MERGERS AND AGGLOMERATIONS

Bob Hendel: “The link in a column you had last month about the AOL/Time merger didn’t work and I’d really like to read your comments on The Day They Couldn’t Fill the Fortune 500. Could you fix that?”

Oops. Fixed..

LDL ALERT

Rob Schoen: “You write one measly of your wittiest columns in months about cheeseburgers, and somebody has to remind you about a coronary bypass? What’s this world coming to? Oh, the fat! Oh, the calories! Oh, the cholesterol! . . . Oh, shut up!”

FREE MONEY!

Brooks Hilliard: “Regarding free cash, check out: Signupmoney.com. It lists all the sites that offer cash to sign up as well as other offers. Includes all those on Gomez (which is also a great site).”

And don’t forget to get your free $20 by opening a free bank account at X.com. (I get $10 if you do, or did until I reached the $1,000 limit — thanks.) As crazy Internet promotions go, this one’s not so crazy. X.com is potentially a very efficient financial institution — no bricks, no mortar, no Superbowl ads. If it costs them $30 to open an account . . . $20 to you and $10 to the referrer . . . that’s $30 million for 1 million customers. Less than the cost of a nicely outfitted corporate jet. Hmmm, let’s see: we can buy the jet or we can have 1 million new customers. Tough choice.

YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH

I caught the last hour of Tom Cruise / Jack Nicholson’s A Few Good Men on TV last night. With a really good movie, I tend to stay somewhat transfixed at the end, watching the credits roll. Did you know who the “key grip” was on A Few Good Men? Jeffrey Kluttz. (And I’m here to tell you that, to my untrained eye, at least, he did a great job.)

QUICKBROWSE SENSIBILITIES

A friend: “I read recently that you are a financial backer in Quickbrowse. This is an excellent service. One suggestion. Some may find the Quickbrowse channel button labeled Gays/Lesbians offensive. May I suggest, that you and Quickbrowse consider the more politically correct non-offensive button title of ‘Lifestyles.’ I am certain that certain groups would refuse to use Quickbrowse otherwise. What do you think?”

I think they should find a different service. Not to be insensitive to their concerns, any more than in 1958 I would have wanted to offend white patrons by allowing black ones in my restaurant, but c’mon — this is America. Also, as a practical matter, “hiding” it this way could lead them to be outraged when they accidentally clicked on it and discovered what it is. But I appreciate your thoughts, which obviously come from a good place. I just think there’s no way around it. Progress carries with it a certain amount of discomfort — and then it becomes pretty much ho-hum.

 

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