Have you seen those incredibly puerile TV commercials from WorldCom's new single-rate phone plan, called ""The Neighborhood"? Referring to the fact that all phone calls made by plan subscribers are covered under flate rate pricing, the commercial dramatically declares that "Finally, all words are equal" as artsy black and white images of Americans of all ages and colors are flashed across the screen, and vaguely patriotic music swells in the background.

Is this what the Darren Stevens and Larry Tates of the world think we want in the aftermath of 9/11? American values turned into really meaningless and garbled advertising pablum?