8 June 2003
Eric Scheie at Classical Values proposes this modest solution to the problem of email spam:
Spammers could simply be crucified along the highways, just the way the Romans did it. As in the good old days of public crucifixions along the Via Appia, here the modern Al Gore Information Superhighway could be seamlessly linked to live crucifixions via strategic web cams, viewable at anti-spam websites, where we could watch the spammers die (and other spammers could witness the fates of their comrades). What a deterrent!
A real "Pilate Program!"
Needless to say, no libertarian would seriously propose that the government get involved in such cruel punishments (which obviously violate the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution), and I am not doing that. Let's keep it in the private sector where it belongs. Spammers flooded the world with shoddy advertisements during their lives, and it is only fair that their deaths be advertising spectacles the tackier the better! "Your corporate message and logo HERE! on THIS CROSS!" (Buy as many crosses as you can afford!) "Another spammer nailed courtesy of SnuffNet.com!" Securely fastened with "Palm Pilate" brand "finishing nails" as seen on the Internet!
Serves 'em right for promising to grow all that wood for us.
(Muchas gracias: Craig Ceely.) Posted at 3:31 PM to Entirely Too Cool , Scams and Spams
Spartacus Act III, Scene 6: Prisoner Sequence
Scene: A large hillside overlooking the detrius of battle. A group of dejected SPAMMERS are sitting despondently, staring at the thousands of bodies of their former comrades-in-arms. Keeping careful watch over them are ROMAN GUARDS with gladius held at the ready.
Enter GENERAL CRASSUS. He surveys the beaten army with a stern gaze. Unbeknownst to him, two of the spammers, SPARTACUS261 and ANTONINUS@AOL.COM, are among the prisoners, studying him intently.
CRASSUS: You are all under a sentence of death. However, your lives will be spared. Spammers you once were, and spammers you will be again. However, as the price for your lives, you must deliver unto me the spammer known as SPARTACUS261.
The spammers stir uneasily, but nobody speaks. Finally, SPARTACUS261 makes as if to stand and speak, but ANTONINUS@AOL.COM hastily stands in front of him and speaks.
ANTONINUS: I am Spartacus261! I can get you cheap, generic Viagra!
SPAMMER #2: No, I'm Spartacus261! I am the deposed king of Nigeria and need a business partner within the United States!
SPAMMER #3: I am Spartacus261! You want to see Hot Hidden Camera Pix of my hot sister?
At this moment, virtually all the SPAMMERS leap to their feet, each proclaiming loudly to be Spartacus261, offering XXX Passwordz, cheap inkjet refills, low-rate no-qualify mortgages, and copies of the Nieman Marcus cookie recipe. The view zooms in on a frustrated CRASSUS, who sees his final victory over the leader of the Spammer Army fading away into dust.
...with apologies to Stanley Kubrick...
<scratches head in befuddlement>
So, what you're saying, Joe, is that the Internet is an unjust empire, and spammers are its slaves rising up against its arbitrary brutality?
Well, if you want to get truly deep, it's actually more illustrative of my lack of confidence in our current spam-fighting methods.
Of course, I make it a general rule to remain base and shallow on a semi-regular basis, so all I'll admit to saying is this: Laurence Olivier could read a cereal box for hours and leave me entranced; and for someone who went on to greatness as a member of KISS, Jean Simmons was a heck of a looker back then.