Letting some of it trickle out while trying to soak it all in

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Spam for posterity

Last night Blogger sent me notification of three new comments. "I love an audience," I thought to myself and quickly clicked the links.

Where can the most germs be present in an business office atmosphere? The solution will be the washrooms . . . The greater specifics it is possible to glean the better position ...

Gua Hu wrote in a style allied with the early Chinese instruction manualists, Google translators, and my stats textbook.

It truly is crucial to make sure the footwear that you will be donning are cleanse so as to not produce a large amount of consideration that ... your flip flops to lose form.An additional method may be the usage of an outdated toothbrush as well as a detergent that cleans properly. 

I started to wonder how carefully Mrs. Hu had read the posts since her responses didn't seem totally pertinent. Still I read on.

It is a very good thing on account of the truth that a single does not have to keep on investing on getting new kinds every single at times.Another excellent technique will be the use of beach front sand and salty water. This can be a technique that not everyone is accustomed to nevertheless it operates miracles. Once you scrub the white havaianas using the beach front sand and rinse them with the salt water, you happen to be likely to find out an excellent big

Then it occurred to me that Gua's comments weren't a direct response to my posts at all. It was freestyle poetry inspired by the tone, not the content of my work. The unlikely sentence structure and word choice shook me from  my dead-eyed screen stare and I felt like applauding.

Don't believe the Obamney debates. Spam, not fossil fuel, is our country's greatest under-exploited resource. Every day millions of pages of trash text are generated, containing thousands of evocative metaphors that are effectively anonymous and free for the taking. As Bono says, "Every artist is a cannibal, every poet a thief." Spam is a robbers feast.

The origin of the term Spam is indeed this Monty Python sketch (for real).

There are different flavors in this genre, some more fruitful than others. Some messages are just a link or a single phrase while others draw you into a world where you are the millionaire you've always known you deserved to be. Your Dutch uncle is finally dead, you have a fortune in Japanese Yen, your sexual performance is enhanced naturally, and everybody urgently needs your password since your PayPal account is perpetually compromised. If you get a lot of spam and are feeling vengeful, check out this This American Life episode about scam-baiting, where a couple spammees become the spammers.

Here are a few examples from my "Spam for Posterity" email folder:

Spam type: Terse and mysterious
From: Sir Aben Ahmed
Subject line: Re
Message: Did you receive my last email? 
Comments: Sometimes less is more. A short lie is easier to This one had me looking for old messages.

Spam type: Money request
From: Dr. Sun
Subject line: Urgent help needed
Message: Hello, I'm sorry I didn't inform you about my trip to Madrid Spain. Unfortunately I was mugged at gunpoint, at the hotel park I'm staying. My cell phone, cash and credit card was stolen in the process and I immediately file a report to the Police, but they seems to be taking things too slow. My flight leaves in few hrs from now and I need a quick loan to settle the hotel bills and my transport to the airport. I will reimburse immediately I arrive back home safely. I hope you get this on time and get back to me asap
Comment: I know Dr. Sun and this came from her account. It is unfortunate that she didn't tell me about her trip to Madrid or mention my name in her urgent request.

Spam type: Money offer
From: Mrs Elizabeth Etters
Subject: Dear Friend
Message: Dear Friend I am Mrs Elizabeth Etters, a devoted christian. I have a
foundation/Estate uncompleted {worth sum of USD 2,142,728.00 Dollars} and need
somebody to help me finish it because of my health,Everything is available.

Comment: Like in life, people appealing to your religious sympathies by emphasizing shared religious or cultural beliefs are probably trying to cheat you. Also, "uncompleted" is the stupid way of saying incomplete.

Spam type: Professional development
From: Vladimir A. Kontar
Subject Line: Invitation to be Author of Book
Message: Dear Colleague, We are preparing the book "Imbalance of Water in Nature":
Part 1: What is the Imbalance of Water in Nature?
1.1. The theory of the Imbalance of Water in Nature.
1.2. Creators of the Imbalance of Water in Nature.
1.3. Measurement and modeling for the imbalance of water in nature.
Comment: This message went on and on with specific requirements and polished text, including fake URLs from the American Geophysical Union. I've been surprised by the amount of "we want to publish your research" spam I've received. Just another reminder that they know what you hope for, and what you are insecure about and therefore likely to be gullible about!

I've left Gua's free-association poetry in the comments of Shaggy Manes, Obligatory Presidential Debate Post, and Winter Biking, though I wouldn't recommend clicking on the links therein.

1 comment:

  1. "Nevertheless it operates miracles" is my favorite. That's kind of beautiful.