I'm getting to the point of installing the following email filter:
IF message is from anybody anywhere THEN delete message AND cause sperm-destroying gamma radiation to seep through their monitor and irradiate their private parts until they resemble lumps of charred coal.
Now I'm a big fan of the concept behind email. I fully support any technology which allows one user to instantly contact another user and explain to him the many ways in which he's a flagrant homosexual while simultaneously misspelling various key words. Communication has always powered the backbone of America, and pioneers have been constantly inventing new and advanced methods to exchange ideas even since the beginning of history. The Wild Wild West, which has recently been officially renamed to "The Era When It Was Slightly More Socially Acceptable for White People to be Real Assholes to All Minorities" in order to provide it with an acronym which doesn't match the World Wide Web, was famous for its early method of communication. On April 3, 1860, three men named William H. Russell, William B. Waddell, and Alexander Majors (each man had one name) developed a message transportation system which would allow notes to be carried, via horseback, nearly 2,000 miles from Missouri to California. Here's a copy of an actual message sent during the particularly harsh winter of 1860:
This express service which used many reliable ponies was dubbed "The Orient Express" and offered in-transit entertainment which featured Richard Widmark getting stabbed by Lauren Bacall. This service was eventually discontinued for the trivial reason that it never generated money and was subsequently replaced with either the telegram, the Dewey Decimal System, or maybe sonar. Also a lot of their horse riders accidentally opened up some of their mail and were instantly infected with a virus that made them fall off their horse and roll around in the mud until they died of a primitive version of the West Nile Virus. Then the Chinese built railroads on top of their graves, which is why we're experiencing this haunted boxcar epidemic you always hear about on CNN these days.
The point here is that our global society has always encouraged the development of communication technology. The exchange of information and ideas has been crucial to our evolution ever since primitive caveman Zog #1 went up to primitive caveman Zog #2 and explained how rocks could be forcefully applied to living animal skulls in order to make them very dead and therefore highly eatable. Then Jesus came by and made them stop existing because God created mankind and evolution is more like "EVIL-lution," at least according to the bumper stickers on my neighbor's car. The progress of communications is a very exciting and interesting tale, and I'm sure there are many professionally unemployed people across the globe who studied it extensively in college. I didn't study shit but I can summarize the history of communication for you just as well as any fancy-ass school marm:
This image is obviously very important because it's in the form of a pie chart with colors, and those are always important.
500,000 BC - 10,000 BC: Communication consisted of primal gruntings and groanings. To indicate an emotion of some sort, the speaker would increase the frequency of their primal gruntings and groanings. Of course, the receiver would not understand what emotion they would be attempting to express, as emotions had not been invented at that point.
9999 BC - 8500 BC: The procedure of "flailing your arms around" was invented, thus paving the way to the advanced body gesticulations we have today like "flipping people off" and "hitting them in the face after they insult your favorite college football team."
8499 BC - 8497 BC: Fart jokes were created and soon spawned "getting hit in the groin" jokes, both of which fuel many unsuccessful UPN sitcoms to this very day.
7362 BC: A Jewish Egyptian drew a picture of an eyeball inside a representation of the sun, thereby creating hieroglyphics. Although famous archeologists claim his symbols represented an all-seeing deity whom his culture worshipped, the Jewish Egyptian simply made the drawing to express how he would prefer it if his eyeballs refused to suddenly roll out of their sockets and fly directly into the sun.
5281 BC: "Papyrus," a primitive version of paper, was created probably by the Aztecs, who then proceeded to invent the concept of linear time and the Porsche 911 Turbo. They used this papyrus to create the first credit card bills, which I am still receiving to this very day.
2837 BC: The first written language, Mesopotamian, was used by a native Mesopotamian. He took a clay pot and wrote the words, "help me, I'm trapped inside this pot," and gave it to his friend as a housewarming gift. The neighbor promptly put it in his basement where it still resides to this very day.
1301 BC: "Papyrus" was invented by the Mayans, who then proceeded to invent the solar system and Aristotle.
1792 AD: Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin. I'm not sure what this has to do with communication, but my various grade school teachers seemed very intent on stressing the pivotal role Eli Whitney and his cotton gin provided for the entire universe. If Eli Whitney had never invented the cotton gin, then our world wouldn't have many of the things it has today, which includes "cotton" and "gin."
1835 AD: Samuel Morse created the telegraph and sent one of his colleagues the first electronic message, asking the eternal question, "where are all the hookers?"
1867 AD: E.A. Calahan introduced the stock ticker machine, a comical device which is seen spewing out those long, fortune cookie-esque paper messages in 1930s black and white movies about dancing paint salesmen. There were only two different stocks back in those days, and one of them was simply labeled "HOGS" and never ever decreased in value.
1920 AD - 1933 AD: Prohibition.
1921 AD: "Papyrus" is invented by the Native Americans, who then proceeded to invent gambling and poor business decisions.
1876 AD: Alexander Graham Bell introduced the world to the first telephone, calling his assistant Watson and demanding he come over and turn off the laboratory's telegraph machine, as it was receiving hundreds of solicitations from idea invention firms offering to patent his ideas and additionally offer him a degree in locksmithing or gun repair. I meant to put this entry a couple slots above, but as you can see, I seem to have forgotten to this very day.
1921 AD: Philo Farnsworth, a 14-year old Mormon, was working in his father's farm when he suddenly realized an electron beam could scan a picture in horizontal lines, thereby reproducing the image almost instantaneously. Then he suddenly realized he could kill aliens by spraying them with a garden hose. One of these ideas led to the creation of mankind's greatest achievement, while the other led to mankind's most embarrassing achievement to ever be featured on mankind's greatest achievement.
1962 AD: The Cuban Missile Crisis.
This incomplete, partial list shows just a few of the many, many exciting steps mankind has taken to get where we are today, the Information Superhighway eCyber iOnline Digital Era Age. Our nonstop progression in the field of communication has led us to the highly electronic, digital world we now inhabit, full of devices that allow us the ability to send messages thousands, maybe millions of miles within nanoseconds. In theory this is a great time to be alive, as we can share our innermost thoughts, ideas, and research with people who'd we otherwise never get a chance to meet or offend. Scientific progress and technological achievements are occurring at a faster rate ever with our ability to instantly connect anywhere in the world, except possibly all those filthy foreign countries and maybe that Amish farm Harrison Ford hid out in during that one movie about the mobsters trying to kill that dopey little kid who witnessed a crime of some sort.
Unfortunately, much like socialism and Fark's comments section, this theory looks good on paper but fails miserably in real life scenarios. You know all that bullshit about trading information and research over the Internet? Well I don't think it will surprise anybody when I reveal the only piece of legitimate research data to be shared over the Internet took place on February 19th of 1994, and even that one message involved two research scientists trying to determine the most effective way to make their penises grow to a size larger than their previous penis size. My proof backing up this assertion lies in the SoBig worm, a little piece of ingenious coding which not only allows people to send me a metric shitload of infected emails, but also allows me to receive them and repeatedly pray for the end of civilization as we know it.
A small shot of my inbox this morning. Click for a bigger image, or conversely, don't click for a bigger image.
Here's how the SoBig worm works: let's say you're some gutter dwelling, ham-thighed bloatbag with the intelligence of processed cheese substitute. Judging by the number of people who have been infected by the SoBig worm, it's safe to say there's quite a few people matching this description out there. Now you're sitting around your cubicle, trying to remember how to successfully move your mouse pointer over to click on the Windows "start" button, and you suddenly receive an email. This is great! You love email! You make it a habit to thoroughly read and check out every single email you get because, hey, you can get some fantastic deals on the Internet and why else would a company contact you if they weren't offering you great savings on consumer-name products? This email you received is titled "Re: Document" and seems monumentally important due to the fact that it not only mentions a "document" of some sort, but also has the word "Re:" which could possibly stand for "Reward of $1,000,000 if you read this email." You open it up and just click away at everything you can find, running all available exe and bat files you can find in order to view this top secret "document" which may very well detail how to make a cold fusion reactor and solve all conflict in the Middle East. Unfortunately, even after opening up each attachment, you never saw any such mythical "document," thereby putting a damper on your otherwise exciting and fun-filled day of adventure and intrigue. With your hopes and dreams dashed upon the rocky shores of despair, you have no other choice but to go back to work and continue sending fax messages to people explaining how your company can patent and market their invention while providing either a degree in locksmithing or gun repair.
These types of people are responsible for the spread of perhaps one of the most obnoxious worms out there, the SoBig email plague which is currently sending me over 1,400 email messages every six hours. That's correct, thanks to SoBig, I've gotten 5,600 infected or bogus emails in the past 24 hours. The best part is that when this worm infects a computer it not only sends emails to everybody in the moron's address book, but it also spoofs the return address on these emails so they appear to originate from various other email addresses in their address book! Hooray for technology and progress! Maybe Microsoft can release an operating system which instantly drills a hole through my brain the moment I install it, thereby saving me the time it would take hackers to figure out accomplish the same thing! So not only am I receiving these worms from zombie computers spewing them out every nanosecond, but I'm also receiving returned emails that I never sent from people I don't know, explaining how "I" sent a virus and is being returned because the recipient no longer has an account or moved or quit or died and their server will continue to deliver the email every 10 minutes for the next century, helpfully informing me each time it fails. My email accounts are so swamped from this goddamn worm that I've decided to protest by refusing to check my email for the next one or two decades. I doubt anything important will be missed, as the only legitimate messages I receive these days are death threats from brain damaged Insane Clown Posse fans (which is to say "all of them") and threats from people informing me that if I continue to be as unfunny as I currently am, then they'll have no choice but to continue reading the free entertainment here at Something Awful, only they'll to do while squinting their eyes and making rather unpleasant facial expressions.
Experts claim we've entered some magical golden age of technology where the world is at our fingertips and nothing is as what it seems and he's a good cop gone bad, framed for crimes he didn't commit, but what's the point in having access to tomes of data and knowledge when people use this conduit of channeling information to swamp you with worthless bullshit designed to simply annoy and harass you? I would invite you to share your opinions with me through email, but for some odd reason, all my messages seem to be magically filtered directly into the deleted items bin. Besides, I already know I'm not funny any more.
PS: If you're stupid or know other people who may be stupid, please visit this page and learn how to get rid of the SoBig worm. Then figure out a way to get rid of your computer because if you're still opening random email attachments from people you don't know in this day and age, you don't deserve to operate anything more complex than a sundial, which you would invariably end up breaking anyway.
Making Your Creepy Friends and Lovers
Feeling lonely? A little unloved? Well not for much longer! Zack "Goost Editoor" Parsons here with a brand new guide to creating your own Internet fetish subculture. No more worrying about a date on fridays, now you can spend all night chatting on IRC about assembling your costume!
First of all the subculture is not based on a fetish. Sure, a few people might sully the good name of spandies by drawing pictures of Psylocke having sex with Spawn, but these people are few and far between. They give the group an undeserved reputation for perversion. In fact most people in the subculture just dress up like superheroes because it's who they are. Deep inside they are a superhero and they dress like one because it comes naturally, even if this means they look like ten gallons of pudding in an eight gallon cauldron. People have no right to malign spandies for what they do because spandies are simply expressing their true self, not some prepackaged societal sheep like all of the other Sentinels out there.
Evvvvverybody, needs somebbbbbody, sometimes! And thanks to this amazing new guide that "sometime" is now!
Is the world ready for Staind By Me, St@nd By e-Me, and Crank 3: Stand By Me?
Finally: an advice column for the rest of us! (Who seek to enslave humanity.)
A Goon outs himself as a wizard and gets a warm reception from the rogues/rangers/paladins gallery!
The Something Awful front page news tackles anything both off and on the Internet. Mostly "on" though, as we're all incredible nerds.