Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Spam on Rye

I selected this lazy attempt at a humorous title for two reasons.

First I have just started reading Ham on Rye by Charles Bukowski. My buddy at work loaned it to me after he noticed that I always had a book in my hand.

I'm only a couple of chapters in but so far it's pretty good; disturbing but good. I had heard of Bukowski before, and I had thought that he was one of the beat poets (Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg) but then I looked it up and he's not. The style does seem similar though. It's a sort of a counter culture type of voice that is common in all those books. It was written in 1982 which is much later than the famous beat novels like Howl, On the Road, and Naked Lunch but it is set in the same time period of the late 50s or early 60s.

Anyway I'll try to write more about it after I've finished it.

The second reason is that as some of you know my email was hijacked by spammers over the weekend. Some of you have already seen the email that supposedly came from me: A blank email with nothing but a naked link in the body.

I've heard back from around 50 people who were in my contact list who received one of these BS emails from my address. Most people knew better but those who did click the link said it either didn't work or led to a website trying to sell them Viagra.

Sidebar: Are the people who make Viagra really not selling enough of the stuff?

Hopefully most of you that I email have spam filters that caught the message. For those of you who did see it I would like to apologize. I've since changed my password and emailed Google to let them know what happened. I'll continue to watch my sent mail folder to make sure this doesn't happen again (hopefully).

So, before this post gets too long I just want to talk about spam for a moment (unsolicited electronic messages or solicitations, not the canned meat). There are many different types of electronic spam but email spam is the most annoying IMO.

According to Wikipedia (the most reliable source on the internet) spam makes up 80-85% OF ALL EMAIL. That seems ridiculous. I understand why it's done and I suppose it's a necessary evil for all the benefits of technology but I have to wonder: does it really work? I suppose there are a lot of stupid people out there but really how often does someone click on a link in a spam email and actually buy something at the bizarre website it takes them to? I realize the sites may be supported by per click advertising or some model like that but still, those ads have to drive some kind of sales to make it worth it right?

Okay I won't rant about this for much longer but I honestly just don't get it. If you ever get an email from me or anyone else with nothing but a plain link in it - question it. Would someone you know really contact you this way? I rarely send people links in an email but if I do I certainly still say hello and explain what it is I'm trying to point you to. At least reply to the sender to confirm they sent it to you.

And if you're a spammer remember: what goes around comes around and karma is a beach.

So what do you think? Do you hate spam as much as I do? Have you ever read Ham on Rye or the beat poets? Please share your thoughts in the comments.


MissV said...

I've been seeing a lot of people getting hijacked lately. In several cases, their facebook & email passwords were the same.

Anyone who clicked on the link should be running a virus scan AND changing their passwords. It may not have been a 'dead' link, it may have invited the hijacker in to do the same thing to their contact lists.

JustineDell said...

Nope, I've never read that book. I will put it on the growing list of "to reads". I might get around to it by the time I'm 40. LoL.

As for Spam...GRRRRRRR. It clogs up my inbox (because not all spam goes to the spam folder, you know). It doesn't help that I have 4 different email accounts I must work through and get rid of all the garbage I have been sent. I wish Spam was illegal (both the electronic kind AND the funky meat).

I've never been hijacked and I cross my fingers I never do. I would hate having to change my passwords. That would be total pain.


Talli Roland said...

I too thought Bukowski was a beat poet. I've heard of the book but never read it.

Oh, spam! I had a Twitter account hijacked once and sent out spam messages to all my followers. That was super annoying!

Jonathon Arntson said...

I received a SPAM text the other day in like Russian or something. It was uber bizarre and totally freaked me out. It's good that you made contact with Google so that they know when these things happen. I called AT&T right away and reported my incident. Regarding SPAM as a necessary evil...uh, no. I think we'd be much better off without the site pollution in our lives.

MissV said...

Justine, you better make it 50...I'm here to tell you 40 will be sneaking up on you before you know it!


Sheri Larsenッ said...

Jon, I received something in Spanish; at least I think it was Spanish. We need to can Spam!!

Sorry, couldn't resist. (Head hanging in disgrace.)

MissV said...

Sheri, did you mean SpaMish? hahaha...I'm going to work now....y'all are safe

Jaydee Morgan said...

That really sucks. I hate spam as well - although in your situation, it would be more than just an annoyance. I hope it all works out and that they get theirs.

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

Um, I dislike spam.
I haven't read the book.

Fun and random connection: Jack Kerouac supposedly haunts the bookstore that I JUST posted about today.

Maybe it was Jack that hi-jacked your email. ;)

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Yeah, I'm getting those spam vigra emails too...but not from you. The sender has my name mixed in with a bunch of other letters. What really bites is that I used to work in the pharmaceutical industry. It's like a constant slap in my face. I've been getting smiliar ones in my comments on old posts, but I found a way around that. ;)

Falen said...

i, too, wonder if spam ever actually works.
I MAY open an email if i'm unsure, but i certainly don't click any links.

Slamdunk said...

Sorry to hear about the e-jacking that must not be fun.

Elana Johnson said...

I hate spammers, but I have to say that I quite enjoy fried spam. For realz.

Sorry that happened to you.

Lola Sharp said...

Love the book...HATE the spam and Spam.

Sorry you were hijacked.

Shannon said...

Hi Matt,

That really sucks about your email. I haven't had it happen, but it's come close. My account has been locked for too many unsuccessful attempts. My entire machine was hijacked by a common rogue antivirus after clicking an article link on msn (I posted about it here http://shannonmcm.com/?p=340).

Not feeling any love for these &^%$!#.

Oh, and no, I haven't read it yet.

Bish Denham said...

Oh yeah...I got that email. I just deleted it. Thanks for the heads-up.

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

I hate spam email. I get all excited thinking I've got something interesting but no, it's a stupid link to some product I don't want to buy. Grrr. I've set up a spam folder now.

Creepy Query Girl said...

Ok, that explains it. Yes, I got an email too but I figured it was something like that. That sucks!

That Rebel with a Blog said...

Haven't read Ham on Rye, nor any of the Beat Poets. I have, however, read one too many Viagra spams. Not from you, 'cause we just met. Hi there, by the way, nice to meet you.

I LIKE your title and, after googling Ham and Beats and falling in love with them, will now be forced to make a trip to my local library. Thanks. So that's who Jack Kerouac is/was. And Allen Ginsberg. It's a huge slice of history, a missing link, a big dohhh! I sense answers awaiting, pieces waiting to fall in to place. Again, thanks!

Jen said...

I dislike both types of spam... YUCK! Luckily I don't receive too much spam in a day but I am very watchful of it!

Roland D. Yeomans said...

I hate spammers and intrusive cyber-thieves. I can only hope some cyber-wise vigilante serves them poetic justice sometime in the near future.

Matthew, I've entered Melissa Marr's short story contest. Would you mind strolling over there for a look-see?


Vote if you like my story. If not, still thanks for going the 2nd mile for me. Submit your own story, let me know the link, and I'll be over there warp-speed to return the favor. We unpublished authors have to stick together.

May your find strength and no spam for your mid-week, Roland

I sure hope this is cyber-proper to ask. Being at this for only a bit over 2 months, I'm still learning the ropes, Roland

Jonathon Arntson said...

Gross, eating fried SPAM is like eating fried death.

Palindrome said...

I love Charles Bukowski but I've only read his poetry which is delightful and I don't read poetry.

His fiction titles are awesome though.

I get tons of spam on my main email but I've had if for about 12 years. And I only send blank emails with links to one person so he knows it's coming, not masses.