Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The explanation

I think I've always had a kind of love / hate relationship with spam. Hate because, of course, it's invasive, annoying, and ultimately ineffective to the people who are trying to make their millions by selling products people don't want to a public that couldn't begin to care.

And love because...well, because at the very least, you've got to at least kind of respect their dedication and admire their perserverance.

Last year, spam seemed to go through a phase where the composition of the emails seemed to have been outsourced to a company located in Japan, where the employees only had a very, very limited grasp of the english language. These sorts of spam messages were an amazing amount of fun to read, simply for their language mangling qualities.

Here's an example (yes, I kept one of these messages in my junk mail folder, because I love the stuff so much):

Our pills is a foremost fatbinding addendum that moves grease from the foods you eat!
It assistances you grow thin applying a quite various assumption than the spacious majority of diet medical products on the market.

Funny, no?

The broken english spam of last year, though, appears to be currently passe. Sadly, 2006's spam seems to, for the most part, be made up of messages containing jpg images of products and prices. Unfortunately, most spam blockers seem to be onto this, filing messages that contain only an image and no text as "junk mail."

And so more and more junk mail messages are arriving with text preceding the inevitable sales image. And, more and more often, that text is just random gibberish. Kind of like what I quoted yesterday, straight from a spam message.

But there's something appealingly random about the text. It's like the 21st century, marketing-based version of Williams S. Burroughs' cut-up technique. It's random, but if you stare at it long enough, can you find the unintended meaning? Is there a hidden truth that the author was not even remotely aware of?

No, probably not, but it's brilliantly fun to read the stuff anyway.

1 comment:

Ms. Karen said...

Gawd, it reminds me of those exquisite corpse poems they do in high school creative writing classes.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who finds a little bit of poetry in those spam messages.