Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Mistake or Wry Marketing Maneuver?

Since I work out in the sticks, one of my regular lunchtime activites is going to the nearby Borders. I have dropped an assload of coin at this store over the years because they have a surprisingly decent music selection for being located in an Ashburn strip mall. Maybe it's their buyer or store manager but for whatever reason I'm usually able to find one out of three or four albums I happen to be hunting for on that particular day. Today however offered an interesting bit of amusement as I walked down my usual path to the CD stacks.

Now I don't know if this is official, but according to Borders this is Black Music Month. In honor of this Borders has erected a discount bin of "black" albums that they are moving for 20% off. (What better way to honor something than with a sale.) As I strolled past said bin, something out of the ordinary caught my eye. The display was a predictably boring collection of Mary J. Blige albums, something from Brian McKnight, a subpar Stax/Volt retrospective, and non-threatening hip-hop except for the two copies of Black Sabbath. I suppose that there are a host of explanations for the inclusion of a proto-metal album from four English white guys, but my dry apprecitiation of the absurd hopes that it is perhaps because of one of the following two reasons:
  1. These albums are selected by a piece of database software which Borders Corporate uses to sort media for variously themed promotions. In this instance the artificially intelligent computer made an associative error based on its overly-literal design parameters; hilarity ensued.
  2. Some Ashburn Borders employee had a moment of dissentious inspiration and decided to fuck with The Man.

Who knows what truly happened but irrespective it made my day.


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