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At Melic we pride ourselves on openness to any current cultural craze, digestible or otherwise. Below some of the intelligentsia from our writer's forum freely contributed their thoughts on a pressing issue. Our files begin with an innocent poem whose hidden depths Dr. Taylor instantly seized upon before they spamly fled his brain. (For accepted usage of Spam and its derivatives, please see the excerpt from Dweebler's Dictionary at the conclusion.)

The Editors

He Doesn't Like Spam?

Spam, Spam, wonderful Spam,
kiss of a cow eye,
a whisper of ham.

Returned to the table,
transformed overnight —
Spam blinis with sable,
Spam bchamel lite...

Elliza McGrand

A Critique

The judgmental assertion is a form of the interrogative well practiced by forensic students to establish the speaker's mild astonishment that the state of affairs are as ostensibly presented. "He doesn't like Spam?" How can that be, when Spam is (was) such a staple of the cupboard during the 1940's (and ought to be in the 1998s).

The traditional usage of the form by Roman orators devised a mode of authorizing praise by insult, or insult by praise.

"He (the accused) doesn't honor Cicero?" Nothing rhetorical here, but judgement by pitch — a cunning pitch on every syllable of the Latin.

Now let's look at the poem "He Doesn't Like Spam?"

Spam, Spam, wonderful Spam,

similar in rhythm and sense with, "Beans, beans, the musical fruit."

kiss of a cow eye,

The reference to Io, the maiden turned into a cow by Hera because Zeus had an 'eye' for her, is a clever use of paronomasia. Hera set a shepherd with a 1,000 eyes to stand guard over the beautiful Io. Alas, the shepherd fell asleep. Zeus got his kisses. The guard was blinded — all his eyes put into the tail of the peacock. It's all here and obvious in the poem.

a whisper of ham.

Reference to Circe's turning Odysseus' men into swine, and how they could only whisper since they were still men inside the bodies of the hogs — a reverse of the natural order, Spam inside the can, men inside swine.

Returned to the table,
transformed overnight —

Odysseus stood unaffected by Circe's beauty and she was so impressed (im-PRESSED-HAM) she transformed the swine back to men.

Spam blinis with sable,
Spam bchamel lite...

'blinus' refers to the region of Greece known as Boetia, associated with unbelievable stupidity. It would be stupid to think of Spam with the sublime sable.

The last is a Joycean twist of the name, 'Camelot.' — be-cam-el-lite. Again the juxtapositioning of the ugly with the sublime.

This ends my critique.

— Herr Professor Don Taylor, Ph.D.

* * *

Dearest Herr Dr. Professor Meister Taylor SIR:

What a fascinating exposition, although the classical roots of spam and its adjuvant paraphernalia, the "Spam line" as it were, have long been known.

I am minded of Dr. A. Cappela's 1967 monograph tracing out the structuralist-poststructuralist implications of Hegelian usage of pork, "The Clean and the Unclean." Dr. Capella makes some allusion to the circean element, but your note is, I believe, the more thorough dissection. As well, you include the inside/outside dichotomy — spam inside/man outside spam outside/man inside, that is the paradox of the formed versus the cooked versus the pre-cooked.

While it is true that Boetia is a region known for their incredible stupidity ("ah, he is as wooden-headed as a Boetian" is heard oft of a summer night, when tempers and temperatures rise), I think it is important to also make reference to the traditional Boetian custom of wrapping newly wed couple's in tin, while the grooms parents bang the sheet-metal with donkey bones. the delightful phallic/fertility significance of this cannot be overestimated. Is it accidental then, we ask, that the traditional Boetian wedding basket includes a can of spam? I think not!


Ms. Herr Doctor Capellmeister Elliza McBabyGrand

Response from Dr. Taylor:

To advance the discussion on the poetry of Spam, I offer ..

We can clearly see that there is no bi-univocal correspondence between spam and other canned meats, even those from Argentine. Linear signifying links(or archi-writing)are multireferential, multi-dimensional. The symmetry of weighed meats, the transver-sality of prospective food-stamp shoppers, and the pathic non-discursive character of the expansion of canned meat products into the inner city: all, force the social critic to stand by the side of the excluded (for reasons of diet) and reinforce our dismissal of the ontological binarism of the privileged classes.

Herr Dr Taylor, SIR

* * *

Comment by Dr. Masullo:

It is no little thing that Spam has resurfaced as a cultural icon. In fact, I predicted the exact date of the Great Spam Resurgence in my paper, The Great Spam Resurgence, Helplisly College, 1929.

More to the point, Spam has, and will forever remain, more than a catchy, well-placed product. As detailed in the aforementioned paper (see Helplilsy: Loneman), Spam is one of the seven great food sources known to the modern world. I know this to be true.

Once, after surviving a vicious sparrow attack, I was left alone and unfed in my very yard. Were it not for the trusty can of Spam I am known to keep in my best flack jacket, I surely would be, as you read this very document, perished on that spot, that desolate spot where I might have met my sad and too early demise, where now stands a commissioned, larger-than life bronze replica in tribute to that great and noble other food — SPAM.

Spam. The imperishable.
I rest my case.

Mme. K Masullo Helplisly Loneman

* * *

Additional Lyrics

The French Chef does Spam

Spam, spam, intractable spam,
holds shape under mushrooms
or mountains of jam.

In Julia's kitchen,
at Saturday, noon,
its Spam-basil paté,
Spam pot roast with prune.

Jordanne Spam Holyokey-dokey

* * *

The following lyrics were discovered etched on discarded K-rations by a soldier from a black W.W.II battalion by the name of Chester Burnett.

I'm a Spam

You shiny fry pans
all stand in line
I'll grease you baby
in and out of time

'Cause I'm a spam
I spell S / P / A / M

You say that pig
is not your gig
don't worry, honey
I got a steel lid

Well I'm a spam
I spell S / P / A / M

I'm pink as gum
solid as cheese
made from the scum
of boiled knees

Well I'm a spam
I spell S / P / A / M

My fatty brick
of pink puree
makes a woman slick
just to look at me

'Cause I'm a spam
I spell S / P / A / M

— discovered by Dweebler A. Cramden

* * *


This song is well known and has been the prompt for many discussions about the nature of mutual propinquity.

Spam leads me to cognitive associations which to the philosophical consciousness appear naive. Let me explain — The dog may associate and draw thecurious inference that his master will never take a walk, and take him along, if the master does not first turn the computer off. The child believes the serving of dinner brings his father home. The swallow brings the summer.

The point I make is clear. Now what about SPAM? What association of contiguity can be made with this meat-in-a-can? What auto-suggestion, without causation, does Spam make?

(This of course is the 'juxta hoc, ergo prompter hoc' accidental subsequent to an antecedent related only by propinquity of space and time).

1. Men always want to buy Spam: women refuse to buy it. Theassociation is that the word SPAM contains the initials P.M.S. and that opening the can brings the condition on.

2. Soldiers ate Spam (a lot). The association is that war and Spam are psychically linked. Without Spam there would be no wars.

3. Spam, to get at it, must be unlocked. The association is to the chastity belt. Women feel uncomfortable asking the man to 'get the can opened,' but once the game is on, "Turn the KEY! for God's sake!" is likely the woman's response. With each paper-ripping turn, the women feels herself more undressed and more given over to Spam associations.

More contiguities that appear to the non-poet naive may be made, butwill not be discussed here.

See my monograph, "Cassier and the Lability of Spam," (Inter-nationaler Psychoanalytischer: verlag), 1997.

Herr Dr. Taylor

Finally, for those still wondering about usage of Spam in English, hereis a an excerpt from

* * *

Dweebler's Dictionary:

Spam, n. Derived from speckled ham, e.g. spam, referring to an unsavory meat impregnated with fly spawn, which, if ground and boiled in a metal tin before all meat is replaced by maggots, can nevertheless pass for mammal protein. A favorite of American GI's and other populations who by force of smoking unfiltered Camels can taste nothing, neverthelessretain protein sensors that renders the mix palatable at an instinctual level. 2. Cyber-junk mail.

spam, v. To supply with unnecessary material, e.g. "As weprepared for Monica's deposition the president's legal team spammed us with amillion procedural queries." 2. Cunnilingus in the morning hours (suck pussy AM, hairgo Spam.) "She wanted to sleep in but I spammed her instead." 3. To slobber during intercourse, particularly as applied to the male of the species (derived from to spit and ram), considered a sign of bothenthusiasm and poor manners. (See turn-offs, gross-outs, grody.)

spam, adj. Pink and elongatedly cuboid with a gelatin coat,having the consistency of damp bone meal. "When the evening is spread out against the sky / like a patient etherized upon a spam table." 2. Tasting ofsodium benzoate and nitrites (added as nutritional supplements). "That generic cola tasted spam, huh? Next time let's buy the real thing."

spamly, adv. With lazy deliberation. "Spamly she raised the mint julip to her lips, all the while observing her gentleman's eyes for effect." 2. In a hurry, rushed. "When the skunk's olfactory sacs hemorrhaged, we spamly fled." (This second meaning, so opposite of the first, is commonly attributed to the slick gelatin coat of natural Spam, which if negotiated with bare fingers has a tendency to squirt out of hand.) 3. Squirting out of hand, propelled by wet squeezing. "Spamly, the giant green phlegm ball left her mouth."

With permission from Dweebler's Dictionary, copyright 1996, all rights reserved, penalty upon reproduction or anything that leads to it.

      — Staff et al.