I know that some people are worried that mad scientists can now clone sheep.
Soon, they say, they will do the same with human beings.
Think of it. Tasteless nerds creating hundreds of Thomas Kinkades and David Archuletas to alter the cultural balance of America.(Or, perhaps, confirm it.)
I am here to tell you that those very probably nice, sane scientists at Netflix are surely ahead of the game.
Here's how it works. I declare that "Climates", a very sensitive and refined Turkish movie, deserves five of my stars. The Netflixsters tell me that they have no doubt I will surely, therefore, enjoy "Rumpelstiltskin". Then they throw me a mind-altering gem.
They give me a line of movies that were enjoyed by "People Like You."
I would very much like to know who these People Like Me are. As I would just as dearly love to know what these Netflixsters know about me.
Have they dumped a surveillance cookie onto my laptop and discovered that I have been buying music created by Van Der Graaf Generator, Little Acre and Sugarland? Have they sent the mailman to peek through my windows and take notes on all the Michael Dibdin and Neil LaBute on my bookshelves? (Well, the US Postal Service has to find some way to make a profit out of Netflix.)
Do they know about my cute little smile, my tendency to arch an eyebrow beyond my hairline when I'm cross, and my deep aversion to anyone who says "that's funny" when you tell them something funny?
How have they discovered there are People Like Me, when I have spent my whole life attempting to find them on four different continents and failed?
Am I not within my rights to demand that they reveal everything they know?
Is there some secret cabal of just four of us who gave five stars to "Dodsworth", "Inspector Morse" and "Metallica-Some Kind of Monster"?
What about those wise few (of us) who gave the minimum single star to "Johnny English", "8 Mile" and "Click."?
Why can't I meet these people? This could change my life. This could actually give meaning to my tawdry existence. By finding people who might like me, this might make me actually likable.
If the Netflixsters are so sure that there exist People Like Me, they should prove it. They should send me the email addresses, phone numbers, pictures and all other personal information of all the People Like Me in America. (Do they like lemon scones? Are they prone to hissing at anyone in a Prius? Do they find Lindsay Lohan and Gene Simmons strangely fascinating? Do they think Britain is responsible for 63% of the world's ills? )
Then I will hold an open experiment, with all readers of Technically Incorrect as my witnesses. I will meet each of these People Like Me and report on our supposed similarities.
It's over to you, Netflix. Work with me here. Together, we could bankrupt Match.com overnight.