Spam becomes more “sophisticated” and sometimes makes you wonder whether it isn’t in fact a legitimate response to what you’ve written. Today, I got the following for my post on Italo Calvino’s “If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller…”:
Not to be a niggler for dateil, but what makes that first line a story and not just an image is that it’s got the full arc of a relationship in it:They were together. Something happened. It’s over. He’s in bandages. She’s done with him, but not so hard-hearted she’ll leave before he recovers.It’s all implied, like the bull under Picasso’s single curving line. (But check out how the mobile spins if you decide she’s the one wearing the bandages.)So it’s not just a moment, or a frozen image. The shape of the line includes the memory of the rest of the story. And that’s an efficiency to love.Every time I drive past Tenkiller Reservoir, I think of that guy who got 40 years for lovin’ her. And there’s still nothing strange about an ax with bloodstains in the barn.
It’s coherent, contains cultural references I get, and it’s about stories, like the Calvino, and the nature of story-telling; and I’m thinking, have I just forgotten a story in which someone is in bandages. There might have been one; I don’t have much memory for these things, even though I’ve only read them last month.
There’s a couple of things, on the other hand, that make me suspicious:
- It doesn’t make any clear reference to what I’ve written – to be, as it were, part of the conversation
- It forms part of a series of apparent “spam” messages
- I recognise the quote from Tom Waits, and one of the other “spam” messages also contains a quote from Tom Waits
This is the second spam message (suspiciously attached to a different post):
Good gloss, but what I like about the sycamore in St. John’s Wood is that I can’t firgue it out. There’s GOT to be a story, it seems, but what it is isn’t clear.I guess the lines that occur to me that do what the bandages lines do, sorta is:I begged you to stab me, you tore my shirt open, and I’m down on my knees tonight/ Old Bushmill’s I stagger/ you buried the dagger/ in your silhouette window light.Here I get that there was this “you might as well kill me” scene which she didn’t follow through on; now our drunk hero staggers by her window and sees her in silhouette with someone — which effectively buries the dagger after all.And I’ll never kiss a Gun St. girl again.
So what’s going on here. – Well, a phenomenon I’ve observed before. These are quotations lifted from other conversations on the internet. If you paste them into Google you can easily find them. Here is the source of this one. And what do you notice about the story? Yes, it mentions Italo Calvino.
This leads to the possibility that in the future, with the improvement of the algorithms controlling spam and the exponential increase in random human thought on every subject contained on the internet, we will be able to hold intelligible conversations with spam. Who knows if we aren’t already? I’ve no real reason to believe any of the commenters here exist.