Who spam thinks I am
It’s not flattering
I now get about as much spam email as real email from work, friends, family and reminders of unpaid bills.
The flood of spam is so irritating I’ve started refusing to give my email address to merchants that request it to spam me more.
Just because I bought a pack of Ho Hos from the Wawa in Walla Walla, it doesn’t mean I want special member savings on a Wawa Classic Hoagie® or Canadian statins.
Pre-internet, when I worked for a nonprofit, snail-mailing two million fundraising appeals was successful if just 2 percent even opened the envelope. With the internet, spammers can spray 300 billion special time-sensitive offers every minute and make 100 percent profit if just one idiot clicks the link.
(This is why if I’m elected, in my Administration, idiots won’t be allowed to drive, vote, badly whistle a tune only they know, let their kids talk loudly in restaurants, anonymously spew venom in internet comment sections, or walk into Walmart and stand in the entrance with their extended families peering around gape-jawed and blocking other shoppers from entering and going about their business.)
I also learned something from the Cambridge Analytica scandal involving misuse of Facebook data, psycho-graphic profiling and fake news targeted to certifiable idiots who believe anything nasty about Hillary: Clicking “like” can welcome a surge of spam for suspiciously crafted, dirt-flavored vodka; Russian wives that look more like folklore trolls in person than their Sharapova, Kournikova and other Russian women’s tennis-ova pictures represent; and velvet paintings of the classic shirtless double-D Putin on white steed.
So when I get creepy spam, my first question is paranoid: Why?
What did I view, click or like on Facebook, Google, Amazon, MadeleineAlbrightVixen.com or other websites I regularly or “accidentally” peruse?
Which leads inexorably to my second, more self-actualized question: To the extent it reflects my internet use, does my spam tell me more useful things about myself, my lifestyle and my innermost complexities than my journaling, therapist or fed-up exes, ex-bosses and ex-friends have tried to do?
If so, here’s what my spam is telling me about me:
1. Is your arrest record online?
This one puzzles me. To the best of my recollection, I have never been arrested. But there’s a whole chunk of my life I can barely remember, mostly the tragic development ages of one through 10.
My naturally guilty conscience makes me wonder, since I do recall my mother yelling at me a lot, falsely accusing me of stuff she caught me doing, and saying “go to your room!” This was just like being arrested, tried and thrown in jail albeit with an awesome collection of Hot Wheels.
2. Get into ketosis fast!
I had to look up “ketosis,” but basically it means you lose weight quickly and look fabulous like Iggy Pop by eating delicious grilled steaks every day until your kidney shuts down in searing pain from jagged mineral accretions shaped like the famous Moai stones of Easter Island. Then you’re thrilled to die and be laid to rest fabulously in the skinny Armani tux you bought for your new weight and not expecting to live.
3. Invest in bitcoin!
This spam must have something to do with my having online banking, or a pathetic 401(k), or Googling “bitcoin,” “crypto-currency,” and “block chain” because I needed to prove cashing out my 401(k) to go all in with bitcoin was a wise investment plan. (Apparently not.)
4. TITANX Male Enhancement!
I clicked the link only — and I repeat, only — because I thought “male enhancement” meant becoming gender woke, supporting #MeToo, and defending Sarah Huckabee Sanders from the appearance-shaming attack by a male-identifying and patriarchy-complicit woman comedian at the White House correspondent’s dinner.
Plus, we all know what happened to the Titanic (spoiler alert: the unsinkable sank).
5. Help Democrats win the House!
I get a LOT of fundraising spam from Democratic Congressional candidates because I once flipped some of my bitcoin worth 58 ten-thousandths of a cent (58 millionths of a U.S. dollar) to a candidate in a red district that is turning purple in homage to Prince if I’m not mistaken.
Like everyone else with a brain, heart and courage, I’m desperate for Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer or other near-octogenarian great grandparents to lead a fresh generation of passionate young Americans born after President Clinton left office into a better future for America.
I’m also looking forward to Democrats — should they take the House — overplaying the blue-wave trending and squandering their political capital to impeach Trump, paving the way for Trump’s reelection in 2020. At least I’ll feel good about myself for doing the right thing by contributing my billions of bits in bitcoin.
But while I care about the course of our nation, all this goddamn spam has got to stop.
Jeffrey Denny is a Washington writer