I deleted several hundred spam comments this morning. I do this many mornings, if clearly not frequently enough to prevent the accumulation of hundreds of comments on "condooms" and parking for London's Gatwick Airport and long spammy backlinks written entirely in Chinese.
Because the spam is so irritatingly constant and so consistently incoherent, this deletion ritual feels mostly like a basic bit of housekeeping without any great significance. Wallace Stevens surely found something awe-inspiring and profound in the act of taking out the garbage, but for most of us it's just a thing to do so that our kitchen doesn't smell like old produce. This time, though, felt different. For the first time, I detected something of a pattern in the comments itself, some signal pulling itself from all that weirdlypunctuated noise. The signal was just trying to sell me on hotel rooms in Indonesia, so it wasn't much of a signal, but there it was: the spammers rising together in a baffling chorus. I kept deleting the messages, but I was inspired to make another contribution to our Spam Poetics collection.
From its inception, Spam Poetics has delivered a potent combination of batshit language and helpful, money-saving deals on Beats By Dre headphones. They have been political. They have offered innovative urban planning solutions. They have offered keen perspective on inequality, and minor league soccer. There was the one comment that used the phrase "Bieber will yield his skateboard," and the two magisterial recuperations that followed. Also, I wrote one myself last month. We are not done. The spammers are still speaking.
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