Wednesday, 29 August 2007

That's the sound of the man, ranting 'bout the chain ...

OK, well here I go with my first proper blog. Currently I've no idea what I want to put here, or how much I really want to tell you about myself, if anything. Truth be told, I'm only really starting this up because there are a few blogs out there I enjoy reading, and I thought it was only fair that there'd be something to see if people clicked back on a comment I'd left. (I do already have a ' blog', namely Kat's Karavan, but that one's just for posting stuff up about John Peel, and is not really a regular, bona fide blog.)

What I'll probably end up doing here is posting up my thoughts on stuff that's amused, enraged or puzzled me on the web, in the news or in my daily life. In other words, whatever's currently got me bewitched, bothered and bewildered. So in that vein, let's begin tonight's episode: chain letters.

Now I don't want to start a gender war here, but it seems to me that more than 50% of my female friends (as opposed to 0% of the guys) have at one time or another forwarded me one of 'those' emails. You know, the ones that seem all fluffy and cuddly on the outside, but actually turn out to be threats when you read them through to the end. Sometimes it'll be a touching story of hope, triumph over adversity, etc.; often it'll claim to be true. In a lot of cases there'll be a religious or astrological message in there, which I'll ignore but tolerate.

But then the final paragraph arrives, and here beginneth the rant. You're now told that you must forward this message on to at least (say) 10 people ... or else. The consequenses of disobeying this order vary in magnitude: you'll have bad luck for x days, your mother will be dead by Sunday, you'll never meet your true love, or even, in one case, you'll be haunted by an old crone sometime in the night before the week's out.

Of course, as soon as I read that bit, the message becomes spam, and it's summarily escorted to the trash folder without being forwarded to a damn soul. Even if it says "you must also send this back to the person who sent it to you, to show you care about them". And even if I DO care about that person. On principle, I refuse to play ball. And you know what? As yet, my luck for those subsequent days has been no better nor worse than usual, no relatives have suddenly popped their clogs and it somehow slipped that ghostly old lady's mind to pop round that week. Granted, to my knowledge I've yet to meet my true love, but that's probably down to my being a grumpy bastard, who spends far too much time on the Internet writing shite like this.

Now I suppose I've a few questions about these mails, including "who starts them, and why?", but my main one is: why do intelligent, otherwise level-headed people ever pass these things on? Do they actually believe that an electronic message being passed around a certain number of servers will cause such direct and real consequences in people's lives? Really??

Help me out here, people. Any answers?

And I think I should close on a more female-friendly note, and say that my experience of the blogosphere so far suggests to me that women are ruling it, certainly in regard to the more diary-style blogs. There's some great stuff out there, which I'll be linking to in due course.