The Broad in Broadband – 6/30/2000

Why doesn’t the AOL/Time Warner merger qualify as a Y2K glitch? Let me check the ship’s log, but it’s still the year two thousand, i.e., Y2K, isn’t it? Just because all those Y2K troubleshooters, fat with overtime bonuses, have packed up their glitch detecting devices and gone home to their families, doesn’t mean we’re not still having some problems out here.

Luckily as chief civilian officer of the Clinton’s Glitch Blue Ribbon Oversight Committee for the Unreported, I am still on duty, and I intend to remain here in my booth, a former footman in the Toys R. Us/Ikea Mall, for the remainder of the year. Sen. Jesse “The Boil” Helms addressed the UN General Assembly, need I say more?


Now the sun never sets on the AOL/Time Warner Empire. ABC’s twenty-five hour coverage of the dawn of the new millennium, like some global stadium wave, presaged their reach. Talk about your spheres of influence. The enormity of their grasp was of course downplayed by the attention paid to what they were wearing on their wedding day. Steve Case, the groom, a man so busy empire-building he only ever wore a Promisekeeper denim shirt wore a tie in deference to Jerry Levin, the establishment bride, with the diversified if dated dowry, who wore an open necked denimish shirt. It was Gift of the Magi 2000. This cross-dressing was much remarked upon by everyone but Bill Gates who must have seen the merger as Exhibit A in a new appeal of the Microsoft, which is neither, antitrust ruling.Since the TWAOL merger announcement, I’ve had nothing but problems. So many people in my Time-Warner cable quadrant tuned into the premiere of The Sopranos, that lovable dysfunctional Mafia family, as opposed to other unlovable but fully functional Mafia families, that the cable system went down like some drop in water pressure during a Super Bowl half-time flush.

Near-fatal errors have occurred in my e-mail. Someone posing as me broke up with a friend of mine who remains oddly hurt despite my gentle reminders that we never dated. To remedy the problem I had to contact the “AOL Community Action Team.” I have not gotten through yet, in fact, I have written this entire article while on hold. I now know what “the thrill of hope” is that makes the weary world rejoice. It’s when you are on hold, listening to the banal whine of Kenny G. and suddenly it stops. The thrill is in that nanosecond of quiet when you hope that you will finally talk to an actual person, before the hope is dashed by another voice which begins, “Thank you for calling AOL. All our representatives are currently helping other customers.”

Another completely underreported glitch was the rapture that didn’t happen. That was pretty glitchy. Many evangelicals did not lift off wearing their goofy 2000 eyewear as planned. If it were me, I would have been chagrined. Not them. They have the demeanor of the people who come out of airline bathrooms, trailing smoke, alarms shrieking, who face down their fellow travelers with, “What? I don’t smell anything.” I of course was a bit disappointed because their departure would have in many ways made my gay life a lot easier. And it ruined my program of matching homeless families with departing evangelicals who would pass their housekeys off as they were raised up to the rapture.

Although the second coming did not happen, I remain vigilant here at my post. I don’t think we should rule it out yet just because it did not come at the exact click of the new year. He, or better yet, She might come again, sometime in August in Los Angeles at the Republican Convention as George W. W. W.’s running mate. Unless S/He decides to go with Al Gore in July. Or both, She is everywhere, after all. But George W. W. W. claims a more personal relationship. Together, philosopher and smirk boy will work for a kinder, gentler Taliban, the glitchiest glitch of all.

Kate “The Broad in Broadband” Clinton is a humorist.