Guitar Spambot

Brilliant…bloody brilliant. No…seriously. That this collection of guitar terms and non sequiturs is sent to a blog post that mentions spam is really just too cool for school. Human? More Human? Incoherent Guitar Child? Drunk Rasputin with a Strat? Mad Machine? Whoever or Whatever you are:

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I was watching Food Tech the other night because I CAN’T SPEND EVERY WAKING MINUTE PRACTICING SCALES AND ARPEGGIOS (even though I should). The show takes a very important American meal or food choice (Italian dinner, baseball park fare, breakfast) and illustrates how all of the latest industrial technology is used to produce the high quantities of food necessary to satisfy American stomachs. The show is comparable to Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives without all of the WHAM! BANG! fast scene cutting (which I find highly annoying). The host of Food Tech, Bobby Bognar, is a self-effacing, down-to-earth guy who gets really excited about food and technology. I guess he has to if he’s going to host the show. He’s also a guitar picker, singer and songwriter and is/was a member of The Piper Downs, a Warped Tour-style band that was a hit with the kids a few years ago.

Anyhow, this past week’s episode happened to feature Chinese takeout and during the course of the show BB revealed that a few years ago there were so many winners (110) on one Powerball ticket that officials suspected fraud. But as people came in to claim their prizes they all mentioned that they had taken their numbers from a fortune cookie and eventually the cookies were traced to a facility right across the river in Long Island City. The factory, owned by Wonton Food, makes four million cookies a day and the Food Tech crew showed how the cookies are produced. Up until the mid-1960s the fortunes were hand-written and hand inserted ’cause you know there were only like 200,000 people in the USA back then, but now the fortunes and lucky numbers are computer-generated and machines stuff the paper into the cookies because the population has grown to millions and billions and trillions as Carl Sagan would say. Of course most spam (and I don’t mean SPAM) is similarly produced and sent out. As I found out today, spam sent to blogs is a form of Spamdexing; a huge amount of stuff sent to blogs like mine in order to increase the spammer’s site indexing. This is a perverted type of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and if you’re trying to hype your weight-loss or genitalia augmentation website or service it seems this would be a good way to go. If you consider that a Google search on weight loss produces 415 MILLION results in 0.57 seconds it becomes obvious why ranking is so important. But the whole spam thing is very impersonal and I have to admit, watching Food Tech can also leave me cold. Yes, it’s neat-o that machines can do all of these amazing things, but the high degree of industrialization in large-scale food production is similarly impersonal, sometimes to the point of cruelty, to the animals, the final products(food) and ultimately to us humans. The world grows larger and spins faster and people and industries seem to go to ever more ridiculous lengths just to keep up. I much prefer the shows that highlight smaller-scale farming and food production and a more personal and nurturing relationship between humans and various flora and fauna in the same way I prefer The Rosenberg Trio to an auto-tuned pop star with 15 backup dancers. One day, perhaps the auto-tuning, food factories and spam bots will become self-aware and then all your Music, Moo Shu Pork, and Blogs are belong to us! Or maybe…that’s already happened… *shivers*

Finally, a great Django Reinhardt documentary, Django Reinhardt — Three Fingered Lightning, that includes interviews with Stephane Grappelli and other musical peers from that era. Originally aired on Australian television I believe, now on Youtube HERE. (I can’t embed it). It’s a nice little hour’s worth of entertainment and if you’re like me you NEVER tire of anything devoted to The Master!

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