Monday, March 06, 2006

Trojan Horse, of Course, of Course

I got an e-mail today with the audacious subject line:
We cure any disease!
Now, to my knowledge I don't currently have any diseases, but I thought this would be information worth keeping close at hand, so I opened the e-mail, where I saw advertised
  • Viagra (generic, soft)
  • Cialis (generic, soft)
  • Levitra (generic)
  • Viagra & Cialis

Now, I don't know much about medicine, but if Viagra cured any disease I think it would have a different rep than it currently has. Maybe Viagra and Cialis, taken together, is the panacea we've all been waiting for, but if that's the case, I think there's been a marketing blunder; Panacea is a great brand name for a pill that cures everything, and you don't have to worry about people making fun of you for taking it.

Very little bugs me as much as spam, but spam often redeems itself by giving me a good laugh. Nevertheless, false pretenses are incredibly frustrating. We don't know ourselves perfectly well, but we know ourselves well enough to know what we do and don't want to be exposed to, so people (and there are people behind these spam, just as surely as there are people leaving me voice mail messages about winning time-shares and trips to Las Vegas) mask their motives in order to get past our first defenses. The net result is that we set up more and more defenses--more and higher firewalls to keep others out and ultimately trap ourselves in.

Life together would be a more attractive proposition if we didn't have to wonder what we were getting ourselves into. But life alone bears its own false pretense: no man is an island, no matter how sweet the proposition sounds.

5 comments:

Margaret Feinberg said...

The thing that gets me thinking about spam is that if no one responded to it...they'd quit doing it. Which means that someone, somewhere is answering those adds for an enlarged penis and internet home mortgage from a perfect stranger. Now that scares me.

David A. Zimmerman said...

As usual, 24 is prescient and appropos. On Monday night's episode, a terrorist entered the CTU offices under false pretenses and released a nerve gas into the ventilation system. Our heroes were forced to trap themselves in an airtight room and refuse entry to anyone still in the hallways. (I swear I wrote my post before I watched the show!)

dan webster said...

Of course, some of the spam may actually contain a Trojan Horse - of sorts of sorts. The viral kind that delves into your secret vaults... ahem, records on your computer. Sends email to everyone in your address book, etc, etc.

Let's not forget about the nice folks out there that want us to send them our social security numbers, credit card numbers, and account numbers (for anything and everything).

With that said, the mention of SPAM is making me hungry - perhaps a nice fried Spam sandwich for lunch today...

Pete Juvinall said...

On 24:

What the heck was that? Why kill off the IT guy eh? :) Of course, we have to wait till next monday night to see if he's 'really' dead. We were visiting a writer friend of my wife's this weekend in Atlanta and her critique of the show is its basis in reality (e.g. that something 'bad' happens every hour at the five minute mark). I replied that it would be really funny, and realistic, if at the end of 8 p.m. you catch Jack going into the bathroom or having a snickers bar.

On spam:

Yeah, there are some hillarious ones. I think what's even better is I received a phishing e-mail the other day that started out 'we're not a phishing scheme...please give us your credit card'. It made me laugh out lout :).

Mr Steve said...

This post reminded me of these episodes I'd heard on This American life.

Hoaxing Yourself,
Act 3 of MacGyver
and
Act 3 of Babysitting

The MacGyver story was made into a mediocre movie with Matthew Broderick and Alec Baldwin. Oh, Ferris Bueller, where are you when we need you? Bueller? Bueller?