May 18th, 2005
|11:57 pm - Customers who purchased The Passion of the Christ also purchased S&M 101: A Realistic Introduction!|
I got an e-mail today from somebody wondering whether or not I made up the song about Joan Crawford rising from the grave (referenced in Chuck & Bernie for the week of April 10th). It's a real song, and the real lyrics can really be found here. Really.
Anyway, I see that one of The Onion's News In Brief stories this week discusses the dismay of an author looking at his book's page on Amazon.com, specifically the reviews and recommendations. I've wondered about this myself; thanks to the Internet there's no longer any buffer between artists and consumers. What must it be like to see your work panned in detail by everybody -- not just professional critics -- in a public forum? I don't actually purchase from Amazon very often, but I do use them for reference quite frequently (how much does this cost? How many pages long is that? How many editions has something been published in?). I find myself reading the reviews and looking at Amazon's recommendations.
The recommendations are made by tracking my purchases and comparing them with other customers' purchases. Sometimes they're startlingly accurate -- if I go to Amazon and click the Colin's Store tab, I already own eleven of the fifteen items that pop up. However, if I click More Results, I start getting weirder recommendations: Ace of Base albums. Ann Coulter books. Anything and everything pertaining to the movie Grease. A baseball bat. All kinds of Mac hardware.
If I click on "Why was I recommended this?" for Ann Coulter's How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must), I learn that people who bought her book also bought the soundtrack from Hedwig and the Angry Inch, which makes me wonder just what kind of conservatives are shopping on Amazon.
Amazon also thinks I would like Bambi because I purchased (drumroll please) Fritz Lang's Metropolis. Nothing complements talking animals like a silent movie with overtones of communism and a sexy robot. I would like the 2-disc special edition of Underworld not because I've been purchasing horror novels, but because I bought Shock Treatment on VHS in 1999 (which, contrary to popular belief, has never stopped being available). Apparently I'd like Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey because I bought The Seventh Seal. Er, wait. The connection is obvious if you've seen both movies, and I have since um, own bought Bogus Journey, too.
Still, these guesses at my personal tastes were made by gathering statistical data. I'm never going to purchase The Lizzie McGuire Movie, but the top recommendations are quite accurate and I understand that I have slightly ecclectic sensibilities. The real travesties are the reviews. I picked out some of my favorites tonight, and you don't need to be familiar with the original works to appreciate their ridiculous reviews:
Regarding 2001: A Space Odyssey:
Not an accurate portrayal of 2001: I didn't get this movie one bit. It wasn't like last year at all. I lived through the year 2001 and as far as I know none of this stuff happened. When you make a documentary about a year you should at least show things that actually happened.Regarding The House on the Borderland by William Hope Hodgson:
Crazy. Absolutely crazy.: This book is an adventure story about a guy who has a gun and a whole buttload of pigpeople to kill. Zoom! Boom! Bazoom! That's what I think his shotgun sounded like as he unloaded it into those foul creatures! It's crazy, I tell you!Regarding The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams:
Then he goes into space right? To the GREEN SUN. Obviously a play on the Loc-Nar from the movie Heavy Metal. What a load. William H. Hodgeson obviously travelled into the future to copy it. Or maybe the Grimaldi guy went back in time and showed him the story boards. I don't know. But it's crazy, I tell you!
Utter nonsense: First of all, let me say that much of the so-called "story" in this supposed "book" is nothing but lies and weirdness. Some of it even defies all belief! If you like books about crazy aliens who act like they are out of their gord, well maybe this book is up your alley. I'm worried that if you let your children read this, it will make them think the world really works like this, and that you can talk to mice like they are people (no kidding -- it says that). Good luck teaching kids right from wrong after they've had their brains scrambled by this rubbish. At times I could not tell if Mr. Adams was trying to be funny or if he really thinks this way. I suspect maybe he needs professional help or something. I shudder at the thought of encouraging people to publish this sort of insane rambling as if it were a travel guide to outer space. I certainly didn't get any good, practical travel advice from this book. Stick with Fodor's and save yourself the bother.Regarding the famously discredited Simon Necronomicon:
DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK!!: Okay, i bought this book a while ago and thought that just because the back said it was powerful and all, i should buy it. I had no idea about what the stuff was at first. I tried an invocation and a bluish in color spirit entered my friends body. I am not lying at all. So now we need to do some ritual to get it out and back to the lost soul plane. I burnt this book a couple days ago. I hope whoever buys this book knows that the "Mad Arab" was possessed by the devil and all these spells and such were created by someone who was the mad arab, the wierd possessed guy. The necromancy in this book isnt as good as Egyptian....Regarding Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey:
WORST FREAKING MOVIE EVER FREAKIING CREATED: although i do agree with all the reviews below mine, i would have to say this movie freaking sucked. It is the abomination of the movie world. It should have never been created, I got this in my cereal box, yep i was pouring my fruity lucks when this dvd popped into my cerial bowl. I tryed biting it to see if it was candy, but to no avail it was actually the dvd. I was so disappointed i decide to watch it, I thought i might get a good laugh out of how corny and cheesey... mmm. cheese... I want popcorn. THe movie actually scared me, and i had to go to the store to buy beer, and asprin. I then went to a party and talked about how bad this movie was. then i talked to alpha571 about it. I couldn't believe that there was a movie with russel crowe in it, where he wasn't yelling. Anyway, i liked the part in the movie where they died. that was the only funny part and they should have ended it there. good night everybody!
Current Mood: amused
Current Music: Alice Cooper -- The Lady Is A Tramp
Cool, I didn't know that review for 2001 was still up.
Yeah, you showed me that one. I crack up every time I think about it because I think it might have been a serious review.
In fact I have seen that, and I thought it was the most entertaining thing I've seen in a long time. I'm not sure what it says about me that you thought of me when you saw that, since everybody I've tried to show it to has been disgusted.
I thought it was pretty funny. Long, but funny.
I hadn't thought of that -- I bet you're right. The Hedwig/Ann Coulter thing still surprises me though.