Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Jesus Loves the Little Spammers

With all the talk about welcoming and inviting that bounces around the church lately, I find myself wondering if there is ever an instance when a visitor might not be welcome.

Like, say, the "visitors" whose presence is announced daily in my blogstats.   I'm a small potatoes blogger, and will remain so.  This blog is too diffuse, too "what I happen to be thinking about today" to be successful.

So my traffic on a daily basis is about half-human, and half...well...what?

They have urls like vampirestat and and visa-plus and pornogig.  Sometimes their bots will leave comments, in semi-coherent English or...if the algorithm is good...a sentence or two culled from the post to feign connection.    The country-code and tracking data indicates that they're Russian and Chinese, mostly.  These particular Russians and Chinese aren't interested in the blog, or interested in crosscultural exchange.   They are clumsy masks, worn by criminals and predators, intent on deception and theft.   They are not real visitors, any more than that email you received about $1.5 million waiting for you in a Nigerian widow's account is real.

You'd think autocratic regimes would be better at cracking down on lawlessness, but they are evidently unaware that all of their efforts to pretend that all is well mean nothing if every single blogger in America is being relentlessly spoofed and spammed from their shores daily.

So daily the links come, and I am meant to click that link, which will then permit them to cull the data that they can then either sell or use to access accounts.  I am not a fool, so I do not.

And yet, in the deep cybernetic thicket of spoofed servers and fake addresses, under the mediating structures between myself and those intent on theft, there is a real relationship.  Somewhere hidden behind those thousand lying masks is another soul.

A broken one, at that.

What is my responsibility in such a relationship, where I know the Other does not see me as a person?  Does not see me, in fact, at all.

You can reach out to the thief before you, or show incongruous forgiveness to those who harm you, when they are right in front of you.  That can establish the possibility of transformation.

But how can I convey grace to damaged souls who hide so far away, and so deep under layers of falseness?

Such a spiritual challenge, this new world is.