Over the weekend Amazon seems to have broken through the Turing barrier and unveiled an artificial intelligence that is predisposed to homophobia. At least that’s how I read their explanation for why the sales rankings for books with gay, lesbian and other non-heterosexual “adult” topics.
“We recently discovered a glitch to our Amazon sales rank feature that is in the process of being fixed. We’re working to correct the problem as quickly as possible.”
While the sales rank for Brokeback had been restored by this morning( #18,894 far ahead of “The Shipping News” which I love), the damage has been done and it’s going to be interesting to see how Amazon tries to fix it. As yet no official press release from them on the topic.
(BTW, all 75K seats seem filled for tonight’s speech at Mile High Stadium by Mr. Obama)
All of which may be caused by the McCain campaign’s astounding ability to say exactly the wrong thing. First there was former advisor Phill Gramm’s “American’s are whiners” reaction to the current economic troubles. This of course was still eclipsed by the candidate himself saying he didn’t know how many houses he had. While nothing will ever top that one there’s today’s wonderful bon bête on how to deal with the health insurance issue:
Best line in the story: “Goodman said anyone with access to an emergency room effectively has insurance, albeit the government acts as the payer of last resort.” I believe Goodman was quoting a classic solution to problems of the poor originally conceived of a by a Mr. Dickens. Too bad he hadn’t read Mr. Swift.
Suddenly the malaprops of Dan Quayle and even the our current Inarticulator-In-Chief don’t seem so bad.
All that said, the good senator from Arizona is hardly out of it by any account. Should he pick either Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison or Christine Todd Whitman (former governor of New Jersey and ex-chief of the EPA) as VP he could really make it close. That would get him a lot of Hillary defectors. While the senator has been mentioned as a possible veep it is as the longest of shots, the governor has not even got that close.
“Lolita, light of my life, home of my thread count. My Simmons, my Sealy, my Serta. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the Tempurpedic. Lo. Lee. Ta.”
This is what happens when you cut funding to education.
Note: There is absolutely no truth to the rumor that Hershey is considering having people sell individual packets of Ice Breakers on street corners. Nor that the company is very excited about its new pricing scheme. No truth. None. That’s just the kind of rumor that gets people in trouble, so DON’T SPREAD IT! Nope. Don’t do it. This would just increase sales among bored white kids in the suburbs. So don’t do it. Unless you own Hershey stock.
Spirit Airlines forgot to do some basic acronym checking with its latest sales campaign. The Florida-based airline, which specializes in Caribbean trips, inadvertently started offering a “MILF” special. While this likely resulted in an increase in traffic to the airline’s web site, apparently it wasn’t the type of traffic Spirit wanted. The slogan was removed from the site on Tuesday.
Maybe they thought it stood for “Mom, I’d like to fly!”
Maybe it’s something in Florida that makes companies obtuse on this topic. Disney ran into a similar problem with its Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor attraction.
Red Bull wins this year’s Throwing out the Babe with The Manger award for being the first company I noticed to get in trouble for its holiday ads. Seems that an Italian priest took offense to a TV spot showing a fourth wise man bearing a can of Red Bull as a gift for Baby You Know Who.