In recent months I’ve noticed my spam becoming increasingly bizarre. Some subject lines are so truly absurd that I cannot imagine their origin. Are they simply really bad translations of, say, Russian or Portuguese? Are they random machine generations meant to foil spam filters? It’s a mystery.
It has, however, made my daily batch of spam less of a nuisance and more a source of amusement. In a way, I feel lucky for my email address to have been captured on some particularly strange mailing lists.
Sometimes, a line is strangely poignant: “He worry in unabridged volumes.” Perhaps this unnamed protagonist simply needs more Viagara or a new Nigerian Ponzi scheme in which to invest, but doesn’t it just break your heart that he worries that much?
Which brings me to what may be the first in a series of found Spam Poems. I’ve started compiling these sometimes gibberish, sometimes evocative lines into verse. Each line is a complete spam subject line, completely unedited. The only thing I’ve done is arrange them in stanzas with an ABAB rhyming scheme.
This first poem launches with a strong declaration and call to action, explores historic strife and existentialism in the second stanza, and then looks deep into the soul’s insecurities in the third. I hope you like it.
Here We Come!
here we come! stop deconvolution
That organise go bantamweight
Be open he loon affliction
Have buy as evaporate
Be want do holocaust galaxy
dedicated to you occident inflater
My travel on minstrelsy
Which rules are in effect here? devilish calorimeter
A speak my scared fixedly
my wife onerous carmine
you tell do exercise villainies
As turnon an vine
Ugh. I should have listened to the myriad critics and friends who warned me off this one… it is indeed quite bad. Everything you’ve heard is true: impossibly long, unintelligibly edited (can anyone explain to me Alexander’s supposedly brilliant scheme in the first battle? Running away and coming back will allow greater access to strike the enemy king exactly how?), and schizophrenic with regards to its sexual politics. So Alexander was bisexual, fine. But in this day and age, doing anything to avoid showing an onscreen kiss just calls attention to itself. Two pretty men gazing at each other and saying things like “By Zeus’ beard, you are indeed a great man” is just comical.
And most amusingly: if accents are to be judged, Angelina Jolie’s character hails from Transylvania, and Alexander and his father came to Greece by way of down the pub. In fact, the kid who plays the young Alexander sounds more Irish than Colin Farrel himself!
I rented the director’s cut, which bucks the trend in actually being shorter than the theatrical version (the only other director I know of to do this is Stanley Kubrick, who would often continue to abridge films even during release). At 3 hours, 55 minutes, I am quite glad I didn’t decide to go with the theatrical version.
What was good about it? Angelina Jolie is always a pleasure to watch – an old-school movie star in the sense that her presence and beauty are so overpowering that she might as well be from another planet. I’ve always thought Val Kilmer was a fine actor (especially in the underrated Spartan). And in a suprisingly plain-looking movie for Stone, it’s a great relief when he finally cuts loose in the surreal, literally blood-soaked sequence of Alexander’s near-fatal wounding in India.
Elegant. Gorgeous. Sophisticated. And that’s just Maggie Cheung; the movie is nice to look at, too.