2010-01-07 / Sam Bari

The things we want to know

You can’t beat a system you can’t understand
By Sam Bari

Congratulations! As weird as 2009 was, we managed to survive, and we endured the holidays without above-normal levels of drama. For this, I applaud us.

For the first column of the new decade, I thought it would be interesting to explore the mostasked questions during the first decade of the new millennia. Let’s take a look at what inquiring minds really want to know.

After consulting Google, ask. com, seek.com, National Public Radio’s “Watching Washington” blog and a few other newspapers, poll takers, pundits and more blogs, I found a surprising degree of agreement. The different resources concurred with the information that Internet users want to know, as sad as some of it might be.

The following is an assortment of inquiries, some with answers, to the most-asked questions on the Internet in different categories.

We’ll start with a few of the “top 10 questions of 2009.”

Number 10 was a real brainteaser: “What time is it?”

The fact that this question was included anywhere on the list of frequently asked questions is a sad testament to the mindset of the average visitor to the Internet.

Question number eight is very telling: “How long does marijuana stay in your system?” Who said the drug problem in the U.S. was on the decline? Think again.

The fifth most-asked question

reveals to the world that our populace does not spend an abundance of time seeking answers to profound and lofty questions. The question is: “What is Miley Cyrus’ phone number?” If Google could answer that question, I would doubt that those who wanted to know would have the intelligence required to dial it.

Question number three left me speechless: “How do I get pregnant?” If the women asking this question were old enough and educated enough to peck out the inquiry on a computer keyboard, wouldn’t you think they should know? And who said America is sexually repressed? Actually, America is not sexually repressed. Apparently, most of the country just flunked biology.

Number six was, “What is the meaning of life?” This was followed by, “When will the world end?” How original.

The number-one question, the single most frequently asked inquiry in the years 2000 to 2009, was: “How much should I weigh?” As depressing as it may be, that is the matter of biggest concern to the general populace of this country.

On the lighter side of the research, two of the most frequently asked questions in the category of entertainment were: “Is Lady Gaga a man?” and “Is Michael Jackson really dead?” Finally, Elvis can rest peacefully. That question has a new victim.

There was even a category for the many NASCAR fans visiting the Internet, seeking answers to questions about car racing that have been troubling them for some time. The number-one question of NASCAR fans was: “How do NASCAR drivers go to the bathroom?”

Does that question tell you that most NASCAR fans don’t really know or care much about the racing? The number-two NASCAR question was, “Is Dale Earnhardt Jr. married?” That tells us that NASCAR probably has a few women fans, or maybe that’s assuming too much. Perhaps the people asking are the only ones who know how to type. Otherwise, some actual racing questions might have been posted.

The number-one question in the category of technology was: “How do I make a website?” If that is an example of the level of curiosity concerning technological matters in this country, the space program is doomed.

Let’s shift to political questions. The mainstream is much too depressing. According to National Public Radio’s “Watching Washington,” two of the most- asked political questions were:

“Will Sarah Palin pursue a career as a national media figure?” Here is part of the answer: “...She will flirt with another national campaign, but the downside of a poor showing would be too steep. She will opt for the spotlight, but not the hot seat.”

Political question number one was: “How will the United States adjust to having a black president?” The answer: “So far, it’s been a lot like the way the country adjusted to other new presidents. His race is arguably beside the point even for his fiercest opponents.”

These are the major concerns of Internet visitors during the first decade of the new millennia in this system we can’t understand. The questions are living proof that God must love us.

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