About my spam folder

Or What do people dream of?

Lately, I have been wandering around the junk file of my mailbox. Mind you, it is by far the most active of all. There’s this interrupted flux of messages, sometimes from the same sender, sometimes even answering some Re: conversation we somehow initiated.

There are, let me stress this, a lot of girls interested in me. I must have received thousands of requests! The first of many questions arises: how many junk mails from “naughty girls“ (The denomination being infinitely declined, from ugly bored housewives to Russian billionaires to, you know, hot piece ass fuck vulva vagina yeah naughty) have I received?

The junk folder is working by itself. It is almost organic in its complete independence from me: the folder receives mails from senders I have never even dreamt of hearing of in my life. The folder digests between one hundred and one thousand mails per day. The folder deletes – by itself! – the mails after a while. How? I don’t know. When? Only it knows!

It may seem a useless consideration, but just think of it: daily, your personal address is sent tens, hundreds, thousands of ads, spamming, phishing, porn and whatnots. It’s like your appendix suddenly decided to deal ketamine behind your back.

Back to the population of horny women hungry after my manhood: the fact that I am a penis-less straight girl (as far as I’m aware of), does not seem to be an issue whatsoever for anyone in the game. Nor for the numerous, numerous ads for penis enhancement I am the target of.

Because that’s what it is about, right? We are targeted. Somehow, spam is the crack whore of publicity, with tons of bad apples in the lot. Beyond the sex mails (being a solid third of the folder), there’s the second part: the phishing world. Phishing is to conning what SPAM™ is to meat! What do we have here…messages from African princes having lottery and/or inheritance issues, the number of which never ceases to surprise me: it’s like everyone is a prince (Which would be one explanation for Africa’s current economic struggle)! The US “federal“ taxes asking me for money because Re:YOUR VERY LATE ON YOU’RE TAXES. I am French.

And don’t start me about the family I have back in the continent, about to die and willing to put me as beneficiary to their will! All those very sick members I have never met, of whom I am every single time the only heiress left… The notaries all make a good point: why would Togo, or Nigeria, get this money their governments obviously don’t need?

Here it is: money, big dicks and women. All in the easiest, sliziest, most accessible way. In badly written mails, which content is so incredibly not credible.

The thing, or at least the first of many threads I’m trying to untangle here, is that if spam exists, it’s because it works. Out of all the billions of people connected on the planet, there are some doofus who get scammed. Otherwise, if the spring were dry, why would spam exist?

Why would people keep on, well, I wouldn’t say writing, doing spam?

Then the second thread: who are the people behind spamming? Is this a thing, like an industry? How much is it worth? Are there, like, kings of the spamming world? How do you get in? How much is there to make? Who does what?

And I’m not only talking about the spam folder of my yahoo mail (or Unsolicited Bulk Email). I’m talking big guns: the ads on all the streaming websites – on which I never go because I nicely wait a year until US entertainment is translated and broadcasted in France, as the law requires.

The games so rape-cultury YOU’RE GIRLFRIEND WILL WANT TO SUCK YOUR COKE THIRTEEN TIMES A DAY JUST SO YOU STOP PLAYING.

The RUSSIAN CE-WHORES READY TO MARRY YOU AND GIVE YOU’RE FAMILY A GAZILLION TRILLION DOLLARS JUST SO THEY CAN LAY THEIR UNREALISTICALLY ALMOND-SHAPED EYES UPON YOU’RE FACE (YOU LUCKY BASTARD).

All those housewives who LOST THE WEIGHT OF A DEAD DONKEY IN TWENTY MINUTES or found the way to lead ALL THE DOCTORS INTO IMMEDIATE AND ETERNAL RUIN BECAUSE OF THIS IDEA, or NOW EARN 20,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 DOLLARS A SECOND THANKS TO THIS SIMPLE TRICK.

Or the time my 67-year-old-school mother somehow got malware and everything she clicked on was really, really, nasty porn, and you could hear her having horrified gasps or not seeing at first because she didn’t have her glasses on and then having horrified gasps.

I’d like to try and go back to the roots of spamming, from etymology to evolution, from birth till now, because it seems its waters arise deeper thoughts than what may appear. Don’t worry, the links provided below are not ads. ah.

The term is coined after the infamous “meat“ (who also keeps on being produced and has several variations, as shown above), ridiculed in a 1970 Monthy-Python’s Flying Circus episode. Electronic spamming is not specific to email, according to the Wikipedia gods.

You have instant messaging spam, Usenet newsgroup spam, Web search engine spam, Internet forum spam (yeah, I see those ones, when you’re talking about some electro artist and some Indian guy joins in and confides he’s made a billion doing this simple trick), junk fax transmissions (for the thrill of the challenge), social spam (whaaa), spam mobile apps, television advertising and file sharing spam.

Pretty much, everything you have that is electronicky is in danger of being spammed.

It looks like the term has a history too.

Although the palm actually goes to Western Union, who allowed unsolicited mass telegram as soon as 1864, it was during the 80’s that, in the ancestors of chatrooms, called BBs and MUD if you must know (I know I do), some users would spam the conversation by flooding the screen with the word « Spam » so they would eject others.

Spamming is at first, according to Usenet, an excessive multiple posting, directly inspired by the goofy British sketch. Then it became more. Ads sewn with scam, like “The Green Card spam“ for dubious law services. It has to be scam-my in order to be spam.

Because, if you think of it, what differentiate spam from advertising? The same tropes are used in order to seduce the consumer and make him believe a product, a service, an image even, will meet his expectations.

And if I look closely, if we count the number of offensive, sexist, pornographic ads, if we observe the complete avalanche of sexual organs… I mean think of the number of boobs your brain has registered since the Internet adventure started. Think of the number of very violent images on those streaming ads. Where is this all going inside of us? Where does the brain stock all that information? I see no other place than the vast ocean of our subconscious.

Didier Courbet and his team have published the results of their research on the long-term effects of E-Advertising:

Faced with an abundance of advertising messages, Internet users allocate only minimal cognitive resources to advertising. What are the effects of pop-up ads for a new brand viewed at low-level attention, and then measured when the Internet users have forgotten having seen them? {…} The results show the overall positive effects of the pop-ups, the superiority of the image over words for effects on attitude toward the brand and the purchase intentions…

If we accept advertising as purchase intentions, or temptation, because that’s pretty much what it is, does it influence on our deepest desires ? Everything seems to appeal to us, invites us to “just this once“, “spoil yourself“, because we are “unique“ and things “have never been so“ and “in a world where“…

Spam may well be the most honest form of advertising. It says to us “ Okay buddy. See, we live in a world where the most important thing is you. You are the king man! Thing is, we all are. Yeah, just like the princes in Africa. Now, let me warn you. I am going to get your attention in the most disgusting and vile way. Don’t click on that link. That’s porn AND malware buddy. But, hey, you should really have seen that from the mail. I mean look at me: isn’t it the worst piece of shit you’ve ever read? How can you remotely BELIEVE that horny women SWARMING all over the world are waiting for your fat and hairy self?“

I can imagine the lonely person behind his or her computer. The face blue from the glow of the screen. The relationship we think we have with a lifeless object. The images it projects to the iris.

The terrible, awful hopes rising. Expectations. Dreams can be true. It could be me. Why not? Just this time.

However, it remains hard for me to believe that we only dream of penis enhancement, money and submissive trophy wives. It is truly sad to imagine we are run by boob jobs and phishing. Because if it is, what world are we living in? Don’t we deserve to get conned?

Check your dreams folder. It should be by far the most active of all.

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2 comments

  1. Frank

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