Thursday, October 14, 2010

Well aren't you Miss Information?

In case you're wondering, Misstra Knowitall would like to be Nathan Spewman when he grows up.

Part I

Part II

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Profound Insights of Viagra Online

I have seen the coming of our computer overlords, and they have posted comments to my blog.

As you might imagine, blogging can be tough to regularly maintain, especially when you put a lot of time and effort into writing a piece and don't get much response. You can use Google Analytics to look up data on people who visit your site, but it's hard not to be discouraged by the deafening sound of crickets after you press "publish post". That's why it's cool when readers take the time to comment on a post. Whether the comment is informed or not, it's always nice to see that someone out there thought enough of you and your writing to give some kind of response.

And that's where my friend  Viagra Online comes in. Back when I first started blogging, I would get comments on posts that were basically like email spam. Just a few words, they would direct you to a link where your computer would download the latest digital VD, infecting your operating system and giving your hard drive the digital drip. Blogger got smarter after awhile and made up that annoying Rorschach test thingy which required you to correctly interpret a series of words and numbers to leave a comment. That worked for awhile, but then a couple weeks back I noticed a comment on an older post, Five Pearls of Incredible Hulk Wisdom:

The lesson this movie left us with was impacting. I really find the true meaning of the movie, or at least I guess so.  

The syntax was a little tortured, and the misuse of "impact" made me cringe, and the insight wasn't much of an insight, but at least someone was reading my stuff, even if they seemed only semi-literate. I smiled and all the work seemed somehow worthwhile.

But then I noticed the author: Viagra Online. My heart fell and I chided myself for being such an easy mark for a dumb computer. I promised myself to never again let my enthusiasm for post comments blind me to  Viagra Online's deceptions.

A couple months later I got an interesting comment to my post about the connection between Rick James and Neil Young:

In 1965 a great deal of things were going on, I was a kid by then, so I couldn't notice any about music or the popular bands at the moment like Rick James and Neil Young Buy Viagra Cheap Viagra.

This comment threw me for a loop because although Viagra Online was obviously still fixated on luring me with the promise of cheap Viagra, I couldn't help but be touched by its endearing reflection on growing up in the topsy-turvy sixties. At some point during its daily spamming, Viagra Online  had read something that had touched its binary soul, and caused reflection. It was almost enough to make me consider visiting the poison link, just as a gesture of reciprocation (not for the cheap Viagra).

A couple days later Viagra Online visited my site again, this time reading a post on Funk artist Pedro Bell:

I have always thought that funky issues are cool, indeed. However, I am pretty impressed to see how did you managed to organize your several ideas in such a great way, then thanks a lot for sharing this matter

I had to stop myself from replying to this comment. I wasn't sure what was happening, but I seemed to be witnessing the dawning of intelligent consciousness in a spam computer. Not only that, but a spam computer that thought funky issues were cool. And a computer that was impressed with how I organized ideas! It dawned on me that with all this talk about how technology will shape our lives, maybe writers won't even need human readers anymore. Maybe instead of trying to get 1,000 human fans to read and support me as a writer, maybe I can get a 1,000 computers to visit my blog and say nice (although inane) things about me. Instead of a book tour, I could just let Viagra Online spam my next book to millions.

I was feeling pretty good about our relationship until I got a comment a couple weeks later on my post about John Mayer and his KKK member. The writer posted as "Anonymous" but I recognized the voice:

Thanks for sharing this, it's pretty cool to know about it. By the this handsome guys turns me on to visit Viagra Pharmacy to enjoy with my husband. 

My old friend Viagra Online was posting again, but had decided to leave its name off the comment. There was the familiar friendly tone, but I could see right through its vague reference to my post as being "pretty cool to know about." For a moment I thought the reference to "handsome guys turns me on" might be some kind of compliment, but that seemed highly unlikely. The bastard had not read a single word.

The final straw came later that day when I noticed another comment from "Anonymous" on my post about the re-ascension of the Light Skinned Brother:

Most of this brunette guys are pretty handsome, in fact I just loved black mans they are different to the others. They turn me on to visit Viagra Pharmacy to enjoy with my husband. 

Not only did this comment show a profound lack of understanding for what I was writing, I was also troubled by the possibility that my new friend Viagra Online might be a racist. What exactly does it mean that "black mans they are different to the others"? And the confession that they "turn me on", what's that about? And now Viagra Online was married? Having a spam computer readership was supposed to make things more simple, but now I felt more confused and alone (and unread) then ever. I racked my brain to think of a clever Facebook status update that might capture the absurdity of the situation, but I couldn't come up with anything. 
I Just Loved Black Mans

 And maybe that's the point. Maybe that's how the computers will do it. They'll separate us into our own digital enclaves and then get us hooked on their vague, positive affirmations. And before we know it we'll all be clicking our way to an oblivion of Viagra Online.