Robot Readers

Like every other sane blogger, I never look in my Spam folder, but a sudden influx of comments this week prompted me to investigate.  Most of them were the usual mixture of demi-literate prattle and fawning praise (I like those) and then came this one:  “Next time I read a blog, Hopefully it doesn’t fail me just as much as this one. After all, I know it was my choice to read, but I actually believed you would have something interesting to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you could possibly fix if you were not too busy seeking attention,” and, well, apart from the very tenuous grasp on English grammar, you’ve got to admit that it does sound an awful lot like somebody who has actually read my blog.  I was tempted to investigate further but, come on, I might be stupid, but I’m not completely mad.  However, forgive my naivety, but I am at a loss to understand what this particular spammer wanted from me.  Did he/she want an argument?  Did they want me to challenge their point of view?  (I am an honest man, I could never do that.)  Perhaps they wanted me to congratulate them on their perspicacity.  I suppose all they actually wanted was for me to click on their website, but what then I wonder?  Do they take control of my blog?  Do I become an unwitting agent of some hostile government agency bent on subverting the western world?  (Well, good luck with that my dears, you could possibly mop up a couple of dozen dissenting voices at most if you manage to stick with me for a month or two.)  Do they get to suck all of my genius out of it?  Yup, you’ve seen the flaw there right…

…And then the thought struck me, ‘What if it isn’t spam?  What if some poor soul has actually squandered five minutes of their life in really reading what I have to say and truly is dismayed at the loss?  What if Askimet has wrongly identified them as spam?  What if I owe them an apology?  What if they could actually point me in the right direction to fix whatever it is that I’m doing ‘a bunch of whining about’?  (Not easy, as everything I do seems to fall into that particular category.)  Could I possibly contact them without making it seem as if I was seeking even more attention?  (Does anybody actually write a blog without seeking attention?)  If I’m honest, I am constantly dismayed when I read through my blog: it all appears to be so effortlessly crap, and yet it isn’t.  I have to work at it.  Perhaps they don’t realise that the stuff I’m doing the bunch of whining about is generally me.  If they’d actually read my little weekly salmagundi of strife, they would surely know that.  Unless, of course, it really is as bad as they say: that my carefully constructed and targeted barbs are actually little more than haphazardly collected words that, rather than pricking the balloons of pomposity at which I aim, in reality merely splat into them like a cow-pat through a sieve?  What if they are not the joke?  What if I am?…

…And then it occurred to me.  I already know the answer to that.  I have to look myself in the mirror every morning – no sane being could ever take that seriously.  I gave up shaving because my face was so… unpredictable.  I got really fed up of slicing chunks off it.  This is not a face for the serious view.  This is a face for the custard pie – even if I have to throw it myself.  This is merely the face that some higher being saw fit to lash onto the front of a head that was used to house the brain that nobody else seemed to want.  I always imagine somebody saying ‘Oh dear.  We’d better give him a sense of humour: he’s going to need it.’  And a sense of humour I have: a very singular one.  So singular that very often I am the only one that ever gets the joke.

Anyway, if you really are out there, whoever you are, and you have actually read my blog, then I can only suggest that you are merely one of the many who didn’t get the joke.  You are not alone, although you could possibly occupy your time more productively by forming a club with all your fellow spammers, offering psychological advice to all we sad, damaged bloggers who cannot afford your membership fees.  In the meantime, I shall continue to plough my lonely furrow – after all, I don’t have many gifts, so I have to push on with the one I do have, even if it’s whining – and hope that my attention seeking might draw something human this way…

13 thoughts on “Robot Readers

  1. I’m so glad I took the time to read the crap you’ve posted here. And I’m jealous that I’ve never got a comment as exciting as that one you got. This comment of mine is intended to be fawning praise.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hurrah… I’ve had three spam comments but all by people asking if I want them to write content for my blog at $2 per 100 words… I could get each one of them to write a chapter of ‘Thompson’ for me. Isn’t that what most semi-literate pop and sports stars do anyway?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Knowing that Akismet was throwing legitimate comments into my spam folder I check it every few days. I prefer to think of my comments as gratuitous, fawning praise, if you please, though.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. A good tactic to keep ahead of the spammers, it seems, is to keep deleting your blog and then starting a new one about a month later. I’ve lost 95% of my followers and 100% of the spammers over time that way.

    Liked by 1 person

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