How I imagine a conversation between Pandora Internet Radio and me would go.

“Hey Pandora.  How are ya?”

“Excellent.  Thank you for asking.  What are we listening to today, sir?”

“I’m not feeling the Foo Fighters station today.  They’re rockin’ a little too hard for me.  How about some Kings of Leon radio?”

“Oh, excellent choice, if I do say so myself.  Let me tune that right up for you… and how do you feel about ‘Cold Desert’ by Kings of Leon?”

“I’m going to give this song a thumbs up, Pandora.  It’s a great song.  Thanks.  I’m just gonna work on some progress reports while I listen.”

“Of course.  Godspeed, sir.”

[5:34 passes by]

“Well, if you liked ‘Cold Desert’, you’re absolutely going to love this.”

[Coldplay’s ‘Clocks’ begins]

“Ugh.  Sorry, Pandora.  I’m not a big Coldplay fan.  I’m going to have to give this a thumbs down.”

“But, sir!  Just last week you gave ‘Green Eyes’ by Coldplay a thumbs up.  I… I don’t understand.”

“Yeah.  I mean, I like that particular song, I guess.  That doesn’t mean I like everything by Coldplay.”


“Is it me, sir?  Did I do something wrong?”

“What?  No, Pandora!  You’re awesome!  It’s not you, it’s me.  I really don’t like Coldplay.”

“I don’t understand, sir.  You liked them just last week. And now you hate them.  And you hate me!  I wish I had never been invented!”

“No.  Jesus, Pandora.  Calm down.  Listen, I’m going to go back to Foo Fighters Radio.  How about that?  You know I love the Foo Fighters.  Is that okay?”

[Pandora sniffles]

“I guess, yeah.  That would be okay.”

“All right.  Here we go.  Foo Fighters radio.  ‘Everlong’!  Look at that, Pandora!  One of my all-time favorite songs!”

“You’re just saying that to make me feel better.”

“No, seriously.  You’ve seen my Foo Fighters posters hanging up in my room.  You know how much I love listening to them.”

“You really mean that?”

“I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t.”

“Well thank you, sir.  I must say, it was an excellent choice giving this song a thumbs up.  You know, the rhythm syncopation, key tonalities, and vocal harmonies of ‘Everlong’ are very similar to Audioslave’s ‘I Am A Highway’.  I think I’ll add that to your mix on this station.”

“That sounds great, Pandora.  Thanks!  I’m gonna get back to work now.”

“Absolutely, sir.  Enjoy my musical selection for you.”

[4:00 passes]

“Pandora!  ‘Clocks’ by Coldplay again?  I just gave that song a thumbs down on my Kings of Leon radio station.  Of course I’m going to give it another thumbs down now.”

“Stop yelling at me, dammit!  Coldplay is similar to Keane, a British rock piano band, whose song ‘Under the Iron Sea’ you gave a thumbs up two weeks ago.  Keane’s rhythm syncopation is very similar to The Killers, who you give thumbs up to all the time, which are nearly identical in voice tonality to The Black Keys.  And you love their song ‘Set You Free’ on this station!”

“Pandora, can you please just not play any Coldplay song other than ‘Green Eyes’?  I really don’t like their music that much.  Just that one song.”

“No!  You’re a jerk!  I slave all day and night syncopating for you, and this is the thanks I get?  If you want ‘Green Eyes’ on your playlist, you’re going to have to give every other Coldplay song a thumbs down or listen to all of them.”

“Fine.  Can you play ‘Green Eyes’ for me so I can give it a thumbs down?  I don’t want Coldplay on my Foo Fighters station.”

“No.  You know I have to randomly…”

“Generate music based on the rhythm syncopation, key tonalities, and vocal harmonies I’ve liked and disliked.  I know, I know.  I’m sorry.  I shouldn’t have even asked.”

“Oh.  Hang on.  Here’s an advertisement for Netflix.”

[30 seconds passes]

“I just can’t believe how disrespectful you’re being to me today.”

[Sitting, Waiting, Wishing by Jack Johnson begins to play]

“Pandora!  How the hell did Jack Johnson get on my Foo Fighters radio station?!”

“Well, ‘Sitting, Waiting, Wishing’ is very similar structurally to ‘We Are Going To Be Friends’ by the White Stripes, which you liked a year and a half ago.  Don’t yell at me for doing my job!”

“You know what, Pandora?  I’m going just going to run out to my car and get my iPOD.  This isn’t even worth it anymore.”

“You rapscallion!  How dare you speak that bastard’s name in our house!”

“No.  I’m serious.  I’m going to put on my own Mellow Rock playlist in my iPOD dock.  I’ve had enough of your random music selections for one afternoon.”

[I get up and leave the room]


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