~~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~~
Post of the day
Part II!
~~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~~

From: harlequin4@aol.com (Harlequin4)
Newsgroups: alt.aol-sucks
Date: 4 Jun 1996 18:04:12 -0400
Organization: America Online, Inc. (1-800-827-6364)

today, June 4th, sometime between 3:00 and 5:30 PM AOL staff began deleting the accounts of every member that entered private rooms hack,warez,freewarez, etc. I can understand how AOL would delete the accounts of members from warez,etc. as they are software piracy sites but why hack?In this room members talk about legal subjects and STRONGLY, and let me repeat, STRONGLY disapprove of software piracy and child pornography.And furthermore AOL supposedly promised its members that it would not monitor any activity in private rooms.This has to be by far the most fascist move that AOL Inc. has ever made. by the way the name of the staff members involved in this activity are: TOSROOMSA,TOSROOMSB,TOSROOMSC,etc.You may wish to send them and other AOL representatives mail voicing your opinions on this unbelievable activity. expressing your op Alex

From: mch982@airmail.net (62726)
Newsgroups: alt.aol-sucks
Subject: Why do people think AOHell is so elusive?
Date: Tue, 04 Jun 1996 03:28:10 GMT
Organization: customer of Internet America

I hear people saying that AOHell is difficult to find and stuff like that. It took me about 10 minutes to get. I just went to the Altavista search engine and typed "AOHell". Bam! a bunch of sites that had AOHell. Then I just downloaded it and soon I was sending mailbombs to my enemies.

All to easy.


From: spatula@kona.javanet.com (tv's Spatch)
Newsgroups: alt.aol-sucks
Subject: Re: AOL rules the internet
Date: 2 Jun 1996 05:41:31 -0400
Organization: The Oldest Established

In article <4oqv58$h77@newsbf02.news.aol.com>,
TooTooFast wrote:
>Hey everybody!!
> I'm back!!! I have great news!!!! I've sent several suggestions to
>Steve (Mr. Case to you guys) on how to help AOL (not that it needs any
>improvement --- it's great as it is!) like including free start-up discs
>in every new grade school text book and free discs in every pencil box
>too! That way, all the little kids could be surfing the net too! Isn't
>that a kewl idea???? I'm hoping Steve (Mr. Case to you guys) will like it
>so much that he will make me a TOS guide. That would really rule!!!! I
>would be able to go to all of the chat rooms and watch as people had
>cyber-sex (stroke, stroke) and read all their mail and all kinds of kewl
>shit. Awesome, huh? If you people would just quit being so lame and
>realize that AOL is just about the kewlest thing around, you could get in
>on all this fun too!!
>See ya online!!!
>Jack Cough

Let's see what the judges think:

Style   USA     GBR     DEN     BRT     PDQ     ROM     THC     XYZ
        0.4     0.3     0.3     0.4     0.5     0.2     0.7     0.6

Tech.   USA     GBR     DEN     BRT     PDQ     ROM     THC     XYZ
Merit   0.1     0.1     0.2     0.1     0.2     0.1     0.1     0.1

Well, the degree of difficulty there was at least a negative fifty, and Mr. Cough was attempting a Lame Attempt At Pretending To Be A Typical AOLer In Cahoots With Steve Case, with a half gainer and a World Domination Subplot thrown in. However, the plausibility factor was definitely stuck at zero, his rhetoric and finish just plain dismal, and the troll factor was stuck at zero as well, anybody with half a working brain cell in their head could see through the charade. Bonus points are awarded for actually posting from AOL, though, but the points deducted for a lame troll name such as "Jack Cough" cancel the awarded points out. I'm afraid Mr. Cough's performance today dismally rules him out of making the quarterfinals, the bronze is not to be his. We'll take a quick break with the Individual Troll competition and be back with the doubles Synchronized event, with DAwn McGatney and Art Stone leading off the set.

hello, this is tv's Spatch, your doorman.
MSTie #43790, TDC Director of Motion Picture Development, a.a-s TP Remote Squad
"One's a dog, one's a cat." "You figure it out." - Frick & Frack
http://www.javanet.com/~spatula/booth.html will SAVE YOUR LIFE

From: artstone@concentric.net (Art Stone)
Newsgroups: alt.aol-sucks
Subject: Re: AOLs earnings report
Date: Thu, 23 May 1996 13:48:34 GMT
Organization: AOL Truth Squad

theonlytim@aol.com (TheOnlyTim) wrote:

>Give it a break there. You know that AOL has to make money. AOL is $9.95
>a month with 5 million members, that adds up to what??? A whole damn lot
>if you ask me. Plus how many members stey on for just the 5 hours? The
>10 free hours don't hurt them that much. Just goes to show that you are a
>fool, and that the stock market scares easy.
>Timothy Barbeisch

If you're not using a fixed-pitch font, you might want to turn it on:

From the AOL press releases:

| Quarter    |  Revenues   | Members   | Profits/(loss) | Employees |
| Oct/Dec 93 |  24,531,000 |   531,000 |       70,000   |           |
| Jan/Mar 94 |             |           |                |           |
| Apr/Jun 94 |  40,423,000 |~1,000,000 |      905,000   |           |
|     FY  94 | 115,722,000 |           |    2,550,000   |           |
| Jul/Sep 94 |  56,936,000 |~1,000,000 |    1,481,000   |    500    |
| Oct/Dec 94 |  73,998,000 | 1,578,000 |  (38,981,000)  |           |
| Jan/Mar 95 | 109,104,000 |           |   (3,296,000)  |           |
| Apr/Jun 95 | 151,855,000 |~3,000,000 |    7,369,000   |           |
|    FY   95 | 394,290,000 |           |  (33,647,000)  |           |
| Jul/Sep 95 | 197,865,000 | 3,714,000 |   10,262,000   |           |
| Oct/Dec 95 | 249,094,000 | 4,592,000 |   10,590,000   |  4,000    |
| Jan/mar 95 | 312,340,000 | 5,500,000 |   15,127,000   |  5,000    |

(missing data is because I don't have the press releases for that period)

What I see is a total since July 1st, 1994 of:

$1,269,311,000  in Revenue
     4,882,000  In Net After tax profit

(4 million looks pretty puny compared to those advertising costs which haven't been written off yet)

So how high -will- AOL bounce?

Art Stone
Purveyor of fine Tulip Bulbs since 1634 AD

From: KenW@sojourn.com (Ken Williams)
Newsgroups: alt.aol-sucks,alt.eff.org,alt.online-service,aol.newsgroups.misc
Subject: AOL - Poet expresses feelings about AOL censorship
Date: Thu, 23 May 1996 16:51:57 GMT
Organization: Tuxedos for Penguins International

Found at <http://www.motley-focus.com/~timber/aol.html>

Date: Thu, Jan 4, 1996 10:28 AM CST
Subj: Poet Rebel: Post - Silence - "Original Poetry" Folder
To: Poet Rebel

Hi Trina -

I have removed the following post from the above library.
Our policy here at The Zetigeist is not to accept posts that
discuss the goings on on other bulletin boards or from other
information providers.

If you wish to repost the poem portion of this post, please feel free to do so.

Afterwards Host

Subj: Silence
Date: 96-01-04 01:55:02 EST
From: Poet Rebel
Posted on: America Online


I cannot hear the wind today.
No cricket sings sweet melodies.
Birds are silent in the trees.
The reeds are quiet bent.
I feel cement beneath my feet,
wait patiently for an echo
that never comes.
Children do not laugh or call
as they play.
Traffic passes
without a screech, honk
or motorized hum.

At the cafe on the corner,
the band's vibrations
jar my bones
in silent air.
I want a particular song --
feeling it will be enough --
but the ink of my note fades;
I have no way to ask for it.

The waitress looks expectant,
lips never part.
My mouth moves
issuing mute words.
I must point to my choice, but
pages have been torn from my book.

Fireworks light the sky,
no familiar bang follows,
and I wonder who
celebrates this deaf world?

Soundless sobs wrack my chest.
I would give anything
for a bit of noise ....
the chirp of a cricket,
serenade of a bird,
laughter of children, or
at least,
the words to make it happen.

(c) 1995 Trina

Please, don't let this happen to our world. A folder has been started in The Writer's Club (keyword: Writers, click on message boards, list topics, The Poetry Corner.) The folder, WWIII, is there. It is an ongoing discussion/debate regarding freedom of speech and AOL's TOS policies. We have formed the Creative Coalition on AOL (CCA) to request that AOL provide a TOS-free area for artists to post their works. This area, we are requesting, will be under Parental Control so parents can block children from entering if they wish.

I am inviting you all to join CCA and/or to enter the debate in WWIII. For information or to join CCA, please e-mail me or CCA MEM. Please, don't let this world become a silent one.

Trina Stolec
KenW@sojourn.com       Speed kills.  Switch to Windows95 and save lives!
Igloo@eskimo.com                   Finger for PGP Public Key

From: ABBAfan@hayburn.com (Gary Kirchherr)
Newsgroups: alt.aol-sucks,alt.aol.rejects
Subject: CI$, Prodigy move to WWW - why not AOL?
Date: Wed, 22 May 1996 23:16:39 -0400
Organization: Springfield Nuclear Power Plant

For those who missed it, CompuServe said Tuesday it's going to dump it's traditional format to embrace the WWW. Prodigy already has said it's going to be an Internet service, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Now analysts are wondering how long AOL can remain a proprietary service, the Tribune said.

To quote Paul Saffo, an analyst with the Institute for the Future in Menlo Park, Calif., in the Tribune: "The real question is why AOL keeps kidding itself that the old model makes sense. The old model is eroding without a doubt. The Web is the way the world is going, and anyone who doesn't do that is going to be increasingly marginalized."

Another analyst predicted AOL would last another 12 to 18 months as is before it too moved to the Web.


Who _is_ this guy? Find out at http://www.hayburn.com/~abbafan/

From: BFaulk@ix.netcom.com (Bob Faulkner)
Newsgroups: alt.aol-sucks
Subject: Beavis and Butt-head plug AOL
Date: 21 May 1996 11:00:36 GMT

It's hard for me to be creative at 5:40 AM, but here goes...

Beavis: What's this crap? Something from A....America On...um...America Online.

Butt-head: Huh huh. You said "on".

Beavis: Yeah. Heh Heh m heh. Let's play it. Where's the CD player?

Butt-head: Over there, dude, under the nachos.

Beavis: Oh, yeah. Here we go...(opening the CD door)

Butt-head: This music sucks!

Beavis: I think it's pretty cool. It, like, doesn't have any words or anything.

Butt-head: (reading package) Uh, words...words...hey, asswipe, you're supposed to have a computer or something to use this.

Beavis: Heh heh m heh. You said "com". And then you said "puter".

Butt-head: Huh huh huh! Let's take it over to Stewart's house. He's one of those dorks who uses, like, a rat with his computer or something. He likes stuff that sucks.

Beavis: Yeah. Hey, Butt-head, this package would, like, be useful for, like, if you had to take a dump and didn't have any TP...

Butt-head: Don't be a dillhole, Beavis. It would, like, scrape your bunghole and stuff.

Beavis: Oh, yeah. This is, like, complicated and stuff.

Butt-head: Yeah. Screw this. Let's just use it for a frisbee. Maybe Anderson's dog would, like, chase it and get hit by a car or something.

Beavis: That would RULE! There would be, like, blood and dog guts everywhere, and it might squeeze some turds out or something.

(Well, what do you expect at this early hour?)

Bob Faulkner***BFaulk@ix.netcom.com
Ex-AOL user since 3/17/96

From: C.J.@worldnet.att.net (C.J.)
Newsgroups: alt.aol-sucks
Subject: Re: More Bisk poetry
Date: Sat, 18 May 1996 03:50:32 GMT
Organization: Dead Bisk Poets Society

johngalt@primenet.com (JG) wrote:

>posterkid@mammoth.valleynet.com (posterkid) wrote:

>>Richard Cretan (herriman@cris.com) wrote:
>>: ckern@mail.nitco.com (Mr. K) wrote:


Although some may not think it approrpiate, I feel that it is necessary to re-post the original author's classical poem that has inspired so many to attempt this particular style of poetry.

Subject: Aol is sucks!!!!!what you can do with ther cd rom bisk
From: saunders@rio.com (saunders)
Date: 1996/04/27
Newsgroups: alt.aol-Sucks

cost to mutch
it suck
no good
send to many disk.
Me and my friends took a bisk and lit it on fire and froze it
slamed it angaisnt the boor.

The related string of "Bisk" [David Kendrick] continues to enlighten the uninitiated to this authors writing styles.

Let us continue to expand on this unique authors style .

"Let no Bisk be sold before it's time...""

From: posterkid@mammoth.valleynet.com (posterkid)
Newsgroups: alt.aol-sucks
Subject: Re: More Bisk poetry
Date: 19 May 1996 03:29:14 GMT
Organization: what is this field for?

JG (johngalt@primenet.com) wrote:
: posterkid@mammoth.valleynet.com (posterkid) wrote:

: >Richard Cretan (herriman@cris.com) wrote:
: >: ckern@mail.nitco.com (Mr. K) wrote:


: Okay, I'll give it a try.

: maleman cums
: hands me bisks
: thinks i'ze dum
: me no's da risks
: now bisk in drive
: youze gots male
: and hours, five

: chatrums kewl
: me found nice gurl
: ech, she hung lik mule
: me now go hurl
: hey,newzgrups, what to do?
: naked pics of gurlz?
: send me tooooo!


<holding lighter in the air>

I'd encourage you even more, but I feel the groove building inside me...

"smellz liek bisk spirit"

lode up on bisks and detonate the sun
aol is fludding every1
i'm reely bored and eye want gifz
of little kidz and there armpits

oh no oh no oh no steve-o
oh no oh no oh no steve-o
oh no oh no oh no steve-o

with aol on
my CUMputer
i feelz like
i been neutered
whacking off and
tradeing porno
posting binareez
liek a lamo

ted leonsis
jpg filez
elite warez and
porno too


i'm bad at speeling
and grammer too
but eether way
i will flam u
i'm getingg hard
cuz your a minor
but tos comes
oh what a whiner

(repeet chrus)

makes me so kewl
i fake kredit kardz
and start to drool
my mommy sez
get a girl
but i'm just fine
writing for internet world

  *         opinions expressed herein are not necessarily my own         *
  *         unsolicited commercial email is immediately reported         *
  *                    http://www.valleynet.com/~posterkid               *

From: herriman@cris.com (Richard Cretan)
Newsgroups: alt.aol-sucks
Subject: Re: L.A. Times story on AOL phishers
Date: Thu, 16 May 1996 03:25:17 GMT
Organization: Concentric Internet Services
BFaulk@ix.netcom.com (Bob Faulkner) wrote:

>In article <4n9ipk$eii@tribune.concentric.net>, herriman@cris.com says...

>>-- The reorganized thought police... TOS is out. Community Action
>>Team (CAT) is in. This is as dopey a name as any committee could come
>>up with: it's sort of a cross between Case's favorite theme
>>(community!) and The A Team. I picture toy action figures. 'Hey, he
>>said a naughty word! Everybody get into the hovercraft and let's go!'
>Community? Which community is Case referring to? Just a small squad of Vienna
>vigilantes equipped with a copy of "King Steve's Words You Must Never Use on

Case is crazy for community. His monthly missives never fail to mention it. He's like Julie on "The Love Boat." Everybody ok? Everybody playing shuffle board later? Met the partner of your dreams yet?

By encouraging this ersatz sense of community, AOL hooks 'em in. True, some communities require membership fees (the country club, the NRA) and nearly all communities enforce standards of behavior. But then, you participate in such communities. What do the AOLers have to bind them? The AOL server in Vienna? The closest thing to community, for them, is chat rooms. But the problem with chat rooms is that your pals might be out in the real world. No problem! AOL's stalking software, the hilariously misnamed Buddy System, can alert you to when they're online.

From: VxG
Newsgroups: alt.aol-sucks
Subject: Re: L.A. Times story on AOL phishers
Date: Wed, 15 May 1996 23:49:18 -0400
Organization: SoVerNet, Inc.

Richard Cretan wrote:

> Case is crazy for community. His monthly missives never fail to
> mention it. He's like Julie on "The Love Boat." Everybody ok?
> Everybody playing shuffle board later? Met the partner of your dreams
> yet?

I never realized it before, but that's just what my high school's headmaster is like. We have a weekly assembly, and at each one, he has a speech to say. He never fails to mention community. In fact, school in general is like AOL: I just want to go there and get an education, but instead I'm preached to about getting my 50 hours of community service in (yes, it's a requirement), coming to *every* unnecessary class, actually doing what the teacher tells me to do in class, and so on. On AOL, I just want to use it to get and contribute information, but instead I'm bombarded by time-consuming graphics, censorship, and pesky, nosy Guides reminding me that "children may be in here :O ", etc., etc. In summary, public schools suck for the same reasons AOL sucks, and vice versa.

- VxG

From: wannadie@aol.com (Wanna Die)
Newsgroups: alt.aol-sucks
Subject: AOL Scams Customers
Date: 11 May 1996 01:37:47 -0400
Organization: America Online, Inc. (1-800-827-6364)
AOL Tricks Their Costumers

What bullshit. I got this information from Sales and Services.
There was a special promotion sent to selective customers with a Scratch-Off card indicating that they could win free time on America Online. If the customer matched any 2 amounts of time on the scratch-off card, they could win 10 free hours. (Every card wins 10 free hours) The 10 free hours are not additional free time, but the normal trial offer for America Online. The promotion was designed to make the customer think they are getting a special deal when they sign onto the service because they won the 10 free hours on the scratch-off card.

March 1, 1996 America Onlines trial offer was changed to 15 free hours. Customers inquiring about the scratch off promotion should be informed that they can take advantage of 10 free hours by signing on with the supplied registration number and password. If they would like to receive 15 free hours, you must assign the member a new registration number and password and cancel the Scratch-Off registration information.

Transmitted: 3/12/96 3:24 PM

- ]V[ad ]V[isery


From: don stolz
Newsgroups: alt.aol-sucks
Subject: AOL NEW MARKETING SCHEME Check this out
Date: 11 May 1996 16:46:43 GMT
Organization: LDS iAmerica

I worked for Toys r us within a couple of weeks TRU will be giving R-treats which is something like a happy meal except it will have candy hi-c drink which they are giving away for free for children,well i was looking inside in the R-treat box it had an AOL disk inside encourgaging kids to get their parents to get online and saying it's the best family service (Joke) With all these perverts and pw fishers that are on there. it makes me sick to see aol disks inside of them. it makes me want to take every disk out and throw them away. anyone got any comments about this???

From: herriman@cris.com (Richard Cretan)
Newsgroups: alt.aol-sucks
Subject: You Will Not Sign Off: AOL's Multimedia Online Magazine
Date: Wed, 08 May 1996 16:56:14 GMT
Organization: Concentric Internet Services

: "If I happen to have two free hours left from the previous month,
: do I retain them along with my five free hours for the next month?"
: -- No Name Given

: "Nice try, but unfortunately: No. BTW, how could you possibly have
: time left over when there's so much to do?"
Multimedia Online. Letters to the Editors. Volume 2, Issue 2


The point to start reading Multimedia Online, the AOL magazine, is on page 12.

Skip the visionary ramblings of President Ted Leonsis. Metaphorically speaking, AOL's techno-prophet has been on a tear lately. Last February, he was seen in an interview with Digital Media talking about the Bronze, Iron, Silver and Golden Ages of the online industry. Dusting off after this archeological dig, he told C|Net in April that AOL had to create a "new religion." Now he jetpacks forth in the newest Multimedia Online: "We're working with the future *today*." In three months of public statements, that's more than 3,000 years. Leonsis's vision is evolving so fast that, by summer, he will be telling us to climb into the space ark with him.

That's why you must turn to page 12, where it's all said more succinctly. The key to understanding Multimedia Online is right here. In a corner of the Letters column, an unnamed AOLer has a question. No Name Given wants to know if unused time carries over to the next month. Nice try, amigo. But get with the evolutionary program. And anyway, what's your excuse for not using your whole five hours?

AOL is the nicotine of the Internet. A few drags here and there won't do. It wants you *on* it. The purpose of The America Online Guide To Multimedia Online ($4.95) is to make sure that you understand the ideal state of this relationship. It is beyond being addictive, or merely codependent, enabling, or self-defeating. None of the popular buzzwords used to mortify us out of unhealthy attachments can do it justice. AOL simply wants to be a part of everything you are. It has umbilical aspirations. If it could, AOL would weave itself into your genetic code.

One persistent theme in the magazine is, naturally, chat. Chat is to AOL as gold is to Scrooge McDuck. There can never be enough to wallow in:

: Watching the soaps is only half the fun -- dish the dirt before, during
: and afterward in the special chat rooms created for each show. (Page 10)

: Oops! We almost forgot. Check out the chat rooms for lots of
: surprises as well.
(Page 18)

: If you're a mom looking for good company and lively, intelligent
: discussion...Moms Online is the place to go!
(Page 73)

: Chatterspace is where the action is.
(Page 93)

: Can't sleep? Try out this all-night neighborhood hang-out created
: exclusively for AOL members.
(Page 89)

The last is a blurb for "Insomniacs Asylum," where the sleepless can "meet fellow insomniacs." Is it a good idea for insomniacs to stay up chatting? Why bother asking? To fit the experience even more closely to their neuroses, AOL's content provider, Warner Bros., had its marketing staff conduct online surveys over several weeks with users who were on AOL from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. Then it created the Asylum to put them in.

At $2.95 per hour, all that chat may end up costing users a bundle. You wouldn't know this from reading "The Art of Chat," the magazine's breezy three-page look at online gabbing. Its advice for up-and-coming jawbones ranges from the banal ("Instant messaging is a good way to talk, one-on-one") to the insipid ("Chat is immediate. Chat is *now*"). Its surface message is etiquette. The subtext is more, more, more. Belly up to the People Connection, and have a few IMs.

Yet not all is hunky dory, as the article admits. When reality intrudes, the author has an AOLish solution -- punish.

: ...the fact is that some rooms can become a free-for-all, where
: manners are jettisoned for no apparent reason. Chatwatchers
: advise that in such a situation, the best action is to leave -- but
: not before reporting the infractions.
(Page 95)

Manners. Infractions. At $2.95 an hour, apparently, you should demand to be called Hung4U, Esq. The only glancing reference to expense anywhere in Multimedia Online has nothing to do with chatting. In fact, it isn't even from AOL. It's an ad from the modem manufacturer, Cardinal, which has bought pages 20-21 to advertise its 28.8 model under the banner, "Talk Is Cheap!" Would that it were: we could all join AOL, adopt goofy screen names, and meet after midnight in the Insomniac's Asylum. Or in Mom's Online. Or in People Connection. Or in one of the more colorful private rooms that the magazine fails to mention...

What one finds reading Multimedia Online is an advertisement for a lifestyle -- the AOL lifestyle. In sensibility, it resembles nothing so much as a TV sitcom: the locales are spotlight-bright, the people boundlessly happy, the laughtrack always crackling. Allow AOL to be the interior decorator of your mind, the magazine is saying. What furnishings: a few World Wrestling Federation "stats" here, a little "late breaking news" from Soap Opera Digest there.

And speaking of news, AOL now fancies itself a bastion of journalism. "The AOL Newsroom," says the headline on page 50, "is Alive and Clicking." After the positronic brain of Ted Leonsis, the AOL "news team" may be the most overrated segment of the service. The article's subhead teases:


Well, yes. I didn't know. And yes, I imagine all they do is throw the wire reports online. So where's my surprise?

: The AOL News team does not write the news. When you've got the top
: news services, dailies, magazines, networks and Web links at your
: fingertips, writing another report would be redundant.

Surprisingly enough, the team is there to "organize, highlight and set up pointers to the items they know members should not miss and to display it in a clear and informative manner." As opposed to a muddied and non-informative manner? This makes them glorified wire editors, in my book; and as someone who used to edit the A.P. wire in between writing editorials and editing stories, I assure those who aren't journalists that it is a no-brainer. News comes. You pick the articles you want. Sometimes you shorten them. Ho hum.

It's this inflated sense of worth that makes Multimedia Online always seem to be straining for meaning. The magazine's cover story, for example, is about selecting a college or university. (An interesting indicator, perhaps, of AOL user demographics.) Now, it might be hard for some. Yet who possibly needs AOL for this? It's not as if the prospective student isn't bombarded with info through school, college fairs, and institutions angling for tuition dollars. And even if going online could help, the information is already on the Net. Can someone who's college material really be incapable of doing a Web search?

To a somewhat lesser extent, the same criticism can be made of the article, "Online Banking With AOL." The merits of online banking remain to be seen; you can simply call your bank for money transfers, after all. One benefit of AOL's partnership with Quicken is that users will be able to pay bills and download account statements. Why, then, is the magazine setting up a straw dog to hype its forthcoming service?

: It's twenty minutes to 6 p.m. and you've just realized you forgot to go
: to the bank to cover that overdrawn check! You leap into your car,
: turn the ignition key, and start racing to your friendly neighborhood
: bank. "Come on, come on," you say to nobody in particular as you...
: ...feel your heart pounding in your chest... ...reach the bank
: with one minute to spare, park your car illegally and run to the front
: door, out of breath and drenched in sweat. You pound madly on the
: locked door. Sound familiar?

Am I supposed to be insane? No, it doesn't sound familiar. (But I do identify with that part about my heart being in my chest when it pounds.) These scare tactics have nothing to do with reality. Instead, they're consistent with AOL's strategy of becoming omnipresent in its users's lives -- a sort of inverse planned obsolescence, in which they need AOL for any and everything. Even the things that make no difference at all: if, at twenty minutes to 6 p.m., I don't have enough money in my account to cover an overdrawn check, going online isn't going to help one iota.

There are other oddities in Multimedia Online too numerous to mention. Why is the tantalizingly bare midriff of Ally, a character on the soap The City, shown twice in the magazine? (Hint: go get her GIF at Keyword: ABC Soaps.) Why has the editorial and advertising been laid out so that it's virtually impossible to distinguish one from the other? (Hint: we're all friends here.) Why are the censors called "the folks from TOS"? (Hint: censors are folks, too.) And why do I need to know that Jim and Ellen met in the Flirts Nook, spent two years chatting online, and finally got hitched at the Chapel of Bells in Las Vegas last year? (Hint: If I study "The Art of Chat" and go on AOL enough, there could be a Vegas wedding in my future.)

After perusing AOL's advertorial, I began to understand Ted Leonsis better. In the end, he really is a seer. He programs and purveys; the masses buy it up. Today, six million. Tomorrow, ten million. And why shouldn't he? Juvenal said in The Satires that with all the hacks and phonies wailing their bad verse on the street corners, an aspiring poet might as well go out and add to the din. In 1996, no one gives a damn about literature any more, but TV and its bastard son, "online media," are doing well, thank you. Move over, Aaron Spelling, and make room for the new poet laureate of schlock.

Richard Cretan

From: David Pinero
Newsgroups: alt.aol-sucks,alt.internet.media-coverage
Subject: Re: You Will Not Sign Off: AOL's Multimedia Online Magazine
Date: Thu, 9 May 1996 00:11:08 -0400
Organization: University of South Florida

I enjoyed the review of AOL's latest Multimedia Online. It was a fair assessemnet of AOL's delusional grandeour.

What I might add to all that is the fact the some of the advertisers in MMO are some of the cheeziest, most computer-unrelated sucker-ads I have ever seen (not quite as bad as those found in Psychology Today where you can become a "Doctor of Metaphysics"--but certainly on their way).

It looks like from now on when direct advertisers need a good sucker-audience, they're going to look to AOL and its MMO. Heck, it's a segment of the world population that is *obviously* naive and simple.

       David Pinero - Criminology Major - University of South Florida
  My home page features: The Public Client, The Amazing Unpack, and Murder.

From: mgscheue@io.com (Mark G. Scheuern)
Newsgroups: alt.aol-sucks
Subject: more AOL hypocrisy
Date: 27 Apr 1996 15:22:40 -0500
Organization: Illuminati Online

The Internet Connection web page features the "IC Hilites Community", where subscribers to AOL's IC Hilites mailing list can submit their own personal URLs to be added to the Community page (http://members.aol.com/ichilites/subsites.html). It comes with the warning "Note: IC Hilites will not link to pages that may contain AOL TOS violations, copyright violations, or any material that may not be suitable for all audiences." Clearly these rules do not apply to their own employees, as AOL's Employees Page (http://www.aol.com/community/employees/) contains a link to the Internet Connection Producer Catherine Buzzell's web page, which features "Barton's Sex Tips" and "Barton's Gynecological Adventures". Yet another example of selective enforcement at AOL.


From: reptile@primenet.com (Mike)
Newsgroups: alt.aol-sucks
Subject: Re: >>>>> AOL HACKER EPIDEMIC??? <<<<<
Date: Mon, 27 Nov 1995 17:57:44 MST
Organization: Primenet

In article <49eskk$e8g@ixnews6.ix.netcom.com> knurt@ix.netcom.com (Knurt@ix.netcom.com ) writes:

>In <49dufc$70s@newsbf02.news.aol.com> andrewwelc@aol.com (AndrewWelc)
>>: Source says that AOL is being overrun by a hacker epidemic.

If AOL is being hacked, that's the cure, not the disease.

From: destiny@crl.com (David Cassel)
Newsgroups: alt.internet.media-coverage,alt.aol-sucks
Subject: Re: Internet World May: Editor's Notes
Date: 20 Apr 1996 22:11:32 -0700

David Cassel (destiny@crl.com) wrote:
: : The Net Answer Man (that's me) keeps getting mail from AOL users like "I
: : can't see this on a page. What should I do?" And the powers that be won't
: : let me respond "Leave." I'm working on wearing them down.

: Who are these "powers that be", Andrew?

Shortly after 1 am EST Sunday, I received the following response from Andrew Kantor:

(My News feed is a bit slow, so your message hasn't arrived there. Feel free to post this.)

The "powers that be" wouldn't like any blatent blast of any company or product, no matter how bad they get, and that's a good policy in general. I'm sure they wouldn't mind my saying "You should strongly consider switching providers," but 'tone it down and keep it professional' is the general rule.

But you can read between the lines.



From: flipper@star.net (Ken Harding)
Newsgroups: alt.aol-sucks
Subject: AOL censorship
Date: Fri, 19 Apr 1996 01:32:27 GMT
Organization: StarNet

Personally.I have had enough of AOL censorship.I find it stifling.My posts that were not chipper enough or were critical of anyone were deleted from thier message boards...the morons even threatened people with TOS violations.AOL is too lame for me so I'm dropping my account.It's not worth it for the few things I use it for. AOL is a prome example of what happens when you limit free speech in the name of making it safe for the kiddies,etc...It's message boards are boring...the chat rooms resemble a morgue and the whole damned thing is just too candy coated.

The sickening thing too is that the US government is attempting to make the whole internet into a big lame AOL with it's communications decency act.I find that even though a lot of offensive crap gets onto the net there is a hell of a lot more interesting/stimulating info on the internet because of the freedom allowed. Freedom of speech is sacred to any true american or liberty loving person throughout the world.I shudder to think what these politicians are willing to do to get a few votes of contributions.They press the "but it's a danger to your children" button and play people like a violin.If you are worried about what your kid sees then monitor them or keep them off the net all together....that is a parent's responsibility...not mine or uncle sam's...

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