The Anti-spam Vigilante Metaphor

Imagine we're neighbors; I'm the volunteer neighborhood watch dweeb; you're the neighborhood party girl and you often tend to leave your front door unlocked. I have deep convictions about unlocked doors that compel me to mention them to you.  Your unlocked door has yet to cause you any problems, you just wish I'd mind my own damn business and leave you the hell alone.

But that's not good enough for me, I've seen your type before, I'm totally cheesed-off by your disregard for my infallible advice, because I'm correct and justified and there is no other valid point of view. I must bring you into the fold with the rest of my sheep, somehow. You've threatened to call the cops next time I knock on your door.

So I decide to make my own official list of careless leavers of unlocked doors; I walk the entire square block and the ones around it, going up to each door to give its knob a twist. Each one I find open, I write down the address. When I get to your door it opens right up, you see me and come unglued; I make a special note next to your address, "young single female, frequent parties."

I take my list downtown, make a few hundred copies so anyone that wants it can just tear one off, and I tack them up on a public bulletin board in front of the police station. That way others like me, who believe a locked door is a good door, will know you're not one of us.

Of course the list will also be noticed by thieves, rapists and other assorted scum bags, but that's not a problem to me, they'd have found you sooner or later, I rationalize. Whatever happens to you, you bring on yourself.

Soon after you're missing any number of things, your TV, stereo and computer have been stolen, and you've had frightening encounters with unwanted guests of the psychopathic kind. Mere door locks will no longer do, you have to get bars on the windows, an alarm system, and a can of pepper spray.

You demand that I take your address off of my list, as it no longer applies. I force you to ask nicely, say pretty please, and then maybe the next time I print my list, or maybe even the time after that, I take you off -- which of course does nothing to stem the steady flow of low-lifes your presence has recently attracted...

Now do you see what your carelessness has done to our neighborhood, bitch?!


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Copyright ©2008 Mark J. McGinty, All rights reserved