A Spam Scam Slam

How to Cite

Cooke, G. (2003). A Spam Scam Slam. M/C Journal, 6(4). https://doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2238
Vol. 6 No. 4 (2003): Fibre
Published 2003-08-01
Articles

The spam, the spam…like a meteor shower it comes, unceasing like the tides, unrelenting in its desire to save me, to lift me from my slumber, misfit that I am, sitting in the darkness waiting to be delivered from my faltering biology, my feeble credit rating, my meagre education.

It comes every day, unbidden, from the Outside, from the Interior, from some networked techno-Badland where the righteous fear to tread. I don’t know who it comes from, they have never met me, they will never meet me. Their addresses are botched, their names are fake, Orientalized, Africanized, garbled beyond decryption. Their websites are down, their phones are off the hook, they route their missals through hapless foreign email servers whose gatekeepers have foolishly left their relays open. As soon as I set up filters to innoculate myself, their algorithms mutate and new strains develop, more wily and Protean than the last.

And now, the hybrids are everywhere. Hungry free-ranging email-bots blithely pillaging the websites of the world for valuable identity-capital. Virtual Nigerian millionaires, who despite their legitimate business practices have become trapped in hostile economic ghettos. HGH addicts, greedily sucking back, mugwump-like, the life-juices of virtual human nervous-systems produced in suburban hormone-banks across the United States and Eastern Europe. A revitalized Third-Age, the golf courses of the world reeling under the onslaught of this new breed of energized, radiant octogenarians. A vast and growing horde of new entrants to the ranks of the stupendously well-endowed.

How many others are there like me, out there, weltering under the unceasing weight of this crazed cyborgian storm, this cornucopia of inventiveness and perversion? We number in our millions, we unwitting receivers of the raw and bleeding edge of quackery; we are an Us, and they are a Them. We span the globe, worlds virtual and real, from the towering heights of corporate monoliths to the crumbling edges of the Hotmail slums. It doesn’t matter who we are! We are all equal here, we are all equal under Spam. Spam is the Great Leveller. Together, we are end-points, we are destinations, we are enormous potential-capital, we are a great numbers-game, we are fantastic odds. Here we all sit, crammed together in identical folders on $49 CD-ROMs. We toil together at the coal-face of the Trash bin, fingertips worn bare, Delete buttons sticky with the blood of the unwanted.

And you know what? We outnumber them millions to one! These blond beasts of prey, these feeders on the bandwidth of the oppressed, these wanton exploiters of Microsoft’s Achilles heels, these teenage manipulators of the inviolable principles of global finance. Their margins so low, their reach so vast, their frequency irrelevant; they hardly even need to exist to do their job, their numbers are so small. They could so easily just be a glitch in the system, a forgotten semicolon here, a missing bracket there, and suddenly WHAM, zinging across the datasphere; Increase Your Bust Size! Prevent Employment Stagnation! All Natural Pheromones, Attract Sex!

But isn’t it about time I gave in? Surely I could do with a larger penis. 23-67% larger in 6 months. An extra ¾” of girth in 10 months. Shoot 16 feet! Impress your friends! Surely now is a good time to start imbibing daily doses of Human Growth Hormone, in some weirdly cannibalistic ritual of geno-pharmacology. Surely now is the time to deal with my incipient baldness. Surely now is the time to develop a taste for teen barnyard frolics.

I want to meet them, these machine-writers , these Home Based Workers. I want to meet a spammer, I want to check their palms. I want to look into their eyes and guage the soul of this particular brand of Internet Entrepreneur. I want to meet them for their blatant idiocy. I want to meet them because their business model is perfect. I want to meet them because they want to rip me off and they’ve never even seen my face. I want to meet them because they seem to know my name. I want to meet them to see if anything they say is true:

“I was approached many times before but each time I passed on it. I am so glad I finally joined just to see what one could expect in return for the minimal effort and money required. To my astonishment, I received total $610,470.00 in 21 weeks, with money still coming in.”

“We have been on the spray for just 3 weeks now, and besides the tremendous energy we both feel, my husband’s allergies and spells of depression have lifted. I am healing extremely fast after an accident and have lost 7 lbs. without trying!”

“Got to tell ya I really was impressed with the results after a month - I didn’t have any problems to speak of but was interested in improving my control and size. I went from a 6.5/7.0” length to a full 8.0” - the big deal was not the size increase but the improved circulation I received - the head increased a full inch in diameter and along with this more enjoyment with every stroke as it is hyper sensitive when erect due to the increased surface area. The program was worth every penny - feel sorry for those that don’t know about this information.”

But who are these people? It’s getting very personal. They call me by name, they tell me stories about their lives, inspiring stories of amazing success, of against-all-odds, of business miracles, of youth regained, balding abated, penises sprouting anew like fresh corn from good soil. What kind of subjectivity can we assign to these chimeras, these fictions of a hopeful science? They materialize only on-screen, they inhabit a realm yet-to-come. Their hawking cries hail me from beyond the abyss of faith; they have already leapt, already broken through. Doppelgängers of the net.art avant-garde, these over-people, these reachers-forth, their lives played out on a lightning stage between the soaring peaks and the Trash bin. Are they authors? Are they artists? Are they…real?

Pah! What was I thinking?! Reality is a tool of the bureaucrats, of the biologically homeostatic, of the devious puppetmasters of offline media. No reality for them, these dare-devils of the multi-level marketing scheme, re-programmers of genetic destiny, they who write the future of the Human in bold red 18-point font. And no reality for us either, the potential consumers, demographically profound, fundamentally troubled; aging, lonely, single, furiously masturbating, high cholestorol, high blood pressure, overweight, in debt, badly mortgaged, un-insured, uneducated, exercise hating, impotent, suspicious, broke, balding, poorly endowed, small breasted and dog, dog tired.

So perhaps we are all a little fictional, all a little speculative. But so what! A full inch in diameter! $620,000 in 6 months! Who would not sacrifice a little verifiability for such riches? This magnificent spray that decelerates Time and accelerates Body and Mind. This mystical information that increases Control and Size. How could my current state not be found wanting? How can I ignore the call? And with such a mainline into the future, what need have I of the machinations of the mainstream dot-economy? What difference does it make to me whether the nano-agents busily connecting synapses in the Amazon.com brain-in-a-tank can predict my favourite books and music? What difference do any of these massively-funded personalisation programs make, when daily I receive exhortations to feed fetishes I never even dreamed I had?

I am interpellated anew, I have received messages from the Enlightened, the joyful consumers of the Word; once cynical, once suspicious, now laughing. Take me, I’m yours, de-subject me, re-subject me, I’m bubbling over, I’m full to the brim, I’m ready to suck the juice out of life and stay on to get the marrow. I’m right around the corner from just handing over my credit card details to the first one who asks nicely:

“Fill out all requested information. You need to enter your credit card number for age verification - this protects under 18's from accessing explicit hardcore pornography. We have only listed the largest, most publicly operated porn sites that we KNOW can be trusted with this information. YOU WILL NOT BE CHARGED FOR THE FREE PASSWORD. If you don't believe me, just read their terms and conditions.”

Author Biography

Grayson Cooke

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