Remember 1997? The advent of widely available Internet access was going to change the world, promising high-speed educational, cultural and social links that would usher in a new age of telecommuting, global connectivity and cyberservices. OK, so that didn't really happen. Instead, the Internet has become a way to waste our precious time. Through the electronic magic of Flash animation, now you can virtually do anything, from smashing computers to rooting for a dramatic prairie dog to playing with your food.
And, when it comes to playing with your food, why stop at pushing it around on your plate. Typical of these pointless Flash pursuits is an animation that allows you to click on beans and smash them (www.simonpanrucker.com/beans.html). Other beans arrive, horrified, and scream, before you smash them too. It's enough to make Al Gore take back his boast, if you ask us.Michael Jackman is Metro Times copy editor. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org