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Dateline: aboard drift craft GERMINAL 7

As several of you are already all too aware, I haven't exactly been Mr E Mail lately. I read the personal stuff from people I know, blush, and file it away; pretty much everything else is DELETED unread - at least partly because I now assume two thirds of it all is VIRAL IN DISGUIZE.
Spam poison. Parasite nerds.

And it now looks as if the current VIRUS has co opted my e mail address*. If I'd been reading all my mail I might have worked this out sooner: but the automatic mail sorter or censor or whatever the hell it is just sent me a message about a message i - or ian.pen@which.net - sent ... which already is enough to get some of you laughing I know. Anyway it wasn't even a name I recognised - never mind that I've only sent a handful of e mails in the last six months. And thinking back over a few things I've deleted, I doubt this is the first one. I've liteally been duped!

[*I know this already happened over at Rocks Back Pages. And my writer page there has my e mail address displayed. A ha. Right. If it wasnt such a pain in the virtual arse, it would be rather a nice Flann O Brien in the 21st Century notion: a duplicate issue of FAKE rock writers like the Terracotta Army causing NET signal failure mayhem out there. The anarchist in me rather likes the idea. Especially as all my Least Favourite rock writers tend to be SO hung up on authenticity and identity issues. . .]

I haven't decided what to do about it yet. I haven't even decided whether I might not like the doppleganger/K Dick/Ballard idea of a 'fake' e-me (e-mo?) prowling around out there spreading contamination. Wasn't that always the project, after all? {And if you caccept the Derridean a-thesis that writing is a contamination (an endless doubling or re-presentation without any Law's due process or true purchase or end), without proper 'origin' then how on earth can you start grumbling about something like this?

But if you do get a piece of mail purporting to be from 'me' and it doesn't seem to have the usual signs or tics - eg, I guess, if it's just, Hi there! Open this attachment NOW!!! - then ... well you hardly need me to draw a diagram on the blackboard do you?

I just had a quick deco round a few of the 'old' blogs and there didn't seem to be mass panic about viral dupes... but then maybe all y'all tekno boys have walls of sheer interface defence whereas the Pill Box set up here is a shanty town bricolage held together with jungle twine and powdered milk crates and cast off W.H.O syringes and corrugated irony... it's a bit like that old thing where pets begn to resemble their owners... and I don't know who is slower at downloading memory these days, me or my Performa.

((Trivia Corner: one of the first sites I visited was Woebot and this isn't so much Mat's fault as a Fault At Large, the Sound of the Crowd at the moment - where people are so buzzzy namedropping their Arthur Russell bootleg and Liquid Liquid live tape and ESG t shirt that they never mention real & breakthrough JUICY SOUL classics from the same era.
Thus, Mathew is perplexed by a soul band havng the name INGRAM. I'm old and my memory is faulty and I can't be bothered to do the research, but wasn't there a JAMES INGRAM. who had one of those great one-off JUICY SOUL hits [Loose Ends, Juicy [!], Ashford & Simpson, Kleer et al] called "Ya Mo B There" ? [Qwest label? Played to death on the nascent still illegal Kiss station the same summer as 'Move Closer' and .... no, I'm not gonna go on a gnostalgia trip...] They all had great productions and dodgy lyrics and leather trousers and beards [and that's just the divas - BOOM BOOM!] At a stretch - and this is entering Collector territory, a place I fear to tread - maybe James used to sing in a band called ... ?

And just for the record: 'Sugar Free' by Juicy is a record I love beyond all comprehension. I would trade whole rooms of Rock Crit snobbisme purchases (all the Vashti Bunyan and Incredible String Band and My Bloody Valentine and Skip Spence et al rarities in the world) for this one humble Soul 45. Sometimes - contra all those dumb crap Channel 4 lists - there's nothng wrong with the Popular Choice.
Although I might also take this opportunity to say that ... I've never even SEEN volume ONE of ANY of the Star Wars films. And don't feel that constitutes any great hole in my life. Likewise The Lord of The Rings. To the power ten.

--- +++

Yesterday I received a fantastic bit of news - which I can't or won't go into because I'm a superstitious nitwit who believes in the terrible force of HUBRIS and I really genuinely believe things can be JINXED - but it was like the SPRING sun coming up after six months of darkness. It was like the Universe kissing you gently on the head and saying: see, life CAN be good.

Don't expect miracles [and, I have to say, I have GRAVE misgivings about blogs, I really do, and this is a subject I may or may not return to in due course...] but I may at least start answering e mail again. [REAL e mail identifiable by usual tired and characteristic puns. Maybe I'll have an esoteric e mail address as well - you know, like the society within the society. Mmmm: I rather like the sound of that...

Just answer this simple question: there's an important 100th Anniversary coming up soon... [not that 100 seems that apropos in this case] What might that be?

{{As you can see, it's be SO long that I've forgotten how to do links and BOLDs and italics...

posted by Ian 3/27/2004 11:43:00 AM

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