From a friend in Oregon:
Late last Friday evening (12/ 23/05) I ordered two books from Amazon.com: Your own Cruel and Unusual: Bush/Cheney’s New World Order, and Justin A. Franks’ Bush on the Couch: Inside the Mind of the President.
The following Monday morning (12/26/05) I received an e-mail from Amazon.com asking me if I would like to purchase evidence of my intention to commit a federal crime. The e-mail said, “Dear Amazon.com Customer, We’ve noticed that customers who have purchased Gardener’s Latin: A Lexicon by Bill Neal also purchased books by S. T. Oner. For this reason, you might like to know that S. T. Oner’s [i.e., Stoner’s, isn’t that cute?] Marijuana Outdoor Grower’s Guide will be released in paperback soon. You can pre-order your copy at a savings of 32% by following the link below.”
I find it a real stretch that the marketing geniuses at Amazon.com believe that people who want to know the meaning of the Latin terms found on nursery tags and in gardening catalogs will likely want to manufacture a controlled substance classified as a Schedule I drug!
Amazon.com lists one other book authored by S. T. Oner, and that is The Marijuana Chef’s Cookbook. That’s the only book by S. T. Oner that customer’s who bought Gardener’s Latin could have purchased. But, on Amazon’s page for Gardener’s Latin, where it says “Customers who bought this book also bought…” there is a list of books on plant identification and terminology, but none on cooking with pot.
So what is the connection that Amazon.com’s marketing department perceives between botanical taxonomy and pot brownies, or the manufacture of a controlled substance? There is none that I can think of. (Unless they’re thinking that it must be pot-heads who are buying Bill Neal’s book just to find out what the heck Cannabis sativa means.)
My guess is that that Amazon.com’s thoughtful offer is much more related to my interest in knowing about our President’s mental illnesses and his plans for world domination, than to my interest in knowing the meaning of the botanical names of the garden plants I buy.
Since we know that the intelligence agencies are snooping to see who is reading what, this bizarre offer from Amazon.com makes me wonder if the intelligence agencies are also getting booksellers to offer self-incriminating evidence to people who read “forbidden” books. The purchase of a book on how to commit a federal crime can be used in court as evidence of intent to commit that crime. It also tips off the authorities to possible illegal behavior, and in the Age of Bushlaw, it might even be sufficient evidence for the issuance of a search warrant — if anyone still thinks those are necessary.
I curious to know if other people who buy your books get similar off-the-wall offers.