I wrote earlier about the unlikely story of how I first experimented with AOL. Im surprised to say that I still use it from time to time on a plan which gives me a very small number of dialup access hours. The reason is that now my iBook doesnt seem to work well with any other dialup ISP. I would be tempted to think that this is something that AOL did to my computer, except that I remember that this problem predated the first time that I used AOL. Its probably a hardware problem but because most of the time I use a broadband connection without any problems on my iBook Im reluctant to send it in if its not really urgent.
My first use of AOL coincided with the beginning of the Iraq war. At the time I noticed a real pro-war bias in the way the war news was reported. Its interesting to see how this has changed lately.
Last week, they reprinted Salons article about John Mellencamp and patriotism.
Am I paranoid to wonder if AOL Time Warner decided to pander to the governments dogs of war in the lead up to the execrable FCC decision about media ownership, to show the Republicans in power that big media could be supportive of their interests? And that now the FCC rules have been released, AOL Time Warner can be a little more centrist (definitely not left-wing).
Postscript: Along with the Salon article, AOL had one of their ubiquitous polls. The question was along the lines of Who is more patriotic? a) the Left, b) the Right, c) Neither each side is patriotic but they have different opinions. My recollection of the result was that almost 50% answered C for neither, 40% answered B for the Right and a measly 10% chose A for the Left.
I chose the Neither answer because I do think that many of the Right-wingers genuinely care for their country, even if their methods or goals are misguided. My reading of this poll and be assured that I dont put too much stock in its results is that people on the left are more reasonable and are mature enough to admit that the other side might sometimes have a point, or at least a legitimate concern. Whereas people on the right (I choose not to call them Conservatives because they a radical agenda of tearing up long-standing social supports and threatening civil liberties) are more fanatical and refuse to see any good in their opponents or flaws in themselves. I know, its kind of petty to be fighting over the high moral ground but its still legitimate point. What do you do against an opponent who refuses to play fairly? Do you to stick to your principles and lose (praying that someday the wrongs will be righted) or adopt their rough-handed tactics in the hope of beating them at their own game?