A Love Letter to Spambots
Oh, you spambots. You get more creative every day. Spam is one of the scourges of our technological age, but sometimes I almost have to admire the lengths you’ll go to in order to sell dating services in Poland or illegal prescription drugs.
Now, I’m not talking about all spam. The ones that are straightforward ads — links to search engine optimization plugins and programs that Norton 360 tells me in the gravest of terms not to click on — there’s no artistry there. Anyone can post a link saying “Cheap Prozac!!” It’s the creative ones that I kind of enjoy. I don’t mean, for instance, the comment in response to my recent post about publishing that suggested “jaw loosening” exercises in preparation for activities whose nature I’m sure you can guess. Again, no subtlety. I’m talking about the ones that thank me gravely for the important and useful information that I have conveyed to them in a post talking about how someone should invite Bruce Campbell to the Marine Corps Ball. That, at least, is a nice try, if not actually convincing. (I’d love to pretend that someone really finds that “information” invaluable, but, well, even I am not quite that deluded.)
I particularly enjoy the ones that suggest that they were generated by a computer programmed for random sentence generation in Yugoslavia in 1984. e.g. ” I find the post that you have created has insightful information. What is the primary mistake of biker dating?” It’s hard to know what to say to these. One recent spam ended “And of course, thanks in your sweat!” Uh, you’re welcome? I generally prefer to receive thanks while at least moderately dry, and frankly, “thanks in your sweat” suggests a degree of intimacy that I have to think is inaccurate unless “I’m a sculptor” is a euphemism for “I sell male enhancement products on the internet.” Another read simply “tiger blood?” I like the meditative force of this one, although I find the question unanswerable when applied to a post about steampunk. Are we talking about Charlie Sheen? Are we talking about Chinese medicine? Do we have to look at the electron first to decide which one? The world may never know.
Bring it on, delightful bots. You may never make it past my filter, but I’ll enjoy reading you in the mean time. Maybe if you really bring it I’ll even let a few of you post.