Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

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A trip to Spamatopia - Part 3

A trip to Spamatopia - Part 3

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As I was saying in my previous post, after my sojourn in Virus Valley during my stopover in Spamatopia, I rented a car and headed east to Spamzahkstan.  Along the way, I noticed a lot of abandoned cars on the highway.  I couldn't figure it out -- why would anybody leave their cars on the highway?  Many of them were in pretty good shape; some of them even had keys in the ignition.  It was the oddest thing.

Spamzahkstan is the largest state in Spamatopia and within it there are a number of self-governing districts.  The area that borders on Virus Valley is Pumpenstock (but more commonly known as Pumpenstach).  Pumpenstock's geography consists of a lot of rolling hills and lowlands, and it is an area that gets quite a bit of rain (a lot like Virus Valley).  I drove for about an hour and arrived in the largest city of Pumpenstock, the city of Burstenrise.  I noticed that Burstenrise was completely different from Michelangelo.  Whereas Burstenrise was overcast and cloudy with modern architecture, Burstenrise was more of a mixture.  It contained some classic architecture in the downtown area - street lamps that look like they are out of the 30's and many buildings made of brick.  The did find the street naming conventions a little strange; one of the more major route changed names eight times and I never once turned off of it (ie, I drove on it and after passing over an intersection, the name of the street I was on changed).

Pumpenstock, and Burstenrise in particular, is a city where everything is hyped.  If you lived there, you'd think every product being sold is the greatest product in the history of humanity.  For example, I saw a billboard for the Snickers chocolate bar, and the ad said "Snickers! The greatest chocolate bar ever!  One bite and you'll fall in love forever!"  I thought that was a little over the top.  Or, on the radio, they were advertising for the local baseball team and the ad went "Cheer on the Runners at the next game!  The greatest baseball team in Spamtopia!" Or, for a weight-loss program "Try it!  We guarantee that this is the best program and you'll absolutely lose weight but you must get in NOW!"

The entire place is like that, everything being pumped up, guaranteed to be the greatest product ever, but you had to buy it quickly or attend the seminar quickly or try the program immediately.  Obviously, we have advertising like that in North America but this was completely over the top.  Even the people spoke like that; when I asked where I could get something to eat, they replied "Oh, you have to go the best restaurant in town.  You need to do it as soon as you possibly can, don't wait!"  When I got to the place, the door attendant told me "Hurry up and come in now before it fills up!"  Sheesh, there is such a thing as sensory overload.

So that's what Pumpenstock is like.  The town has interesting architecture but the sense of hyperbole that everyone uses gets annoying after a while.  I felt mentally tired after reading dozens upon dozens of billbaords and advertising, not to mention chatting with the locals.  As I drove off from Burstenrise, I glanced back in my rear-view mirror; an interesting experience, to be sure, but I wouldn't want to live there.  I looked forward to my next adventure in the land of Spamatopia.

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