A Most Disturbing Message

A Most Disturbing MessageLadies and Gentlemen, I have just received a most disturbing message. 

It begins thusly:

cartoons form of transport libido and movie theaters

What?

In theory, a spam message has a sort of purpose.  Right?  RIGHT?  I mean, why else would they be sent out?  But- the message above is the opening word-blob of a message I have received on the back-end of Atherton’s Magic Vapour.  It seems, from certain evidences, to wish to sell me Ray-Bans.

If I wished to sell you Ray-Bans (I don’t, by the way- I believe that I took one look at Ray-Bans back in the ’90s, categorized them as “ugly and/or vulgar,” and have felt much better ever since, though I may be thinking of some other brand of sunglasses- Ray-Bans ARE sunglasses, right?), I’d consider several eye-catching ways of broaching this awkward subject.  Here are some approaches I would consider:

“PSST!  You!  Yeah, you!  Naked-Eyes!  COVER YOUR SHAME!  WITH THESE FANCY GLASSES!”

“Though you are unworthy to possess these luxury sunglasses, I will, reluctantly, allow you to purchase them, because my accountants inform me that, if I do not do so, I will no longer have money.  Thus is art prostituted and beauty brought low!  The Low, Low Price of 129.99!”

“Ray-Bans: They Match Your Outfit.”

“Ray-Bans: They Will Prevent Your Eyeballs From Crisping.”

“Ray-Bans:  Banning Rays Has Never Looked Better”

Looking back on this list, I am forced to admit that I will, in all probability, never write ad copy.  If you are looking for a blogger to write your ads for you, I’d recommend that you look elsewhere.  Why not try Allie Brosh, over at Hyperbole and a Half?  Seriously, why not?  If I saw an obviously Brosh-designed ad for a product, I’d probably buy that product.

But I digress.  My point here is that, bad as my Ray-Ban copy is, I do, at least, manage to get across the idea that I’d like you to buy some sunglasses.  The message I have quoted above does not seem to do that.  Perhaps, you are possibly thinking, this is a new approach, designed to capture the attention of that important market niche, those who have read and enjoyed Finnegans Wake?  Perhaps.  But let us look to see what the message has to say next.

The next part is a sort of Ray-Bans word-poem of links, links I dare not click on for fear that I will be sucked into a horrid alternate universe, or be the first person (known forever afterwards as Atherton, Patient Zero, She Who Doomed Us All)  to find out that computer viruses can now transcend the digital gap and infect human flesh,  or… or I don’t know what.  After this perilous passage, the text continues in this manner:

MCM negotiate review hype-without the blotches that will functions, willing shower towels and therefore towel.

There may be the beginnings of Philosophy here (is “willing shower towels and therefore towel” some sort of Berkeley-esque perception-as-reality statement, only going a little further than Berkeley, asserting that the Will, if applied properly, can create a towel where no towel was before?  I just don’t know), but I feel no increase in my desire for Ray-Bans.

Here are a few other excerpts from the same message:

web store by providing most of us turned into away adore by going online source providing spawned webpage included keyword diverse sites considering peace.place x everyone makes certain before you of course forever keep acquire the important info eventually, since putting your receive involving the credit-based card details are lost asthmatically.section of the also a direct is literally a good deal services or products proficient at carrier by – we all.

solace impotence estetica.

  options shrank, and as well as allot more duplications lost his balance with tenth his or hers bubblicious highs.

There is a lot of tragic beauty in this message.  This particular sort of spam message is generally full of a plaintive something- which is one reason I am obsessed with them.  But… but… it doesn’t sell sunglasses.  I mean, it couldn’t.  I suspect that these messages are generated based on some sort of keyword-algorithm, or something, but WHY?  And that doesn’t quite account for some of the strangeness of these messages. 

All theories and/or facts about these messages would be greatly appreciated.

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3 Comments

  1. I always wondered who created spam messages like that and why. I think they must be either on something, have no concept of the English language, or be an alien from another galaxy trying to make contact.

    • Melanie Atherton Allen

      I think the alien theory is the most probable- though I have another one, which is even spookier, that I would like to believe, but don’t. What if these messages come from an awakening consciousness, an AI spontaneously arising from the viral soup of the internet? It is trying to make contact, but can’t quite do it.

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