An Ode to Spam Emails

I’m a connoisseur of spam emails.

I always thought I knew how to spell that correctly.

Spam is kind of an art-form if taken from just the right angle. Which is to say, completely unseriously. But it can’t be any spam. It has to be a certain kind of spam. It has to be artistic spam.

And trust me, there is some artsy fucking spam in the weirdest places.

Sure you have your generic “Grow your dixxx w/ these pills” and “Hot ass this blog,clickheredude”. There’s the casual “I have this important file to” with malware. There’s the Phishing “YOU’VE BEEN HACKED, CLICK THIS SUSPECT EMAIL NOW TO ACCESS YOUR FILES” emails. And then there’s just sadness of SEO scams, et. al.

Then you have the spam that’s in a bit of identity crisis. The spam that has a lot more to do with the fact that it was just sent to the wrong place, at the wrong time. This spam is like Einstein’s theory of relativity: it’s not fixed spam.

Then, there’s the art spam.

I often find the art spam to be those stories from “Rich Widows”, the Nigerian Princes; they’re the ones that want to make you rich, provided you provide your wire number, and send the money first. Obviously.

These spam are more fun, because they come in every language – I saw one in german once, one in french – and they almost always start out as the Spam that would also be comfortable as the macguffin for a James Bond film.

“Dear Esteemed Sir, my husband was a very important businessman, being investigated by SEC. In order to maintain our trust, we had to find our closest living relative. That is, by fortune, you. If you reply to this email, we will wire you millions of dollars”.

That is a James Bond film, sent daily to every swinging dick on the internet.

Just imagine what would happen if it was straight true, too.

You open the email, and suddenly the FBI Bursts in: STOP RIGHT THERE MISTER.

Then they give you the act 1 shakedown: you’re going to infiltrate this person on the behalf of SEC, we’ll front the seed money, and you’ll get dressed up. You’ll be so fucking confused you won’t mind that they walked in on you pondering Penis Enlargement pills. They’ll take your computer for security reasons.

Then you’ll go through the Act II dossier: what is this guy’s deal. You’ll talk with Q and get nifty weapons. Suddenly you’ll be thrown into a training montage, and become a deadly weapon like Nic Cage in con air.

You’ll reach the Act II Midpoint and the babe will walk out of the water in the most enticing bikini you’ve ever seen. You’ll be on some tropical beach, wondering what kind of mistake you made to end up here with a gun in your holster.

Then you’ll be suave, and charming, because fuck it, life’s gotten a little too unreal anyway.

Then you’ll be captured by the slightly-deformed woman who sent you the email initially. Not deformed enough to make the villain socially unaccetpable; just deformed enough to be deadly, and oddly compelling romantically.

God, James Bond has a fucking troubling structure.

Then you’ll make the wire transfer in a secret lair under a volcano. There will be a shoot out, you’ll get the girl. Then you’ll get good at spying and they’ll make you a spy for true.

And then you’ll get tired, and bored. You’ll realize it’s only an adventure if it’s once in a lifetime, and otherwise, it’s just work. You’ll start drinking too much. You’ll do your job worse and worse. Life will become a miasma because you know how awful the dark side of it is. You’ll wish you had never opened that email, to reveal this whole side of life.

Or, you know, you’ll get swindled. But I like my imagination more.

Then, there’s the art.

These spam emails are emails that are non-sense. They’re like Finnegans Wake except even less sensical than that (which is a perfectly straightforward book, thank you very much). These ones are by guys named Zoltan about poisoned water supplies; written in a dream-y illogical writing style that’s all nouns. The zygotic combinatorium of influence is undeniably catastrophic, and the isochronal isoceles alien structures, clearly indicate some tessractional possibilities from Gleeb, the inter-dimensional shitting dick nipple alien lizard. If you download these articles, and read my newsletter, you’ll be able to see THE TRUTH, man.

Then there are the unintentionally beautiful poems made out of random strings of words enigmatic matriculate coagulated dike ration unwashed prenecessitate discontinuously. These ones are my favorite. The reductio ad absurdum of spam. They are just the meaningless entropy you seek to avoid.

But Spam is only spam, because you want it to be Spam. For some people, the promises of a better life, the promises of the truth – the promise of sex – is such an appealing fantasy, that it doesn’t matter that someone is trying to feel you up to steal your shit.

There is such an endless appeal to the feeling of being wanted, that makes spam a treasure to me. It’s seeing how these failures of logic suddenly become imperfect, smoky crystals of art. How these attempts to swindle, once robbed of their reality, become these moments of time captured in a petty, humorous lucite.

It’s beautiful to me.

So I love it, and I adore reading good ones.

And that’s what makes me a connoisseur of art, too.


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