Nothing’s quite so heartening for a writer on deadline as to read a good line on a tired topic: It makes you think there’s hope for your own topic, which is invariably at this point something you used to care about and will again but for the moment only wish you’d never heard of. And so my sincere thanks to Peter Lewis at Fortune declaring, at the end of a reasonably good overview of AOL (yawn) 8: “AOL continues to send its users onto the increasingly speedy information superhighway in brightly colored, beeping golf carts.” Ahh.


Hitler stripped people of their citizenship before sending them to “internment” camps and depriving them of the rights of law. Ashcroft thinks that sounds like a dandy idea. I will give a bright and shiny quarter to the first person who can prove to me conclusively that John Ashcroft, attorney general of the United States, is not an al Qaeda operative attempting to destroy this country from within.

In case you didn’t see this before, by the way, further proof that Texas ought to be sawn off from the mainland and pushed out to sea. (Oh, you’re from Texas? So’s Lyle Lovett. And yet once you read this you’ll agree that y’all’ve got to go. We’ll miss you, or at least some of you, but between this and Dubya I just don’t see how the state can make amends to the 21st century. I’m sure you understand.) Read all three parts: one, two, three.

Random question, as I work on next week’s feature: If Homer, Marge, Bart et al were transmuted into one of those play-virtual-God games, would they call it The SimSimpsons? (And I am truly sorry you had to read that. I may be brewing my coffee too strong again.)