Wednesday, April 7, 2010


I rise to praise what is perhaps the single greatest innovation of the twentieth century -- that thing which, no matter the news of the day, no matter the latest assault on one's soul that descends from the uncaring skies, from the unsilenceable sources of searing insanity, says to one simply, unmistakably, entirely reliably: you are here, you exist, you have worth. Unquestioning, it gives what you ask, it confirms and validates you. Fundamentally, tangibly, predictably, willingly. Unfailingly.

I speak, of course, of the ATM.

It's in this context that I note, somewhat ruefully and quite unexpectedly, a psychically related phenomenon.

I think I miss my spam.

Every day, not wanting to offend someone who might have emailed me legitimately, I check my spam filter. I assume most people do. And, until very recently, there'd be at least one hundred fifty messages every day. Maybe two hundred. (It's a pretty smart filter: it only occurs once a week or so that there's something legit in it. It does let through three or four pieces of obvious spam every day, which makes me wonder what its parameters are. But no one's perfect.)

So, anyhow, in the last week or so, I've noticed something peculiar: the amount of spam has taken a very significant nosedive; maybe half as many, maybe even less, are there for the viewing. Well, I've been thinking, this is curious. Has a new law gone into effect which makes spamming more risky? Now that people will have health care, do they not feel the need to steal? (But, no, I don't think the bill affects Nigeria...) What's going on?

Okay, it's not as if it's a bad thing. How nice it would be to see an end to all spamming. What a waste of time it is, how it must hurt the one in a few million who buys the crap that's being sold. And yet...

Today, finding, once again, a mere fraction of the expected amount of junk mail in my folder, I sensed -- it's really quite embarrassing to admit it and it's only because my readers are so supportive and reality-based that I dare confess it -- something entirely unexpected. I think I missed it; or, maybe more accurately, I think I wondered: is it me? Have I ceased to exist to some spammers, don't they care anymore? Am I forgotten, do I no longer matter to them? Crazy as it seems, I may be feeling a little bad.

So I'm heading to the ATM to see if it'll give me some money.


  1. Psssst Sid,
    its the 21st Century Dude. Has been for ummm some 19 years now depending on whether you think it began in 2000, or 2001(I take you for a 2001 man....)


  2. The old song, "Paranoia may destroy ya," lol. Think that was the Kinks, the better than Rolling Stones band.

    In NYS we had early Moneymatic Machines back in the the late 70's, I think, but certainly yearly 80's. Marine Midland was an early state-wide bank, and you could actually go anywhere in the state and find a money machine.

    Shortly after that, when I was in college on a work transfer experience in Ireland, my Visa still worked (much to my detriment, I was able to borrow money at large hotels--wasn't staying there, I needed to find them to access my Visa--which I only had because I'd worked for the bank for a couple years. I still needed money for cheeses sandwiches and Guinness, the drink of Irish nourishment. MMMM. That hitching around and hostels still cost money.

    Losing spam, well, put that in the non-paranoia column of life. You have finally not clicked on enough links to keep you in their radar. Rejoice, feel good! So much left to worry about, maybe your spam filter improved and didn't tell you, or--who cares? Doesn't mean you are no longer vulnerable.

    Enjoy the vacation.

    Check out Ireland someday. I loved the experience, but, after backpacking around Dublin and Galway, went through N Ireland, at that time it was a very different world. Walking through Belfast, having your backpack checked because of terrorism, looking at graffiti, walking the Catholic section--don't recall where it was we checked out, I'm thinking Falls Rd, soldiers, with guns, very carefully moved we 2 stupid American girls and 1 Canadian dude, out of the area. Respectful, smiled a bit, but these were soldiers.

    This comment has gone way beyond what I meant to say.

    I think ATM's started working at least by the 1980's, Mr Drackman, or is he actually Dr Drackman?.


    barb in NY


Comments back, moderated. Preference given for those who stay on topic.

Popular posts