Friday, December 23, 2005

Spam, with spam and eggs, and spam

I'm a big fan of the Monty Python skit on spam: "egg and spam; egg bacon and spam; egg bacon sausage and spam; spam bacon sausage and spam; spam egg spam spam bacon and spam; spam sausage spam spam bacon spam tomato and spam."

But the stuff we all get in our e-mail inboxes is a whole different matter. It's enough to make you wonder why you bothered with e-mail in the first place. From lucrative get-rich-quick offers to the latest holiday alert from Target — there's no escape from it all. "Cool. Cut. Funny. Audition holiday cards" is the latest offer from Target, a spam e-mail I've attempted to unsubscribe and block several times to no avail.

In Stowe, Powershift Online has experienced the full power of the darkside, I mean, of spam. The local Internet service provider recently got overloaded with so much spam its server went down in flames and thousands were left without e-mail for, gasp, a matter of days.

Sad, but true that the loss of e-mail for a short period of time is now considered something of a disaster. With so many people dependant on e-mail daily (not myself, of course) the meltdown of service cuts the invisible strings of attachment we've woven together in the last decade or so. For regular folks, it's a pain in the butt. But for businesses, the loss of e-mail can be a big blow. The Stowe Reporter, for example, felt the shockwaves of the Powershift crash: Our primary e-mail address couldn't take in news submissions, pictures, and letters to the editor, etc. For us, on the day (Wednesday) when we put together the paper and ship it to the printers, that loss of e-mail was indeed a crisis.

For the rest of us, though, I think the e-mail blackouts can be positive reminders from time to time. Maybe we could call someone the phone and hear their voice instead out shooting out an electronic message. Heck, we could write "letters" on "paper" too.

Mark that one on your list of New Year's resolutions. I will if you do, too.

- Scott Monroe


Blogger Susie Turnau said...

Even letters on paper aren’t. For years now the holiday letters I get are addressed to “My friends” and are “ketchups” of the year’s most glorious achievements, generally highlighting the children and grandchildren, but occasionally touting the sender’s marvelous career climb or detailing an exotic vacation that I must find truly magnificent. Ugh.

9:49 AM  
Blogger Scott Monroe said... that you mention it.

I get those letters, too, and certainly many are less personal than others. There's one Christmas card in particular that fits the exact description you described. It is a little sad that it takes the holidays to jolt people into remembering one another. Even then, we're not so much remembering others, so much as ourselves.

11:19 AM  

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