by Mike Corrigan

Everyone in this country (and elsewhere) has a right to pursue career goals, to do whatever they deem necessary to make a legitimate living. Yes, even if they're salespeople. Yet there's one particular kind of sales pitch that assumes way too much about its target customers. Case in point: the trillion or so garbage e-mails I receive on a weekly basis. If I wasn't so amused by their hapless attempts at coercion, I might be inclined to feel a little insulted by their daily insinuations: that I have debt problems, thin lips, no mojo and a small johnson. Not a very pretty picture, is it?

It gets worse. They go on to assume that I'm overweight, undereducated and obsessed with bestiality. They seem to be sure that I'm continually running my printer cartridges dry. They paint me as a prescription pill popper, desperate for cheap Vioxx, Vicodin and Viagra fixes. They even have the nerve to suggest that I don't already experience "mind-blowing orgasms." Most ironic of all (or moronic, if you prefer), they assume that I'm fed up with spam itself. Which I am -- but not nearly enough to take them up on their spammed offer to rid me of future spam.

Obviously, I realize that spam is by its very nature indiscriminant and impersonal, that mass marketers who do Lucifer's bidding over the Internet via random address generators are simply zeroing in on American's hang-ups du jour. They're exploiting our collective insecurities using the shotgun method -- that is, if you throw enough crud out there, you're bound to hit something and have it stick. (And yes, this diatribe is at least partially fueled by a deep-seated need to hear myself yak.) But when that fetid, steaming spam shows up on my computer, in my shed, the impersonal can't help but feel a little, you know, personal. Especially after receiving the same demoralizing suggestions again and again and again. I mean, are you guys trying to tell me something here? What kind of a loser do you take me for, anyway? If I had a really debilitating case of low self-esteem, these sales pitches overflowing my e-mail inbox day in and day out might just enough to push me over the edge into acquiescence -- or worse.

To counteract all this spammed innuendo, I'm officially adopting a defensive stance. And in the interest of setting the record straight about my lifestyle, financial situation, preferences, predilections and habits, I wish to hereby affirm right here, right now, that (contrary to what you spammers would have me believe) I really don't have any problems with debt. Sorry about that. In fact, aside from my mortgage payment (which is totally manageable, and at a low rate), I'm virtually free of it. Furthermore, everything down there is perfectly fine, thank you very much; my meds are relatively cheap (thanks to blessed insurance); and I really don't have sweet daisy daydreams about possessing lips like those of Angelina Jolie. Finally, and although I have to admit that the sound of mind-blowing orgasms is rather intriguing, I don't see how a vibrating latex thingie called a jackrabbit will actually help me get there -- no matter how much that pathetic would-be vamp Charlotte on Sex and the City raves about it.

Maybe that's more than you all wanted to know. Well, screw it. Because now that I've vented, I'm going Internet shopping for something I really need, namely, one of those adorable little RC race cars that everyone, simply everyone, apparently has on their Christmas wish lists this year.

Publication date: 11/27/03

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