Some people just don’t appreciate subtlety. Still, though, it’s other people catching these little moments and posting them, so even though I would have done it without the big red letters mucking up the scene, my hat is off to a fellow named Jerry who forwarded this image along to one of his favorite columnists:
And that one came in response to this capture:
I’ve noticed this problem before, but usually there is some complicating factor. For instance, if you’re looking up some bit out of history and find yourself at a random bulletin board combing links for some obscure reference out of an angry atheist’s rant against Christians, don’t be surprised to see a banner ad inviting you to find your salvation in Jesus. With that, the complicating factor is that, well, evangelical religion should be preaching to the infidels inasmuch as they should bother preaching to anyone. (Yes, we’d be better off if … oh, never mind.)
But every once in a while, a clean gem glitters among the waste, and the above images only remind that simply because it’s automated doesn’t mean it’s better.
There are two ways of looking at this, I think, and each leads to the same conclusion, that Google needs to get its head out of its ass. To the one, we might simply shake our heads and wonder just how stupid the folks over at Google really are.
It’s worth mentioning, of course, that if this is the route we follow, it naturally begs to wonder about the state of mind of Google’s investors.
Or we could just shake our heads at how low Google is. Are they so good that they can make sure to match up industry-critical webpages with customized advertising to make sure that a reader can’t consider, say, environmentalism without a steady stream of petrol ads hawking the virtues of cancer and pollution?
Just … stop and imagine that for a moment: No matter what opinion you want to express, Google can make sure your readers always get the alternative viewpoint, too. Diamonds suck? Buy a diamond! Police beat up teenagers in jail? Become a police officer!
Google, like Microsoft, can be as ubiquitous as it wants. But one would hope the Big G learns a few lessons from the once-legendary software company that threw it all away for a goddamn video game deck. Microsoft became ubiquitous by being evil, and perhaps that is the only way. Still, Google should at least put up the effort of trying to convince us it isn’t evil … or stupid.
(A nod and wink goes to Paul Constant over at Slog.)