might be blood-sugar
levels but then we feel even worse
after a candy bar. We think we
might need a day off, but it's
Monday. We think it might be a
lack of exercise but we don't plan
on exercising either way. We think
it might be the fact that we have
to write "we" all the time when we
really mean "I"... There's no good
reason, but some days we just gaze
longingly out the window and wish
we were swimming in a pool or
taking a nap on a high-quality
mattress or watching a good movie
or reading a good book - heaven
forbid, not a magazine or zine or
online anything - or playing
guitar or wandering around
drinking... doing anything but
sitting here in front of our
computers typing away. A job is
the opposite of sex and pizza
(both are supposedly always pretty
good - we beg to differ,
naturally). A job is like a meal
of tofu - when it's bad, it's
really, really bad, and when it's
good, it's still kind of bad.
[Macarena or no Macarena, you
really want me to fire you, don't
you? -ed.
]

Yeah, whatever. Who asked you?

 

words
Polly Esther

pictures
Terry Colon