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AOLism: A new religion?

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I have come to the assumption that AOLers live by their own religion. Religions make people do crazy things you wouldn't normally think they would do, and subscribing to AOL is a completely insane thing, so out of this rises the religion of AOLism. Not being a subscriber to any religion, I can't vouch for the effectiveness of AOLism. Nevertheless, if people will handle poisionous snakes for their own religion, they can go to even greater extremes for AOL.

The 10 Commandments of AOL

I am Steve Case, your Lord, thy AOL God, which have brought thee out of the Land of Internet Relay Chat, our of the bondage of CompuServe...

#1 Thou shalt sign onto no alternate servers before me, for I have the technology to mess up all thy credit card accounts and shalt do so.

#2 Thou shalt not take the name of Steve Case, your Lord, thy AOL God, in vain in any chat room - I shalt boot thine ass offline instantly and repeatedly.

#3 Thou shalt pick a price plan, I shalt not honor it, I shalt continue to bill thy account at $2.95 per hour just to really piss thou off.

#4 Remember thy password, for thou shalt sit on hold for all eternity should thou need to phone AOL.

#5 Honor thy TOS, and thy Guide, and thou days shalt be long online until thou's socket shall time out and I shall boot thy ass offline again.

#6 Thou shalt not sign on without multiple attempts, I am thinking an hour or so shall worketh for thee.

#7 Thou shalt not have access to thine buddy list - the Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away.

#8 Thou shalt surf the Web, but thou shall do so ever so slowly, until I boot thine ass offline.

#9 Thou shalt not bear witness against Steve, thy God, with nasty little petitions. I oweth thee nada, I promised thee nada.

#10 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's ISP, nor covet the speed at which thy neighbor signs on, picks up email, surfs the Internet, nor anything thy neighbor can do with his ISP.

Mad Magazine's August issue featured a five-page article offering a devastasting parody of AOL.





A M A D C Y B E R V I S I T T O A M E R I C A O N H O L D


Steve Nutcase, you're the President of America Onhold and --
Wait a sec! Lemme turn the meter on!
You're charging us $2.95 an hour to interview you?!?
No, no -- I'm kidding! I only keep this around as a souvenir of the Good Ol' Days!
Huh? The Good Ol' Days?
Yeah, the Good Ol' Days before December '96 when we had to switch to these flat rates -- all because of some nasty rumor that our subscribers were unhappy paying $2.95 an hour!
Who was spreading a rumor like that?
Probably the couple hundred thousand of 'em quitting the service every month!



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Let's see, you've got plans costing $$4.95 $.9.95, $19.95... Am I leaving anything out?
Nah! I had an idea for a deluxe $39.95 plan, but my lawyers said I'd never get "Double Unlimited Hours" past the consumer fraud watchdogs!



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What's the difference between the Internet and America Onhold?
Well, if the Internet is the "Information Superhighway," we're the "Information One-Lane Dirt Road with a Toll Booth every 200 yards!"



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If that's the case, how does America Onhold get any subscribers at all?!
Because the dopes in charge of the Internet made it so confusing and complicated that the average PC user thinks we're a good deal! Poor Computer-Illiterate Schmucks!



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C'mon, you two -- let's dive into CyberSpace and I'll show you the exciting world of America OnHold!
Geesh! you call this "exciting?"
Absolutely! This loser is paying me $19.95 a month to check a sports score he could get for free by just clicking on a radio! I'm so excited, I'm almost peeing in my pants



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Do you have any problems with hackers, flamers, spammers and other troublemakers?
No problem whatsoever! As long as they pay their $19.95 a month like everyone else!



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Aren't you worried about hackers like Kevin Mitnick, who allegedly stole 20,000 credit card numbers from one of your competitors' databases?
Psssh! My subscribers' card numbers are accessible to someone far more dangerous than him!
You're kidding! who could that be?
ME!!



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That brings up the fact that your billing practices are being investigated by the Federal Government!
Government investigations?! HA! If they couldn't nail the Clintons, they'll never get me!



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What about the class action suit by subscribers claiming that you overcharged them?
I've settled that! Each of the plaintiffs got one free hour of America Onhold!
What a deal! You "give" them something that costs you nothing!--
Plus I get to keep all the money I originally overcharged! Is our legal system the greatest or what?




Excerpts only. Buy the magazine!