Monday, June 26, 2006

I’ll address this openly, since the person I’m talking about is still busy yakking it up with interviewers (and, hey, they're calling him, so no one can blame him for responding) and he does not have the time to read a rant from lil’ ol’ me:

Vincent Ferrari: I feel sorry for you, brah.

Not because you tried to cancel your AOL account and were put through what those in the call center-industry may refer to as “stop save Hell.” You got your 15 minutes, yea, maybe close to 20 or 25 minutes, of fame out of this incident. (Almost creeping up to equating the 31 minutes you spent and taped with this glorious PR fiasco for AOL.) Hell, you’re already in the Wikipedia entry on AOL.

And not because you got someone fired (since I suspect that “John” or “Jon” or “the guy using John Doe as a fake name to keep from losing his SSI payments,” whoever he may be, didn’t seem to care at that point about losing his job anyway.) You probably did that now former rep a favor and now he can move on to a call center job where he's under less pressure to fuck with the customer's requests to cancel.

Or, that as time moves on, just before the Establishment Media and the sheep it leads around forgets about you and your story, I also have a gut feeling that you will be smeared by many as an AOL apologist, despite your repeated claims to the contrary. I’d be on the side to give you the benefit of the doubt. Maybe. Regardless, AOL probably would have downsized or outsourced "John's" job sooner or later just like they did at their call centers across the country, announced just this past May.

No, I don’t pity you for any of those reasons.

I feel for you, Mr. Ferrari, because, on all of these nationally broadcast stories and interviews, you had to freely admit that you were an AOL subscriber.

AOL is to Internet Service Providers what is to dating: a handholding, asswiping care attendant for users who should have the adequate amount of brain cells to be able to do most, if not all, of the work on their own. Employing good old-fashioned right-wing iron fist morality, they a have a Terms Of Service agreement somewhat resembling the civil code of Salem, Massachusetts, circa 1692. The average AOL user probably keeps folks like Larry the Cable Guy, Britney Spears and the shareholders and executives at Wal-Mart from ever worrying about where their next meal is coming from. And the bulk mailing of millions of AOL junk mail packs (complete with signup CD- “No Credit Card Required, Brokedicks!”) is the mass marketing practice of the Barnum Theory at its most egregious.

So congratulations, Mr. Ferrari. (Or, like that now-unemployed AOL scapegoat, may I call you “Vince?”) You escaped the AOL net, and for that alone, you should be commended. But, after reading some of your other blog posts, oozing with textbook right-wing whinefests about, for example, the liberal bias of the media (the same media that has gladly pimped your story ad nauseum,) it would seem that AOL and yourself are a match made in Heaven, and one would wonder why you would even bother to cancel your account at all.

Here's the conversation between Vincent Ferrari and "John"

Here's why "John" may have felt so, um, "valued" as an AOL employee