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There is a scene in Good Omens where a demon crawls out of an answering machine and devours a roomful of hapless telemarketers. I love that scene. It's reached the point where I am seriously considering never answering my phone again.

But anyway. An update on one of last week's topics, yes those are real MTV ads. Not only that, but one of them caused a bit of a furor in Boston, since apparently someone thought that a close-up of a girl pushing her tongue down a guy's throat didn't fit the subway's family-friendly image. Perhaps they thought it would scare the tourists.

I just can't get over this. "I'm itchy. Could I have MTV?" How much cocaine do you have to do for this to seem like a good idea? Has MTV's brand penetration dropped to such an extent that any advertising at all will do, as long as the letters are on a billboard somewhere? Everyone I know thinks the channel sucks on toast, but we all know the name. It's been lasered into our brains at this point; mad cow disease couldn't eradicate it.

It's a bit saddening, really. I remember when we first got cable, when MTV was still pretty new, this weird, edgy thing that was worth staying up late watching. Now it's like seeing your neighbor's kid who always seemed so polite get hauled away by the cops; you wonder how things came to this rather ugly pass.

Speaking of ugly, you're probably expecting me to have something cogent to say on China (actually, I'm sure you're doing nothing of the sort, but if I can't spout off randomly here, I'm in trouble). Unfortunately, all I can say is that even if everything printed in the US press is incorrect, the Chinese government is still behaving badly, and I hope the entire farce is resolved quickly, since it's already gone on about a week too long.

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© 2000 Rebecca J. Stevenson