During the rebirth of the Microsoft Network in December 1996, Microsoft
introduced a lineup of 22 web shows designed to revolutionize the way people perceive
online entertainment. Unfortunately for MSN, this revolution has been more civil than
global. In less than four months, MSN has gone through two programming seasons,
introducing thirteen new programs and canceling seven.
Although there are hundreds of "unofficial"
Star Trek sites all over the web, MSNs Continuum is the "official" site.
Do you care? Microsoft wants you to. "Official" Star Trek sites dont come
Love rock n roll, but dont enjoy
listening to it, then tune into the silence of "Hard Rock Live." Ironically,
its the only MSN show that doesnt have sound. Hope your favorite band is
Better Than Ezra, because thats your only choice. I guess Id like them if I
knew what they sounded like.
Dont let Mary Harts voice send you into
epileptic fits. Take safe haven with ET Online and learn that after 16 years of
broadcasting journalistic excellence ET actually won an Emmy for "Outstanding
Achievement in News and Documentary Title Sequences." Obviously someone was drunk.
Chat live with all the great supporting actors from
the WB, UPN and Fox networks. If theres a name on the schedule you recognize,
congratulations, youre one up on me.
Are you between the ages 8 and 18 and a pathetic
loner? Or are you a middle-aged pervert seeking to entrap a 13-year-old boy into your den
of iniquity? Whether youre looking for someone on the other side of the world to
form a suicide pact, or in need of child pimping services, MSNs Pen Pals is the
programming of choice.
Get ready to lower your musical knowledge with
the Rifff Arranger - the interactive music composer that randomly creates a tune that
cant be saved. Orchestrate a song just like a professional musician by haphazardly
clicking on a variety of instruments. Why study music construction when you can just click
on stuff with the Rifff Arranger?
Although MSNs Star Trek show is
"official," all advice given in "On Parenting" is completely
unaccredited. Microsofts introductory disclaimer absolves them of any corporate
liability should you choose to implement any of their suggestions. Hey, if Microsoft
doesnt support "On Parenting," why should you?
Who Says a Table of
Contents Has to be Descriptive?
The online womens magazine that redefines the
term "table of contents." Select a quiz on pop culture and it takes you to a
quiz on obsessive compulsive behavior. Very alternative.
Alright, if MSN doesnt have content on this subject
Enjoy the thrill of searching though multiple levels
of directories. Hope you dont have any plans of finding anything specific.
The newspaper with attitude. Given that your
attitude is that of a frosty cone. Why use words in a table of contents when youve
got nonrepresentational icons? Kids today, they dont need to read. Instead, sit back
and flip through MINT at a highly irritating wait time of 20 seconds per page.
Check out the sex advice column for thought-provoking questions
like, "Should I go down on my girlfriend?" Makes you wonder if somebody really
sent these questions in or the "creative types" at MSN thought them up all by
Topical humor delivered through streaming audio. What
could possibly go wrong?
"Last night during the State of the Union Address, the
President said that its
about time. Well
spanking. Id like to see him pardon that."
Combine passive TV viewing with active online use and
youve got Almost TV. Like the pointless drivel so eloquently displayed on MTVs
Yack Live, discuss your favorite television programs in real time with fellow couch
potatoes. Currently on the schedule are Home Improvement(5/6/97), The A-Team(5/10/97)
and Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman(5/17/97). A guaranteed huge success given that users
pencil in a viewing of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman at least one month in advance.
My suggested slogan for MSNs next season:
"So much to see. So little to care about. So little to
© 1997, David Spark