In lieu of an actual look at the past week, here’s a look at last year, as tabulated by most popular searches on Google.
Here in Canada, Hurricane Irma was the top search for the year, even though it never touched Canada. Surprisingly, the no. 2 overall search was Meghan Markle, the fiancee of Prince Harry, or Charles, or Jimmy, or whatever that ginger royal goes by. No. 3 on the list was Tom Petty, which is a little surprising in that Gord Downie – The Tragically Hip singer who also died in an orgy of mourning and much ultra-Canadian commentary about how important he was to the country – wasn’t even in the top 10 (he was no. 4 on the list of ‘losses’, behind Tom Petty, Chris Cornell, and even Bill Paxton). For some reason, the Ottawa Senators were in fourth place (I assume they did something in the Stanley Cup playoffs; I stopped watching once the Oilers were eliminated). After that, we searched North Korea, Chris Cornell (another dead singer), 13 Reasons Why (which, as I understand it, is a Netflix series), the fidget spinner (which, as I understand it, was a fad of some sort), the iPhone 8 (not the iPhone X, but the 8), and the Super Bowl. Aside from the Senators, that’s not a very Canadian list.
There was more Can-con on the list of most searched political figures. Trump was no. 1, naturally, but a surprise no. 2 was Andrew Scheer, most likely people asking ‘who the hell is Andrew Scheer?’ Third was hipster NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, which is kind of embarrassing that such a cool dude wasn’t searched as much as a dullard like Scheer. New Governor-General Julie Payett came in at no. 7, and Valerie Plante was no. 9. In case you’re wondering- (and I know you are – she was the surprise winner of the Montreal mayoralty.
Just out of curiosity, I checked out Australia’s Google search list. (Google supplied a list of Aussies most frequently searched, but offered no such list for Canada. Even New Zealand got its own list of most searched Kiwis, so apparently we don’t rate). The top overall searches in Australia couldn’t be more Australian: no. 1 was the Australian Open, no. 2 was the Melbourne Cup (which, believe it or not, is a horserace), and no. 3 was Wimbledon. In New Zealand, the top search was for lotto results.
Harvey Weinstein topped Canada’s most searched people list, which included at no. 4 Eric Salvail. Yes, Eric Salvail. THAT Eric Salvail. Don’t feel badly if you’re asking who the hell Eric Salvail is. Turns out, he’s a Quebec TV personality who is, like every other male celebrity today, charged with sexual misconduct. Again, what could be more Canadian than the no. 4 searched name in Canada being unknown to 80% of the population.
Under the How category, Canadians were most interested in how they name hurricanes, and at no. 2, the eternally vexing question, how many teaspoons in a tablespoon. At no. 8 for some reason … how often should you wash your hair.
Under the Why category, two are absolutely fantastic. Aside from the expected (why are NFL players protesting the national anthem; why are women marching; why are there so many hurricanes), there were two gems. At no. 8, Canadians wanted to know ‘why doesn’t Caillou have hair’, and at no. 9, ‘why is everything so heavy’. These are great, but my favourite why question comes from Australia: at no. 6, ‘why is my poop green’. In New Zealand, which is clearly a weirder country than I imagined, no. 5 on the ‘What is’ list is ‘what is the time’.
You can see the whole list, from every country, here.
Zarley Zalapski, 49, Edmonton-born former NHL defenceman with Pittsburgh, Calgary and Hartford. He died of a viral infection in Calgary.