Muse Flash: I Collect…

What do you collect, just for yourself? We all collect things. Many of these collections are common—coins, stamps, shot glasses—proudly displayed to show our membership in an unofficial fraternity of enthusiasts. Others are more private. Not secret, mind you—just a collection that’s a more organic collection, growing by chance and happenstance, without the support of a group of enthusiasts to learn from. Maybe it’s the corks from the bottles of champagne you’ve had in celebration, or the license plates from every car you’ve gotten rid of. Often this casual collection says much more about us than the collections we cultivate.

Answer this question on your own blog, then leave a comment with your answer and a link to your post.

I collect spam subject lines. You’ve all gotten spam in your inbox where the subject or the text is just a random string of words, or a snippet of words taken from some larger text. Nearly all of the time, they’re nonsense, sometimes they’re offensive or suggestive, but once in a while there’s something worth keeping. Not for their own merit, but sometimes they are great fodder for brainstorming.

Some examples:

Winter is surrounded by icy women

cough syrup requires assistance

the alchemist procrastinates

marvelous machinery, and quiet vassily

I have found that my almost unused Gmail account produces far more spam, and hence more keepers, than does my primary Yahoo! account.

In some ways this is the internet equivalent of browsing garage sales looking for hidden treasures, but I prefer to think of it as a manifestation of the “a million monkeys at a million typewriters” adage. With all the trash these leeches put out it’s funny that by sheer accident they have produced something of worth.

There are websites devoted to Spam Poetry, where artists write poems of the flotsam skimmed from subject lines, but to me this is a perversion of the purer form of keeping each line in its original state.

Now it’s your turn. Answer this question on your own blog, then leave a comment with your answer and a link to your post.

Muse Flash is a new feature, where I’ll give you a topic for your own blog. I’m going to try it for a few posts and see if it has legs.

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