Over the holidays, Suck.Com stopped being a failed online magazine for a few days and began a new life as a porn portal. This was apparently a domain name hijack, because the portal's gone and the old site's archives are now restored.

While Suck was porn, Steve Baldwin wrote a bitter sendoff:

Given that this is certainly the end of suck.com's long journey as a project, one must ask: was suck.com ever really about anything more than the wiles and whims of its owners? Wasn't this the joke all the time -- that a couple of guys at Wired could rise to the top of the Web with nothing but a talent for inserting hyperlinks in biliously written text and the services of a talented cartoonist named Terry Colon, whose droll drawings actually produced most of the laughs?

Many have suspected that Steadman and Anuff did what they did for the money, the publicity, the women, and the influence, which Suck.com brought them. Sure, they wrote as if they were ink-stained outsiders, but they were insiders all along, and they knew it, and if you were half as smart as they were, which you weren't, you knew it too. That was the ultimate joke that lay at the heart of Suck.com; the very core of its mean-hearted humor. And if you didn't find the joke funny, well, this fact proved that you just weren't smart enough all over again.

I'm a fan of Baldwin, who spent the dot-com boom gleefully puncturing the bubbles of overhyped tech companies and their irrationally exuberant executives, reveling in each dot-casualty at Ghost Sites of the Web. His critique omits something he's admitted in the past -- he worked several months as a Plastic.Com contributor for Automatic Media, Suck's parent company, and the experience sucked.

Joey Anuff and Carl Steadman suckI was a one-time contributor and day-one reader of Suck, and I think Baldwin has forgotten that site founders Joey Anuff and Carl Steadman always presented it as an elaborate doublecross on readers -- a product of the same cynical dot-com hype they were shredding five times a week. Suck ran so many self-loathing critiques over the years that his rant sounds like something it would have published. Suck writers were calling themselves frauds and sellouts long before any critics cared enough to say it:

A formulaic method to success is the grail that we're all after -- from sleazy get-rich-quick schemes to 12-step programs to kick a habit that's become just a little too familiar, we can't get enough of easy, no-brainer ways to give us maximum returns for minimal effort -- that's what it's all about, isn't it?

A comment from the back of their self-authored NetMoguls card: "Are you familiar with the term 'one-hit wonder'?"

Anuff and Steadman have no control over what happens to the domain, which is registered to Lycos, the company that had a 25 percent stake in Automatic Media.

If they did, a six- or seven-figure sale to the people who've made the most of this way-nu medium -- smut peddlers -- is surely the ignominious fate they envisioned for Suck.

-- Rogers Cadenhead

Comments

I've often wondered how many blogs were created by self-replicating robots. Their site was funny and entertaining (is that redundant?). But the darkness wears on the soul after a while.


 

I have a weakness for alliteration, so I liked your title. The phrase "domain name hijack" is very suggestive. I could make a hardcore song out of that.


 

Add a Comment

These HTML tags are permitted: p, b, i, a, and blockquote. A comment may not include more than three links. Participants in this discussion should note the site's moderation policy.

:
:
: