Sunday, October 31, 2004

Amazon wants me to have sex with men

Usually, I'm fairly impressed with the things that recommends for me. In fact, I have discovered a lot of musical artists that I like thanks to their automated recommendations. Because of this, I periodically go through the things that it wants me to buy. Tonight, I found out that Zero 7 has a new CD out, and a few days ago, I found out about Vanessa Carlton's latest CD, both of which are great news to me.

Amazon knows that I like DVD sets of nerdy shows. For example, I have all of the released seasons of The Simpsons, Family Guy, Futurama, The X-Files, Millennium, Star Trek: Voyager, The Critic, and Arrested Development. So, I fully understand that Amazon wants me to buy Babylon 5, Angel, Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, and Stargate SG-1, though I'm not really interested in those shows. It knows that I like electronic and trip-hop music, so it suggests a lot of electronic music for me. It knows that I have purchased pans, so it suggests lots more pans for me. Tonight, it even recommended for me the camera that I just bought. But then it gets weird. Amazon, of all websites, should know that I don't really read. In fact, I've only purchased a couple books in recent history; I purchased Get Your War On 2 from Amazon recently (which is barely a book, since it's all cartoons), and then America: The Book—but that was from Barnes and Noble. As I was looking through my recommendations tonight, I noticed something odd: there were a lot of books in there, which I don't normally see, but even more strangely, starting with about page eight, they were all gay-themed books. There were collections of coming-out stories, a few political-ish books, and then several of what are apparently the gay version of trashy romance novels. I've never seen so much gay literature in my life... and I'm now really wondering what prompted Amazon to suggest these items for me.

So, not too long after, I go back to Amazon to click on the "why was I recommended this?" links. But they're all gone. I had already clicked "not interested" on those items, so now it's too late to find out what dirty secrets Amazon thinks it knows about me. Going through my wish list, I can't even fathom what's so gay about the items I want. The only particularly gay things on my list are two books by Dan Savage (of "Savage Love" fame in The Onion AV Club), but those were the first items I ever added to my wish list, years and years ago. I've never bought them because, well, I don't really read. My recent items are cookbooks, "Deep Thoughts" books by Jack Handey, and a lot of CDs.

I'm terribly confused. What about my Amazon browsing habits screams "ho-mo-sexual?" I must know! A couple times before, Amazon went on a recommendin'-spree of weird things: once grills, and another time jewelry. But, when those happened, the same items were being recommended to Daniel. Weird. Very, very weird.


Tom said...

Purchased any art fag Macs? Swid, Smith, and Stolee have. Why not Spomer?

Travis said...

Sheeesh, not THAT gay.

I do think that it would have been really funny to see a PowerMac G5 right next to the book about 12-year-old boys in an old English school "discovering themselves."

Swid said...

I <3 both of you.

Tom, I do remember you saying (more than once) that you wouldn't mind buying a Mac box...

Travis, if a source as all-knowing as Amazon thinks you're gay, aren't you compelled to submit to its demands? Now, if you had a TiVo that also thought you were gay, you'd have to examine these suggestions further... :-P

Travis said...

No TiVo for me. I am, however, planning on ordering a TV tuner card tomorrow, and then I shall give the built-in Windows DVR capabilities a try. I really hate my VCR.

Kerjo said...

I was very close to asking you the title of some of those books so that I had a book to read for my class, but I found another book here that will do just as well.

Good luck with the built-in DVR-ness.