There’s an ad on my Gmail right now for “the best jazz guitar strings.” Normally that wouldn’t be so weird. I’ve gotten used to Gmail harvesting the text of my emails for capitalist gain. I’ll admit I did try out a set of those John Pearse strings everybody raves about — I didn’t do anything wacky like try to play jazz on them, since at the time I was in the thick of this drop-D tuning experiment on every country song I know. But I bought them online, and Gmail knows what I buy. That’s creepy. But I’ve come to accept it, or at least not to let it stop me from filling up my cart to get free shipping. I’m not sure I love what that says about me, but that’s another post.

Anyway, “the best jazz guitar strings.” This cropped up tonight for the first time, as I was answering an email from my friend David. Who once, maybe six months ago, sent me a file attachment with a poster for a jazz concert his brother went to on the East Coast.

Granted, that picture still shows up over on the right when I get new email from him. But six months ago. On the East Coast. The one I don’t live on, or more to the point, the one whose marketing demographic I’m not in.

So Gmail, are you that desperate for ad revenue? You actually have Google centurions or Mechanical Turks or whatever you use for cheap labor, scanning my friends’ photo attachments? I shudder to think how bad it must be for all the snap-happy cat people out there.