Spam Poetry

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by mcadam, Feb 7, 2006.

  1. mcadam macrumors 6502a

    mcadam

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    københavn
    #1
    I've begun to get the most amazingly dada-poetic spam mail:

    It's written by someone called Myles Bridgett, though I assume it's a nom de plume. Apparently it's about buying viagra (advert attached as picture), though I think it contains many more deep layers of meaning than that. It simply open up so many questions.
    Normally I don't like art when it gets too commercial. But when commerce turns into art, it ... turns me on. Imho it's beautifull :D
    Anyone else seen these?

    A
     
  2. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #2
    Meh.

    Random computer generated C^@&

    It's randomly generated by the spam sending program so that anti-spam filters can't use a fixed character count or string match to identify it as spam.

    The latest 'magic pills' one I received started

    "brassy phrase lake adopt"

    The one before

    "fall mouth a little at the same time
    and produced my last letter
    to intrigue a navigator
    and went balancing myself up and down
    - all day linkage she seemed to think"
     
  3. mcadam thread starter macrumors 6502a

    mcadam

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    #3
    Random! no way! A sweatshop full of Vietnamese child poets sounds just quiiite a bit more likely to me. Only a human could create a sentence as intriguinly profound and romantic as this:

    would fly to the wurelds furdest end to keep off seeing me. For
    which of the gold watches that are capped and jewelled and After this

    by Royce Wright

    Ok - Royce Wright doesn't sound so Vietnamese, but as I said - I think it's just a pseudonym.

    A
     
  4. thedude110 macrumors 68020

    thedude110

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2005
    #4
    Yup. That's poetry. Found poetry, in fact.

    Not as good as the stuff in this translation thread, though ...

    Refrains came again into the sense and thus automatically also memories of the the rodent time. According to my opinion MUST for all memo twenties!
     
  5. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #5
    Nah.
    The critical point is that phrases are "pulled from random sources and assembled in such a way as to provide new meaning" Not randomly assembled.

    It is not enough to juggle
    "noun verb adjective noun noun"
    from random sources into random order deviod of meaning
    With a few primitive rules for word combinations, they can be english-like enough for the reader to attempt to find meaning in them.

    If you go to the examples of found poetry from Wikipedia, the difference between that and the spam examples is immediately apparent.


    Here - riddle me this - is this art?

    "Spitting for lowering briskly done
    Creaming like a guinea pig the situation fell to tight motives
    It sinks with alarmed, happy abandon,
    The feminine eyes of the cow rolled back at the sight of the choruses
    Run through the field of joy, past your lover, and embrace an indian elephant instead"

    http://www-cs-students.stanford.edu/~esincoff/poetry/jpoetry.html

    "you dreamt gently
    I whispered with you
    the sweet desire died late
    the sad misery told them a cold desire
    a stormy heart loved me
    I came with me
    he loved him soon
    you felt you late
    a frenetic heart surrendered for the graceful rose
    a breeze loved me"

    http://www.cs.bham.ac.uk/~nxm/mscPoetry/Poetry/CGPoetry.html

    They are quasi-english, sure. But they are both simply Java programs that assemble words.
     
  6. mcadam thread starter macrumors 6502a

    mcadam

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    #6
    Hmmm CanadaRAM, I think your definition of poetry is just a tiny bit narrow. But if you insist they're not Vietnamese but from Java I'm willing to give you the benefit of doubt.

    A
     
  7. thedude110 macrumors 68020

    thedude110

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2005
    #7
    Yes! Most certainly it's bad art! If only the programmer wasn't relying on such "poetic" words.

    Or ... poems don't require intent, just discovery.

    The L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poets of the 70's and 80's (who I adore -- there are still some clinging to the tenets of the movement today!) wrote many nonsense poems, often "translating" poems from English to nonsense!

    Such that David Melnick wrote:

    "meom-a

    meom-b"

    and had it anthologized.

    Now THAT'S poetry!

    And I would argue that in the examples above, the words have been pulled out of the language purposefully (to get by filters) and then reassmbled. In any case, there's no denying there's an assembly of words. And for us poets, where there's an assembly of words, there's a poem ...
     
  8. mcadam thread starter macrumors 6502a

    mcadam

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    #8
    Very well put dude :) and thanks to both of you for the links and examples.

    I'd never imagined this to turn into such detailed discussion of the correct definition of poetry, hehe. But since we're allready in it I think we should coin the term: Spam poetry :D

    edit: I should have known - it has allready been coined years ago. Duh. Though I think quality has improved since.

    And fresh from my spam box, this one is simply called "hi":

    not live sleep
    He understand spell
    not worry put
    from organise put
    Of run know
    active drink speak
    With sleep sign
    by borrow change
    me sleep need
    Which see translate
    I sing allow

    By Fitzpatrick Candy

    The best one I've gotten so far. "not live sleep" - wow.
    And the last half both (almost) rhyme and rythm.

    A
     
  9. clayj macrumors 604

    clayj

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2005
    Location:
    visiting from downstream
    #9
    In addition to what CanadaRAM has already said, spam filters in programs like Outlook use a "weighting" system to determine if a message is likely spam... every word (not EVERY word, but most common words) is assigned a weight value, either positive or negative. Obvious spam words like "Viagra" are assigned a high negative value, while non-spam words are assigned a small positive value. If the cumulative value of the words in the message falls below a certain value, the message is tagged as spam... so, a spammer can work around the spam filter by loading up a message with high-positive value words.
     
  10. Apple Hobo macrumors 6502a

    Apple Hobo

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    #10
    Reminds me of "sporge" from Usenet. Here's an example posting:

    It's interesting how complete gibberish can flow so smoothly.
     
  11. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
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    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #11
    Monkeys on typewriters, folks.

    If any assemblage of words is viewable as poetry, then the definition has lost its meaning.

    In order to be poetry IMCO (in my curmudgeonly opinion) there has to be intent, and context.

    The Found poetry examples, for example, definitely have a satirical context - they intend to provoke a reaction at both the poem and the source materiel it was drawn from.

    Nonsense and gibberish poetry similarly was written with intent, and the reader is informed by the context of its origin, presentation or juxtaposition against other things (poems, events, cultural givens)

    'Twas brillig and the slithy troves

    is confusing as all hell but also a wonderment for the reader. And not random in the least.

    A computer generated or random group of words is just that -- a random group of words, without intent, context or intelligence (or sensibility, or instinct if you prefer) behind them.

    They may be interesting in their randomness -- and pulling them from spam and presenting them in context such as at the Spam Poetry link -- and thus turning them into the source for Found poetry -- gives them some meaning -- but here again, it is after the process of intent, selection and presentation by an author.
     
  12. thedude110 macrumors 68020

    thedude110

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2005
    #12
    What about the intent of the reader? Can't the reader make a poem out of what wasn't a poem before? The reader is as armed with intent as the writer, and the reader certainly plays a significant role in defining what is and is not a poem. Most poets I know would say that once they've written something, it certainly doesn't belong to them (and, to a large extent, what they meant to write or mean doesn't really matter!).

    To respond more directly, you'd have a hard time convincing me, for example, that menus are not poems.
     
  13. mcadam thread starter macrumors 6502a

    mcadam

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    #13
    Right on target dude...

    Let me come with an example, but you'll have to excuse me for expanding the subject slightly. This expansion however will take us to the root of all our problems with definitions.

    Some of the most important pieces of art ever made are Marcel Duchamp's ready-mades, though he can hardly be said to have made them in the traditional sence of the word. They were found objects, made with no intent and no context of being artistic or poetic. But that was exactly what Duchamp added to them. He did not create them - he percieved them. The 'intention' is never in the object, but in the subject who percieves and interprets.


    Another example:

    CanadaRAM, CanadaRAM
    you're not a fan
    of poetry spam

    Though I have written this with both intention and in a context, it even rhymes, it is hardly poetic. But then again - it's all in the eye of the beholder.

    Finally, to follow CanadaRAM's curmodgeonly (and thankyou for that word :)) argumentation, one would have to agree to the statement "nature can hold no poetry". I don't think you have to believe in intelligent design to see the absurdity in that.

    A
     

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