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Why is America Googling Lindsay Lohan's fingernail?

By Alexandra Petri

During her court hearings yesterday, Lindsay Lohan sported some sort of writing on her finger that directed an aggressive transitive verb at the viewer. Now all heck has broken loose.

I doubt Lohan is alone in writing surreptitious messages on her finger. If we’d been able to see the close-up daguerreotypes from the Scopes trial, we would have noticed that Clarence Darrow spelled “zounds” on his hand. If they’d only zoomed in on Elena Kagan during her memorable hearings, we would have seen that she was tapping out “I find these hearings vapid and hollow” in Morse code beneath her sensible blue suit. The last time I was in court -- I was looking for the restroom and had gotten confused -- I had written a list of reminders on my hand that I’m sure would have looked bad to the judge, since I needed to buy a screw and a copy of Democracy in America, in that order.

But, honestly, I don’t understand all the fuss. Not in the sense that I never understand what the fuss is about Lindsay Lohan, because I missed the two movies in history in which she was apparently good, or because I think there are more important things we should be doing, such as fundraising for Alvin Greene, or against Alvin Greene. I’m just curious about who, exactly, cares. I understand all the concern about Justin Bieber’s apparent feud with North Korea -- that could have spawned a major international incident -- but who are all these people frantically Googling “Lindsay Lohan fingernail,” currently the nation’s No. 1 search? Don’t they know that pelicans are dying and there are wars going on?

In an effort to find out, I used Google Trends to conduct a comparative search of “Lindsay Lohan” and “things that are more interesting than Lindsay Lohan.” Lindsay Lohan was winning by more than 100 percent. Apparently, no one ever Googles “things that are more interesting than Lindsay Lohan.” I Googled it and Google took me to Lindsay Lohan’s biography. I asked Google “Who are these people who are googling Lindsay Lohan’s fingernail?” “Do you mean Who are these people who are googling Lindsay Lohan fingernail?” it asked, taking me to breaking updates about Lindsay Lohan from Huffington Post.

I know that Lohan is proof that even celebrities are not above the law. I know that we watched her grow up and so we care about her in that special way we also care about other things we enjoyed in the last couple of decades, such as Monica Lewinsky’s testimony about her dry-cleaning preferences, or prosperity. And I understand the disappointment that accompanied this revelation about her finger. We thought she had learned this time. We thought that the system was working. Instead, she’s been sentenced to 90 days -- and maybe more on the way, now that everyone’s spotted her fingernail calligraphy.

This is the point where I am supposed to say something about how Lohan is emblematic of our vast cultural refusal to grow up, or, alternatively, about how she is a perversely inspiring outlaw figure in the sense that someone who cuts off her nose to spite her face, repeatedly and publicly, is perversely inspiring. Or maybe I am supposed to say, “With all the real problems that are going on these days, maybe Americans just want to laugh and obsess and opine and worry about something that doesn’t actually make a difference, something as frivolous as the star of Freaky Friday’s fingernail.” Instead, I have written a rude message on my finger and am repeatedly shoving it in the direction of the screen. Why, Lindsay? Why, America?

Maybe if we just ignored it, it would go away. Instead of Googling Lindsay Lohan fingernail, let’s Google “something substantive.” Right now, when I type that, Google responds “Did you mean, something substantial?”

Yes, please.

By Alexandra Petri  | July 7, 2010; 2:03 PM ET
Categories:  Petri  | Tags:  Alexandra Petri  
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Comments

Playwright Larry Myers
has dealt with Ms Lohan
in his surreal poetic play

"Lindsay Lohan's Mistakes Tree"

and by audience pop demand
it returns

for global fringe festival
at saval space

joining his
"Edgar Cayce;s Autograp" (about Gulf Oil Leak)

Dr Myers was in Deep South at area doing on site interviews


as well as
in rep

"Lady Gaga's Guidebook for Living"

Posted by: dramaman | July 7, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Ohhhh! Jane Velez is going to have a field day with this news on her show "Issues" tonight. She is a recovering alcoholic with 15 years of sobriety and has plenty to say about Lindsay's shenanigans!!!! This should be fun--I'm watching--I'm addicted!!Ha!

Posted by: JVMfan | July 7, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

But, but...you STILL didn't tell us WHAT'S ON THE FINGERNAIL! And, WE NEED TO KNOW!

Posted by: jp1954 | July 7, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Although it is irrelevant what is on her fingernail, it is sad to say that people today are as rude as they are.

My 17 yr old daughter said something the other day that made me stop what I was doing, refrain from slapping her, and tell her not to ever say that again.

"You dirty wh*re"

Something I never expected to come out of anyone's mouth around me, let alone my daughter's. Her excuse was that she was just joking and it was all in fun.

That's the problem with today's society. We say things, "all in fun", and don't realize (or care) that these things are NOT appropriate, let alone respectful. So Lindsay Lohan has F U written on her nail. How degrading and disrespectful.

People are giving her exactly what she wants.... Attention.

Let's deal with bigger problems. Like, the Gulf Coast Oil Spill, the War, the flooding along the TX coast, our President's inability to lead... etc.

Posted by: Petals81 | July 7, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

"But, but...you STILL didn't tell us WHAT'S ON THE FINGERNAIL! And, WE NEED TO KNOW!"

--------------------

So now we'll have to Google it!

Posted by: snj1 | July 7, 2010 8:50 PM | Report abuse

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