The Poetry of Spam

I was going to call this post “Why are characters from Bromwell High sending me comment spam?” but I thought that was slightly long and more than a little obtuse. For those who don’t know, Bromwell High is a British-made animated comedy aimed at adults. It isn’t for the faint of heart – it makes South Park look like Sesame Street. I’m a fan of South Park but Bromwell High beats it on a number of fronts. It’s uncensored for one; I’m extremely juvenile and seeing a schoolgirl character punch another while saying “fuck you” makes me piss myself laughing.

The humour seems more intelligent and incisive than South Park’s (and despite what some people think, I believe quite a bit of intelligence is applied to South Park) and it may be my imagination but I think the makers of Bromwell High lean further to the left – they throw up outrageous stereotype to make fun of people who might believe the stereotypes rather than the stereotypes themselves. They certainly don’t have the annoying habit of saying global warming doesn’t exist or isn’t a problem (the one thing I wish they’d shut the fuck up about on South Park). Having said that, they hardly fall into any idea of being “politically correct”. Essentially, if you aren’t offended by the show, you aren’t paying close enough attention.

The show is set in an inner-London state school populated with students of every ethnic variant imaginable (even one white English girl who knows both her parents!) The central characters are three early-teen schoolgirls: Keisha, Latrina and Natella. Natella is Asian and, predictably enough, she’s the smart one. Keisha is black and stupid (they have the audacity to make their black character the dumb one!) Latrina is white, illegitimate and a slut. And also stupid. Keisha is my favourite: violent, subversive unremittingly stupid. She has the following conversation with the school counsellor:

Counsellor: You’re going to be sent to a school for “exceptionally challenged” students.

Keisha: Yes! (does victory dance) Wait, what does “exnepshunly” mean?

C: It means “very”.

K: And what does “challenged” mean?

C: It means “stupid”. So it would be fair to say you’re going to this school because you’re “very stupid”.

K: Yes! (does victory dance)

The teachers are worse than the students – dysfunctional is a dizzying array of ways. My favourites are the Principal, Iqbal, and his deputy, Mr Bibby. Iqbal is Iranian (I think), a complete criminal and speaks in broken English. Mr Bibby is a stereotype upper class Oxford graduate who is casually racist and offensive in the way only an arch conservative who has never questioned his world view can be (when he was arrested while trying to make money by kidnapping, his response was: “Kidnapping, illegal? Are you sure? This is political correctness gone mad.”) A classic conversation between them resulted from Iqbal’s disgust at other teachers dressing like kids in an attempt to be “cool”:

Iqbal: Ah, Mr Beeb, at least you’ma not like the children.

Bibby: On the contrary headmaster, I’m-a like the children very much.

I: No, I mean you not want dress like children.

B: Oh, I’m sorry, I thought you were speaking banana boat English.

Which brings me back to comment spam. I still hate those comment-spamming rat bastards but thanks to Akismet I can afford to laugh at them. Akismet has these scumbags hog-tied and butt-fucked. And there’s no reach-around from Akismet. I think I’d name my first-born “Akismet” if she didn’t already have a name. That’s actually not a bad name – I’ve heard worse. There are surprisingly few variants in the comment spam Akismet blocks, they are obviously being generated by scripts. Scripts written largely by people with poor English skills, many of them remind me of Iqbal:

“beautiful online information center. greatest work… thanks”

“Great job guys… Thank for you work…”

“i try to find something at google.com and take it on your site… thanks”

A few new ones have been cropping up lately; some are just strings of random characters and I’m now getting German comment spam! But there are a couple I’m tempted to actually let though because I like what they say:

“Your site is very cognitive. I think you will have good future.:)” and the charmingly rambling: “Not much on my mind right now, but it’s not important. I’ve just been letting everything happen without me. I just don’t have anything to say right now.”

I like that spammers appraise me as cognitive. I wonder if they like that I appraise them as worthless pile of dogshit? I can’t for the life of me work out why Akismet hasn’t taken over the world. Spam is basically the worst problem on the internet and Akismet seems to have it totally beaten. Forget making Mother Theresa a saint, the Vatican should be moving to beatify Akismet!

10 Comments

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10 responses to “The Poetry of Spam

  1. Jan

    what a good post.
    it is possible to contact you by e-mail? i’d like to ask you something not related to this.
    thanks.

  2. It’s always possible to contact me by email – you just have to know my email address😀 (if anyone thinks I’m mean, I actually sent Jan an email)

  3. I hadn’t heard about Bromwell high before. Looking forward to watching a few episodes. I’ve received pharmaceutical spam and some porn spam, but that’s it. I rarely actually take the time to read it.

  4. I got something yesterday saying “this site is very interesting” or something like that then a bunch of links. I don’t get them very often though.

    I definitely need to check out that series.

  5. Hell Boy

    “the Vatican should be moving to beatify Akismet” that’s a good idea, when’re yo gonna meet pope to inform him.
    im working on anti-human spams, maybe bullets can help!

  6. As much as you would like to portray yourself as a mean, noncaring bastard….a few of us know better. We’ll never tell though….wouldn’t want to ruin your bad reputation.😀

  7. Salamaat,
    Akismet is amazing…

    one of them seeped through mine but it said “You are intense…” and i just liked it so much; i decided it can stay. The poor spammer’s link didn’t work though…after all that work? serves him right, bastard:p

  8. South Park is censored down under? What a shame.

  9. Range: apparently it’s shown in Canada – the Wikipedia entry has details

    Michelle: that’s happened to me too, it cracks me up -wasting time spamming with broken links

    Hellboy: bullets is my preferred method for the spammers themselves

    Sandra: you’re a sweetie

    Maliha: Salamaat, “intense” is good. There is a really long one that appears occasionaly, some fantastic aimless rambling. I’ll post it if it appears again.

    Moonflake: I think it’s censored everywhere. Do they let them say “fuck” in SA?

  10. I’m watching it right now.
    the Australian slutty teacher to PC Carter:
    “Your pants, your trousers”
    “What?” PC Carter
    “Aren’t you supposed to take down everything I say?” says the Australian teacher.

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