Friday, November 21, 2008

Spam Header Deconstruction Theatre: Be a Hero In Bed!

We all get spam, and a lot of it is puzzling.

For about a year, I got Spam, in Russian, trying to sell me graphic design services (thankfully, Google Translator let me know, with reasonable assurances, that I wasn't being targeted by the Russian Mob). But that was relatively normal.

No longer content to promise me enhancements for my junk in a polite terms, the spammers gave gone to promising me superhuman powers to boot.

Recent Spam Headers in my Inbox:

"Want to be a hero in bed?" - From: Brent Larson
Normally, I leap at the chance to be a hero anyplace: At home, at work, in the park, at Dairy Queen, you name it. However, there has only been one hero who was a hero 'in bed'. And that was the Sleepwalker. His power was that when he was asleep, his mind manifested a dream-superhero that went around fighting a crime in various surreal ways.
What's that, you've never heard of the Sleepwalker?
Congratulations, you are what most people would call 'normal'. He's one of about six heroes who would regularly get made fun of by Aquaman. Rocket-Frikkin'-Raccoon has more fans than this guy. Same with Squirrel Girl (No, not making that one up). That gives me pause, even without bringing the skeezy single entendres into play.

"Explode her mind with pleasure" - From: Lucinda Colossus Cope
I'm not going to ruin this by actually opening the message, but apparently, Lucidna "Colossus" Cope (a halfway point between Charles Atlas and Dr. Ruth, no doubt) is offering me an opportunity to gain the ability to actually broadcast pleasure into the minds of others. This power is also, potentially lethal (though one assumes its a good way to go). Now, I'm sure someone out there has a Scanners fetish, but its not me, and if I'm going to make a person's head explode, its probably going to be with rage, not pleasure.
I apologize, Lucinda, but I will have to pass on your sinister psychic serum or whatnot. Your pretend name is, however, awesome.

"Power up your package" - From: Rebekah Kent Lay
Rebekah takes a different track. Rather than suggesting that I gain psychic powers of pleasure projection (Say that three times fast), she prefers the "Akira Toriyama" school of sexual mightification. In other words, I will be training in high gravity in order to 'power up' my package, which will no doubt involve a lot of standing around yelling while light flares up from unseemly places and rocks float slowly up into space.
Gratuitous reaction shots and eye-twitching are sure to follow.
This is a double-edged sword. This kind of Dragonball Z approach to power is more or less just a 'big overture, little symphony' kinda deal, but on the other hand, if everything goes all DBZ, then 15 minutes of action can be stretched across six episodes.

"Gain the monstrous dimensions" - From Joyce Hartley
Dear Mrs. Hartley,
I have recently received your offer to grant me dominion over monstrous dimensions. While I'm certainly tempted by the opportunity to breach the thin walls of reality and bring forth cephalopodian horrors from realms of mad angles to bring ruination on all mankind, I must decline, as I am currently forbidden by court order to come within 300 feet of any book with a title ending in 'omicon'. I wish you all luck in your quest to find a mortal dupe to liberate the Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young from its eternal prison.
Ftag'n always,
Trent Troop

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hindsight is a Three-Act Play

I don't remember events, I remember stories.

I find that the past, as represented through my retellings, becomes increasingly altered over time. I have a strong sense of the narrative. I am a story-teller at heart and my world view 'digests' (for lack of a better term) life into narrative. Real life has no narrative structure. It is a random series of chaotic events stemming from billions of independent causes. Beginnings, middles and ends are all defined in hindsight and are relative to the person or persons experiencing them. There are no morals, few soliloquys, and far too little ironic resolution.

But that's not how I remember things.

Warped by my writing bug and a cavalcade of fiction, I don't remember disconnected events. I remember stories. The involved persons become the character cast. The events become the major plot points and challenges, and different events are emphasized or ignored to form the traditional western narrative skeleton: prologue - introduction - buildup - conflict - climax - resolution - afterward. Lessons to learn are introduced and literary themes expanded on.

And I do this without intending to.

I wonder, are there painters who see their own pasts in terms of a gallery of finished and unfinished paintings? Sculptors with memories in clay and marble? Do senators see their own childhood in terms of politics? Are programmers even today shuffling high school recollections into organized lines with hosts of if/then statements and commentary hidden by brackets?

Or do we all just turn our history into stories?

Whatever the answer, I intend to embrace this process. When I rewrite my teenage years it will be a truly epic tale. I strongly encourage the supporting cast to simply enjoy their new history, as it is going to be much more interesting the second time through.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I've joined the 21st century.

I've joined facebook. Search me out and add me if you so desire.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

And with that out of the way.

Now that I've given the Republicans the Nelson Muntz laugh, I'd like to be serious for a moment.

I'm not certain where we're going from here. Politicians on the national stage don't like to talk about pride in their country as being conditional, but I'm not bound by that limitation. Pride is like forgiveness. If given out universally, without regard to to circumstance or reality, it has no meaning and it loses its value.

I haven't been proud of my country for the past eight years. Horrible things have been done in our names by worse people and the populace has stood idly by as the very foundations of our Democracy have been eroded. The United States has embraced fear. It has embraced mindless faith. It has embraced anti-intellectual thuggery. It has embraced torture, preemptive war, internal espionage, loyalty oaths and countless other terrors. And along those lines it has embraced the most shallow and subservient form of patriotism.

It is this patriotism that demands we 'support the troops' by not questioning their orders. It is this patriotism that says that the US is the Greatest Country On Earth(TM) regardless of its many failings. And it is this patriotism that finally failed.

I don't know what the future holds, but I know this: For the first time in a long time I am proud of my country because for the first time in a long time my country has done something to be proud of.

There is going to be a long road ahead. We have to rebuild and repair the damage done. There are criminals who need to be captured and punished and I hope that there is a will do so. President Elect Obama is not a perfect man or a perfect candidate but he strikes me as the right man for this time. It is cliche to evoke Kennedy here but I can't help but do so, perhaps in the vain hope that my generation will mean something the way the youth of that age did. If I even qualify as youth anymore.

True patriotism is bittersweet because for all of the swell of pride, it doesn't allow you to succumb to the easy high of tribalism and exclusion. There is responsibility there and the knowledge that maintaining this pride is not an easy path. I know now, however, that there will be millions on that same path with me.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Suck it!

A message to all Republicans.

Suck it.

Suck it hard, bitches.

A new age of justice and vengence is upon us. Even Fox has called it for Obama. Hagan just beat Dole, proving that you don't diss the godless without invoking the wrath of nothing-at-frikkin-all. Weep, gnash your teeth and curl up in Ayn Rand's dresser drawer, 'pubs!

I invite any interested to embrace their failure through the time-honored tradition of ritual suicide.