Thursday, July 03, 2008

The chain letter

AOG, Madrid

Like many other people these days, I've grown accustomed, tolerate, smirk at, and even sometimes read over... slightly miffed, the numerous chain -letter emails I get throughout the year from my friends.

These are often only a form of spam with a cute picture, or some sort of Christian propaganda designed to tug at your heart strings. You know the type, "Someone who loves you (but can't be bothered to pick up the phone and call you) sent you this". Read it and pass it on, send it back. I often choose to press the delete button on Hotmail.

And feel happy my friend came across my email address when going through a list. At least he/she thought of me for a milisecond. In this day and age, what else can we expect our friends to do? Honestly, the more technology we have, the less human we become in a way.

My dear friend Freddie, now deceased, used to send me this type of email all the time. Full of love and good wishes and needing a reply. It was her way. And it used to drive me insane.

I remember years ago when I got the first of these cyber-epistles. I remember reading it and forwarding it to at least 10 people, or else. A silly form of threatening good luck

Today, however, I got one which really surprised me. It was sent by a friend from Venezuela who hardly ever writes full emails, and today's was quite surprising.

It featured an image of the virgin of Guadalupe, and the inscription:

Before anything else, I want to tell you that the virgin of Guadalupe is miraculous, she goes with you wherever you go. This letter's purpose is to go round the world and continue...

And then there came the warnings:

The president of Argentina received a letter and called it "trash", and 8 days later his son was dead. A man received the letter and sent it off again and his surprise was that he won the lottery.

Alberto Martinez received the letter and asked his secretary to copy it, but they forgot to send them off: she lost her job and he his family.

This letter is miraculous and sacred, don't forget to re-send it before 13 days pass. You must send it to more than 20 people in 13 days. Don't forget. You will receive a great surprise surprise!!

The banality of the whole composition and its warnings really irked me.

Here I was meant to believe that through some cosmic junction between the virgin of Guadalupe, cyberspace, the internet and an anonymously written email there stood the possibility of blessings or damnation. Really? How odd.

So the same virgin who will bless me and all that will also be the same one to make sure my son dies 8 days after receiving it (and before the 13 days are up) and not sending it off? So the virgin will be really upset with me and take it out on my kin if I don't forward some retarded email? Quite.

I am no virgin expert but if this is how she behaves, perhaps we should reconsider the whole adoration thing.

So I asked my friend to please not send me anymore damming emails.

I don't like malefices or damnation. Never have.

Especially now that Spain have won the 2008 European Soccer Championship, aka
the Eurocup, for the first time since 1964 and Franco roamed the land.

How do I know? I asked what it was Spain had just won about an hour after watching the match against Germany.

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