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 It will thus be totally out of date by the time you read it.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.

You’re Searching For What?

Well, that’s no surprise.

The number one search on Google today is for iOS 7. Because there’s such a small number of sites with any information about Apple’s latest OS, and there’s been little, if any, public discussion of the new features, the release date, or how to install it, the public has an insatiable need for all the details today.

Seriously, WTF? IOS 7 articles have been swamping the Web for weeks, and it’s only now that it’s available to install that people are searching for it? Over five million searches today and it didn’t even make 50,000 yesterday to crack the top searches list.

Can we add procrastination to the list of society’s ills, along with short attention spans and leaving baseball games before they end?

In other search-related news, yesterday “Grand Theft Auto 5” was number four on Google’s list — and “GTA 5 Cheats” was number six, with nearly as many searches.* Today, “GTA 5 Cheats” has moved up to number five, but the game itself has dropped off of the list. I conclude that the people who don’t cheat at video games are busy downloading iOS 7 today. Presumably the cheaters are Android users.

* Am I the only one who finds it amusing that the number five search was another automotive simulation: “NASCAR”?

What else is going on in the wacky world of searching?

The number two search today is “Scott Eastwood”. Clearly, there’s great interest in topless males — more than in topless females, as January Jones is well behind at number seven. Maybe it’s just breast exhaustion? Yesterday searchers were deeply into Christina Milian’s nipple-revealing tank top, after all. They were also eagerly hunting for intel on Emily Ratajkowski, nude star of Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” video.

It looks like the world’s interest in the Washington Navy Yard shooting has faded. Yesterday’s number one search, “Aaron Alexis”, has fallen off of the list completely today. Did I mention “short attention spans”? I did? Oh, good.

Now that I think about it, three of today’s top ten searches are for specific celebrities, and another three are for movies and TV shows. Can we also add “celebrity obsession” to the list?

I was hoping that the above were American problems, but unfortunately not. The top three searches in the UK are “iOS 7”, “GTA 5 cheats”, and “Tour of Britain”. At least the British are interested in a bicycle race. That’s something.

Canadians: “iOS 7”, “OC Transpo”, and “Ottawa Citizen”. Apple leads a bus/train accident and a murder by an order of magnitude. And Scott Eastwood is in there at number five. Scott, pleas put your shirt back on, so Canadians can get back to cheating on video games.

In Japan, iOS 7 is trailing slightly behind pop group AKB48 for the public’s attention. Go, Japan, go!

And in India, iOS 7 is drawing five times as much attention as actor Dilip Kumar.

“I blame society” has become a clich√©, and doesn’t really work as an excuse for aberrant behaviour today, so let’s try a different theory: clearly Google is broken. Please join me in attempting to fix it by spending the rest of the day in using it the way it was intended: searching for cat videos. Just watch out for Nyan Cat.