All Hail Spam!

By Anthony Damiani


Everyone knew it would happen eventually.

Saminga had angered too many people, for too long. Every Impudite Prince -- and a good number of the rank and file --wanted his head on a platter, and his organization was as riven with paranoia as Asmodeus', without the correlation between behavior and risk of a sudden and messy demise. It was clear that one day, someone was going to go for the Big Takedown.

What nobody saw coming was the direction it was coming from.

The Demon of Spam had successfully managed the conceptual transition between being a specific brand of meat product and representing the flood of useless information that blight our existence on the web. In so doing, Lucifer modified his word, either granting him a second word, also Spam -- which seems unlikely, or more polyverbal demons would be running around out there -- or changed his words to 'Things called Spam in corporeal speech.' Spam, therefore, possesses a word of singular flexibility.

What does Spam mean, really?

Why, anything you can persuade people it means, of course.

And nobody persuades the masses like Spam's new boss -- skinny Impudite, wears the glasses, answers to 'Media'.

So here's the seed: The impudite princes have formed an alliance. Andrealphus wants Saminga out of the way, Nybbas would like the same and gets a powerful word-bound servitor under his complete control in the bargain, and Kobal... well, Saminga's a good joke, but he's an old joke... and wouldn't it be funny to see him toppled by Spam?

So they begin to mount a systematic campaign of redefinition. The conceptual linkage is Spam=Meat=Dead, and all servitors are instructed to adjust their vocabulary accordingly. It's been bandied as a catchphrase throughout most of this season's prime time lineup: "Yeehaw! Spammed 'im good, captain!" "I'm sorry ma'am... your husband.... he's spam." Saminga's key advantage has always been the raw strength of his word, if that were weakened, even temporarily, by 'Spam' siphoning off some of the conceptual weight of 'death,' then he becomes vulnerable to more direct action.

It should be almost immediately apparent to any PCs that there's an infernal plot afoot -- this kind of linguistic meddling has to be rather obvious in order to succeed. The only question becomes whether they want it to succeed or fail. I'm actually rather curious to see how players would engage in this kind of memetic warfare -- how does one go about redefining the meaning of a word, even an innocuous one like Spam?


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