The Greater Influence of Monty Python



“Spam” is a popular Monty Python sketch. In the sketch, two customers are trying to order a breakfast from a menu that includes the processed meat Spam in almost every dish.

The term spam in electronic communication, is from this sketch. Marketers drowning out discourse by flooding Usenet newsgroups and individuals’ email with junk mail advertising messages was named spamming, recounting the repetitive and unwanted presence of Spam in the sketch.

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3 thoughts on “The Greater Influence of Monty Python

  1. There may be a nuance to this that you’ve missed, bill, or at least failed to mention.

    Before WWII, in 1937, the folks at Hormel Meat Packing Company experienced a technological ‘breakthrough’ of sorts by developing a ‘meat product’, SPAM, that was prepared from the otherwise destined to be discarded Shoulder Pork bits and pieces of butchered swine, plus small portions of the hAM.

    That’s all history and you were probably well aware of it. What you might have missed, however, is how ubiquitous the product became as the result of WWII. Every Allied nation used boatloads of the product to support their military and essential civilian personnel. One could barely escape noticing it, wherever one was.

    Two or more decades before the Monty Python era Bob Hope – and many others – had used it’s overwhelming presence as the butt of stand-up routines at thousands of USO shows, many of which were rebroadcast or filmed for public viewing later.

    The Flying Circus guys were brilliant, indeed. But in my view they were merely carrying on a long tradition of publicly panning the potentially boring character of a product that virtually everybody loved the first time, but by the 100th serving in 50 days could just have easily never faced again. In other words, they were just ‘reprocessing’ a known product.

    Hmmm, looks like they had something in common with Hormel, too!

    Cheers

  2. 49erdweet – you could be right but take in consideration that the internet and usergroups are populated by Geeks which seem to like Monty Python. The biggest geek I know has the entire dead parrot sketch on his favorite T-shirt.

  3. Point taken and considered. Geeks frequently lose sight of the possibility that non-geeks might also enjoy Monte Python – and I do – or that a primitive life of some sort did exist prior to the first showing of his now immortal (in their eyes) “flying circus”. You knew it, I know, but to most geeks it just seems to far a stretch of their credulity to be factored into any other aspects of life, I suspect. Or maybe not.

    Cheers.

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