Dear Pandora,

You took the idea of the human genome project and applied it to music, right? Songs have a certain genetic code that allows you to group them together in various ways based on their attributes. If I put in “Manic Monday” by The Bangles, your algorithm searches the DNA of all the songs ever recorded, finds others that are annoying enough to fuel a genocidal dictator, and then creates a “station” comprised of just those songs. Then, if I’m playing that station, and you play “Everybody Wang Chung Tonight” by Wang Chung, and I click the thumbs down icon, you’ll adjust your math so it doesn’t play any more songs by bands with fans who drive Fieros and carry nunchucks. That’s the basic idea, right?

If you’ve got this amazing scientific approach to predicting the songs I might like, start having some confidence about it. When I click that thumbs down icon and you say “Sorry, we will NEVER play that song again,” it feels too final. Are you really going to give up that easily? You’re the expert here, so act like it. Just because I don’t want to hear “Heaven” by Bryan Adams right now, doesn’t mean I NEVER want to hear it again. It’s not like that song gave me food poisoning or something. I love that song, so keep it in mind and throw it at me again in a couple weeks. How will you know I’m ready? Good question, I’ll probably give a thumbs up to “Every Rose has It’s Thorn.”

Also, you should know that most of the time I just leave you on in the background and forget to give you the constant feedback and attention you desire. So when you stop playing and ask me, “Are you still listening?” I feel like I’m in an emotionally abusive relationship. Pandora, even when I’m not actively listening, I can still hear you. No need to get all high school girlfriend on me, ok? I listen with my ears, not my eyes, or in your case, my curser.

But the more I use you, the more I realize that maybe your insecurity is justified. Here are some of the gigantic mistakes made by your algorithm over the past couple of weeks. For your reference, I’ve included links to some of the lesser known artists.

My Station: “Dreams” by Van Halen.
You played: “Keep your hands to yourself” by The Georgia Satellites.
Why you were wrong: What do overly emotional midwesterners who can’t let go of their youth have in common with people who swallow their chewing tobacco and don’t bother to put on shoes while they mourn the death of the Confederacy? Nothing. That’s my point.

My Station: “One” by Metallica
You played: “Honestly” by Stryper
Why you were wrong: Metallica fans aren’t Christian (I hope). Do you have Stryper adequately marked as “Christian Metal?” The only people who want to hear that already have a Stryper station. It’s impossible for someone who likes a band that basically invented modern metal to also enjoy a bunch of church goers dressed as bumble bees.

My Station: ” Dr. Feelgood” by Motley Crue
You played: “Kiss Me Deadly” by Lita Ford
Why you were wrong: I get it. This kind of makes sense, and it’s a typical mistake made by computers because they lack certain nuances. You think because I like Dr. Feelgood that I must also like any other artist from the 80’s that slept in the bathroom at the Whiskey a Go Go. Well, that’s generally true, but you’ve ignored the important variable of gender. I love listening to music made by MALE drug addicted degenerates. I can’t believe you don’t have the sex of the artist in your fancy equation. If you thought Lita Ford was a dude (not a crazy error to make), then I forgive you. It was a confusing time for all of us. By the way, you could have gotten by with Lita Ford on this station had it been her duet with Ozzy, “Close My Eyes Forever.”

Last thing, you appear to play copious amounts of Def Leppard regardless of the station. Maybe you should take a look at that. Could be a virus.

I'm a contributing writer to Parents Magazine, GQ, Psychology Today and some others. My book, "This is Ridiculous. This is Amazing: Parenthood in 71 Lists" is available here Look for two more books in 2015: "Must. Push. Buttons (Bloomsbury Kids), and an as-of-yet untitled memoir I’ve appeared on Comedy Central’s “Live at Gotham” and “Nick Mom’s Night Out." I live in New Jersey with my wife and two sons and enjoy making them laugh more than anyone else.

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