Institute for Applied Autonomy on Mon, 15 May 2000 15:44:01 +0200 (CEST)

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Date: Tue, May 2, 2000 12:10 PM -0700
Subject: New stores are springing up at

Dear Amazon Customer,

I have an extreme case of spring fever. And's new Lawn &
Patio and Kitchen stores have a lot to do with it.

Our Lawn & Patio store has everything you need to spruce up your yard.
Weber grills, Black & Decker mulching mowers, Fiskars tree pruners--the
selection is amazing. And if it's information you're looking for, we've
got buying guides and articles that will turn brown thumbs green and
green thumbs greener.
Come explore:

Does spring bring out the chef in you? Then try our new Kitchen store.
It's brimming with thousands of culinary essentials for novices and
gourmets alike. Calphalon, Cuisinart, Henckels, KitchenAid--we've got
all the top brands. While you're there, check out our hands-on editorial
reviews and fresh ideas for springtime entertaining from world-renowned
chefs and celebrities.
Go to:

So stop by today. And get the things you need to make the
most of the season.


David Risher
Senior VP and Avid Shopper
U.S. Retail

P.S. Our other stores are joining in the excitement of the Lawn & Patio
and Kitchen store openings too.

- In Books, save 40% off all American Horticultural Society titles and
Cook's Illustrated titles.

- In Toys, ride-on bubble mowers and Easy Bake Ovens are 50% off.

- In Software, enjoy a $20 rebate on the deluxe version of Complete
LandDesigner 3-D Design software.

P.P.S. I hope you enjoyed receiving this message. However, if you'd
rather not receive any future notices of this sort from,
please visit your Subscriptions page:

Please note that this message was sent to the following e-mail address:


Date: Tue, May 2, 2000 4:34 PM -0400
From: Daniel Arp <>
Subject: Amazon dot me faster


I've got the fever too. For you, Amazon. You feel the spring in the air?
I feel it in my step. Your new Lawn & Patio and Kitchen stores have a
lot to do with it, but then there's also the tremendous savings on books
and music and toys and ideas. Webers and Deckers and Pruners (oh my!) --
I can feel the surge in my blood, the ache and the longing of this
crush. Will it ever end? Or is this courting of corporate favor destined
to go unrequited?

You ask me, "Does spring bring out the chef in you?" You are such a
tease, Amazon. That's what I admire about you. I say "admire," because
that is truly what I feel toward you: admiration and respect. This is
more than consumer lust -- the impulsive desire to buy, buy, buy you out
till we're both dry and empty, panting for breath and mouthing the words
"supply," "demand," "supply," "demand," with each in-breath and

No, Amazon. Though this physical desire resides within me, my feelings
toward you as a corporation are infinitely more complex. Shall I shop
and compare thee to a summer's day sale at Wal-Mart? Thy lawn product
prices are more moderate, and more fair. And why? Why you, Amazon? I
want to figure you out, get inside you and see what makes you tick in
that upbeat, virtual way of yours.
I want an hour inside your corporate lair. Just an hour to wander
through the halls, stacked with plastic-wrapped nuggets of consumer joy.
I want to explore these lanes and aisles: a, b, c, d, e, f, and g.
Especially g. I want to run up and down, up and down your g-aisle and
press into your g-products with the force of a train. This is about more
than consumption, Amazon. It is even about more than obsession. It is
about love. There, I said it: L-O-V-E.

And now we both can rest, in our corporate-choked corners of the world,
and suffer our fates: I a mere individual, you a gluttonous corporation
with all the attendance of a bargain-hunting populace at your feet, each
of us aching with our own loneliness and the impossibility of union. I a
Montague, you a Capulet. 'Tis the east, and Amazon is the sun! And this
sun speaks of a new season -- a spring that ushers in new epiphanies and
purchases, new aches and pangs of consumer frenzy. An awakening of the
soul, the mind, the dormant winter wallet: I will buy, buy, buy, Amazon,
until I can buy no more, getting the things you and I both need to make
the most of the season.

All I ask in return is your Amazonian love.

Daniel Arp
Rabid shopper


Date: Wed, May 3, 2000 3:29 PM -0700
To: Daniel Arp <>
Subject: Your Inquiry

Dear Daniel,

Greetings from

What a refreshing message! I so enjoyed your accolades, and am very glad
to know that we have such a devoted customer in you. It is so nice to
hear that you enjoy shopping with us so, and you are not afraid to tell
us! Thank you so much for taking the time to write in.

I do hope that you will continue your adoration, and that we continue to
show you the best service, prices, and selection that you could ever
find. Please let us know if there is ever anything we may do for you. I
hope that you are able to find a treasure or two soon, as to quench your
thirst for

Thank you so much, Daniel, for your kind and heartfelt words. I look
forward to your next visit. I hope that you have a pleasant day!

Best regards,

Jenna Lowell
Earth's Biggest Selection


Date: Wed, May 3, 2000 7:09 PM -0400
From: Daniel Arp <>
Subject: Re: Your Inquiry

Dear Amazon:

Oh wow. Wow wow wow. Wow wow wow wow. You're so turning me on right now
to savings. I want to gobble em up like candy. I've never been so hard
up for cash as at this point in my life, yet you continue to service me
with hot, mind-blowing consumer satisfaction, at prices that get me off
my couch and on the internet.

I hope you don't consider it too forward of me that I sent you an
e-card, Amazon. (It's a little note with a picture of the suicidal
virgins. Hope you like it!) I just wanted to repay you for your warm,
affectionate reply to my message. It meant a lot to me, as has the witty
back-and-forth I've enjoyed with you while surfing your web site. "Click
here, Daniel Arp." "Click there, Daniel Arp." You big tease. I'll click
anywhere you want, Amazon. Where do you want me to click next?

I just had an impulse: Could you give me an address to send you flowers?

I'm usually not this forward with corporations, but I really think
there's something special about you, Amazon (Who else in my life knows
that I totally want a book on ballroom dancing? Not even my estranged
wife would have known that! Amazon, you literally keep a single guy on
his toes!)
Let me give you my address, so this isn't so weird: 5208 Beeler St.;
Pittsburgh, PA 15217. My phone number is (412) 681-6578. (Whoops! I just
realized you know all that already! Ha ha, silly me! Oh well, for what
it's worth...)

Whoa, I just thought of something: Do you sell flowers? Cause if you do
I could just order them from you then send them back to you. Hold on,
let me check your web site. Back in a sec...

Damn, no flowers. I guess I'll have to get them elsewhere. But I don't
want to go anywhere else. This is where I want to be: right here with
you. I feel so close to you right now, Amazon. I feel the warmth of
spring touching us both, as though our pink quivering flesh were newborn
and raw. Though we are separated by a concrete ocean, we are still
touched by the same sun. Isn't that a comfort? To know we are that

I would like very much if you gave me a call, Amazon. You could tell me
some of your special offers. I could provide you with some special
offers of my own. It wouldn't have to be a big deal, Amazon, we could
just talk about whatever came to mind. I could tell you my idea for a


Daniel Arp
Earth's Biggest Predilection
.for you, Amazon


Date: Thu, May 4, 2000 5:01 PM -0700
To: Daniel Arp <>
Subject: Your Order

Dear Mr. Arp:

Greetings from!

Thanks you for you kind words and your card. While we appreciate your
offer for sending us flowers it certainly is not necessary. Your kind
words are more than good enough for us.

It is because of customer comments like yours that we strive to be the
very best. I would like to extend our thanks to you for your loyalty and
very kind feedback. Without such customers as you, we could not continue
to provide the service and selection you've come to expect from our
Your comments are greatly appreciated, and I sincerely thank you for

Best regards,

Michael C. Lenington
Earth's Biggest Selection


Date: Mon, May 8, 2000 2:05 PM -0400
From: Daniel Arp <>
Subject: Re: Your Order

Dear Amazon:

And so now these desires drip drip drip like rain off a rooftop,
funneling fears of the emptiness of death through a sieve of optimistic
purchase. I am death, and you are life, Amazon. I count the hours
between each rendezvous as though counting the drip drip drip from that
sad old rooftop, a Chinese water torture of waiting, waiting for the
next check, the next mouse click and impulse buy, my leg jerking as
though from electric shock waiting to buy and purchase and own. If I
could only own you, Amazon. I see the smiling face of your founder, Jeff
Bezos, inside a shipping box on the cover of Time Magazine, and I think,
"If only..." How much is Jeff Bezos' smiling Man-of-the-Year mug worth?
Alas, too much for my meager means. Shipping alone would be a nightmare
of cost and consequence. They would have to sedate him and send him in a
cage, like a circus animal. To subdue him they'd have to shock him
repeatedly with a cattle prod.
I don't want that. Especially since they'd have to do the same for me,
while I waited in my lonely afternoon corner for the delivery of a
lifetime, the delivery of you, Amazon, to my vacant residential
doorstep. Oh, what an ugly word: residential. Don't you agree, Amazon?
Corporate: a much better word. Corpe Diem. Incorporate the day, Amazon!
If only we could. If only this day could be corporatized, the way my
life has become corporatized, swallowed up and pixellated in the service
of you, my field of vision now a 17-inch flat screen displaying 1024 by
768 pixels in millions of colors (all the pretty colors!). I have
entered the Amazone. I see you everywhere, wherever I walk, your zippy
logo imprinted on the leaves of trees and blades of grass, the ground I
tread sprinkled with the rose petals of your name: Amazon, Amazon,
Amazon, the aching wounded primitive call.

This is worse than my crush on Sallie Mae that lasted several years
after college. But she was a hussy compared to you. She kept demanding,
taking from me even after she had stopped giving, demanding interest,
interest, pound upon pound of flesh for services once rendered, now
withdrawn. But your services, like the cycle of days upon days, is
neverending. Will the sun not come out? Will Amazon not ship my order,
usually within 2-3 business days? Will the earth not spin, spin upon an
axis of power and exchange, the swirling worldwide daily buzzing of bees
begging for honey, for venture capital, bodies and companies aching to
merge like oceans till the world is blanketed under the raging waves of
their market values, crashing and rising according to the pull of an
economic moon?

I and my shadow say: you and I will be united, released in this moment
of corporate marriage. I will drown in your waters, my shadow will
disappear, or perhaps I will disappear and my shadow will remain, a
pixellated (pixillated!) ghost exploring the links inside your virtual
warehouse, a stick figure riding around in a shopping cart. I will be
reduced and satisfied as an icon on a screen, a commercial for myself.
Or rather for you. This is all I want, to sell you, since I cannot be
sold the way you can be sold, since I am only a human being whose wares,
alas, could not be shipped without the above-mentioned difficulties and
exorbitant costs, human flesh without a web-presence, without even a
web-absence, as spiritually bankrupt as an Okie in the Dust Bowl, a
graveyard ghost like Steinbeck's Muley, hiding out in a ruined
plantation and seeking purchase for his dead seed.

But I am not worthless. I will go West, West to the land of the Amazon.
I know I can help you. Why did you never call when I asked? Why did you
refuse my offer of flowers? I want only to make you happy, Amazon, to
hear your voice. My idea for a tattoo? Your logo across my forehead.
Your logo on my back. Your logo running like racing stripes down my
legs. I am willing to become a human billboard to please you! How can
you refuse my offer? There has never been a more devoted customer, for
customers treat corporations like dust or rocks, treat them only like
they are there, not like they are the living, breathing, sweating
presences they are, teeming with life and desire. So sweat on me Amazon.
Bleed out your icons, your slogans, your mergers and acquisitions, and
make sure all that drip-drip-drips falls on me, your devoted servant,
the one below you on bended knee.

And in closing this time, because my own words seem so poor, allow me to
quote a favorite poet, T.S. Eliot, whose collected poems are only $14.70
on your site, a savings of 30 percent off the damnable cover price.
Without further ado:

   "Let us go then, you and I,
   When the evening is spread out against the sky
   Like a patient etherised upon a table;
   Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
   The muttering retreats
   Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels."

Let us go then, Amazon, and see what sells.

Your panting devoted slave-monkey,
Daniel Arp
Earth's Biggest Genuflection

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