Monday, June 12, 2006

Triumph of the Swill

More fun with Google! You may have heard that Brad Pitt and Angelia Jolie are seeing each other. You may even be aware that they just had a baby together. It's not very important in the grand scheme of things, you say? Bosh! Your computer says otherwise.

Type "Brangelina" into Google and you get 4,820,000 hits*, which is an enormous number considering that "Brangelina" is a made-up word for a couple who have been dating for less than two years. That said, it blows other cutesy couple names out of the digital water. Vaughniston only musters a measly 188,000 hits and the once-vaunted Bennifer clocks in at 204,000. What about poor Jen's previous relationship? Don't ask. Pittiston, which looks like it should be the name of an industrial town in Pennsylvania, gets only 369 hits and Bradifer gets 3,340. At least The Break Up is doing well...

By way of comparison, "Brangelina" gets more hits than a number of world leaders. For example, if you Google "Musharraf", who has been the president of Pakistan for ten years and has been in the newspaper virtually every day since 9/11, you get 4,810,000 hits, which comes up just a little shy of everyone's favorite Hollywood baby factory. Stephen Harper, Canada's prime minister, only gets 3,560,000 hits (which is fewer than both Celine Dion and Bryan Adams as well). Hifikepunye Pohamba, whom you undoubtedly know as the president of Namibia, gets an embarrassing 58,700 hits (Namibia +Jolie, incidentally, yields 2.4 million). Condoleeza Rice, who actually has a measurable impact on Namibia, gets only 1,560,000 hits. Maybe she should have a baby.

Brangelina chose the name "Shiloh" for their genetic super-being, which means something nice in some language and also happens to be the name of one of the Civil War's bloodiest battles. Google Shiloh +battle and you get a respectable 1,580,000 hits. Google Shiloh +Jolie, however, and you get 3,280,000. Take that, Ken Burns!

Even when measured against tried and true bellwethers of popularity and importance, Brangelina reigns supreme. The search term easily eclipses the 1,580,000 hits for "more cowbell" and even surpasses the 3,100,000 hits garnered by "Clay Aiken". Oddly, if you accidentally type in "gay Aiken", you only get 791 hits. But if your fingers slip and you end up with clay aiken +gay, you get 740,000, which is fully 24% of the total for Clay Aiken alone. But I digress.

It's clear that Brangelina means a lot to America and the world. That should go without saying. The true tragedy here is that the golden child, Shiloh Brangelina Pitt-Jolie, can never grow up to take her rightful place as President of the United States. Not because she's a bastard (that's never stopped anyone before), but because she was born in Namibia. If ever there was an argument for repealing Article 2, Clause 5 of the Constitution, this is it.

*Google results will vary according to what regional node you happen to be patched into and whether you're running "safe-search" and whatnot. If you are running "safe-search", you're missing out on a lot of creative Photoshop work.
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