Port: meta-roint

Yesterday I posted a comment praising one of my textless photographs for raising what the pork-offal commenter called incredible roints and sopid arguments. “Sopid,” I assume, is call-center English for “solid,” and “roints” is “points” with an anti-Bayesian Greek rho substituted for the Latin p.

Today that comment attracts a meta-comment, viz.:

F*ckin’ awesome issues here. I’m very glad to look your post.
Thanks so much and i’m taking a look ahead to contact you.
Will you kindly drop me a mail?

Like many other spam comments, this one is hosted by an internet provider in Buffalo, New York, a port on the Great Lakes. Buffalo is what’s called post-industrial, and without the economic activity generated by enterprises like its spamhost, it and its city dialect might now be as extinct as Cavafy’s Alexandria. But with every new click on a comment spam, the old port traffics again, and lives and evolves. Hear its former idiom “looking forward” change under the influence of trade between call-center India and hedge-fund America into “taking a look ahead.”

In 1845, about half a century after New England began industrializing, Henry David Thoreau sat down by a landlocked little lake in New England and wrote, “I have thought that Walden Pond would be a good place for business, not solely on account of the railroad and the ice trade; it offers advantages which it may not be good policy to divulge; it is a good port and a good foundation. No Neva marshes to be filled, though you must every where build on piles of your own driving.” In 2016, the port of post-industrial Buffalo sinks piles into the deposits of its former physical language and opens itself to a new commerce with the ethereal. There, unmeaning words flow nonstop from click to click, lapping at piers to which nothing is moored.

Bulletin: there are jobs for Ph.D.s in English

Today’s comment spam reads:

Hi my friend! I wish to say that this article is awesome,
nice written and include approximately all vital infos.
I’d like to see more posts like this.

The sender (or “sender”) advertises him/her/itself as a vendor of essays for students. For education’s sake, I’m always glad to restock the shelves.

Give me excellent butt, Pop!

About my post “Embrace your inner Red,” which consists only of a photograph, a comment spammer’s script generates this.

Have you ever thought about including a little bbit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is important and everything.

However think about if you added some great photos or videos to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent butt with pics and videos, this website could definitely be one of the most beneficial inn its niche.
Terrific blog!

The image that comes to your mind will be better than any mere physical JPEG. Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard / Are sweeter.

Dear comment spammer, you’re absolutely right about the existential problem posed by reality

I quote your formulation of the problem below. But won’t you tell your readers your name?

I, to name just one reader, would like to thank you personally. Most of my students arrive in college having learned that any paper can be made longer by inserting the three-word phrase “the use of” before every noun, but in their clumsy hands that’s a mere automatism. They do it without thinking. But your substitution of “by using” for “with” in “filled by using punctuation difficulties” is a move that’s genuinely profound. It not only complicates the simple; it ascribes purposiveness and moral agency to error.

And then when you commit errors yourself, irony is created and your slice of rotten spam becomes a work of art to rival Baudelaire’s “Une Charogne.”

Thanks! Readers, admire!

needless to say just like your internet site but you have to take apple iphone 4 punctuation upon numerous within your threads. Many of them are filled by using punctuation difficulties so i believe it is very irritating to tell the reality on the other hand I am going to undoubtedly keep coming back all over again.

To read, read monocularly

Sometimes reading is possible only through a monocle. Here’s your evidence, below and above.

Below is one of the comment spams that are once again, after a long absence, trying to parasitize this blog. They arrive at exactly the right historical moment: the impending centenary of the Great War, whose concomitant rhetoric caused Hemingway’s Lieutenant Henry to deliver himself of a set speech famously beginning, “I was always embarrassed by the words sacred, glorious, and sacrifice and the expression in vain” and continuing, “I had seen nothing sacred, and the things that were glorious had no glory and the sacrifices were like the stockyards at Chicago if nothing was done with the meat except to bury it.” Keep those lines in mind now as you continue reading and encounter the phrase “For instance.”

Yes, Tenente: “Certain numbers . . . certain dates and these with the names of the places were all you could say and have them mean anything.” If it’s read only for the duration, within the sub-grammar of spam, the phrase “For instance” above does mean something. It is an anti-Bayesian element. Its function is to defeat the software that tries to detect a human purpose (such as “Buy my wares”) in the non-verbal vicinity of a verbal communication. But within the larger grammar of the English language, “For instance” also has an inhuman purpose. Out of the disembodied inhuman elements of logic it assembles trains of thought, coupling sex cars to sex cars and photography cars to photography cars. To spam that act of construction by decoupling its contexts is to commit an act of sabotage against language itself.  Yes, Tenente: even the simple adverbial “For instance” can be made to mean nothing.

But once he had thought himself that far into the predicaments of language, Hemingway’s talkative hero retreated a short way by opening his paragraph about the meaninglessness of language with the self-negating formula, “I did not say anything.” As if saying that one is not saying anything could absolve one from saying something.

The monocled man in the picture above was braver when it came to saying something and then dealing with the damage.  This was Tristan Tzara, and when he and his collaborators created Dada they created a language which not only articulated the possibility of meaninglessness but spoke meaninglessness into a counter-meaning. Put on the monocle now and see: a century after Dada, the spam’s money shot following the line about the anatomy of the penis is a link to a Facebook page advertising child care.

If we’re even to hope of thinking grammatically about that, we’ll probably have to break the communication down to single words like “penis” and “care” and read them slowly and squintingly, each one by itself, in isolation from its spamgrammar. For that, a recommended implement might be the monocle.

Source: Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms (New York: Scribners, 1929; Hemingway Library Edition, 2012) 161.

As King Ubu reminds us, if it weren’t for Poland there wouldn’t be any Poles

My May 2012 post “Men’s tools and camera queen,” long deleted from the blog, still attracts clicks from multiple sites in Poland. They’re addressed only to that post, and none of the clicking fingers have proceeded from their 404 to click further. However, the emotion throbbing within each click is palpable across it matters not how many watery kilometers lie between the Baltic and the Pacific

Countrymen of Chopin and Conrad, therefore! Jeszcze Polska nie zginęła! Here again at your click-command is the text that your bot has been yearning for!

It won’t mind reading a tamper-resistant PDF, will it?

Mens-tools-and-camera-queen.pdf