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Category Archives: Invisible Lit

Spam Lit

If only Tristan Tzara had lived to read spambot subject lines, some boiler-room hacker’s idea of a foolproof strategy for bluffing your way past spam-killer defenses. “Be godparent or osteology,” admonishes today’s first hunk of junk mail, a Dadaist ultimatum if ever there was one. What mental-ward wisdom hides in this love-it-or-leave-it, my-way-or-the-highway dualism? Does it mean: If you’re not part of a social network, bound by family ties, you’ve got one foot in the boneyard? “Riddle and barbecue,” another spam subject line advises, sounding like a ’50s cookbook for patio Daddy-o’s who want to be the life of the garden party, even while grilling. “Ragweed conjunct Sherlocke,” reads another, cryptically. A reference to Conan Doyle’s mythical detective? If so, why ye olde terminal “e”?

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