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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

VIEW FROM AMERICA: AOL Could Be Eyeing A Merger With God




To: My New Friends at Time Warner.


From: Steve Case, CEO, America Online.


Looking out my window, I notice that it's an unusually gray, dreary, ugly January day. This shows that our work is unfinished. Sure, we've pulled off what may be the most important merger in human history since Adam chatted up Eve. Sure, we're well on our way to putting under a single corporate shingle the entirety of human communication, from Sports Illustrated to CNN to "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" to AOL Instant Messaging to random human noises such as the sneeze and the hiccup. But is that enough? Look outside: We still don't control the weather.


I smell an incredible opportunity here. I don't see drizzle; I see potential revenue. I am proposing that we capitalize on our momentum and seek a strong strategic position in the planning, operation, modification and at times aggressive manipulation of the Earth's climate.


No longer should our response to the weather be the use of that most primitive of technologies, the umbrella. Is this too ambitious, you ask? Not if we proceed incrementally. I believe we start by trying to get a piece of the action in the realm of precipitation. And not just rain - also mist and fog. We will give new meaning to the words "corporate umbrella." We need to have the vision to understand that starting from the "ground up" means, in this case, focusing on the origin of clouds.


Hurricanes, typhoons and tornadoes could be problematic. They have negative associations that create a hazard in terms of public relations.


Fortunately, we can control some of these negative associations through careful monitoring of content on CNN, the WB network and the various other networks that we'll own eventually. In a total disaster involving hundreds or thousands of casualties, we can initiate the TBS Contingency, in which we flood every network and cable station with reruns of "Starsky & Hutch."


The technical obstacles in controlling the weather are not trivial, but we should believe in ourselves. Our lawyers have already registered the term You've Got Weather!


Speaking of legal concerns: There may be a potential conflict with the current operator of weather-related events. I have asked my representatives to put out feelers among leaders of the world's major religions about bringing this whole weather business into the secular arena. We're prepared to offer incredible stock options and even a lovely reference in the very name of our company. Yes, we're prepared to go with AOL Time Warner God Inc. The ultimate merger! I'm confident we can work out the sacrilege issues.


Joel Achenbach is a columnist with The Washington Post, where this initially appeared.