Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Long Live Suck

For the last two or three years of its life I was devoted to Suck.com. This in spite of my handicaps: I'm not an old-school webhead, i.e. don't know Flash from Java and couldn't pick Marc Andreessen out of a police lineup, and I'm about five years too old to get many of their pop-culture references. I swore by it anyway. Easy to read onscreen, sharp and funny as hell, employing hypertext as a stylistic tool, Suck was the first site to impress me with the charm of Web content per se, rather than text by other means. Its archives are still accessible.

I stumbled across this recent account of the life and loves of Suck. Warning: at 27 laser-printed pages, this is a very long article published on an obscure website, about a long-defunct site that was itself something of a cult favorite. The obsessiveness factor here is quite high.

While I like Ana Marie Cox (aka Wonkette) perfectly well, I got a chuckle from the story of what led Suck's founders to hire her: she used to frequent a discussion board with Chicago-area indie rock heavyweights, and gave as good as she got in the pop-culture debates there. That was her main qualification. A gal with no cred, surviving and thriving in online flame wars among guys with major cred! If that's not a Horatio Alger story for the 90s, I don't know what is.

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