Glurge deconstructed

I actually don’t encounter all that much glurge. I mean I might get an occasional heartwarming tale forwarded to me from a well-intentioned aunt this time of year, but for the most part I live a relatively glurge-free existence. So when I do come across glurge I tend to give it more consideration or attention than it probably deserves.

It seems there are certain critical ingredients ‘good’ (or at any rate true-to-form) glurge should include: references to God or angels, young/innocent children who face the death of a parent, selfless acts performed by strangers, and it seems a request to forward the stuff (or subject, depending on ones inclinations) to others is also considered good form, if not mandatory.

So my question is this…can a group of cynically-minded people who tend to experience life more through their heads than their hearts, catalogue the elements of glurge, and devise the ‘perfect’ specimen? Surely, I have missed several ingredients above.

One minor but important point (probably like the zeroth law of thermodynamics) thats probably so obvious that nobody thinks twice about it.

It was sent to you by somebody else. You can’t just create glurge. You can send it or you can receive it but you must do one of those two things. Probably has something to do with collapsing the wave function or some such.

Naw, I’ve personally written some pretty vomitous stuff for eulogies. My dear departed MIL, who is now seated at the right hand of Satan, got the full treatment.

Snopes has a good one.

I like how people actually asked if this was true; Snopes speculates that those people “have leaf-filled burlap sacks for heads.”

Anyone get over the top crazy postal mail glurge? Like this one I got years ago? For those who don’t want to read the link, it included the message that Jesus would be passing close to my house while I slept that night. There was a secret purple letter and a piece of gold fabric, and some instructions for what you were supposed to do with them…

Another one I got may years later included a “faith handkerchief” which was a printed piece of 8.5 x11 paper that you were supposed to put under your bed for the night, then mail back in the provided envelope the next day… there was all sorts of other ridiculousness… it’s all on the pages.

That kind of glurge gets to me more than email glurge, because it obviously cost someone a lot of money, and that money could be so much better spent…

Does glurge by definition always have to be of a religious nature? In my experience it usually is, but I’ve always used the term to refer to any nauseatingly sweet story, like the one that was going around about 10 years ago about the kid with the marbles.

Do you really mean deconstructed (or do you simply mean analyzed)? I think this gets close to actual deconstruction:

It has to do with everything. True glurge could not exist before email, really.

If I sent an email out pretending to be the person who directly experienced or witnessed the glurge-event, no one would accept or value it. I would be just another crazy. The validity of the glurge-event derives from its origins in the cybernetic ether. Glurge is mythology.

That is why you claim it came from a FOAF–friend of a friend. And glurge not only could but did exist before email, just like urban legends did. It was often spread person to person, then someone would write it into books, and then more people would tread them. I know my pastor told us a lot of religious glurge from the pulpit before he’d ever heard of the Internet.

I didn’t have to click that link – or read your post – or ever scroll down to your post – to know exactly what you linked to.

I read this paragraph and immediately wondered if you’d ever had the dubious pleasure of hearing The Christmas Shoes.

Oy, the comments! :smack:

Glurge certainly pre-dates the internet and email. When I was growing up, we once received a tape from a distant canadian evangelical cousin. Something about someone who fell out of a car, on the way back from a something… they may have been alright… or killed… or something… but God… hallelujah. The original version may or may not have been more coherent than my vague recollection.

Oh, yeah, glurge totally existed before the internet. The spouse and I call it “copier folklore” because it used to be distributed on copies-of-copies-of-copies, usually left lying around in public or semi public places like churches, libraries, stores, or offices. I’m sure if I looked around in my storage locker I could find a few specimens that my mom got from her various Eastern Star friends.

While obviously those examples are pre-cursors to glurge as it is today, they differ from the glurge we know today for several reasons. A pastor’s story has validity precisely because he’s a pastor, and hence a de facto trusted source. Urban folklore, as well, gains validity because someone you know tells the story. In neither case does passing the story on give it any more validity. Morevoer, glurge does not even need to get written into book form. It’s livelihood is completely independent of that kind of validation.

Chain letters–paper ones–typically aren’t concerned with propositional validity. They entreat you to duplicate the letter and send it off for some other purpose, instead (i.e., you’ll get rich, have good luck, etc). In general, things like what OpalCat describes (i.e., physical artifacts) fizzle out quickly, because–as her reaction demonstrates–to send such things bears the mark of fanaticism, and few people can get past that.

As a “literary tradition,” yes, all these things all the same thing, but I’m talking about the use of the term “deconstruct” in the OP. (It isn’t just a fancy way to say “analyze.”) If you really want to “deconstruct” glurge (in the true sense of “deconstruct”), there’s a difference.