Have you noticed that the spam you've received lately gets more bizarre each day?
Recently I've received stock-touting visuals which could be a Second Life version of a Jackson Pollock painting. Nonsense stream-of-consciousness prose comes in others; words are so jumbled and packed together that my eyes strain and hurt upon first glance.
These emails exude complete confusion, and I delete them easily.
But some spam gets my attention. Here are a few examples and why they captured my imagination:
1. "High on his poop the sea-green god appears" — Made me laugh!
2. "Zip code diphtheria" — Very cool name for an early-80s punk band
3. "Call great Anchises to the genial feast" — Is Anchises some classical deity I never heard of?
Still, I delete them. Yet I've been thinking: what program have spammers been using to generate genuinely eye-catching email subject headings? It appears that this software puts words together in almost comprehensible ways.
We've trained our brains to ignore typical spammy headlines like:
a. "Viagra!!! Cialis!!! Lexapro!!!"
b. "This stock is going through the roof!!!!!!!!!!!"
c. "Llower Holme Payment by 30l percent"
But we humans have a thing for poetry, for the mysterious, for hints at the divine and the creative. This new spam oddly exploits this trait. Writers, readers, bloggers and other wordy folks — by nature — are particularly susceptible to its trickery.
Here are links to two bloggers who are attempting to create something more out of these ramblings. In essence, it is "spametry" — the crossroad of meaning, subtlety, and completely unethical marketing practices.
But I must ask: is it poetry?