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Suck.com

Sarcasm, cynicism, and the thrilling early uses of the internet
People love the internet now, but back in the 1990s people were ENTHUSIASTIC about the internet. As in, "We don't know what it's good for, but it sure is awesome!" When people questioned what was so awesome about it, often as not they were pointed to suck.com.
 
From 1995 through 2001, suck.com published daily articles and comics which were as trenchant and funny as they were narrow. Why so narrow? It was an affectation even at the time, although I can assure you, it didn't look as narrow on an 800x600 monitor. And it was just the right size if you were reading it on a PDA, which was refreshing for those PDA users who often felt like a marginalized people, website-wise.

 
I had forgotten all about suck.com until recently. I was halfway through an article about pioneer women when I thought, "This is really awesome. Who's the author, again?" I scrolled back and read the name on the byline: Heather Havrilesky. The name sounded so familiar, and yet I had no idea where I recognized it from. I hit her website and saw a graphic of a bunny answering email, in a style which also seemed familiar and yet foreign.
 
And then I saw the links on her sidebar and was like, OH MY GOD IT'S HEATHER FROM SUCK.COM.
 
I was a fan of Heather Havrilesky. I think it's safe to say, I idolized her. At the time, I was an ink-stained schmuck toiling in the bowels of an insurance brokerage. It was a minimum wage job that had a two-page dress code. It was the first (and for the most part last) time in my life that I was required to wear pantyhose. For a recent college graduate with a Liberal Arts degree, the experience was as soul-crushing as it was shocking.
 
And when no one was looking, I would read suck.com and wish I was Heather Havrilesky. Getting paid to be sarcastic on the internet! A rising star on this brand new medium! And super funny, to boot. It was quite the early (platonic) crush, and I'm pretty sure it's part of what got me to where I am today.
 
On smoke breaks my work friend and I would laugh about that day's suck.com article and be cynical together. It was a bonding experience. When suck.com finally stopped for good, it felt like the end of an era.
 
Stay narrow, Suck. And I hope you're still enjoying that eternal vacation.