Your Daily Guide To Trending Topics

Every day there are some topics that are trending. Since many of them don’t make sense, we provide easy contextualization. Also, this way, you won’t actually have to know anything about anything.

John Edwards

Google searchers are feeling real political this morning as they seek out news about one-time Presidential hopeful and hot-for-politics bad guy John Edwards. The news they’re after is about how Edwards was acquitted Thursday on one count of corruption and had the good luck that a mistrial was declared regarding five other counts. Also, it’s unlikely the philandering haircut enthusiast will be retried. "I want to make sure that everyone hears from me and from my voice that while I do not believe I did anything illegal or ever thought I was doing something illegal, I did an awful, awful lot that is wrong," the disgraced pol said. "And there is no one else responsible for my sins." 

National Donut Day

For a country supposedly at war with obesity, we’ve got a funny way of doing things. But nevertheless, it’s National Donut Day and people are searching the Internet to find out what that means for them. Mostly it’s a free donut with the purchase of any beverage at Dunkin’ Donuts and the opportunity to talk to coworkers about moronic imaginary holidays. Still, enjoy yourself—they’re donuts, not fountain soda

Star Wars 1313

We’d say that nerds have taken over Yahoo!, but they’ve really always been there. It’s just that today they’re searching for news about Star Wars 1313, a video game supposedly set to be announced at the big E3 gaming conference. The game allows people with bad social skills to focus on the Star Wars character of Boba Fett, a bounty hunter, while never changing out of sweats.

Rebecca Black

Remember “Friday,” the song that took the web by storm and made a martyr and sensation out of remarkably untalented singer Rebecca Black? Well, it wasn’t enough for her. Now the Californian is getting involved in, what else, the Mexican presidential elections. I personally think that it is very important for youth and teens to be so involved in politics," Black said in a promotional video for Institutional Revolutionary Party candidate Enrique Peña Nieto. "Even though I’m only 14 and won’t be able to vote for another four years, you don’t want to be 18 and not know anything about what you are going to vote about."


Twitter is lit up with donut news, of course, but its less hungry users are busy telling one another what it is that ruins the mood for them. As you can imagine, it’s illuminating.

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Rebecca Black Returns to ‘Sing It’

Yes, "Friday" songstress Rebecca Black has a new single. No, it is not good. But you are required to watch it, obviously, because you are on the internet. Sorry!

So, this one isn’t as bad as "Friday" in the sense that the lyrics sound like a human being wrote them instead of being random words from Captcha strung together all loosey-goosey. But that doesn’t mean isn’t full of that general gooey pop song nonsense (sample lyric: "I’m dreamin’ again / So get out of my way / Life goes fast so you’ve gotta make it last / No matter what they say." WHO, Rebecca?). And there’s some top-notch autotune going on here, although it doesn’t mean that La Black’s mumbling doesn’t get really confusing at times. ("Sing it from the Lord?" Was that "brighter day" or some new word that somehow rhymes with "Friday?") As Dan Hopper of Best Week Ever aptly says, it’s "basically Instagram ejaculating into your face for three minutes."

Rebecca Black’s ‘Friday’ Was YouTube’s Most Watched Video of 2011

Today, YouTube announced their list of the most watched videos of 2011, a mix of commercials, covers, viral hits, and of course, cute animals. Leading the list was the music video for Rebecca Black’s "Friday," that behemoth of an Auto-Tuned song that was on everyone’s queue earlier in the year. Reached for comment, Black said "Since that stupid video came out, every day of my life is living agony. I dream of death." (She didn’t say that.)

Black’s video got 180 million views, enough to top every other video uploaded to YouTube in 2011 by quite a bit. The 2nd place video, "Ultimate Dog Tease," had over 100 million fewer views than Black’s ode to sitting in the back seatThe Lonely Island also made out real nice, placing two videos in the list. That god-awful Karmin cover of Chris Brown’s "Look At Me Now" did too, but, well, we can’t always have nice things.

The top 10 list can be watched below:

10. Cat mom hugs baby kitten
9. The Force: Volkswagon commercial
8. Maria Aragon – Born This Way (Lady Gaga cover)
7. The Lonely island – The Creep (feat. Nicki Minaj & John Waters)
6. Karmin – Look At Me Now (Chris Brown cover)
5. Nyan Cat (of course!)
4. Talking Twin Babies
3. The Lonely Island – Jack Sparrow (feat. Michael Bolton)
2. Ultimate Dog Tease
1. Rebecca Black – Friday

Afternoon Links: Freddie Gibbs Slides by TSA, Christian Bale Attacked by Chinese Guards

● One clever TSA agent let Freddie Gibbs slip by with what looks like a sock full of weed, sending the rapper through inspection with but a note, that read, "C’mon Son." TSA bosses didn’t think the joke was so funny, though. "TSA takes all allegations of inappropriate conduct seriously and is investigating this claim," assures a spokesman, warning that "TSA will take appropriate disciplinary steps and refer the alleged possession of an illegal substance to law enforcement." [Pitchfork]

● "Excuse me, I just let a frog out of there," joked Whoopi Goldberg this morning after she, only human, let one go this morning on The View. [Huff Post]

● ScarJo hates it when you call her that. "It’s a laziness," she says. "So Cate Blanchett is not, like, ‘CaBla’? Why is that? Why do I have to get stuck?" [USAToday]

● Tom Cruise says he would just "love to do action movies with David Beckham." We also wouldn’t mind making an action movie with David Beckham, if you know what we mean. [Mirror]

● Christian Bale was attacked by Chinese government guards in China while attempting to visit with Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng.“What I really wanted to do was to meet the man, shake his hand and say what an inspiration he is,” Bale said of the blind lawyer who has become a symbol of Chinese oppression since being put under illegal house arrest. [NYT]

● Rebecca Black was this year’s fastest raising Google query. MySpace, meanwhile, ranked number one on the list of fastest falling searches, a list we suspect Black will be joining next year.  [Google Zeitgeist]

Trollgaze: The Music Genre That Relies on Your Likes and Reblogs

Yesterday we shared the video for the Lance Bass-sponsored boyband Heart2Heart’s debut single “Facebook Official.” It’s been all over the interwebs today, and it’s gotten a ton of views on YouTube! Is it a hit? More importantly, is this another example of a burgeoning new genre of music, recently coined as “Trollgaze”?

Village Voice music editor Maura Johnston seems to think so. She argues that the kind of music that seems, at first listen, to be a total joke might actually be a calculated and successful grab for attention, and, ultimately, a lot of money.

Whether or not HEART2HEART is serious is, of course, beside the point in a way; the song is catchy enough and the content absurd enough that “Facebook Official” is being passed around by even those sites that aren’t pop-specialist outlets, and in the current moment where record sales mean less and less because there are fewer of them happening the idea of attention as currency is ever more important. Which might be, at least in part, why this year has been defined by musical artists getting attention for being, in some way, annoying. The list runs the gamut, from Rebecca Black’s half-swallowed ode to partying on the weekends “Friday” to the insufferable “You suck, but please don’t say mean things about me” posing of young turks Kreayshawn and Tyler, The Creator to the whole Lana Del Rey mess to even that first taste of the Metallica/Lou Reed collaboration. Negative attention can help get artists out of the music-specialist ghetto and onto places like the “never saw a cheap laugh it couldn’t mine for pageviews” clearinghouse BuzzFeed, which whips the traffic ass of all but the largest music sites.

Now that the music industry has caught wind of the power of viral marketing, are the big music executives gunning for deliberately bad music performed by ridiculous and unlikely pop stars? In an age when “press” can be just a few tweets or a post on a random person’s Tumblr, it’s a conspiracy theory that could be fairly accurate. And let’s take us out of the equation for a second (because We–all of us!–are part of the problem by even participating!) and think about how this kind of entertainment, which is essentially based on the idea that there are enough people on the Internet who will mistake their own bad taste with their sense of “irony,” actually ruins the chances of actual talented musicians and performers. It’s a bad scene when you’ve got Katy Perry, who does have enough catchy and entertaining pop songs in her catalog, degrading herself not just by relying on her sex appeal to push records, but also by creating videos that are essentially four minute MadTV sketches feating Kenny G and Rebecca Black cameos.

Morning Links: Roseanne Barr Returns to Sitcom, Justin Bieber Doesn’t Get Why You Think He’s a Brat

● Now that Rebecca Black is so famous, the kids at school can’t seem to quit it with the day of the week jokes. The teasing has gotten so bad that her mom has decided to home school Black. [TMZ] ● Cynics be gone! Jennifer “Baby” Grey things the Dirty Dancing remake is going to be special. [USA Today] ● Great news – Roseanne Barr is returning to the wonderful world of sitcom with a project called Downwardly Mobile, a show that sounds almost exactly like Roseanne. Viva la Roseanne revolution. [THR]

● Former fameball Paris Hilton is growing old and getting serious, heading to the Philippines this weekend where she’ll announce her first commercial real estate venture. Daddy Hilton couldn’t possibly have had a hand in this. [PageSix] ● Drake has confirmed that, along with the previously reported hand from Steve Wonder, his buddy The Weeknd has been helping him out with Take Care. “Not only did he inspire me to get out there and sing better on stage, he inspired me writing wise, music wise, just to better my product,” he said of his fellow Torontonian. [NahRight] ● The internet’s fallen head-over-Prada-ed heel for @CondeElevator’s anonymous dispatches from the Condé Nast elevator banks. If only we could figure out the genius behind it. Will the real @CondeElevator please stand up? [AtlanticWire] ● Justin Bieber has no idea why you think he’s a brat. [TMZ]

Rebecca Black’s EP Will Be Coming Out Next Month

In a surprising turn of events, it seems that Rebecca Black has enough material to put out an EP. Her recent “Friday” follow-up “My Moment” will be the lead single, and it’s dropping next month. Ms. Black has always seemed like a nice little girl, but she’s simply refusing to go away! Who will buy her EP, especially if all the songs are as “serious” as “My Moment”?

Black was “nervous” about “My Moment” coming out because “I thought, ‘I don’t think I’ll be able to even beat ‘Friday’ myself,’ ” she told MTV News. “‘Friday’ was so big, and it’s hard: I feel like it’ll be hard to break the ‘Friday’ record.” This is definitive proof that no one ever explained to her why “Friday” was so successful, right? Like…is it possible that Rebecca Black never understood that people thought “Friday” was a joke?

Anyway. Self-awareness issues aside, Black’s motivations for the EP mirrored those of any other new artist: building her career.

“Again, I wanted people to able to take me seriously because I felt like this would be the right thing to do. I wanted to start building what could be a really great career, but this industry, it’s so unpredictable: You could be the big thing for a month or four months, and then kind of fall off the face of the planet. And I felt my whole team kind of felt like it was a great way to put me here for an amount of time.”

This industry! It’s so unpredictable! Anyone else want to have a stern chat with Rebecca Black’s mom and dad?

Rebecca Black’s New Single Has Dropped

Talent-challenged teen pop sensation Rebecca Black is back in the game with a new single, “My Moment.” She buries the haters like a true pro, but while this latest is miles ahead of “Friday” in terms of production values, it lacks the debut’s endearing cheesiness and heart. Needs more Benni Cinkle, I think. “My Moment” proves that Rebecca can dance a little bit, and looks at least 20 when they’ve got her done up in heavy makeup and heels.

The song itself is instantly forgettable. You could play it a thousand times and still not remember the tune or any of the words, such is its resemblance to those janky versions of pop songs they play in karaoke bars. But hey, she’s kind of adorable, right? And how cute is it that her family is in the limo with her?

Morning Links: The Beckhams Welcome a Baby Girl, Rebecca Black Readies New Single

● David and Victoria Beckham had their fourth child and first daughter, Harper Seven. Kate Hudson and Matthew Bellamy also welcomed another this weekend, a “healthy baby boy.” [People/People] ● Betty Ford, former FLOTUS and co-founder of the eponymous celeb-favored recovery center, passed away on Friday at the age of 93. [NYT] ● Derek Jeter made his 3000th hit over the weekend and a really excited Jay-Z was there with his camera-phone to catch it on tape. Speaking of phones we wouldn’t mind hacking… [HipHopUpdate]

● Oh, you haven’t forgotten yet, have you? Because Rececca Black says she’s debuting her second single, “My Moment,” next week on YouTube — and finishing up a five-song EP for August. [THR] ● Rihanna brought heat to Dallas, literally setting the stage at American Airlines Arena on fire with a prop, forcing the entire place to evacuate. [RapRadar] ● Bow Wow’s name isn’t on his daughter, “the illest gift of [his] life”‘s, birth certificate because his baby mama was mad at him that day. [TMZ]