The day Daffy Duck took over the world
First Walt Disney bought out ABC, then Microsoft merged with NBC, and, 4 or 5 months ago, CBS corp. had a regular orgy with Viacom Inc.. Today, proving to the nation that it will not be outdone, AOL, spawning ground for millions of computer illiterate hacks with nothing better to do than send "buddies" Instant Messages containing important text documentation such as "lol" and "hi," is acquiring Time Warner, the world's largest media and entertainment company. At $166,000,000,000; the AOL/Warner merger has become the biggest in corporate history.
What does all this merging mean, other than we'll be hearing that idiot announcing "you've got mail" well into the 21st century? It means that we'll have far fewer news and entertainment resources than we did a mere decade ago. In essence, the news that reaches you will be the news Walt Disney, Microsoft, Viacom and America Online will want you to have within reach.
Not that I'm complaining - what headline could be better than, "you've got mail?" How about, "you've got mail from Bugs Bunny?" Sure, world wars have had their place, but they pale in comparison to the ongoing battle between the original Fantasia and Fantasia 2000. Which one is better? Would you still say that once you've considered the fact that the original had no computer animation? Astute critics on Meet the Press will be debating over this for years!
What if things go sour, and our media leaders aren't all they're cracked up to be, you ask? I answer by asking you if you can find figureheads more important than Mickey Mouse, Bill Gates, The Animaniacs, Daffy Duck and the "you've got mail" guy? Obviously, the answer is "no." No group of people, with possible exceptions made for the Scooby Gang (who are now owned by AOL and Warner, and are said to be on call if George W. Bush needs to have a foreign leader's name revealed to him. "I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for you meddling foreigners!") and Steve Forbes (who is in the process of being purchased by rivals at Walt Disney, who want him to take the place of Goofy as their moronic mascot), have emerged from the 20th century as adequately prepared to take us into the 21st as these animated pranksters are.
These characters have the coveted "moral compass" that lets them know where the country is heading, and why it should be headed there. And, if something incomprehensible were to happen, such as Canada refusing to merge with the United States, or society refusing to agree to the licensing agreement, and mandatory online registration of their first-born child to Microsoft, Bugs Bunny can crack up a worried nation by telling us all that we should have taken a left turn back in Albuquerque.
So, contrary to the typically pessimistic view I would usually take over this sort of rampant corporate consolidation, I have decided to maintain a certain sense of optimism. So what if the White House is currently being bought out by McDonald's? At least we'll have a drive-thru where we can voice our complaints when a poor healthcare system leaves a bad taste in our mouths.
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Copyright 2000 Alex Sandell [All Rights Reserved]. Copy this without my permission, and I'll merge my fist with your soon-to-be-beaten-to-a-pulp face!
That Daffy Duck graphic is copyright Warner Bros, and AOL, I guess.
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