I evolved “NBN” into a real column about two months ago, and while it’s been a blast to write, I have one caveat—it’s hard to think of topics. I didn’t realize how good I had it with Apple’s trailers site and Digg.com feeding me material. So, like Mike Nelson with his Pirate Guide or Jerry Della Femina with Barack Obama, I’ve come up with a recurring idea to generate columns: The Net at Night. In it, I’ll explore what gets hot on Google when people in different time zones, World of Warcraft addicts and myself are the only ones still awake.
Christian Militia—I expect to find some raunchy search terms at 1:09 a.m. After all, that’s when the husband/wife is asleep and that clearly marked “NSFW” link someone sent earlier in the day has been burning a hole in your e-mail. This could explain why it took me about 45 seconds to realize the phrase “Christian Militia” is not, in fact, “Christina Milian.” In my mind, that’s a fair assumption—late at night, Christina Milian is roughly a billion times easier to think about than some religious army. Apparently, the militia is based near Detroit and planned to call 911, kill the officers who responded and then detonate a bomb at their funeral, until the FBI busted the operation. Totally disgusting and horrific, but especially at this hour that’s wayyy too heavy to think about.
Jaime Escalante—My eyes do not deceive me this time—Jamie Escalante is actually the name of a human female and not a mirage. Jamie Escalante. Jamie Escalante. Maybe the star of one of those Spanish soap operas on Telemundo. Or maybe she’s the latest to confess to a sexual relationship with Jesse James. Well fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, I need to go to bed. Not only is Jaime Escalante not a Spanish soap opera star or mistress to Jesse James, he’s not even a woman. Jaime Escalante was the math teacher who inspired the 1988 movie Stand and Deliver, and he died. Is there a special spelling of Jaime that lets you know if it’s a man or woman? Is Jaime the male version? There’s a guy at our office with that name, but I don’t know how he spells it. What about Jayme? I guess that’s for porn stars—female porn stars.
Erykah Badu Window Seat Video Uncut—OK, definitely no surprises here. I already know Erykah Badu is a female R&B singer, and she has a new album that came out Tuesday. So this search is probably for an extended version of a video for one of its songs. The first few results have an embedded YouTube video that’s been removed, but one site has it still. In the clip, there’s a woman wearing a whole bunch of clothes walking around a city, and she starts to take them off. First a peacoat, then sneakers, a hoodie and so on, until she’s down to a black bra and panties. Those come off, and then she appears to get shot and falls down with some purple animated blood leaking from her head. So glad I watched this. The video’s description says the woman is in fact Ms. Badu, the video and song title are a nod to the JFK assassination and the spot she gets shot is the sidewalk of where he was killed. Good lord, this is what people are watching at 2:02 a.m.?
Miegakure—First reaction—anime. My reasons being that (1) It’s past 2 a.m. here, so we’re really getting down to the most bizarre of late-night Google freaks and “Nothing But Net” writers, and (2) It’s 3 p.m. in Japan, which, as far as I’m concerned, is a great time to watch adult cartoons. Well fool me three times and it’s game-set-match, Google. Miegakure is a new video game demoed at the Penny Arcade Expo in Boston last weekend that proclaims to make use of the fourth dimension. OK…sure, let’s go with that and just move on. Fourth dimension? Why not! You want to believe that eating mushrooms makes you taller? Go ahead, video games. Go ahead.
Jesse James Rehab—I had to go and double check the whole Jaime Escalante thing all over again when this popped up, but sure enough, Mr. Sandra Bullock is staying at Sierra Tuscan—possibly Spanish for “I like it on top”—to battle his sex addiction. A better solution might be surfing Google Trends at 1:09 a.m
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The No. 1 trending topic on Twitter at 2:15 a.m. was #ijustwanttoknowwhy, as in ijustwanttoknowwhy someone forgot to use their space bar when typing. I guess omitting it saves five characters?