Turn the wayback machine to about 1992. During an unreasonably short period of time, just a few months really, the internet exploded. It went from the swamps of dial up bulletin boards and Oak e-mail systems, a steamy jungle of basement nerds and college computer science kids setting up dorm room servers, to a consumer “appliance”.
It happened outrageously quickly. Automobiles over horses, electric lights over oil lamps, Gutenberg press over illuminated manuscript, from my reading of history none of those seemed to phase in quite like the juggernaut of Americans with 486 computers and AOL floppies.
It was about then that I started getting spam. Obnoxious shit on-line was nothing new but spam, at that juncture in time, could have developed along many possible paths. Observing this I had one simple question:
“Why is there no spam for things a normal human might actually buy?”
At the dawn of the mass market internet I saw spam as nothing more than hideous billboards on the digital scenery and nobody goes through the hassle of creating a billboard unless they’re selling something you might buy. Yet spam shoveling dickheads were illogically trying to entice me to buy… to buy what? Gadgets that magically violate the laws of thermodynamics to double my car’s MPG (it was the nineties)? V1agra? Russian brides?
All along I’ve wondered why there isn’t spam for goods and services a normal sentient adult human might actually purchase. Maybe something that’s small and easily shippable? Maybe something dull and uninteresting? Something that people actually need. Spark plugs? Fishing lures? Slippers? Screwdrivers? Hell, why haven’t I received spam that tried to sell me Spam?
It’s been like that forever. Spam never tried to sell me a damn thing I’d buy (or really anything any reasonable human would buy). By now it’s white noise and very little spam gets through my filters (which are set on “merciless” and do a decent job of it).
Last week some spam got through. What was it selling?
No kidding. I felt happy, vindicated, at peace with the world. It was a link to a place selling big rolls of toilet paper like you’d find in a truck stop shitter but if you’re really into buying bulk, at least it’s a product we all need and use. Finally I’d received spam for something a normal human would buy! For no clear reason, this made me happy.
Then I flagged it as spam, deleted it, burned it, and salted the earth where the ashes were buried. Because, duh! Spam.