Exquisite Corpse - Issue 3
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Address your letters to the editor to letters@corpse.org!

Elections 2000: The GOP Debate In Grand Rapids, Michigan

Press coverage of the GOP show in Grand Rapids just didn't get it. Reporters struggled to find minute differences in the candidates' tax proposals -- all of which favor the rich and make no sense given the unanimous wish for more military spending while "protecting Social Security." The event was a full-bore Nuremberg rally as the cheers of the creationist students at Calvin College encouraged ever more excess from the speakers. Their devotion to the Cuban Taliban in Miami became even more fervid than their devotion to their buddy Jesus. Fidel Castro, they agreed, eats babies for breakfast. And Jesus, it seems, would be a happy switch-puller on death row. Homosexuals shouldn't be allowed to mingle with real men in the armed and dangerous forces, and abortion is causing the downfall of all that Americans hold dear. The cure for AIDS is heterosexuality. It is God's will that the Palestinians emigrate to Antarctica or commit mass suicide. Foreign aid interferes with the rise of capitalism in poor nations. In a hostage situation, they would never negotiate -- all would simply attack the terrorists. Although the hostages would be killed, the manhood of the would-be leader of the free world would be preserved. When will the Democrats learn that they can never out shout the GOPs for the loony vote? (Gore seems to be trying.)

Art Hilgart ahilgart@kzoo.edu

To: Webmistress@corpse.org

Subject: Website

Well, I went to your site with an open mind and have, to this point, nothing good or nice to say.

For starters, way too damn many graphics. For some reason my computer choked on all this garbage, and crashed. So I rebooted. Still didn't load right.

I am a writer (madam or sir or whatever you are), and have no time to fuck around with crap like.

Further, I notice you made no mention of payment. In short, you fuck writers, don't you?

Your review rating: -5000

Have a nice day.

Jim Hess

Dear Jim:

We only fuck writers if they pay us. All proceeds help support our subscription-free magazine.

Have a nice day.

The Webmistress



- Andrei Codrescu

Hariette Surovell and Her Readers

Subject: Salon dismissed/Lamott disemboweled

Your story on Lamott is AMAZING. Everyone here in San Francisco just LOVES her and I hit my forehead and wonder how or why she's always doing these radio gigs and telling people how to do things. You, girl, you're slinging artichokes at the giants and I'm right there... right there waaaay behind you, because when it comes to writer folks, I'm never quite sure what I'm talking about. See, I think Stephen King is genious (even though I haven't read him since PET SEMETARY came out when I was in high school). Formula? Sure, why not. Plays come in three parts; screenplays are 120 pages. I don't care. I just hope to GOD my books never, ever get big enough for YOU to review. Yours truly, Erika Lopez (San Francisco)

Subject: Lordy Lordy!

Having published a couple of essays in Salon.com myself (and they're damn lucky to have 'em too), I couldn't help but chortle over your piece in EC about that site! Especially that ratty-head psycho Anne Lamott.

But I thought Salon was just soooo over the top, West-Coast, Bay-Area blather that I was inspired to start my own e-zine, WaySouth. Now I can blather away with over-the-top, Southern-oriented nonsense to my heart's content.


Enjoyed your piece a whole lot...

Grayson Daughters

Subject: Wait, is this Lamott woman real?

Yours was the first essay I read in the online Exquisite Corpse, and your informal style nails the point about this author from Salon magazine deftly. Still, I must wonder: Are you sure this woman isn't, say, fictional? Maybe she's a personality projection by the publishers. I'm a tad scared to check with Salon (maybe I'll examine the phone book) to confirm she isn't, say, an outcast from the old Processed Word zine or perhaps the state-mandated therapy for a child-beater. Just a thought, as the idea that any professional magazine would pay a wacko except by direct deposit...maybe that's it. They're not a professional magazine. Maybe you've hit on something else: that Salon is less a publication as a Geocities for hacks. Keep up the fab work! Dante Blando, Utica, NY

Subject: Birdbrain by Birdbrain

I just read your piece about Anne Lamott in EC. I thought it was mean spirited. Thank you. The only thing worse than reading her, is listening to her read her stuff. Whining, monotone, zombie. (No disrespect to Zombies intended.) I think I'd like to hear what you have to say about Garrison Keillor. Matt Eggleston

Subject: Re: Salon dismissed/Lamott disemboweled

Is your website "Panix.com"? I'll check it out. I'd actually found out about you because I was at home writing or fucking around, with the radio on, and the Russian-sounding guy that does commentaries was on "Talk of the Nation" about scary stories. (I'm horrible with names.) They said he edits "Exquisite Corpse.org", and so I checked it out. I'd only heard of Salon last year when someone told me they gave me a bad review of one of my books, and I haven't really checked it out since. So of course, your title got my attention. And your writing's really good. You cut right through it all and you're not too cool. I can't STAND all of these snide writers who're just TOO COOL. Boring. Erika

Subject: "Exquisite Corpse"

Hariette, I enjoyed your piece Dissing 'Salon' Again in Andrei's EXQUISITE CORPSE immensely, as well as all the referenced pieces included. I only have one theoretical question. I know you are an Editor, et all;...but are you misspelling MILLENNIUM (on your URL) for some reason of artistic license, or is it an insider's joke I am failing to pick up on? Just wonderin'. Ms. Paris Tirone ptirone@cdsnet.net

Subject: Re: Birdbrain by Birdbrain

Sorry to bug you again. But I wanted to talk you into listening to Bride of Christ Looney Lady Lamott read one of her own pieces. You must savor the time lengthening effect of her drone. Listen to her often and you may not live forever, but you'll know what it feels like. I wonder which ring of hell her voice would be the sound track for. You decide. The site is http://www.thislife.org/ (This American Life) look for the program from June 5, 1998 entitled "Music Lessons". You can listen to the show via Realaudio. David Sedaris also reads something on this show and does a dead on imitation of Billie Holiday singing the Oscar Meyer Bologna song. You won't be sorry! Matt

Subject: Lamott

Man, are you funny! randi@together.net

Subject: SaLon SaLon

Hariette - Was headed over to see what musical misstep Salon had made this week, when I clicked over to EC instead and came across your spot-on pieces on their ivory web-tower. While I may eventually cringe at the memory of my dogged pursuit of various editors there, I will savor this sense of liberation as long as the vibe can be prolonged. Thanks! regards...JoE Joe.Silva@Premtec.com

Subject: corpse story

Hey Hariette: Very funny, the "court" piece. How've you been? This is my first trip to the Corpse site. It's nice that I can just zip in there at my desk at my new job, just chow on a black forest ham and smoked gouda sandwich while the smell of stinky cheese eminates from some of your characters. Have a good turkey day...Joe Maynard JMaynard@christies.com

Subject: YEAH Hariette!

God, I thought I was the only one who thought that the Anne Lamott articles in "Mothers Who Think" were a bunch of claptrap. Yes, I am paying attention. I just don't have your eloquence! Merci. kac Kac04@aol.com

Subject: Maybe nuts ain't so charming after all

H--- Just read ADVENTURES IN TAXIDERMY. Looking at things from your point of view, I can see why you aren't as charmed by weirdoes as I sometimes am. So, to amend my statement, weirdoes are great as long as you don't have to live in the same building with them. That black candle trick is something I'm gonna have to add to my repertoire of gags. J. MoonShadow_Press@msn.com

Subject: salon.com

dear hariette surlyvell, thank you for your discreditation of saloon.com and in particular the work of anne lamott. i have never visited salmon.com nor have i read the writings of ms. lummox but it is quite possible that i might have in the future. That is, until you stopped me. Where were you when 'Howard the Duck' came out? i thought, "wow, a george lucas film about an extra-terrestrial duck. this is gonna be great!" i wish i had been forwarned. (entre nous, it's not a good movie). it seems clear to me now that this anne lambchop just doesn't know what the internet's for! maybe she should take a class or something or get one of those internet books for dummies. what do you think?

i often do internet wide searches on "black butts" and it was only a matter of time before i got to the salaam.com article (probably right before your "review" of salsa.com). when you want a big black butt, there's no time to waste at the new yorker of the internet! that's for darn sure! thanks again for steerin' me straight. mark podojil

Daniel "Hardcore" McNamara's Corpse Connection Gets Attention

Hardcore, I think you're Mike Topp. Even if you're not I hope you hang out with him. When I move there I will also hang out with him. Even if you don't hang out with him when I move there we will hang out with him. Amy aborn@logosschool.org

Ed. Note: We are all Mike Topp, Amy. Hang with us.

We Know How She Feels

Dear Corpse -- I sent one message but don't know if it got through. I hate this goddamn compufuck, and I don't understand why anyone who is seeking a measure of timelessness would want to truck with a cyber mag, or whatever the hell one is called.

E-mail and the internet and suchlike appear to me to be for people basically disinterested in communication of anything real, but who want to exchange signs, more or less, as in Signifying Monkeys.

Nevertheless I'm pleased to be asked to submit, and may someday have no choice, as far as "submitting" to "magazines" -- that is, I guess before too long the printed page will be gone?  In the meantime, I wish you and yours well.  Cheers, your most humble retrograde, Suzanne Rhodenbaugh

Zackel Praised

I read Mr. Zackel's essay with interest and wanted to ask him a question: I am fascinated by the process of dissemination of the Master Story. How do we learn it? How do we accept it as a unified whole or learn that it is, in fact, that? Does it have an independent existence, and if so, how? Do you believe in Jung's Collective Unconscious?

I look forward to more of your work.

Dana Sterling

Dana Sterling lakeview@ionet.net

Millennial Implications of Wile E. Coyote

It never struck me until recently that the old Warner Brothers cartoons featuring the Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote contain the essential trope of the age within their formula. Wile E. always seems to end up in one of those scenes where he is standing on an imaginary plain far out past the edge of a cliff with nothing under his feet but air. At first he remains oblivious to the situation, but gravity has a malicious sense of humor and waits to take effect until Wile E. comes to the full realization of his situation.

His ears droop. He looks toward us. Do we feel a flash of self-recognition? He waves goodbye. He plummets and disappears into the canyon. We must wait while he falls, until long after he disappears, for the miniscule puff of dust from his impact to appear on the canyon floor in the distance below. This protracted interval indicates the enormous depth of the canyon and how small Wile E. is in comparison.

Just what was so fetching about that Roadrunner's air-headed "Beep Beep" that it was worth this again? And there it is again; that hypnotic "Beep. Beep." It's enough to make a poor coyote go mad and chase off into the wasteland after it. "Beep. Beep." I'm starting to hear it in my sleep. This time it's going to be different. We will be back with a new super-contraption, and this time we will catch that damned Roadrunner for sure. Happy Millennium. Rex Rose rex@corpse.org


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