December 15th, 2011

NEWScoop: Taking Boredom for a Spin

Chron, not Google, Says Houston is Boring and Dull
Oh no! Google has released their yearly wrap-up, they’re zeitgeist of the internet in 2011. You’ll never guess what they found out about the world through what they searched for. People go looking for the things they need. Useful information. It’s not filled with places for high-end cuisine and beer pong rules (and let’s not forget porn).

Of course our own Houston Chronicle wants to spin things in such a way as to infer that the citizens of Houston are boring. That makes so much sense. The logic is infallible. Why else would something like “HAR” appear on the top ten list of search terms used in Houston? Oh, I don’t know, maybe because the real estate market in town doesn’t suck and people actually want to buy houses. But that’s just off the top of my head and I’m a no-name on the interpipes.

So here are your top ten:

1. Houston Rodeo
2. Memorial Hermann
3. HCAD (Houston County Appraisal District)
4. Texas Workforce Commission
5. San Jacinto College
6. Klein ISD
7. Greensheet
8. Harris County Jail
9. Katy ISD
10. HAR

What kind of brash generalizations can we come up with from this list? Obviously, the Houston Chronicle has beaten us to the punch with the “BOOOOOOOOORING!” claim. There has to be room for some more, right?

How about:
“Houston is filled with community college schlubs from Kein ISD who are jailbirds, afflicted with cancer, robbing homes on the real estate market and trying to sell the stolen goods on the Greensheet so they can earn enough money to make the entry fee to the Houston Rodeos’ mutton busting event.”

That seems to have a little clout. But I think you can do better in the comments if you set your heart and mind to it. Like I said, I don’t have the journalistic chops to break down such a list into a one word smear about the city I live in. Your faith in me is wavering, I can feel it.

Just in case you don’t believe me, let’s take a look at some of our Texas counterparts to see just how much more exciting they are in regards to search terminology.

Austin: Alamo Drafthouse, KVUE, KXAN, Austin Community College, Schlitterbahn, Austin American Statesman, Texas Workforce Commission, News 8 Austin, KVUE Weather, Leander ISD

Dallas: WFAA, Dallas Morning News, DCCCD, Studio Movie Grill, Texas Workforce Commission, Texas State Fair, Northpark Mall, Richland College, Grapevine Mills Mall, American Airlines Center

San Antonio: (Not Important Enough to Google)

Just for kicks, let’s check out the city where I was born to see how things fair in the northeast…

Philadelphia: Septa, Philadelphia School District, PA Unemployment, Penn In Touch, Jefferson Hospital, Penn Blackboard, Franklin Mills Mall, Philadelphia Inquirer, Sesame Place, Reading Terminal Market

Wow, each one of these cities seems so much more exciting than Houston based on Google’s statistics. I have to move to Austin immediately just so I can find out about this “Alamo Drafthouse” all its citizens are talking about. That’s the only way for me to stay relevant. It’s the only way for me to sate my desire for entertainment. Perhaps it will rip me away from the grip of Houston doldrums.

Houston Chronicle, stick to what you’re good at on your homepage: Carpetbombing your readers with a fading presidential campaign by Rick Perry. The fact that people employ their browsers to search for relevant information, useful locations and material that’s pertinent to their day-to-day lives is not news. Or are you just butt hurt that “Houston Chronicle” didn’t show up on the top ten? Here’s to your vanishing industry.

Visit for more.

For something that’s actually interesting, insightful and moving I’ve embedded the Google Zeitgeist video below.

— Paul


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