AOL. The King of Junk Mail. And How To Help Fight Back

I've had an AOL account since 1990. At the time, CompuServe was the king of online. Al Gore hadn't taken office and his aspirations of inventing the internet were mere dreams — or visions. Years later AOL has 35 million or so subscribers, including those they acquired when they bought CompuServe.

I've never used my AOL account for email. Never. Yet on the rare occasion when I use AOL — usually when I'm stuck in some hotel lacking broadband so I'm forced to dial up to “connect” to the internet — inevitably that charming gent tells me “You've Got Mail”. AOL claims to have more access numbers worldwide than any other company. And I believe them. Until I found myself jetlagged in a Budapest hotel room spending hours unsuccessfully trying to connect to the internet via AOL.

“You've Got Mail” and Edwards' voice. It's blazoned into American culture for years. Has Tom Hanks regretted doing that movie? Yet today as many people are excited as afraid when they log on and hear the ubiquitous message. Last time I logged on, I had 112 new messages.

I've also received AOL offers of 1025 free hours, in the mail, at my movie theater, in magazines, banner ads — virtually everywhere.

I've NEVER given anyone my AOL email address. Because I just don't use it. Yet how is it I have 112 important messages?

To me, I ignore it. But I wonder about those 34,999,999 other AOL subscribers deal with it. Not only has AOL likely sold its subscribers email addresses. It's polluting the landscape with millions and million of discs.

Finally, someone has stepped up to the plate. They want AOL to stop with the disks. And they're mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. How? They're planning on pulling up to AOL headquarters with a million disks and dumping them on AOL's doorstep. The irony of all this, I learned of this campaign on CNN – whose parent is AOL. I guess it's one to chalk up to fair, accurate and unbiased reporting for AOL/Time Warner.

In the old days of floppy disks those seeking vengeance would simply erase those AOL disks and use them to transfer or store files. Hmmmm. Floppy disks.

Bowling For Columbine.

It's classic Michael Moore. And I'm still thinking about what to say here on the blog. So stay tuned. Meanwhile, it's worth watching. So go see it! It does entertain.