Monday, May 4, 2015

Hipster Google

by Nani Lawrence, Writing Intern
                                            
May the fourth be with you--belatedly.

Monday held significance throughout media, and especially in every nerd’s heart. People usually celebrate the “holiday” with Star Wars marathons, cosplay, movie references, light saber fights, and “study sessions.” Because the date gained so much popularity over the past few years, you might expect it to be acknowledged uniformly across the interweb.

Amazon.com uploaded a short video, in the style of the opening Star Wars sequence, to promote their selection of Star Wars gear, action figures, DVDs, Legos, etc. Memes of jedi, wookies, ewoks, and droids littered social media. Even Vanity Fair magazine featured brand new photos from the set of The Force Awakens. But not everyone joined in on the fun.

Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images
Ay, Google . . . .

Over the past few years, Google has sparked controversy for uploading its famous Google doodles that glossed over what some members of society deem most important. For Easter 2013, the company decided to forego egg-laying bunnies and diabetes-inducing mounds of chocolate in favor of celebrating Cesar Chavez, the activist. This outrage could have partially been assuaged had users used the very thing they took the time to criticize, but that’s apparently asking too much.

In 2010, for Veteran’s Day, Google uploaded a doodle featuring a waving American flag. There’s no reason to object to that right? Wrong. Again, users criticized a portion of the doodle for resembling a crescent moon--part of Islam’s flag. Google obviously meant to celebrate Islam and not Christianity. How dare they?

It seems a popular hobby these days is finding things to be offended by.

But back to the point. Google doesn't shy away from being different, and more importantly, defends their choices constantly. Business Insider captured Google’s statement for the Chavez doodle: "We enjoy celebrating holidays at Google, but, as you may imagine, it's difficult for us to choose which events to highlight on our site. Sometimes for a given date, we feature an historical event or influential figure that we haven't in the past.”

So, it may be understandable that Google chose to celebrate Bartolomeo Cristofori, the inventor of the piano, instead of Star Wars, especially with the “holiday’s” new-found, mainstream popularity. It’s disappointing to think that they once caved to patriotism, but not geekdom. That’s neither here nor there. To their credit, at least the home page featured a link where users could buy all the movies on Google Play.

Besides, other websites—like The Nerdist—pick up the slack pretty darn well.
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