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Pages and pages of Spam… where do these people come from?


It's not just for lunch any more.

There’s been an increase lately in the amount of Spam comments Under The LobsterScope is drawing… from all over the globe. Aside from the usual rush of porn services and Christian dating organizations which seem to want to play with my little atheist life, I’m getting a ton of relatively meaningless post which re really designed to get people to click on their sources, thus providing free advertising for all kinds of services, legal or spurious.

The software I use to eliminate the Spammers from the legitimate list of commentors is working just fine, thanks, but it is at times when I go away from the blog for a stretch, as I did overnight, that they tend to build up in the “check me” area (which I usually ignore.)

Here are some samples I discovered this morning (without providing any source addresses):

I’m extremely impressed along with your writing talents and also with the format on your blog. Is this a paid subject matter or did you modify it yourself? Either way stay up the excellent quality writing, it is rare to peer a great blog like this one nowadays..
(linked to a detail picture I ran almost a year ago of Los Angeles’  Watts Towers)

This is my own first time i really visit here. I found so many interesting stuff into your blog, most definitely its chat. From the a ton of comments for your articles, I’m assuming I am not the only one having every one of the enjoyment right! Keep up the good work.
(linked to another picture I ran almost a year ago of the Watts Towers)

Submit could be very well composed, and never forgetting to mention that it can be incredibly informative at the same time. Kudos for you for that excellent career well accomplished there!
(from someone who is selling a self-improvement program at his site looking for free advertising)

Greetings! I’ve been reading your blog for a long time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Austin Texas! Just wanted to say keep up the fantastic work!
(sent from someone in Gdansk… is that near Austin? BTW, also a response to a Watts Tower Detail from months ago.)

Aside from an unusual idea that if they link to a picture or article on the Watts Towers I’ll let them run their merry scam… thus telling me that their prime target is someone searching for California tourist info… The fact that they assume outrageous compliments to my posts will get them “under the rabbit fence”, so to speak, implies that they see my ego as attackable.

It’s not.

They also have a major lack of mastery of English (which is why so many of them seem to be coming from Russia or Poland… not to mention the ones with Chinese characters that are unreadable to me or my ID software and are thus automatically eliminated.

I assume most of this stuff is coming from automatically generated lists based on key words… I can’t imagine someone is actually wasting real, personal time trying to trick me into running their dreck. Although is someone really wants to use UTL as a vehicle for garbage promotion, I sure wish they would reconsider.

The Watts Towers are in Trouble… but may be saved by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

I’ve really only been to Los Angeles to spend time once, but during that time one of the most important things for me was to visit the Watts Towers, the folk art monument and masterpiece in one of the city’s worst neighborhoods. The Watts Towers have been on my interest list since I first read about them in the early 1960s while a student at Northwestern (I got interested in them after seeing a black and white photograph on the cover of a paperback volume of poetry), and I have been monitoring their condition and appearance ever since.

Yesterday’s LA Times pointed out a falloff, due to the economy, in support from the County of Los Angeles in the maintenance of the Towers, Here is a section :

L.A.’s municipal budget crisis has hastened the need to find help just to continue the partial measures that have been the rule. Because of layoffs, a hiring freeze and an early retirement plan aimed at trimming city employment rolls, the Department of Cultural Affairs expects to see its staffing reduced from 70 positions to 37 by July 1. Among the employees being lost to early retirement, Garay said, are Virginia Kazor, longtime curator of the Watts Towers and another historic landmark, Hollyhock House, which architect Frank Lloyd Wright planted on a Hollywood hilltop in 1921.

The towers, topping out at just under 100 feet high, were created single-handedly by Simon Rodia, an uneducated Italian immigrant stonemason who built them in his spare time from 1921 to 1954. He created the framework of steel, wire and concrete and ornamented the three main spires and their 14 surrounding sculptural elements with colorful bits of broken glass, pottery and seashells.

Especially after they were left untouched during the 1965 Watts riots, the towers gained symbolic heft as an emblem of resilience, individual initiative, underdog achievement and potential rebirth.

It is well- known, actually a part of the Towers’ historic mythology, that Rodia, after spending over 30 years creating the architectural model, deeded the property to a neighbor in 1955 and moved away. He died in 1965 in Martinez, California age 86. In 1959 William Cartwright and Nicholas King purchased the lot for $3000. It was later given to the City. That the Towers have survived this long is in itself somewhat of a miracle.

LACMA officials said they would lend their expertise to help conserve the towers. They also promised to help raise private donations to keep them in good repair. That’s critical, because heat and moisture continually create cracks in the towers and the fanciful structures surrounding them, and the eye-popping ornamentation — seashells and pottery shards and discarded tiles and glass bottles — often falls off. The cost of deferred conservation work has been estimated at $5 million, yet the city will struggle to scrape up $200,000 for the landmark next year, and the Cultural Affairs staff is being cut nearly in half. Among the departures is the towers’ curator.

If the Watts Towers were located in, say, Westwood, they might be a more internationally renowned symbol of the city than the Hollywood sign. Then again, if they weren’t tucked at the end of a cul de sac in a poor and gang-wracked neighborhood, there’s a good chance that by now they would have been torn down and replaced by a mini-mall or a housing tract. Notorious for bulldozing its historic structures, Los Angeles is also remarkably stingy when it comes to support for the arts.

Rodia’s gift to the city is far too precious to be lost to history.

One of the things that the LA Times pointed out to me was how few visitors, relative to the quantity of tourists visiting LA and to the actual visits by residents themselves, the Watts Towers actually get. Seeing them in person is something I will never forget. The were splendid, remarkable creations … creative expressions of an Italian craftsman who spent a major part of his life making them. If you get the chance to see them in person, don’t pass it up.