|by Lance Vargas
the last ten years, electronic mail or e-mail has exploded from
a business tool into a simple, cheap and easy way for the general
public to communicate with friends and neighbors without the inconvieance
of shelling out 33 cents for a stamp or licking the back of an envelope.
this wonderful form of mass communication came a certain degree
of exploitation. Junk e-mail or "spam" started turning up
in people's electronic in-boxes. Companies would buy lists
of e-mail addresses and send out blind copies of what basically
amounts to cyber junk mail. But it is not this junk mail that
upsets me so damn much. I cannot rail against it because it
is simply part of "the machine" on which I stopped wasting my energy
really upsets me is something known as forwarding or FWD.
A FWD is an e-mail message that has been viewed by one person then
forwarded on to the next. These forwards sometimes contain
family events that need to be shared or general updates on what’s
going on in someone’s life but more often than not, these e-mails
contain some worthless little anecdote, an unfunny joke or a cartoon
that takes a minute or so to download.
opened my e-mail program this morning to find fourteen messages
waiting for me. Each one had the prefix FWD. Each one
was deleted. I have no time in my life to read jokes that
wouldn't be funny even if they were told face to face and sure as
hell aren’t funny when clogging my inbox. With all the "XXX
hot horny girls" e-mails and "earn money while online" e-mails I
receive on a daily basis, I have enough deleting to do when I check
my mail, without having to dispose of nonsense e-mails from people
who should really know better.
is a certain group of people that usually bombard me with three
to five FWDs a day. I call these people, “The Usual Suspects.”
These folks are my friends and family and I love them. However,
they are responsible for the influx of FWDs I receive on a daily
basis. I can put up with junk e-mail from companies out to make
a buck. We do after all live in a capitalist society.
But, I can't abide jokes, virus warnings, chain letters and cute
lil anecdotes meant to brighten up my day, but actually just irritating
A telltale indication that a FWD is delete worthy is a title such
as this: FWD: CUTE. This usually involves some joke that may or
may not be dirty but is generally not worth the seconds wasted on
it. Unless someone else besides one of the usual suspects
sent an e-mail with this title, it should be deleted without ever
a person who doesn’t frequently send you FWDs sends you one, it
might be worth checking out due to the fact that this person has
probably read the damn e-mail before sending it along its way down
the information superhighway. Other emails that should be
deleted immediately are titled: FWD: funny, FWD, this one’s
cute, FWD: a funny, or FWD: Joke.
absolutely horrendous FWD is titled FWD: Do This. These usually
involve a sort of mathematics trick, aptitude test, Cosmo quiz or
some other such test that will occupy too much of my time or require
a pen and paper to participate. Want to know something that’s
easier than taking the quiz? Clicking delete.
FWD: fwd: Fwd: This means that the message contained within was
forwarded to someone else and that person in turn forwarded it and
then it got forwarded again and again and again... Sloppy
seconds ain’t my style. DELETE
Virus warning This is one of my favorites. These must always
be read due to the fact that knowledge is power and one should really
know the name of any potentially infected files floating around
out there. However, the sick-minded people who start these
bogus virus warnings know that no one can resist opening a virus
warning and thus send out hundreds of e-mails about phony viruses.
very good example of a phony virus warning and the trouble it can
cause occurred this past Christmas when American cyber-jockeys became
increasingly obsessed with a small and easily downloadable computer
game called "Elf Bowling.” I downloaded Elf Bowling the first time
someone sent it to me and enjoyed the hell out of it. I constantly
communicated with my friends via e-mail regarding who had the higher
scores and who noticed something new about the game and so forth.
I must have received "Elf Bowling" five times from five different
people. It was one of the most forwarded e-mails in Internet
history. Then, a virus warning started making its way round
the Internet that elf bowling was infested with a virus that would
strike at 12:00 on Christmas Eve and render all our computers useless
just in time for Christmas. This freaked everyone out and
Elf Bowling started getting deleted just as fast as it had been
installed. Our fun was over. Everyone who FWD’d me the
e-mail also forwarded me the virus warning e-mail, making it the
second most forwarded e-mail in Internet history. By
the time everyone had deleted "Elf Bowling from their hard drives,
a third e-mail made the rounds saying that the virus warning was
a hoax and Elf Bowling was not infected with a Christmas Eve doomsday
device. The hoax e-mail then became the third most forwarded
e-mail in Internet history. By this time the whole elf-bowling
situation was a bloody mess and no one could really enjoy the game
for what it was. This is a fine example of the nastiness of
the virus warning e-mail and why it is one of the worst offenders
of Lance's’s list of FWD worthy e-mail.
FWD to look out for is titled, FWD-Belive it or not, this one comes
from Bill Gates!!!" This FWD is the one that really separates
the mildly retarded from the absolute fucking morons. This
e-mail is one of the most blatant attempts at the "lets see what
happens" psychology I have ever been made witness to. It goes
like this, The e-mail states that a person who opens it merely has
to forward it to five people and he will automatically be sent a
free copy of Windows 2000, courtesy of Bill Gates and Microsoft.
Another version of it states that by forwarding the e-mail to ten
people a person will receive a free trip to Disney World.
Yet another says that there is a dying boy in Minnesota who as a
last wish wanted his e-mail forwarded to thousands of people.
Do I really have to discuss the absurdity of this FWD? I find
it completely and utterly amazing that I will receive this e-mail
and others like it from the same person over and over and over again.
I cannot possibly comprehend what is happening inside the synapses
of person’s head that will send me this type of e-mail. It
is as blatant an attempt at a chain letter as I have ever seen.
I certainly hope that this person is not going to wait too long
for their free copy of Windows 2000, free all expense paid trip
to Disney World or check for 100,000.
another version of a chain letter FWD has the receiver scroll down
on the toolbar so that a staggered line of text rises and falls
like a snowball over and over again until the end of the e-mail
where it reads in large letters, “SPLAT” you have been snowballed!
Snowball fight 99 is on!!!! Forward this to 10 more people!!!,”
and people actually do it. I can’t believe people actually
do it. Lets move on.
One of the most entertaining fwd I received in recent months
was titled "KFC-yuck!" and it went like this…
From: XXXXX XXX
Just some information for those who care.
has been a part of our American traditions for many years. Many
people, day in and day out, eat at KFC religiously. Do they really
know what they are eating? During a recent study of KFC done at
the University of New Hampshire, they found some very upsetting
facts. First of all, has Anybody noticed that just recently, the
company has changed their name? Kentucky Fried Chicken has become
KFC. Does anybody know why? We thought The real reason was because
of the "FRIED" food issue. It's not. The reason Why they call it
KFC is because they can not use the word chicken anymore. Why? KFC
does not use real chickens. They actually use genetically Manipulated
organisms. These so-called "chickens" are kept alive by tubes inserted
Into their bodies to pump blood and nutrients throughout their structure.
They have no beaks, no feathers, and no feet. Their bone structure
is dramatically shrunk to get more meat out of them. This is great
for KFC because they do not have to pay so much for their production
costs. There Is no more plucking of the feathers or the removal
of the beaks and feet. The government has told them to change all
of their menus so they do not say chicken anywhere. If you look
closely you will notice this. Listen to their commercials, I guarantee
you will not see or hear the word chicken. I
find this matter to be very disturbing. I hope people will start
to realize this and let other people know. Please forward this message
to as many people as you can. Together we make KFC start using real
am going to try and remain calm as I write this.
this person actually think about the e-mail they sent before they
sent it? Did they even suspect that some of those who received
it may think about the subject in a critical manner? Do they
ACTUALLY think that KFC would go through the trouble of hooking
up fucking TUBES to a goddam chicken would ACTUALLY be cheaper than
ripping out their feathers and chopping off their heads and feet?
What kind of Dr. Demento type technology do they think exists in
this world!!! They couldn’t possibly believe that applying
tubes and carefully monitoring thousands of mutant chickens would
actually be easier to maintain than millions of normal chickens
that by nature do a fine job of taking care of themselves?
BTW, I went to KFC the other day and yes, they do still use the
word CHICKEN!!! It was fucking chicken this and fucking chicken
that. All over the place I saw and heard the word CHICKEN.
first, these e-mail forwards were novel, now they are annoying.
I will be the first to admit I have gotten some good forwards in
recent years. Usually attached with MPG'S or JPG'S (that’s
movies and pictures to you technotards out there) I just have
to ask people to please use a little discretion. Forwarding
doesn’t have to stop. But the compulsivness of it needs to
be weaned. A final example: recently, I actually received
a “hug certificate.” What the fuck kind of Hallmark shit is
that? What is worse is that the friend who sent me the hug
certificate was a guy. This leads me to believe that he is
not even viewing the e-mails he is forwarding to me. He just
sees it in his mailbox and forwards it to me. Surely he wouldn’t
have forwarded me a hug certificate right? This particular
suspect also has the annoying habit of forwarding me the exact same
e-mails he receives from another friend of ours who also FWDs me
his stupid e-mails. Therefore, I receive seven e-mails from
one friend, then the next day I receive the very same e-mails from
another who was one of the recipients of the original seven.
So that brings me to the 14 e-mails I mentioned in the beginning.
Seven FWDs from one person, the same seven from another guy the
next day. What the fuck?! Maybe next time I will
just forward the damn things right back to the guy. That sort
of passive aggression is just my style.