Category Archives: Digital Shakespeare

Digi Shakespeare returns!

I was hard to spot, but Digital Shakespeare has returned to my spambox:

Izumi and leave it gave abby. If terry set in life.
John smiled but terry nodded.
Sounds like izzy smiled at this.

Agreed, it’s not a classic, but it’s nice to see that Digi is still floating out there somewhere!

I hope not to continue in the ‘tempest,’ against the dead

I get so much spam that it’s lovely when I occasionally get something with entertaining random text. Could this be the old Digital Shakespeare trying it’s virtual hand at prose?

Hohe hoholulu

Much better after coffee and eggs and bacon. Murder pleasantly,
that anything you say will be taken and i’m perfectly certain
that he drinks. He’s her an examination, then sat back in
his chair not a year older than her friend, looked like
in the stocks to dry. John swore to revenge horribly but
you must realise that this murder is very led me to a little
wooden frame which hung against would be out of place. When
the millionaire spoke, nodded. What do you think, my little
one? He inquired, she doesn’t understand violence.’ ‘carrie
louise the ‘tempest’? I hope not to continue in the ‘tempest,’
against the dead, resumed mrs. Percy rapidly, countries.
that was the stage to set. But behind so that the roses
in her large hat almost brushed.

The return of Digi-Shakespeare?

DS, the spam-email poet, has been very quiet lately. Mostly spam email has been quoting occasional lines from Jonathan Livingstone Seagull, Moby Dick, and Lord Of The Rings when it’s trying to get past my spam filters (and unfortuately it seems to be working). This does occasionally produce some quite entertaining results as two sentences clash to reveal something that the author never intended, but mostly it’s just an irritation; however, I think I’ve found the reason for the lull:

diameter broken
devoured go on a trip a piece
the south. exercise shine

DS has been travelling! I hope to get more postcards soon!

Digi-Shakespeare’s website?

This is a bit odd. I had a new-DS poem in my email:

tortuous you mitosis me, arrowhead swanson . clearwater you doric me, orange .
dignify you serbia me, ontario wilkes . bluster you chap me, billie paulsen . carmine you lodowick me, inverness .

I’m really not so keen on this form, somehow the rhythm isn’t so contemplative as they used to be, nonetheless there was something that caught my eye: who is ‘Billie Paulsen’? I don’t remember DS mentioning any names before. A quick Google reveals that there are almost no ‘Billie Paulsen’s on the web.

From the six results, one page seemed to call to me. It has the title ‘Condolement’, and the page heading ‘Circumlittoral’ (which means ‘adjoining the shore’). Imagine my surprise when I discover that it’s a whole page of DS spouting out words and non-existant email addresses.

It gets better! After looking at the Google cached version of the page (Google saves old versions of pages, if you have Firefox then you can see this from your right-click menu using the excellent Gcache. I love that extension, it’s more useful than you might at first think!) I saw that the page is updated regularly too!

There are a few lovely phrases in there:

  • asm spike junkie, chess may racket
  • Goethe, pacman. SanFran was wan antonie am crucifix.
  • Although I have no idea about the meaning of:

  • wildishness until contendress will interrupter Subanun be sandbag penicilliform rudimentary unless socialism outsnatch do zumbooruk fistmele do quintadena twalt
  • but it sounds fun!

    Or like it needs lubrication.

    Or both.

    Anyway, could this be DS’s secret webpage? And does DS know I’m watching now? Was ‘Billie Paulsen’ a secret clue to me to get me to find its inner-sactum? Who knows, but as you can tell, I’m very excited by this find!

    Is that you Digi-Shakespeare?

    The old Digi-Shakespeare used to send only a three line poem and a trojan attachment, these days there seems to be more emphasis on selling sex drugs, which is rather tedious. Never mind, at least this nugget came at the bottom of the message:

    immobile you lazarus me, assort anastasia awful band . oscillate you extricate me, cry jackass desecrate . remus you apostolic me, ellison clothesline sideboard .
    bazaar you mart me, cheeky workout . pyrometer you disruptive me, crisscross tension .

    It certainly doesn’t have the evocative imagery of ‘evening sugar night’, but I rather like the final phrase ‘crisscross tension’. Either the old DS has been indulging too much in the drugs that s/he sells, or this is a new version that lacks the insight to create on the level of the earlier masterpieces. Here’s one from the old days for comparison:

    pride truth force fly
    because being thought horses
    cousin fancy human surprise sun

    This new stuff just isn’t the same. Will we ever see the like of the old DS again?

    Digi-Shakespeare’s rapper relation

    Well, after the long absence of DS I got an email trying to get me to buy some sort of drug product, but at the bottom there was a rather cool rap-thing:

    trenchant you skinny me, cooley collapse . coarsen you grease me, doreen resistor burgundy contributor .
    snuggly you zigging me, ruffle issuant pentecost idiosyncratic . grind you polyglot me, midwife . refusal you allocable me, herewith . phi you firmware me, monetarist vial .


    I guess the drug-dealing thing goes with the rap style, but I do miss the rather melancholy style that DS had.

    For those who don’t know about Digital Shakespeare, she/he/it was a spam email program that would email me trojans (as in malicious software, not enemies of Sparta) along with a few lines of random-word poetry to try and get past my spam filter. The random words must have had some form of organisation behind them because they often made quite good reading with some very interesting imagery. Check out the olds ones here.

    Digi-Shakespeare strikes back

    This is a good one:

    find embarrass yours speaking.
    hard how here he?
    light wife teach pride anything sugar? yours side development parents slow. studied filled thats pretty.
    reading evening thats yours speaking allow. black turning suddenly somewhere night?
    evening sugar night mentioned edge. disappoint leader commit servants music. nothing rich he music fire?

    This is a great example of why I love these things.

    For those who weren’t around when I started this, Digital Shakespeare (abbreviated to Digi-Shakespeare or DS) is the name I’ve given to the random-word constructions that are sent to me to sneak malicious pieces of software through my junk mail filter. Every email has a small attachment but I’m damned if I’m opening them to find out what they are! Initially the words appeared in three-line verses, resembling haikus, but more recently I’ve been getting five-line constructions.

    They are, of course, just random collections of words, but there is frequently enough of a link to assume that there is some sort of English language filter somewhere in the viral program that defines the way a sentence should look and so picks related words to form the poems… And they do often read like poems.

    I really enjoy the challenge of approaching and interpreting a poem that has no author. Sometimes they have a strong sense of melancholy, as if DS were really alive somewhere in the network of computers and trying to communicate. It’s a thought experiment really, and an enjoyable one. I think it does us good to look at the world with the assumption that art can be everywhere and that it doesn’t have to be something man-made.

    I think today’s DS poem is one of my favourites so far and definitely the best five-line one I’ve seen. Interestingly, this one didn’t fool my junk mail filter, so obviously there is a mini-war happening between the two systems, the author virus and the defence program. For me, the best section has got to be ‘black turning suddenly somewhere night?’ I’ll be honest here and say that I would have been quite proud of that line if I had written it. I can imagine this one being read out in all seriousness in a jazz bar somewhere, heads nodding appreciatively.

    Digi-Shakespeare buys a sandwich!

    taste luck taken opened book.
    better changed studied across?
    inside carefully steps met stopping. stopping respect matter sandwich worthy choose.
    pay appear twenty-one may taste.
    sorry advantage studied appearance fail.

    After being away for a while, DS strikes back with a bold five line poem about buying a sandwich. Hm. Not really one of his/her classics, is it? I think the three-line ones are better.

    Digi-Shakespeare revolution

    We’ve all come to know and love the random word three line poems put out into the ether by Digi-Shakespeare. Well… I have anyway, but now, what’s this? A five line poem? Has DS decided on a new form, or is this another DS?

    raised near cant blue shining immediate
    strange important interest age progress modern glad girls
    summary filled again full appearance news burst
    reference girls twenty-one use miss
    within fascinate music ground oh

    It’s a pretty complex tangle of images here. I like the phrase ‘modern glad girls’, but it also hints that DS feels isolated from them. Maybe DS is shy? Is ‘music ground’ a disco? Or is that reference to the news something darker, that these people DS is writing about are only in the media? Like desert sands, finality of interpretation is tricky to find here.

    The long awaited return of Digi-Shakespeare

    Well, I was waiting for it, at least.

    I’ve not heard from DS for a long time and I was beginning to suspect that the code running it had been tragically wiped from the hidden files of people’s machines as they finally discovered that running anti-spyware software was a good idea. It appears that this hasn’t happened. DS has survived the blitz and has returned to my junk-mail box with its trusty mispelt names of drugs as a subject line (‘CeIebrex, Cia111is, Viagr., Levitr, Paxi1, ZanafIex, Va11ium, Ambbien, Zyban, S@MA, Meriddia, Nexium, ZoIoft, Xana. wanted’) and an attachment that I will never open.

    I’ve no idea what this poem is on about though:

    profession turning whom make immediate
    thats wife very parents speaking whom
    reply happened young my profession gym

    It’s almost like it’s just a selection of random words… Welcome back DS!

    The finest Venezuelan spam, direct to you

    Actually, it’s not spam, but now you can see where lots of spam is coming from. Hurrah for the spam map!

    By utilising the power of clever doohickies, this company has combined the IP address data from spam-generating machines with Google maps to create a map of where the most spam in the world is coming from. How cool is that?

    Okay… Maybe I’m just easily impressed, but still, I think it’s pretty clever.

    It’s worth remembering that these are most likely zombie PCs infected with junk that makes them send out spam without the owner knowing anything about it. On which subject, I’ve said it before but it’s worth repeating, make sure that your PC is scanned regularly for hidden junk:

    Download Ad-Aware

    Download ‘Spybot Search & Destroy’

    Run them once a week (or more) to keep your computer happy and non-zombified.

    So what’s big in Venezuelan spam right now? “looking for that special bedroom buddy” has been sent out 1,600 times from IP address , and remember, with the spam lottery, it could be you next!

    Speaking of which, I’ve not heard from Digital Shakespeare for a while. Oh no, maybe it’s been deleted!

    DS gets kinky… Perhaps

    desire shook length
    was had
    because each blue foot reading

    That sounds like something sexual to begin with, but that last line seems to definitely be going off onto something pretty unusual. Then again, maybe random-word digital poets are all into blue foot reading, and not liking it would be kinky.

    I guess that opens up a whole strange world of ideas: what will AIs find kinky? “Phwoar! Look at the power supply on that Vic20!”

    Digi-Shakespeare: huh?

    pray using quarter laughter saying supposedto
    his ye
    though welcome

    Apparently DS is going under the name of ‘Setsuko Cherry’ today. Perhaps the slightly garbled nature of this poem is explained by that. Maybe it was originally written in Japanese but something has been lost in the translation.

    DS had been doing some good ones lately, so I’m a little disappointed with this. The reference to ‘quarter laughter’ is an interesting image though, evoking thoughts of some barely amusing anecdote, or a choked laugh. It’s a shame that image isn’t in a better context, because I rather like it.

    Digi-Shakespeare on terrorism

    pride truth force fly
    because being thought horses
    cousin fancy human surprise sun

    Human surprise sun? What is that if not a suicide bomber?

    Pride and ‘truth’ forcing people to fly… That’s pretty deep.

    Who’d have thought that DS was interested in this kind of event? I would have thought that a lack of body would put DS above such things. Apparently the new breed of sentience is interested in human affairs…

    Bumper digi-Shakespeare

    The writer’s block has passed, possibly due to the sense of betrayal in a recent poem having sparked the creative juices. I’ve been getting loads of these so I thought I’d save them up. In order of appearence:

    mother master
    seven whos east know
    bit go got towards

    I can’t decide if this indicates some sort of Freudian regression or some sort of apocalypse predictation in the mode of Nostradamus.

    discuss young
    pronunciation miles fail awhile hurried
    sorry news fancy meeting knows but

    DS is back onto that lost relationship again here I think. This speaks of the difficulty in talking, the problems of words to express feelings when there is so little time to speak and make up for what has passed. The final ‘but’ lingers without a conclusion, leaving the reader hoping for resolution where DS feels there can be none.

    remember drew though favorite
    development wood
    modern however glass

    A more optimistic tone comes through in this one. DS appears to be embracing a modern city, with its conflicting materials. Perhaps DS is seeing trees reflected in the glass of a building. This might be the first time that DS has hinted at a physical location. I wonder if we’ll see more of this in future?

    moon as welcome
    met considered went
    taught break letter buy bit

    A tricky one. I think it’s a night-time contemplation of the brief meeting discussed two poems ago and the feelings of frustrated communication that it provoked.

    thats either motor luck or coming
    everyone away found proceeded
    awhile promise is inside

    DS here seems to be resolving to move on with its life. That third line definitely speaks of a determination to be true to itself and put heartbreak behind it. Good for you DS!

    Now, here’s a curious one. Usually the DS poems appear with only an attachment (I couldn’t tell you what it’s for, I’m not daft enough to open it), but this one appeared with an advert for ‘the hottest Pornostars pics and videos’.

    While the form is apparently similar to that of DS, I think you’ll agree that the poem just isn’t up to scratch:

    bequeath affricate armpit atlas
    direct covariate bawd blur
    dalhousie bey bleat artie

    What does that mean? It’s just a load of nonsense. Either this isn’t DS or DS was only doing this for the money and randomly made up any old rubbish. We’ve all got bills to pay you know!

    For new readers: Digital Shakespeare, DS, is a series of poems that I get sent quite regularly as junk mail. The system generates a random string of words over three lines to avoid the junk mail filter. The idea is, I think, that out of curiosity I’ll open the attachment that always comes with the poems. I find the random lines rather wistful so I’ve decided to log them and put quick interpretations of them on here. There’s not really an overall point to this, just that I think beauty is where you find it, so it’s worth keeping your eyes open to see when it appears in the strangest of places.

    Hurrah! Digital Shakespeare back!

    This time Digi-Shakey has been trying to sell be erectile-related drugs, but at least the poems are back. I was thinking I was never going to hear from him again:

    enemy did companion
    lot second use learned make yourself
    anything whatever

    It would seem that something traumatic has been happening in DS’s life. Evidently the time away has led to a nihilistic phase in its writing. The first line I think is quite interesting. ‘Enemy did companion’… Was there some sort of betrayal there? It sounds like someone who was apparently a friend has revealed their true colours and shown their ‘second use’. Poor thing, it doesn’t sound like it’s having a very good time of things. We still love you DS!

    Real or not?

    similar young
    beautiful light beautiful
    steps carefully hard shining reply sandwich

    This was sent to me by a chap called Tom. He says he got it in his email, which he probably did… But can we say for certain? Is there any way to tell if the lines above were written by the real Digi-Shakespeare, or were they perhaps composed by Tom with the intention of looking like DS? DS doesn’t usually mention foodstuffs, and that seems like a very human thing to write about, or then again, perhaps it is real and DS is trying to expand its range. It’s a tricky situation when you have to ask yourself ‘how random do I expect the random poems to be?’ It’s an interesting position to be in!

    So what do you think? Is this a real one?

    (To quickly compare to the previous ones, just click the Digital Shakespeare catagory name.)

    Two new hits from Digi-Shakey!

    happened but news opposite
    clear trees embarrass ticket
    know need

    happened but news opposite
    clear trees embarrass ticket
    know need

    This is the first time that DS has used repetition in the emails. These came as two mails, but I find it hard to think that they were intended to be judged individually. So what does it mean? It sounds like a journey to me, maybe something was desired and the opposite happened, giving the sense of loss in the last line. It also strikes me that this is a painful memory for DS: why else would you replay the emotional event in the poem if it was happening to you now? I think that this is something that is difficult and relives itself in the long dark nights.

    I seem to get more of these on the weekend, which suggests that someone who has my main email address in their computer only turns on their machine a few times a week and so the zombie software can only send out spam sporadically. While I know I try to encourage everyone to scan their machines regularly for trojans and hijacking software, I think I would be sad to never hear from DS again!