Have Yourself an Ambivalent Little Christmas


The Golden Age of Spam

Will the Real Renaissance Please Stand Up?

My Life of Crime

My Life of Crime, Pt. 2: The War of the Dandelions

Black (and Blue) Friday

Going Home

How Not to Celebrate a Holiday

Traffic Report Fall Down
and Go Boom

O, Holy Weekend

You Mean My Vote Actually Means Something?

Side Disorders

Lessons for Hurricane Preparedness as Taught By Example in Raleigh, North Carolina

You Mean My Vote Actually Means Something?, Pt. 2: Are They Gone Yet?

The Last Reality Show

It Builds Character

Sink the Flu

WTF (in C Major)

Intruder Alert

Kneel before Za

I Got Your Breaking News Right Here, Pal

Christmas in July...or April...or maybe even December


Why I Hate "The Little Drummer Boy"

The Golden Age of Spam

My spam has gotten boring lately.

This probably sounds like an odd complaint to you. You don't care if your spam is boring. You just want it to go away. I agree, but I'm not naïve enough to believe that's going to happen. And since it isn't, I figure I may as well at least get a laugh out of it.

That used to be easy. Between the Random misspellings and the sleaziness that just dripped off of the subject headers ("H0nry Russian Teens Taking It In the Babushka!"), it was hard to keep a straight face. It wasn't exactly on par with reading a James Thurber book, but it had its moments.

In a weird way, getting spam for porn sites was an insight into the typical human mind. Well, sort of. Perhaps it would be better to say it was an insight into the typical mind of people so sex-obsessed that they make a career out of filming sex acts and then sending unsolicited e-mail to any address they can get their perverted little hands on. That might not give you as valid an insight into the human psyche as reading the American Journal of Psychology, but it's probably a better source than watching the Jerry Springer Show.

A lot of the revelations were hardly earth-shattering. For example, there was a non-stop barrage of offers to see women of various nationalities performing various sex acts. Okay, so men like exotic women. You could watch a James Bond film and figure that one out. I'm not sure which nationalities got the most attention in James Bond movies (because I don't watch them), but in Spamworld it was definitely Asians. Latinas and Eastern Europeans got plenty of attention, too, but it was nothing compared to Asian women. Actually, they weren't usually called women, or even girls. Most often they were simply "teens". Personally, I think "Asian teen" isn't terribly specific. It could be young women from Lebanon, India, Japan, Siberia, or Singapore. For that matter, it could be young men from any of these places. That "teen" can be used to describe males as well as females seems to have eluded the spammers, or maybe they figured we were too stupid to think of that possibility.

Speaking of "stupid", there was a short period of time when the big draw seemed to be "stupid" women. Seriously. For weeks much of the spam was offering me the opportunity to see women whose main selling point was not their ethnicity, not their body shape, not their age, but rather their IQ. I never figured that one out. I know lots of people who prefer curvy women, thin women, young women, old women, Japanese women, etc. But I've never heard a single guy tell me, "You know what really turns me on? Dumbasses. I just love those stupid women!"

The logistics are kind of confusing, too. I don't know how you recruit women into the porn industry in the first place (I doubt any school is going to let Wicked Pictures set up a booth in the gym on Career Day), but once you've recruited them, how do you screen them to make certain they're stupid? I can't believe the pornwallahs have the time to give women IQ tests. And it's just as well. How devastating must it be to learn you can't go into the career of your choice because you're too smart! "I'm sorry, Katarina...we'd like to hire you for this film because we're really impressed with what you were able to do with that grandfather clock, but we need stupid women and the test shows you've got an IQ of 91, which is a little on the slow slide but not truly stupid."

But being stupid was just a trend. Being a slut, on the other hand, was a perennial favorite. Well, of course it is — no one wants to watch a porn film which consists of the woman announcing she has a headache and the man grabbing a beer and tuning the TV to the White Sox game. I suppose that's why it was never enough to simply advertise that you had movies with sluts in them. That just didn't stand out enough, so instead the e-mail's subject would explain what kind of sluts they had to offer. I don't know if it was that common or just so absurd that I can't blot it out of my memory, but the one that really sticks in my head was the "Asian cum slut". Who came up with that one? That just doesn't sound like a phrase any adult would use under any circumstances — not even the circumstance of trying to convince pathetic losers to check out your porn site. No, the phrase sounds like something you'd hear on South Park. It just sounds childish. In fact, that phrase all by itself is a convincing argument in favor of restricting your child's access to the internet. When I was seven, one of the favored insults among neighborhood kids being "fag" (never mind that the oldest of us was ten and I doubt any of us had the slightest clue what the word meant) because someone's parents had let him watch a movie they shouldn't have. Imagine if the kid had been looking at his dad's e-mail instead. The last thing this country needs is children getting mad at one another and shouting "Leave me alone, you Asian cum slut!"

But that's not truly a concern anymore because, as I said, the spam has gotten boring. Gone is the golden age of spam, when the Asian cum sluts proudly announced in the subject header how much they loved to fukc [sic]. In fact, most of them aren't even about sex at all anymore. I just looked at the last 25 e-mails caught by my spam filter. Only two of them had anything to do with sex, and even those were offers to augment my potency rather than links to pornography websites. Two more wanted to offer me a university degree within two months (I've already got a real one, thank you), and four of them were trying to con me into buying stock. As for the remaining seventeen, I don't even know what they were about. They had random subject lines like "Thanks For The Help" or "Got This Thing", and the actual message seemed to be a random excerpt from some book or article. What the hell? They all had attached GIFs which presumably included the pitch, but I'm not stupid enough to launch attachments in a spam e-mail just to find out what they're peddling. I guess I'll never know what they're about, which means that not only are they not particularly amusing, but they're completely ineffective to boot. What's the point of sending spam if the mark doesn't even see the pitch?

Still, of the spam that is decipherable, sex is only involved in a quarter of it, and half of it involves the stock market. So now our basest instincts revolve around bulls and bears instead of babes and boobs? Wow. I could have watched The Jerry Springer Show for decades and never had that insight.

This page Copyright ©2007 Scott D. Rhodes. All rights reserved