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Meatloafers Are Just As Bad As Spammers!

Date/Time Permalink: 10/03/07 04:47:11 pm
Category: Humor

INTRO:
I've had this rant kicking around in the compost pile, but I was inspired to finally cough it up when somebody posted this notice on Reddit. They are trying to stop a meatloafer who insists on posting every episode of XKCD to Reddit, even though we all bloody well knew about XKCD before the meatloafer discovered it. So, frustrated social-news-user, this Bud's for you!

The term "meatloaf" is one derived from being analogous to "spam". It is non-commercial spam, home-made spam. While spam-paranoia causes me not to be too liberal with posting my email address online, meatloaf-paranoia causes me to take much more severe counter-measures, even in person. I now have three email addresses at any given time; one a "dodgeit.com" bluff, one a test address, and one the real address that I actually read, which I trust people with only after they're passed the six-months probation with the test address. People don't even get the bluff address until I've quizzed them on their intentions.

Back in the 90's, I developed a scorched-Earth email policy. The Internet was pure pain for me before I adopted this policy, and a wonderland of delight ever afterward.

The scorched-Earth policy stems from my problem, which is that since I know how to use the Internet, I assume that other people do, too. So when I've seen the store with the "KidSexChange" sign ONCE, ONCE was enough. And I assume that if anybody else wants to see it, they'll stumble on it eventually on their own. After all, I heard about it on the { news/ radio/ blogs/ message boards}, and the same media feeds work for other people as well.

Ditto the

  • Dancing Baby site,
  • the "All Your Base..." site,
  • all of the Chuck Norris jokes,
  • the Nerd Test,
  • and the "Any Key" cartoon with the duck about to hit his computer with a mallet,
  • and the photo of the guy holding the giant cat,
  • and the photo of the guy who sticks his finger up his nose and it comes out in his eye socket,
  • and the Blinkenlites sign,
  • and the guy who spray-paints amazing 3D pictures on the sidewalk,
  • and the 1000 "amazing mind reading trick" pages that rely on some trivial math sequence,
  • and the "If operating systems were beer" list,
  • and every Flash animation
  • and YouTube video ever made,
  • the best of Craigslist,
  • the list of quotes,
  • the world's dumbest car parking pictures,
  • the ten funny variations on the "Abort, Retry, Fail?" snowclone,
  • and all of the LOLCATS posters.
  • Plus the Top Ten Anything at All.

Even if it isn't going to be thought of until fifty years from now, I've seen it already, OK?

My scorched-Earth email policy: Anybody who emailed me a link to a web site because they thought "OMG! LOL! U gotta see this!!!111" got blocked immediately. To be treated no differently from spammers.

There are no exceptions. Not for friends, hot dates, the President, nor my own mother. One single, solitary emailed link of any kind at all equals instant kill-file forever. It is worthless to forgive and forget, nor can you explain the offense to the offender. I've learned through painful experience that it's easier to get someone to change what race they are than it is to get a meatloafer to stop sending meatloaf to you. Their index finger clicks the "forward" button by way of a short-circuit command from the lizard-brain in the middle of the hippocampus, before any governing thought process kicks in.

It does not matter how hard you kick them in the balls for it each and every time. Both negative and positive reinforcement have no effect. You can scream "Never send me a link to anything, ever, or I will kill you!" right in their face, but their brain is simply missing the part that would normally store that information to be remembered, and so it just flies right through their skull.

No apologies, no forgiveness, no second chance. "Yes, I love you to pieces", or "You're still my best friend in the world", or "Yes, I'll still sleep with you", and no, you have been banned forever from ever sending me email again.

It isn't even worth notifying the person why you're banning them. I've tried that dozens of times, and every time I get back: "Gee, all I wanted to do was share these great Top Ten Reasons Why You Might Be a Redneck! What a grouch! You have no sense of humor! Alright, alright, so you saw them before! Well EXCU-U-U-USE me!"

Would you believe I once had a co-worker who printed out a stack of them and carried them all over the office to show people one at a time? Yes, we had a sneaker-net-meatloafer! There was no being busy enough to escape this louse. If this guy worked in a hospital, he would think nothing of kicking open the doors of the operating room and interrupting an open-heart surgery to insist that everybody drop everything and look at this Garfield cartoon from 1994. He would trip out into the middle of a battlefield, a Godzilla attack, a rock concert, an erupting volcano, a Las Vegas sex club orgy, the Apocalypse, or your bathroom stall while you were taking a dump. And there he'd be, brandishing his smeary, speckled print-outs from haha.com.

I was the one who finally ripped the guts out of his ethernet port when he went on break, and the field tech mysteriously never seemed to get it fixed. The field tech was sick of it, too.

What lies beneath the mask of the friendly person sharing amusing links is a psychopathic megalomaniac. Psychopathic, because they actually know the pain they cause and they just don't care. If they did care at all, they'd sadistically enjoy it. Megalomaniac, because they just discovered teh Interwebs this month, and thereafter, the first time they see a web page automatically becomes the first time everyone else in the world has seen it too, and they, the Intrepid Internet Explorer - your host! - shall bring links from the Best of the Web to the great unenlightened masses who do not possess their Elite Mouse-Clicking Skills.

So, that's the story with meatloafers.

Have a very Linux day!

UPDATE: I just chanced upon this rant over at Four Fat Chicks titled, "Why Old People Shouldn't Be Allowed to Use Email". It captures the same flavor as my rant, even though - ironically enough - I actually find the young people to be more of a problem!

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