I've tried countless times to figure out my total revulsion/utter fascination with internet spam. It's rather like watching a passenger train plunging off a bridge--you watch it in horror, but you watch it nonetheless.
I suppose it is very much like the case of the guy who goes to the doctor, pushes his head to one side with his palm and says "Doc, it hurts when I do this," to which the doctor replies, "Well, then, don't do it." Nobody's holding a gun to my head and forcing me to read spam. Why can't I, like everyone else in the world, just ignore it? Well, for one thing, to me it's like trying to avoid a cloud of mosquitoes hovering around my head. Or like the young man I once dated in Los Angeles who, when I brought him home, wanted to have sex with my tennis shoes. I actually dated him again because I couldn't believe it the first time.
My fascination is due to the utter incomprehensibility of Spam and what the spammers truly think they're achieving. Even more intriguing is how anyone with sufficient intelligence to be able to read can give an atom of credence to what is read in a spam message?
My revulsion stems from many things: the dumbfoundingly brazen, utterly unapologetic lies, the complete lack of a single iota of logic, the spit-in-your-face contempt the spammer displays for the intelligence of the recipient (not to mention the lack of basic intelligence displayed in the messages themselves), the astonishing arrogance of the spammer in assuming that any human being could be gullible enough to fall for their garbage.
Spammers are an utterly despicable, loathsome sub-species. It is my inability to admit the fact that they exist which forms the base of my fascination. I simply cannot believe that any human being could be so shamelessly predatory, so totally devoid of honor, dignity, compassion, decency, or any other trait to which the bulk of humanity aspires.
There has to be a strong element of mental masochism in my inability to simply hit "Delete" without at least scanning the initial words. That I take each message as a personal insult may also indicate a slight problem.
I rest my case with the following, received three minutes ago. Please take a moment to read it...no, to study it...carefully to savor every subtle nuance, from to whom this very "personal" message is being sent, to the fact that the message is sent from Qatar. We all know lots of people in Qatar, of course.
to undisclosed recipients
We receive an email that you are dead and you ask one Dr. John Mark to come and claim your FUND, now and he has also agreed to pay for the renew of your paper works, I am writing you to know if you are truly DEAD OR ALIVE, if you do not reply back before 12hrs we will have no other alternative than to believe that you are truly dead according to Dr. John Mark.
And if you are still alive you can get back to me as fast as you can or you can call me on +234 819-159-2634, so take note that every thing has been paid for it is just for the renew of your paper work that this Dr. John Mark has agreed to pay for and also if you refuse to get back to us am afraid we shall give him the FUND and collect the money from him that means that, he is written that you are dead and you ask him to come and claim the FUND on your behalf.
Please take note that you have been given just 12hours to get back to us so that we can know if you are alive, and fill the Information Below:
Direct Cell Phone Number:
We await your swift response in regard of this email we have received from Dr. John Mark, reply back to this email: firstname.lastname@example.org
It is to weep.
Dorien's blogs are posted by 10 a.m. Central time every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Please take a moment to check out his website (http://www.doriengrey.com) and, if you enjoy these blogs, the recently-released Short Circuits: a Life in Blogs (http://bit.ly/m8CSO1 ).