Monday, November 5, 2007

SPAM


Did you know that somewhere in the world there is a kid dying of cancer who wants an email or a postcard from me? I might send him that $100 Neiman Marcus cookie recipe. That might make him feel better. So would a portion of that South African fortune. I mean all he’d have to do is give out his bank account number and he’d be mighty rich. Since he’s been asking for cards for so long, he’s an adult now. He might just want to invest some of that fortune in the plethora of penis pumps, creams and pills available to him. His mate will be ecstatic! Let me tell you!

It must annoy Hormel Foods who makes canned "Shoulder Pork and hAM" or "SPiced hAM" luncheon meat, that the term "spam" has today come to mean network abuse. Most people have some kind of recollection of the spam skit by Monty Python's Flying Circus. In the sketch, a restaurant serves all its food with spam. Lots of it. The waitress says the word several times. Then a group of Vikings in the corner start a song: "Spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, lovely spam! Wonderful spam!"

This is good enough for me. So… the meaning of the term at least seems to be something that keeps repeating over and over. Like Viagra emails. But that’s not all… They haven’t nicknamed me Web for nothin’.

Did you know 88% of all email sent is spam. That’s amazing. And here I thought I sent a ton of email. 183 billion spam emails were sent every day in 2006. This resulted in 29.9 million work hours used to delete those annoying emails. Believe it of not, the first spam was sent via email in 1978—was that when Al Gore invented the internet? The term spam however was not birthed until the late 80s and can be partially attributed not to Monty Python but to Dungeons and Dragons. Fwuh? Dungeons and Dragons?

There used to be something called MUD. That’s Multi-User Dungeon. It was an archaic system of chat and interaction. It was used for more than Dungeons and Dragons, but users were reminded of a D&D dungeon… It lent it’s name to MUD because using it was such an adventure. Anyway, spamming came to mean flooding the system with a bunch of inserted text—basically interrupting operations. Spamming as in constant repeated action that annoys the recipient. A common tactic in D&D, by the way.

The first spam, sent in 1978 was from a user inviting all west coast users of a particular system to a reception in California to introduce their new system. Interestingly, that company is now owned by Compac. That bit of spam is a far cry from the trash littering my email. The first major spam was documented as being sent in 1994. That message announced “Global Alert: Jesus is Coming Soon”. Now that message hasn’t changed at all. I believe, I got one of those today, and by the way, I don’t think He’d be impressed by the porn emails hitting my spam box. I promise. Not. My. Fault.

By the way, Hormel has decided to embrace the moniker foisted on the unwanted email since it's actually boosted sales of their merchandise.

There now...don't you feel just a little smarter?

8 comments:

Bronwyn's Blog said...

The fact that you know all this makes my head hurt. A lot.

Kelly Kirch said...

You just "inserted" information parts and pieces into my brain. I either got brain f**ked or spammed. I shall go off and get counselling. Bad Brynn! Baaaaaad.

Brynn Paulin said...

Brain f**ked. I like that.

I'm just trying my hand at writing something that has nothing to do with sex or writing. I've had a rotten 'I can't think' head cold all weekend and as a result, 'spam' happened.

Amarinda Jones said...

I am not going to find someone to dazzle with all these useless...I means useful facts

Brynn Paulin said...

Complaints, complaints. If you can't find someone, then you're not trying hard enough, lol. Surely you could work it into a reason you need more full frontal emails...you know, to balance out things.

barbara huffert said...

I love knowing things like this...more please!

Jennifer Armintrout said...

I like SPAM. That's all I got.

Anny Cook said...

When I was growing up, we had spam nights. Sliced and fried with mashed potatoes and green beans. Or cubed with pork and beans. Or sliced/fried sandwiches. The best was sliced/fried with grilled cheese. Then there was the spam/potato/cheese casserole.

Spam was reasonably priced and one can fed a family of six because that's the way life was.