Thursday, January 31, 2008

Hello Sir I Am A Wealthy American Government Organization

I like Uptown Magazine; you should too! I'm in this week's issue, so have a look-see.

Owing to the recent change in publishing equipment and consequential smaller format of the newspaper, all biweekly columnists will henceforth be appearing monthly instead. Kind of a bummer, but alas; since I'm still published as often as David Suzuki is, I figure I'll manage. Take that, environment!

In internet news, I can personally report and confirm that the email spam of the world remains as ill-advised as ever. Earlier today, one of my inboxes reeled in a very serious and formal notice claiming itself as -- stop me if you've heard this one before -- a rebate notice from the Internal Revenue Service. How nice of the IRS to email me personally with promises of a couple hundred dollars, available to me only if I click the included link to an incomprehensible and obviously Korean address!

This strain of spam is a good couple of years old, is well-documented, and is particularly stupid even by spam standards. It's not terribly difficult to spot the man behind the curtain when A) the IRS is not exactly notorious for giving people money, B) the implicit idea that the American government knows everybody's email address raises more questions than answers, C) the email I received proclaimed itself to be from despite IRI actually being the Islamic Republic of Iran, and D) I live in Canada, you mouthbreathing subhuman nimrods.

And somebody somewhere is falling for this even as we speak! That's always the worst part about these things -- no matter how garbled, how obviously fake or how mind-searingly stupid the message is, there are still people out there who must just be gleefully clicking on anything they see.

Couldn't you people at least send me some pandering all-Canadian spam for a change? I mean, I'm still not going to fall for it -- but if I open up my inbox and see "hooray you are winner anne murray tix and delicious beer click now for priez" or "CONGRATS YOU HAVE BEEN CHOSEN AS MAPLE LEAFS GENERAL MANAGER", I'll at least get a smile out of it for a change. Come on, spambots! You can do this!


tyler said...

In reference to the Uptown article,

There actually was a period when we didn't relive our childhoods as much as we are now today. It was probably around 5 years ago in my opinion (perhaps somewhat longer but definitely before Youtube). The cause of it is that late-Generation X/early-Generation Y now finally has money, technology and power. The Internet, being faster, more accessible and powerful than ever, with us behind the steering wheel has allowed much of this. It's natural for people to want significance from what they believed in as children and that's what has allowed phenomenons such as RetroWinnipeg and The Angry Nintendo Nerd to exist and why we see the extensive use of emulatorsssssss........the Wii's Virtual Console.

60 year olds may not dress the same way they did as youngsters but they certainly feel much of what they lived during that time was as golden as it gets. The only reason they're not as exposed to it anymore is because they're no longer the ones who make the money for their nostalgia's existence. The suits are aware that the ones currently making the money lived in a day when Optimus Prime was the lord. That's why we are now seeing Contra 4 and Rocky 6. We simply will pay for it.

Personally? I feel this merely a trend. Perhaps a trend that will never end and will rather live to feed other generations but in our case, we're reaching the point where we've kept digging and digging through that old toy box that we're reaching close to the bottom. Once the Indiana Jones films is over and done with (perhaps the new Street Fighter film as well), our generation will be done with. That brings a new startling realization. Once we've been able to relive our childhood throughout, we'll have also realized like you said that not everything we experienced was that good. This is something that not as many generations before us were able to experience to the great extent that we did. It leaves to wonder whether that will be a positive or negative experience.

As for pogs. That's probably also due to the fact that everyone who remembered them has now disappeared from the recess playground so there's a whole slew of children who will want them for no good reason. Besides, marbles were supposed to have made a comeback too and I haven't heard much from them.

Tatsujin said...

Though I can't think of much to both the article and Tyler's well-written pieces on the subject, I feel I must raise another issue of possibly Greater concern.

Lets see if I can lead up to this without butchering the suspense. First, 60-year olds are able to keep their golden memories pristine if not somewhat hazy thanks to no further rehashing. Our generation is starting to see a resurgence of our own 'golden childhood', because apparently some of it is good enough to still spend money on. But-- and I'll bet you can see where I'm going by now-- what about our future children? By then, there is a solid guarantee that not just our generation's Nostalgia will still be there, but also All the accumulated rifraff up to that point. Nostalgic culture might begin to have that same odd feeling that you get when you meet a 12 year-old who has just become a Beatles convert. Not only have they been mostly dead in their lifetimes, but for most of our own, as well.

In many 'traditional' cultures, I can't imagine that their collections of myths grow that much beyond the first couple thousand years of cultural evolution. They get a few stories that tell you how to, I dunno, cook a lot of ducks in a earthen oven or make new moccasins by taking apart your old ones and copying their template. Once you have that complete collection of culturally-useful tales, I expect new ones would crop up a bit less often.
Now, I ask; might that happen with our current situation? Could it be possible that eventually, we will gather enough collective 'culture' that it will become sufficient, and eternally relevant (read: marketable)?
This almost makes me think that eventually, when Canadians travel to another country and are asked about their heritage, they won't say "part-scottish- english- irish- trinidadian", but actually "Canadian" (or "Internet?") and the other people will nod and bring to mind their favorite folk story of how Strength isn't enough to topple the world, but that you also need the Triforce of courage and (maybe) Wisdom too. Or something?
Will the same 40-year-period of pop-culture continue to be rehashed until it becomes in-ground myth? Or will we have to extend high school to 14 grades just to give our youth the time to be encultured not only in their current scene, but also the cumulatively recorded and preserved music from the past century, or more?

...After writing that, for some reason I feel like someone writing a fan-fiction on a bad gaming forum. ugh, wildly unfounded hypothetical situations just aren't my thing, I guess