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Side-effects of a mailbox Side-effects of a mailbox
by Thanos Kalamidas
2013-01-25 11:26:41
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The constant increasing readership of Ovi magazine has also brought something else, the side effects. And one of them that sometimes makes you angry, sometimes sad or uncomfortable and occasionally laugh is the mail. During the day I try to go often through my mails and of course I try somehow to prioritize the ones I should read straight away, the ones I have to think about and the ones I don’t want which follow the way to the recycling bin. But a few days ago surprised at one point with the amount of mail I get I decided to keep them all and see how many I will get in 24 hours.

Now you must remember that I’m talking about my personal mail-account for Ovi magazine and I’m not the only one who receives mails for the magazine. Two o’clock in the morning and exactly 24 hours after I deleted anything for the last time I had in my mail-box 783 mails that normally would have gone straight away to the recycling bin, 174 that I would/might read and 59 that I would definitely read, most from Ovi contributors and members of the Ovi writers’ team.

Out of the 783+174 there were some insults, threats and the usual trash. With an opinionated and open magazine like Ovi you somehow expect this short of mail; it comes with the profile and sometimes you have the feeling that there are some really disturbed individuals out there. There is also a globalization in them. Similar letters come from all around and sometimes I feel like forwarding some mails to each other since they accuse us for exactly the opposite things. So for example we have been supporting terrorism while we are secretly CIA, we are Muslim Christians exercising crusades and Jihad and definitely Jews and Palestinian lovers. In the meantime we are liberals and communists, fascists and Machiavellian monsters. And the list goes on and on.

A man from north-east USA send me a six pages mail underlining and quoting articles I wrote the last eight years just to prove that I am a Stalin admirer, testing me to answer to the poor sod that it was time for him to find a girlfriend. Another one – from Georgia, near here this time - was so kin to prove that we are a bunch of anarchist that he made a whole study to some of the cartoons.

Then there is another lot; the ones who try to pass their message covered in contributions. As a principal when somebody new sends a contribution, somebody who has not been introduced or invited from the Ovi team, I keep the article for a few days reading and re-reading it to get a feeling. A guy from Russia overwhelmed me with eleven articles the same day, all of them with historic themes and all of them really long. All of them were talking about ancient temples and monuments, full of historic references and quotes from series of books with sentences that covered a whole page without a period between sentences. After reading the first two I got the feeling that something was going on but I could not see it, so I continued with another two. Here and there I checked the references at least online and I could find nothing wrong with them until in the fifth article I saw where it was leading hidden in one of the last two paragraphs and after a two pages sentence without any kind of period or comma in between. The Arian race had built all those. I didn’t even bother to answer and I’m sure he knows why. Articles like that come as often as once a month making me wander if they ever had bother to read even one article in Ovi magazine before sending them.

But then I had a laughing break. A young man from Mauritius send me a long mail explaining how poor upbringing he had, about his dead father and then about his studies while he was working selling fruits in the streets. But the best part came in the end. After telling me that his dream was to open a garage that would serve all kinds of cars even Rolls Royse he asks for my help pointing that he only needs 10 million Euros. Nothing more nothing less. I hope the young man reads this, because he must understand that it has been a misunderstanding. I’m Greek and my name is Thanasis – shorten Thanos – but no relationship with Onassis. Thanasis and Onassis are different names, and by the way Onassis is dead long time now. I’m really really sorry but I won’t be able to help him but I would appreciate it if he finds the person who’s willing to invest 10m Euros in a garage in Mauritius to give him my mail address because I have some more investments I can suggest to him.

Then it was this lady from India. A very sweet mail from a woman who explained how bad the situation is in the part of the country she lives and how little opportunity there is. But she was ready to do anything and she wouldn’t mind cleaning the offices of Ovi magazine, even my house if I could give her the chance. For a minute I looked around me afraid that there is some kind of hidden camera in this room because the truth is that with all these books around me a good dusting is necessary.

Then it was this man from Libya who after insuring me that he was against Kaddafi, that he had fought against him and he was very comfortable with all kind of armoury he was willing to be my …bodyguard for a very reasonable fee. Coming to bodyguards there must be a rumour around that I need one otherwise I cannot explain why I got two similar mails from two different regions of this globe in one day both from men “comfortable with armoury” and ready to be at my service. Should I check around a bit more?

Of course mails from Linda, Suzan, Erika and Paula coming often; all of them having seen my photograph somewhere and immediately fell in love. All of them cannot live without me and the only thing they want from me is to …check their photos!!! A dinosaur in internet and always afraid of viruses I didn’t check any of the photos so I might have lost all the chances! But no worries more female names coming, all of them in love with me!

And then comes Dubai. If I believe half of the mails I get from Dubai all the opportunities of the world are there. Whatever I want I can find it straight away, 24 meters yachts, 850 m2 bungalows only meters from the sea, fancy cars and villas are waiting for me in prices that will shock me! After checking a couple of price lists I was definitely shocked. Ok. There are more who confuse me with Onassis.

Then there was a mail form somebody from UK ordering me in the name of freedom of speech to publish his article/open letter. Now you read ‘open letter’ and you though that it is for the Queen or Cameron! Noooooooo! It was to his ex-wife and her financial demands from him even though according to the noble gentleman her and her family had a long tradition in making money using their body parts!!!

Another one, from Egypt this time, after thanking me for …replying to his last mail he was informing me that I was officially his partner and I had to send him 1,000 dollars for the taxes we had to pay otherwise I would have problems with the authorities …in Finland!!! This one at least had done some homework!

In the meantime I had one mail from the general manager of Google and one from Barclays bank informing me that they decided to fund Ovi magazine for one million dollars each and the only thing I had to do was to send them 200 dollars to open a …bank account in my name!

The widow of a Pakistani general informed me that her late husband was a fanatic reader of Ovi magazine and he left to the magazine half of his savings that accounted for something like 20 million dollars. The only thing I had to do was to send her a photocopy of my passport, my account number and my …pin key-number!

An architect from Ethiopia had read somewhere that Ovi magazine’s offices had problems so he was willing for a “very modest salary” – his words – to design and supervise the built of the new Ovi magazine offices. I was tempted to send him a virtual address!

Oh and I forgot the translators. I actually found about languages I didn’t even know that they exist. But the best came from a lady from Brazil who was wiling for very little money to translate my articles in …Greek!!! She is married with a Greek and very comfortable with the language! This one made me a bit worrying about my Greek writing and living away for so many years!!!

Another lady from Senegal offered to teach me local dances but she noted that she can also teach me classic ballet if I wanted. Only the image of me dancing the “swan lake” was hysterical! I was really sorry and with great regret I was forced to reject her offer.

The same time a gentleman from India was explaining that I was obliged to sell Indian black tea to the Ovi readers suggesting ways I should boil the …water! I found some difficulties how I can do all that through internet but hey you never know what the future brings. Another gentleman, from Ghana this time, was seeking for funding of 40 million USD to continue with the project or partnership which will have equity in the project.

Did I mention the CEOs (Chief Executive Officers)? I missed that! Men and women from India, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Iran, are offered to come here and take over as CEOs reinsuring me that Ovi magazine will be on top of the world after three months. One of them was so persistent so I felt that I had to answer something, so I send him a mail explaining that our CEO had a strange contract that obliged us to keep him for life but we will keep his CV in case …you never know, he has heart problems… The man actually answered in ten minutes that he …accepts our offer!

There are many more and imagine that all these were in just 24 hours so I promise in the near future I will repeat this with some more mails but I kept for last to tell you about one lot. 27 of these mails were from young people looking for jobs. Dispirit youth, hit from unemployment, ready to do anything despite their education and their degrees – some of them with very impressive diplomas and backgrounds. Some of them from Africa or Asia, most from Europe. I try to answer to all of them at least giving them some encouraging words, let them feel that they are not alone and perhaps help their wounded self confidence. I don’t know if what I’m doing is wrong or right; I just know that desperation is a bad adviser especially in the strange era of financial turbulence we live nowadays and I don’t want them to feel alone sending mails nobody answers.

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Asa2013-01-25 11:50:23
As a fellow ovimagazine.com email user, I must highlight the insane amount of Persian spam! What is going on there? BTW, you didn't answer my last email ;)

Thanos2013-01-25 12:14:17
Yes I forgot to mention all the ones I don't understand like these Persian mails.

What mail? LOL!!!

Emanuel Paparella2013-01-25 12:45:38
If I may be so bold, may I counsel an internal smile as you patiently read those bizarre messages, Thanos, or your may find yourself losing your grip on sanity.

What did Nietzsche say: whatever does not kill us makes us stronger? I suppose that’s one strange way of looking at the modern instant means of communication. There is another way and it is this simple observation: there seems to be at work an inverse proportion: the faster the means of communication, the more trivial and bizarre the communication gets; which is to say, there is a definite disconnect between the form and the content.

One can visualize that in a few decades, after a nuclear exchange, a man living in a cave in Patagonia (Plato’s cave?) calls on his cellular the man in a cave in Afghanistan and simply grunts into the phone to which the other man answers with a simple belch. I don’t know how one can accomplish that on facebook but there are students now who text while philosophy lectures are being given and can write a philosophy term paper on twitter with sixty characters or less.

Perhaps Einstein said it best: “Perfection of means and confusion of goals seems to be the character of our age.”

Murray Hunter2013-01-25 12:47:19
And I thought that I was the only one annoying you.

Thanos2013-01-25 13:14:55
Humour is a good ally when you read some of these mails. Saying that I feel sometimes really sad with people who obviously have too much anger inside them and they bring it out at anybody they can find in front of them. Some of them must be really lonely people and you get this feeling after reading mails that cover pages and pages saying ...nothing!!

But yes there are a lot of funny mails as well. :)

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