Inaudible the Agency

So as I’ve mentioned once or twice, for a while now we’ve been watching Mad Men* streaming on AMC+. I haven’t done a “Not a Review” of it, mainly because it never puts my wife to sleep, barring extenuating circumstances, such as starting an episode right before bedtime (and even then she still might stay awake for it). This puts it right up there with Breaking Bad** and The Queen’s Gambit*** on the short list of “Shows That Never Put My Wife To Sleep”, but also leaves me with not much to write about it, since I, of course, don’t do actual reviews myself, on account of I like everything. Except August Rush.

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Not A Not A Review Of “Le Week-End”

So recently we watched the film Le Week-End, in which a very English and very bickering couple played by Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan decide the take the train down to Paris for the weekend, as one is able to do when one lives in Europe, apparently.

Partway through the film they bump into Ian Malcolm Jeff Goldblum—forever known to my wife as “The Jurassic Park Guy“—who plays an old college friend of Jim Broadbent’s character who has now become a successful author. Jeff Goldblum invites the other two to a book launch party, or something, at his apartment, various things happen, and then, as Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan were leaving the apartment at the end of the evening, I suddenly had to pause the video and back it up a little.

Wife: “What are you doing?”
Me: “I think I spotted something.”

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We’re Making Good Words Go Bad

So as I’ve mentioned a number of times, we got in the habit years ago of watching television and movies with the subtitles turned on, because when Dennis the Vizsla got to be a Little Old Man Dog he would, on occasion, decide it was Time To Go To Bed, and when he decided that, he would stand in the living room loudly proclaiming it. (His brother Tucker, on the other hand, when he was a Little Old Man Dog, would just hie himself off to bed and burrow under the covers on his own. Tucker liked to take the initiative that way.)

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Teaser Tuesday: “The Boy Who Lost Fairyland”

So this week I was reading The Boy Who Lost Fairyland, the next-to-last entry in Catherynne M. Valente’s “Fairyland” series (not counting a couple of interstitial short stories):

🎵 … and when the wombat comes, he will find me gone … 🎶
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Spamcommentology, Part V: Porn (You Knew It Was Coming*)

So this week we’ve arrived at the climax** of my Spamcommentology series, with a very common sort of spam comment. I would ask the reader to take a wild guess what this category is, but since I already bared it all in the title, I’ll just get right down to it! (Incidentally, this kind of spam always includes links, but I’ve taking the liberty of stripping said links from the screen shots.)

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Spamcommentology, Part IV: Word Salad, Plus Bonus Category: It’s A Conspiracy!

Hello and welcome to yet another installment of Spamcommentology! This week we’ll be looking at Word Salad, with a bonus look at the “It’s a Conspiracy!” category. Now, the Word Salad type of comment is, as you may have guessed, when the spambot just throws a bunch of words into a comment, presumably in the hope of fooling spam filters with heaps of text, as well as to overcome any minimum-length requirements that a site may have. Mostly Word Salad comments are merely gibberish; sometimes they seem to sort of quasi-make sense, until you actually try to parse them; and sometimes they rise almost to the level of some sort of koan, as if an abstract impressionist painting decided to upchuck a poem. Here are a few examples:

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Spamcommentology, Part III: Praise and Insults

Now that we’ve dispensed with the fake advice and fake technical support spam, it’s time to look at another common category: Fake praise and fake insults. The fake praise is designed to get you to approve it even though it’s clearly B.S., and the fake insults are designed to provoke a response even though they, too, are clearly B.S. For example:

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Spamcommentology, Part II: Seeking Fake Technical Support (And Fake Technical Comments In General)

So last week I posted some examples of spam where the spambot was allegedly seeking advice about various things, such as blogging platforms, AOL, and sex toy manufacturers. This week I’m back with a somewhat related category of spam, in which the spambot either claims that there’s something wrong with your site which they beseech you to fix, or else tries to make it sound like they are totally hip to today’s technology and so are you. Unfortunately, it seems like spambots don’t get updated regularly, and so these sorts of comments are often hilariously out of date. To wit:

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