Justin Bieber's haircut and the dark side of Google Trends
Want a picture of Justin Bieber's haircut?
I have one. But, please, before you scroll down to look, take a moment to reconsider your life.
If you got to this article from Google, I hope you're ashamed. You are making us all look bad.
For many years, we as a society could walk past the aisle of Stupid Pop Culture Things and say, "Hey, that's not my fault!" When we passed magazines with giant images of Pamela Anderson in four dimensions, or bold, colorful tabloids explaining the Cruise divorce, we scoffed. "I am not interested in this," we would say. "Those things are for the Other People."
No more. Google Trends shows our national seamy underbelly.
At no point in the past twelve months did our interest (as gauged by Google searches) in health-care reform exceed our interest in Lady Gaga. It's hard to blame us - like health-care reform, Lady Gaga is known for futuristic numbers, being controversial in the Midwest, and wanting to make exceptions for conditions you were born with. Unlike health-care reform, she sometimes shows up places dressed as breakfast, and we are pretty sure she won't kill our grandmothers.
But we're also more interested in Justin Bieber than in Barack Obama. True, they have much in common -- both wrote memoirs, some people think both of them were not born here, and neither produces music I can listen to. But really? One of them is President of the United States. The other one is a sixteen year-old from Canada who is managed by a man on a segway.
Kanye West is more interesting to us than Hillary Clinton -- at least we Google him more. For this I cannot blame us. Sometimes Hillary changes her hair, but she has never replaced her bottom teeth with diamonds. Wake me when this happens.
We understand that important things are happening. "We would have Googled Qadafi," we pleaded, "but we have no idea how to spell it." Even if we could spell it, we're more likely to look up Glee. "After all, this Google search won't make history," we insist. True, but it might make browser history. And anyone who doubts the power of a single individual to change history should remember that -- thanks to the isolated acts of individuals -- more people right now are hunting for Bieber's haircut than for the Chicago mayoral election. And we are misspelling it.
A question everyone has asked himself about every article of news today: is this more interesting than Justin Bieber's haircut?
Millions of people have said, "No."
There's the haircut. I hope you're happy.
| February 22, 2011; 5:44 PM ET
Categories: Epic Failures, Only on the Internet, Petri | Tags: America, Google, argh, justin bieber
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