I remember when I used the internet to find out more about things that I was interested in. First came personal curiosity about a subject and
next came an online search to learn more. It seemed simple enough at the time but as I look back on those long-ago days, I can see that it must have been mentally taxing – all that thinking about politics and the environment and the plight of people in other parts of the world. So tiring!
Luckily, the all-knowing Yahoo Gods decided to help me find a new path; one that distracts me from troubling global events by presenting me with riveting news alternatives, like videos of playful kittens, tips about ways to lose 10 pounds in less than a week and, of course, endless celebrity sightings. Wanna see Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher pushing their grocery cart? Because it was the center image on Yahoo Canada’s home page back a few weeks ago. Same day that the Vatican asked the church to accept homosexuals, and the Islamic State forced 180,000 to flee in Iraq, which were of course interesting developments, but come on… Mila was all pregnant and glowing and Ashton was so tall and… I obviously had to click and learn more.
It takes a ridiculous amount of self-control to open Yahoo Mail without first clicking on at least one of the scrolling options in that “news” banner along the centre of the screen. And since I have little to no self-control, I now know more than I care to about many completely irrelevant things. Among them:
- Kim Kardashian’s ass,
- Renee Zellweger’s ‘new’ face, and
- What Jennifer Lopez wore to the American Music Awards
Don’t get me wrong. Kim Kardashian’s ass is well-worth looking at, Renee Zellweger’s ‘new’ face is mesmerizing in a “want to look away but can’t” sort of way, and no one wears strips of clothing over their boobs quite as well as J.Lo. But these are things you look at for a moment, not things you research online. Once you have seen the photo of Kim tossing champagne over her shoulder and catching it in a stemmed glass that is perched on her ass, you really know all you need to know about the situation. Her ass protrudes so far out that it functions as a side table. End of story. Or so you might think…
Because this November, the Yahoo folks felt strongly that we all wanted to learn more about these women, despite the fact that none of them had done anything particularly interesting during the month. For the better part of a week, every time I opened Yahoo Canada, the news bar offered me images of Ms Kardashian with censored bars over her nibbley bits and teaser headlines announcing that she had “broken the internet” and “changed everything”. Wow! Who wouldn’t want to learn more about how that happened!?!
Imagine my disappointment to discover that Kim had not, in fact, discovered anything relevant to the future of wireless communication or perfected an ebola vaccine. Nope. All I really got for all my clicking were lots and lots and lots of images of her ass, some with clothing and some without, and about a million comments by fellow clickers who had surprisingly strong opinions on the subject.
The Renee Zellweger debacle was more of the same. Yahoo Canada promised a “face-change shocker” with “mystery swirling”. I definitely needed to read about a swirling mystery… so much more intriguing than a standard, non-swirling mystery. But when I clicked, all I saw was the face of a somewhat tired looking middle-aged woman. I guess she looks different (although I think that I too look a bit different at 50 than I did at 20). And it seems pretty clear that she has had a bit of work done, but is the idea of a movie star getting plastic surgery really “shocking” anymore?
By last week, poor Yahoo Canada was clearly in a slump. Kim had put her ass away for awhile (building anticipation for her eagerly-awaited “ass-balancing-candy cane” holiday photos) and Renee had gone into hiding. It was looking like we might be left with nothing to search except real news stories about actual events. Luckily, Jennifer Lopez was there for us, as she so often is. Wrapped armpit to kneecap in what appeared to be a blush-coloured tourniquet, Ms Lopez threw herself onto a red carpet, leaving Yahoo to announce a “J.Lo Heat Wave!”. Good golly! The woman can control the weather! I felt compelled to learn more…