Above is a screen grab from a page that shows me the words typed into a search engine that led people to my blog.
I think all of my readers (thanks to both of you) can tell you that I’ve never explored the cultural relevance of “preteen latin bitches” in this space, but that somebody out there typed that into Google and went enough pages deep to find this blog (I would think at least 30 pages), and then clicked on the link to this blog is almost mind blowing. Not to mention illegal.
Today’s search engine terms are tame compared to the stuff that normally pops up. Searches for beastiality, gay porn, gay beastiality (no joke) and all kinds of inexplicable fetishes have led people to a blog by a sportswriter who writes about sitcoms and gas stations.*
If my blog is any indication — and it most certainly is not — the Internet is primarily used to find the following:
- Information about Michael Jordan
- Photos of Debbie Dunning
I am reminded of author Chuck Klosterman’s prediction for the year 2041, in his piece “A brief history of the 21st century” in Esquire:
JUNE 11, 2041: In a matter of weeks, the entire Internet is replaced by “news blow,” a granular microbe that allows information to be snorted, injected, or smoked. Data can now be synthesized into a water-soluble powder and absorbed directly into the cranial bloodstream, providing users with an instantaneous visual portrait of whatever information they are interested in consuming (Sadly, this tends to be slow-motion images of minor celebrities going to the bathroom.)
I’m not sure how much different that is from “Rock of Love,” really. Klosterman has a lot of interesting ideas about the Internet, many of which I tend to agree with. For example, everyone likes to call the Internet a meritocracy, wherein the best (most meritorious) content wins. This argument is especially prominent when discussing the so-called “old media’s” current problems. But Klosterman points out (I believe this was on a podcast with Bill Simmons) that isn’t really true, and I think this blog is a good example for Klosterman’s argument.
If I started posting pictures of naked women on this blog, is there any doubt that my traffic would increase? I don’t think there is. It would probably double within two days and who knows where it might go from there. If all I did on this blog was post pictures of naked women, it would be even more popular.
Is that merit? Does that mean the Internet is a meritocracy?
Obviously not. What people are primarily seeking on the Internet is not sustenance. It’s sugar. It’s kind of like the beverage business. Sure, you can make plenty of money selling healthy smoothies that are expensive to produce and buy, but Coca-Cola is the most recognizable word in the world, and it’s just selling useless, carbonated sugar water.
I don’t think meritocracies exist within any realm in which people are free to consume whatever they like, and might not exist anywhere at all. Perhaps academia is close to a meritocracy, but there are a lot of politics at work in academia that pollute the idea.
With that all said, I think I’ll try to generate a few more hits, using the one word I’m sure will do it: