Friday, May 20, 2005

Friday Grab Bag

While looking for a suitable History Friday story I noticed this gem:US anger at Saddam underwear shot.
 Posted by Hello

Yes, the paper that launched Samantha Fox's career by publishing topless pictures of her aged 16 on their infamous Page 3 are trying to do the same for Uncle Saddam, male stripper. Cynics among you might like to note that the Sun is one of the flagship properties of News International, the print arm of News Corporation (proprietor, Rupert "Rupe" Murdoch) who in turn own that paragon of moral probity Fox News. At least the photo doesn't show Saddam getting a swirly; we all know how the mere mention of toilets in an Islamic context can set the world ablaze.

On an entirely unrelated note, I've been having entirely too much fun with people who should know me better sending me mass-forwarded emails. I composed the following fake (obviously fake if you ask me) automated email reply that anyone who sends me something along the lines of "Fw:fw: re:fw: Men are from Mars- v.funny" has been getting in reply:

The incoming smtl mail server detected the message below to be a forwarded joke, profound thought, or call to political action.
The intended recipient has established mailbox protocols to reject incoming mass-addressed forwarded jokes, profound thoughts, or calls to political action, and to only accept personalized communication with his or her friends and family. While he/she appreciates the sentiment of inclusion, he/she asks that you bear in mind that he/she has probably already seen the forwarded joke, profound thought, or call to political action; would prefer to interact with people on a one-on-one basis, and sees mass forwarded messages as less of an effort to reach out to friends and more as an exercise in ego (as in "look how funny my mailbox is") by the sender.
The intended recipient asks you to consider this: if you saw a really cool piece of physical junk mail would you take the time to photocopy it and send it to everyone you know via US Mail?
Thank you for your consideration.

I am surprised I have any friends left. But damnit, come on, people should know better.


Jim said...

I could count on two hands, not one, the number of people I totally lost respect for between 1995 and 2000ish because they forwarded chain letters, vapid Hallmarkian inspirational stories, and that one message about the NEA losing funding, complete with add-your-name petition, that bounced around uselessly for years on end.

Then again, I got so hyper about the election last year that I'm pretty sure I forwarded a few "Goddamit--lookit what the Republicans are saying/doing now!" messages to people who didn't really want them.

Brooklyn Jim

weasel said...

I really don't mind if people have checked out the thing before they forward it, think I might want to be included as I've probably missed it or don't belong to the exact same mailing list or campaign website, if they hide the mailing list (I don't want my address pinging about the ether), and they attach a note explaining. But then, only then, and very rarely will I not foam at the mouth. I got the NEA/NPR/PBS is shutting down hoax yesterday from an oft-burned-by-hoaxes friend. Indulge me while I reproduce what it took to get him to circulate an apology and retraction:

"You know me and my mania for sourced stories (especially from fowarded emails): do you know when this Totenberg story aired? I can't find it in the NPR archive of her material ( and it seems pretty comprehensive. There's nothing on Free Press ( about it, nor on Tom Paine ( either, but I suppose these diligent media watchdogs and free speech defenders might have missed it. Nothing on The Hill ( either, the newspaper of Congress. Then I thought "perhaps the House of Representatives might have discussed it in past or pending legislation" but a search here- turned up nothing.

Do you know the sponsoring organization of this petition drive? I can't find anything in the email.

The reason I ask all this is a) I don't like obscuring real, substansive issues that need public attention with internet red herrings that deter people from reading petitons etc, and b) this kind of thing is often for an email address fishing expedition, where a supposed good cause is used as a cloak for unscrupulous types who get to gather masses of emails for sale to spammers.

Again, do me a favor and don't include me on mass forwards. I'll gladly chat with you one on one about issues, articles, and campaigns, but when I get one of these unsubstantiated thingies my historian, researcher brain won't let it go until I've proved it or debunked it (remember those tsunami photos you sent around?)"

Life is too short not to take a stand on these sorts of things.

Debbie said...

I'm sorry, I totally got distracted by Sadam Hussein in his Hanes or is it his fruit of the loopy.
excuse me I have to throw up now

jamie said...

i usually take great joy in debunking the ridiulous crap that goes around with the simple tool of

Listmaker said...

why else is nobody commenting on the fact that saddam is hung like a horse? no wonder he ruled that country with an iron fist. who could stand up to that?

weasel said...

He's almost packing as much heat in his briefs as Julie Romanowski. And that's not why I titled the post "Friday Grab Bag".