I get a lot of spam – on this blog, on my work blog, and my corporate website. It feels like the snow that’s still coming down even though it’s March. (When will it stop?!) Most of it is rubbish, utter nonsense that I delete out of hand, easily recognizing it for the gratuitous references to Viagra, work from home jobs, or off-shore e-mail providers.
But, sometimes there’s something about it that makes me stop and pay attention. The way that, even though it’s cold and you wish it would hurry up and get to spring already, perfect snow can still make you think of Santa and Christmas magic. There’s something about them and the way they’re written than makes me think that they can’t all be from a computer program in China. And maybe there really is a long lost Nigerian prince who needs my help.
Some of them seem Real – not like they’re real in the sense of the comments that you or I leave, but Real in the sense of The Velveteen Rabbit – that they’re somehow something… more. There’s a lyric quality to them – something that seems more the akin to theatre of the absurd than to a million spammer monkeys sitting at a million keyboards for a million years.
I find myself hovering over the “mark as spam” button for much longer than I should, searching for meaning that I know isn’t really there. Maybe I’ve seen too many episode of The X-Files, but I want to believe.
To quote Cher, searching for meaning in spam is as pointless in searching for it in a Pauly Shore movie. But, that doesn’t mean that I can stop myself.
Questions of the day: Do you read your spam? Do you ever see anything meaningful in it? Anything Real?