Things I’ve Been Googling Lately

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As a glimpse into the random things I’ve been thinking about lately, I thought I might do a blog post discussing my recent Google searches. I google things all the time. Who doesn’t? Here are some of my searches:

1. Norman Rockwell white

Backstory: I collect other people’s diaries. I find them sometimes at thrift stores and garage sales. They’re rarely scandalous, unfortunately. They’re mostly about dentist appointments and the weather.

Anyway, the most recent diary I found was a Norman Rockwell-themed one at a thrift store at the coast. It was full of these beautiful Norman Rockwell illustrations. So after reading the author’s musings on dentist appointments and the weather, I started flipping through the illustrations.

It struck me as odd that everyone in the pictures was white. Rockwell seems like he’s presenting this sort of nostalgic, idealistic America, so where are the minorities? Am I overthinking this, or was Rockwell insinuating that the ideal America is a white America? To find out, I googled.

What I discovered was fascinating. Basically, Rockwell was very interested in the civil rights movement, but the people at the Saturday Evening Post pretty much wouldn’t allow him to put black people in his cover paintings. Once, he painted a picture of a boy in a restaurant, and the waiter was black, which was okay because he was in a servile position. Near the end of his time at the Post, Rockwell was allowed to paint a picture called “Do Unto Others,” which depicted people of a variety of ethnicities and cultures all standing together. The article I read thought that was a pretty radical move for the Post, showing that they were slightly changing their attitudes due to the civil rights movement too.

But apparently, Rockwell wanted to paint pro-civil-rights pictures, and that’s a big part of the reason he eventually left his position at the Saturday Evening Post. He then went on to paint a famous picture of Ruby Bridges, as well as a painting about the murder of three civil rights workers in Mississippi, and a painting about housing integration.

I found this fascinating. Still, I think it would have been nice if Rockwell would have integrated minorities into his “normal” paintings too. Nostalgic pictures of boys and their dogs, but more ethnicities than just white.

2. Ruby Bridges twitter

That Google rabbit hole made me realize that Ruby Bridges is still alive. Which I mean, logically she would be, but in my head I think of her as a historical figure, not a now figure. So I found her twitter, but she hasn’t posted since 2014.

3. Robert Downey Jr Eyes

Somewhere on the Internet, someone found old paintings and statues of historical figures and drew them as normal, 21’st century people with 21’st century haircuts and clothing. It was very cool. But when I got to Alexander the Great, I saw that the artist had drawn him with two different colored eyes. Did Alexander the Great have two different colored eyes?

So I googled, and apparently he did, according to the wikipedia page of notable people who have¬†heterochromia iridis. (It seems that our intel on Alexander’s eyes comes from the historian Plutarch.) But that list included a lot of celebrities, so I googled them and looked at pictures of their eyes.

Robert Downey Jr’s two eyes look exactly the same to me. But maybe the discoloration is so subtle you can’t really see it in a Google Images photo. Like my friend Andrea from SMBI. Once I was studying next to her, and I happened to look at her eyes from up close, and I was like, “wait, is your one eye a darker brown than the other?”

“Yes! I’m so excited that you noticed!” she said. Because it really was a very subtle difference. The guys at the table didn’t believe us, and it was awkward because to know for sure they had to stare deeply into her eyes.

4. Jesse Applegate

I googled Jesse Applegate, because Mom was on the Lost Oregon Facebook page reading me these crazy stories of people who’d traveled the Applegate Trail.

5. Primary Schedule 2020

For some reason I became interested in politics. I’m not sure why. So I’m closely following the Democratic primary race, even though it doesn’t look like Tulsi Gabbard stands a chance anymore. (I was very excited at the prospect of having a president who wanted to get out of wars instead of into them.) Somehow I still get sucked into the drama of everything even if there’s no one involved that I actually support.

6. Zillow Oregon Coast

I’m always looking up housing prices just because I’m obsessed with houses, Okay? Also, while walking through Yachats I passed this phenomenal house that looked like something a handsome multi-millionaire bachelor in a Korean drama would own. I wanted to know how much it cost. Almost 2 million, turns out.

7. Rosemary Clooney

I randomly discovered that the older sister in the classic Christmas movie White Christmas was named “Rosemary Clooney.” Any relation to George Clooney? I googled. Yep, she was his aunt. I’m so fascinated by the way celebrities are related to each other. There’s this illusion that anyone can become a star, but it sure seems to help if your Aunt paves the way for you. Just sayin’.

8. Know it by heart

I heard this phrase recently, and I thought, “I say that all the time, but it’s a weird idiom.” It gives this idea that if you memorize something, it’s so deep in your heart that you can’t forget it. But often it’s just words in your brain that you need to regurgitate for a test, and the meaning never really penetrates.

9. Vistage

The word I was actually looking for was “vestige.” Thanks Google! You’re a pal!

10. let’s get married lyrics

I read on Twitter that everyone who proposed using the song “let’s get married” ends up divorced. I’d never heard of this song, so I googled it. I guess the objectionable part was the oft-repeated line, “We ain’t getting no younger, we might as well do it”? Like, that’s not a good reason to get married or something? I still don’t really get the tweet, so I guess Google wasn’t much help this time.

Eh, that’s enough for now. I dearly love Google. I still remember the days when I’d try to look up pop culture references in the dictionary or encyclopedia, haha.

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