Preoccupied

How long has it been since I looked in on Google’s trending searches? A quick search of the archive suggests it’s been more than a year; that’s long enough that I can dip into that never-ending well of post ideas without feeling guilty.

Note that this post was written on Monday evening. It will thus be totally out of date by the time you read it. Consider this an archaeological snapshot of the ancient day 4/22/2019.

Unsurprisingly, the number one search–by an order of magnitude–is Earth Day. Nice to know people are still taking an interest, rather than focusing on reinvesting their oil stock dividends. That said, only two million searches? That’s a drop in the proverbial bucket compared to the size of the online population.

Moving on, we’ve got an interesting point/counterpoint in the second and third slots. On the one hand, we’ve got rapper YNW Melly accused of murder, complete with accusations of racism on the part of “the system”. On the other, we’ve got deceased singer Kate Smith accused of racism.

White male perspective here, so by definition, biased. I don’t know enough about the murder case to comment extensively, but I’ll note that, in what I’ve seen, the only person making the accusations is the accused. If I’ve missed a wider spread of outrage, my apologies to YNW Melly for the implications of my statement.

As for Kate Smith, again from the WMP, the rush to drop her recording of “God Bless America” seems excessive. It’s a “hate the artist, not the art” situation. Nobody’s suggesting that “Pickaninny Heaven” or “That’s Why Darkies Were Born” should get renewed airplay. But I haven’t heard any suggestion that “God Bless America” is racist*.

I’m not fond of the song, its default-Christian attitude, or the post 9/11 jingoism that made it a staple at sporting events. But if it’s going to be played without giving current, local artists a shot at it, hers is the definitive recording.

Moving on, another odd coincidence in the fourth and fifth slots. Apparently Americans don’t much care about the Easter terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka, except in how they affected the rich and famous. Searches for Anders Holch Povlsen, who lost three children in the attacks far outweigh searches about the attacks themselves. I’m only calling that a disgusting, despicable commentary on the American population because I can’t think of stronger words.

Even worse, the next most popular search is for Jenna Bush Hager, who is currently expecting her third child. Ms. Hager is, of course, the daughter of former president Dubya.

Why are we so obsessed with the children of the 1%?

It’s not a good look, America. Going forward, stick with Earth Day. Stick with the Coelacanth (Number Six), the earthquake in the Philippines (Number Eleven), and Pat Tillman (Number Thirteen). Forget Britney Spears’ psychiatric state, Jennifer Lopez’ tailor (or, rather, remember Luigi Massi, forget the pop star), and assorted Game of Thrones stars.

We’ll all be better off for your selective memories.

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