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.


liv said...

My favorite ones are those which state that I "don't love Jesus" if I don't forward them to my 100 best friends. I have finally taken the bold step of emailing everyone in my book to let them know that I will no longer be accepting religious bullying or ridiculously conservative political scandal mongering email. Thx!

Sky Clearbrook said...

I'm with you on this one too.

I often cannot believe that my mates - some of whom are really hard bastards - feel compelled to forward those chain emails to me.

Sky Clearbrook said...

By the way... what a great name for a blog!

DuffPaddy said...

Aw shucks people, I was prepared for this to remain commentless for at least a week or two. Thanks for getting me off to a good start!

Liv - no matter what happens from now on, you'll always be my first. ;-)

Sky - You've had these from blokes? That's never happened to me. And thanks for the compliment re the blog name. I collared the name on blogger very soon after the episode went out, not quite knowing what to do with it till now (if I even know now).

Gorilla Bananas said...

I've never received one of those e-mails, possibly because I'm a gorilla. Nevertheless, I get loads of comments from women on my blog.

You're right about women dominating the diary-style blogs; they also dominate the sex blogs. 'Woman of Experience' is good (I link her). 'Girl with a Cock on her Mind' is silly (I don't link her).

Good luck with your blog, Sir, I hope you'll post regularly.

21stcmale said...

Yup, great name for a blog. Nice first post too - chain emails are almost as loathsome as the ones starting 'Dearest beloved in Christ'. You know the ones.
Good luck with the blog - I look forward to more tech-related ranting.

Clair said...

You think those are bad! I used to get letters addressed to my home's previous occupant, promising a plague of boils unless I paid for a lucky gnome or somesuch, which, fortunately, would also give me the winning lottery numbers. I used to collect dried bird poo from my garden and put it in the return envelope. Vengeance is mine!

BPP said...

The internet is a battlefield littered with the bodies of dead and dying blogs.

Banned User said...

"why do intelligent, otherwise level-headed people ever pass these things on?" - I think the assumption upon clarity of mind is all on your side Sir, plus didn't you say these were usually forwarded by women?


Dave Holbrook said...

I haven't had a 'chain mail' for a while - maybe everyone that used to send them realises I delete them. But I've had a few 'virus hoax' mails, you know the ones that encourage you to delete some file (usually a not vital system file) after convincing you that you have an 'infection'. If I know the sender, I email them back a link to a hoax virus site and explain that the virus is them actually and they just wasted 10 minutes of my time researching it...

Anyway, I somehow stumbled across your Kats Karavan and downloaded some of the shows. I live in Brisbane now, but I used to listen to JP a lot, on and off; later years I recorded many shows to minidisc, but it never occurred to me to record shows in the 70s; I only had a reel to reel, would have been messy! I see you have a recording of the session with Son House, (I have a big blues collection, though down in a house in Mt Beauty (victorian ski fields)). Was really exited at the thought of being able to listen to the program. Unfortunately it wasn't available for download as limits had been used up.

Would it be possible for you to re-post it at all? I can only offer in exchange some more recent sessions: (basically nearly all shows between 2001 and 2003 Vhigh Quality, and some off the net after that (which are still good). (I have all the Nina Nastasia at Peel acres assembled together and they are really good - 3 gigs.)

Regards & thanks for the excellent blog/site Kats Karavan.

Dave Holbrook