Three years ago, my first substantive post on this blog was about a mind game. What would the world be like if you were the ultimate arbiter of public taste? If, for example, people were falling over themselves to emulate my preferences, all sports franchises and brewing companies would go suddenly bankrupt. (I know: mine is a cruel and cerebral world.) Republicans would almost cease to exist—except for those we put behind bars. (Come to think of it, that could be quite a few!)
I also noted that reality shows would be doomed if it were up to me, as would celebrities celebrated for their celebrity:
Paris Hilton? Gone already. Remember, I ditched the “reality” stuff first.Thus I am chagrined beyond measure that my most popular post in recent months was a quick toss-off on August 6 concerning Hilton's clever exploitation of John McCain's ill-considered “celebrity” political spot. People flocked to Halfway There to check it out. Most of the hits came by referral from Pharyngula, of course, because we all know how people who frequent science blogs are eager for items about vapid starlets. In one day I scored over 6700 hits. For a tiny blog like mine, that's spectacular.
And before long I had two dozen comments, my favorites being the humor-impaired admonitions not to take Paris's energy policy too seriously. Apparently I need to sharpen my HTML skills so that I can embed flashing text () to warn incautious readers that dead-pan humor is being committed. Or maybe not. Perhaps nothing would have stopped the people at John McCain's campaign headquarters from quickly trotting out a statement that Paris was actually endorsing their candidate's position on energy. What a good way to establish credibility: claiming Paris Hilton's support!
I turned my attention to more serious matters and promptly reaped the rewards thereof. On August 7, Mike's Blog Round Up at Crooks and Liars linked to my piece on volatility in polling. It was a nice post (with a helpful accompanying graphic) that I took some pride in. There were over a thousand hits on that day—but most of them were still for the Hilton post. And consider that the Paris Hilton video was available in a huge number of venues. My big numbers represented only the tiniest fraction—a microscopic spill-over—of the Hilton-related activity on the tubes of the Interwebs.
It appears that I may be out of step with the prevailing Zeitgeist.