Thursday, June 1, 2006

literate spam

The spam e-mails here have me perplexed. Three separate messages, identical products being sold, all three with bizarre subject lines and bits of Anna Karenina. What is happening when Russian novels are used to sell arousal medication?
The subject lines are:
Phsycology is the study of everyone's bullshit (Look, look! Tom Cruise sent me e-mail!)
Stupidity killed the cat. Curiosity was framed
and, finally:
Life is a sexually transmitted disease, and it's 100% fatal
The writing in the body of the messages are all different parts of the novel - I only reproduced one here:
As usual, too, his wife had moved for the summer to a villa out of town, while he remained in Petersburg. From the date of their conversation after the party at Princess Tverskaya's he had never spoken again to Anna of his suspicions and his jealousies, and that habitual tone of his bantering mimicry was the most convenient tone possible for his present attitude to his wife. He was a little colder to his wife. He simply seemed to be slightly displeased with her for that first midnight conversation, which she had repelled. In his attitude to her there was a shade of vexation, but nothing more. "You would not be open with me," he seemed to say, mentally addressing her; "so much the worse for you. Now you may beg as you please, but I won't be open with you. So much the worse for you!" he said mentally, like a man who, after vainly attempting to extinguish a fire, should fly in a rage with his vain efforts and say, "Oh, very well then! you shall burn for this!" This man, so subtle and astute in official life, did not realize all the senselessness of such an attitude to his wife. He did not realize it, because it was too terrible to him to realize his actual position, and he shut down and locked and sealed up in his heart that secret place where lay hid his feelings towards his family, that is, his wife and son. He who had been such a careful father, had from the end of that winter become peculiarly frigid to his son, and adopted to him just the same bantering tone he used with his wife. "Aha, young man!" was the greeting with which he met him. Alexey Alexandrovitch asserted and believed that he had never in any previous year had so much official business as that year.

I understand the spam concept. But Anna Karenina? Seriously, the target audience is someone who reads Russian novels and needs help in the bedroom?

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