In Today’s News

Americans, I’m proud of you.

Over and over we’ve looked at your top searches on Google and seen you searching for half-dressed women; sporting events; and death, destruction, and explosions.

Today, I look at the search results for this week, and what do I see? Of the top 20 searches Tuesday, four were directly related to the US Government shutdown, and another four, including the two of the top three were for news venues. I’m so very proud to see that you’re taking an interest in what’s going on in the world. So proud, I’ll even largely overlook the fact that the top search was for Fox News.

OK, so three search topics in the top five that were not for news sources were for the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Cleveland Indians, and Grand Theft Auto V. But you know I’m not going to ding you for taking an interest in baseball. Video games, well… But I’ll give you a pass on that one because GTA V only narrowly sneaked in ahead of breast cancer awareness.

So, a good start. And then what happened? You got distracted. On Wednesday what do we see in the top ten? Half-dressed women (Rihanna’s new music video, Michelle Rodriguez sexual orientation, Britney Spears’ new music video, Jennifer Lawrence’s diet, Monika Jakisic hooking up with George Clooney, Rebel Wilson’s weight, and Mia Farrow’s indiscretions with Frank Sinatra). Death and destruction (Tom Clancy, mummified birds at Lake Natron, and the FBI takedown of the Silk Road website).

Today, you’re doing even worse: Kate Upton without makeup, the President’s Cup (a golf tournament for those like me who weren’t aware), and Tesla (whose stock is sinking in the wake of a video of one of their cars exploding into flames). Oddly enough, nobody seems to be noting that the government shutdown is dragging the whole market down, not just Tesla. But then, a Wall Street flameout isn’t as visually appealing as a literal one.

Focus, people, focus. The government is still shut down, with neither side budging an inch — though I’m sure you’ll all be relieved to know that the NSA is taking to Twitter, Google+, and Facebook to let us all know that this is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. They want to be sure that we thank them for keeping us safe from cyber crime and terror attacks. Thanks, guys! Remember, every dollar and employee minute you spend on publicity is that much less you can spend on reading our email.

There’s other stuff going on too: Tropical Storm Karen is moving towards the Gulf of Mexico. It may or may not cause much damage (it isn’t clear whether it’ll reach hurricane status before it reaches the coast), but because oil companies are shutting down drilling platforms, gas futures are headed up. Yup, higher prices at the pump are coming — even though there’s a 1.85 million barrel inventory to draw on.

Lest I sound too negative, there’s some good news out there that you’re missing out on: a small plane made an emergency landing on the freeway in San Jose and there were no injuries. Too bad there doesn’t seem to be any video of that, as it would have been rather more heartwarming than the Tesla video.

OK, so my pride is tempered a bit. I’m glad to see that a significant number of people can pay attention when necessary. But I’d like to see y’all work on your attention spans now.