Wednesday, May 15, 2002
Sorry that this month's newsletter is a few days late. (Not that anyone besides my Mom would notice.) But I've been battling a virus recently... No, not that virus -- although I am still battling the mystery virus that has had me walking around like a zombie with ADD for the past two months. The other virus I've been battling lately is even more insidious. That's because it's a computer virus.
Now, before you get worried, rest assured that I have completely rid my computer of this diabolical infestation, thanks to the help of my computer savvy sister Cindy who sent me a little program specifically designed to wipe out the so-called "klez" virus. Thanks Sis.
The klez virus is actually kind of ingenious, not only does it get into your email file, but it also infects your anti-virus software, causing it to shut down. That's why you need the special klez-fix program to wipe it out. Then you have to remove and replace your infected anti-virus software. Who comes up with this nasty stuff?
According to my friend Erika, it's all those geeks waiting in line to see Star Wars.
This klez virus got into my hard drive and started sending out emails that pulled lines of dialogue from some of my screenplays and put them in the subject line and then included entire screenplay files as attachments! I realized this was happening because I received one at my email address at work. The sender was random, but the subject line was strangely familiar. And when I looked at the attachment, I recognized one of my own screenplays!
In a way, it is kind of impressive, but why go through all this trouble just to create random irritation? Why can't all of this computer-geek knowledge and ingenuity be harnessed for the benefit of society, instead of for the purpose of perpetrating childish pranks?
How, you ask? I have a few ideas:
The NRA virus - this virus would get into the bank accounts of the National Rifle Association and reroute all funds to the National Endowment for the Arts. How hard could that be? NRA gets changed to NEA, no big deal.
The Al-Qaida virus - this one's a little trickier, it would have to track all of those terrorist emails that the NSA has picked up and trace them back to the source. Then it gets inside the terrorist's computer, waits for the terrorist to fall asleep and creates a massive circuitry overload that shorts out the computer and causes an electrical fire that burns down the terrorist's house. Now that would be an impressive virus, not to mention patriotic.
The Chain-Breaker virus - this one is the most beneficial to society of all. This virus would seek out anyone who forwards an email that contains either:
A) A cloying series of reasons to feel "blessed," coupled with a threat of bad luck to whomever fails to "share" the hokey sentiments with at least five other suckers.
B) An absurdly illogical "promise" that Bill Gates and/or Santa Claus will pay cash money to anyone dimwitted enough to forward said "promise" to all of their equally dimwitted friends. By using highly sophisticated email "tracking" software designed by psychics, Bill and/or Santa can tell whose been naughty and whose been nice and reward them accordingly.
C) A "warning" that every household product in common use today contains enough toxins to completely wipe out the human race or at least cause a nasty rash that won't go away. These bogus "warnings" are often accompanied by helpful links to websites that offer special "all-natural" products that contain nothing whatsoever.
Anyone who forwards these such emails will be instantly targeted by the Chain-Breaker virus which will erase the offender's hard drive and then replace every file with illegal porn, while at the same time contacting the local FBI office and providing them with a complete dossier of the subject along with samples of the objectionable material. Let them see how it feels to receive unwanted and offensive crap via the Internet!
If any of you know any computer-geeks, hackers or overly-enthusiastic Star Wars fans, feel free to pass along my ideas to them. I believe these kids are simply looking for an outlet for their energies and talents. Let's give them something to be proud of! Let's give them a reason to become a part of society instead of an anathema to it. Let's make this cyber-community a wholesome place where honest, red-blooded Americans can go about their business, using their computers for decent and good-natured purposes like peeking into coed dormitory shower rooms or arguing about how many times Captain Picard broke the Prime Directive on 'Star Trek - The Next Generation.'
Please forward this email to five other people within the next five minutes. If you do not, you will be visited by a plague of festering boils.
Have a blessed day!
For information on DHMO, a widely used yet completely unregulated chemical compound that has been shown to be linked a wide range of human diseases, and possesses tremendous physically destructive capabilities, please use the following link: http://www.dhmo.org/facts.html
Stay clean, everybody.