Because of Spam

This week I’m discontinuing the “comment” function on Re-Entry. As wonderful as your comments have been, I am tired of weeding out the spam to find them. Spam outnumbers legitimate comments about five to one and outweighs them, word for word, by twenty-five times.

Most are from China—or about China—and go on and on about a book fair in Shanghai or property development in Beijing or natural gas supplies in a place named Surui.

Many are in response to the first blog, “Blackberries Are Coming On”—the column that was the inspiration for my turning on the comment function in the first place. The artist (and writer!) Deon Matzen sent me an email in response to “Blackberries,” saying how much she enjoyed the blog and that it had inspired her to write her own essay on blackberries, which she attached. Here is an excerpt:

My nephew came to visit from Montana one year when they were in season and fell in love with them. Fell in more ways than one. He picked all the berries that he could reach from the roadside. He came back to the house and asked for a ladder. My husband let him take the orchard ladder out to the street. Needless to say the best, ripest, and biggest berries were just out of reach, even from the ladder. An orchard ladder has three legs and before he knew it, he had fallen into the briar patch. He was in about 6 feet and totally entrapped by the vicious, but luscious berries. His clothes were completely caught. He was like a fly in a spider’s web and could not move or help himself out. We heard his calls and finally came to the rescue with a large plank. He practically had to disrobe to get out and almost require stitches to repair his lacerations, but he still said it was worth it just to have the pie.

How delightful is this! Comments like Deon’s, I always want to see. So, if you have a comment, please do send it to me—by email. If you don’t have my email address, go to my website ( and find it at the bottom of the homepage. The machines that send out spam, flooding normal communication so there’s no room left for mere people, cannot manage a maneuver that complicated.

And because the point of spam is to laden other blogs with links to your own, I’ll add one more link to this entry: if you’re interested in seeing the Monty Python sketch that led to “spam” becoming the name for nuisance emails that that take up all avaialbe space and time, click here... and enjoy!