"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 10 February 1998. Updated every WEEKDAY.
Nasty Habits


[they say -what doesn't kill you makes you stronger-i should go into olympic shotput training, im getting so strong.]

A little JonBenet is gazing into

a monitor, an expression of

fright is illuminated on her

tiny innocent face. Fade to

spokesmodel with curdled brow,

perhaps 90210's Ian Ziering, who

already moonlights as host of

Hawaii's Greatest Surfing

Disasters: "I want to tell you

about something horrible,

something made even more

disgusting because it's keeping

a medium afloat: Internet porn."


Microsoft, America Online,

Disney, and the Learning Company

are working on public service

announcements to teach children

how to avoid sexually explicit

Web sites. Much obliged. If the

coming generation of consumers

learns half as much about

erotica as their well-schooled

forerunners now know about

drugs, the next millennium is

going to be HOT!


"Kids, don't think of an

elephant. And whatever you do,

please don't think of an

elephant spraying the juice from

its long muscular trunk onto the

nude bodies of sun-tanned

Scandinavian teenagers." As if

the people who raise our kids -

schoolteachers - aren't having

enough trouble keeping young

minds from thinking about the

nation's nightly news spam on

the internment of President

Clinton's donkey snout.


[my turn of astonishly bad luck i figure needs to be examined but how do you determine what is out of whack?]

Cue announcer: "A message from

Microsoft, AOL, and Disney. And,

oh yeah, The Learning Company."

(TLC, the heinously mismonikered

maker of a blocking software

called Cyber Patrol, is the

rent-a-cop for this operation.)

It's a hoot to imagine Bill

Gates and Steve Case with

director's berets and

megaphones, trying to convince

the public that the Internet's

appeal isn't in its redundantly

revealing voyeurism. But look

who's lying on the casting

couch! As a country, we need

some new illusions, now that the

old ones have proven too

profitable to protect. From

Minnesota to Florida, Americans

are tired of denying that

smoking causes cancer, and

they're fixing to sue.


Unlike the billionaires at

Microsoft and AOL, who try to

convince their mothers that they

are not actually in the skin

trade, Disney trades in fur,

youth, and gross anatomy, but

never erotically so. Innocence

is worth protecting when it

represents your primary market.

Once caught, you find webs have

sticky points where a predator

can catch you and suck your

bewildered attention. Disney's

is a different web: same kind of

circling, different kind of

kill. Like a Vegas casino,

Disney.com is a chip-based

economy in which exits are hard to

find, but the slots are

comfortable, familiar, and



Without paranoia, the concept of

safety is meaningless, and

Disney.com both feeds that

meaning and creates an insular,

closed system as protection from

it. If the alternative is a

gallery of Polaroid close-ups of

unprotected anal sex, attention

might be paid Disney. Dollars,

too. With Clinton disbursing

Internet subsidies to schools, a

likely scenario emerges: school

PCs, rigged with Cyber Patrol,

routing hits to Microsoft Search

through the AOL network. All

searches positive, every result

Disney, every scene a G-rated

money shot.


PSAs are a great way to rouse

government pork for mouse-eared

hunger, but self-promotion

doesn't count as philanthropy.


[i figure it has to turn soon, and i'll be holding the lottery ticket]

As anyone who's accidentally

stumbled across one of the Net's

wet spots knows, the joke is

that Disney is already the

opt-out of choice for adult

sites. Scrooge should be sending

those people some nickels.

courtesy of DJ Abraham Lincoln