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.

Cory Booker
People are searching Google for information about Booker, the highly visible mayor of Newark, NJ and something of a political Next Big Thing, who dimmed his ascending star Sunday with an appearance on Meet the Press. Booker, a staunch Democrat, made comments about President Obama’s strategy of taking on Mitt Romney’s work a Bain Capital, seemingly equating it with the attacks on Obama (especially those care of billionaire Joe Ricketts). “I have to just say, from a very personal level, I’m not about to sit here and indict private equity,” Booker said. “To me, it’s just we’re getting to a ridiculous point in America, especially that I know I live in a state where pension funds, unions and other people are investing in companies like Bain Capital. If you look at the totality of Bain Capital’s record, they’ve done a lot to support businesses, to grow businesses. And this to me, I’m very uncomfortable with.” Nice knowing you, Cory!

Billboard Music Awards
It’s not the Grammys, it’s not the VMAs, it’s not even the American Music Awards, this one—which aired last night and is topping Google Trends—is presented by Billboard, the folks who actually keep track of how well music sells. Crazy, right? Hosted by Julie Bowen and Ty Burell, the evening reportedly featured an underwear-clad performance from LMAFO, Katy Perry attending with her grandmother as her date, Jordin Sparks and John Legend did a tribute to Whitney Houston and the late Houston’ daughter, Bobbi Kristina, accepted an award on her behalf. What people are looking for are, of course, mostly videos. So check the best part of the night out below.

Emily Maynard
Why, Yahoo! users, why? The most-searched term on your favorite site this morning is “Emily Maynard,” as in the jilted former contestant on The Bachelor, who is now returning to TV in The Bachelorette to give finding love on camera another show. “I had a million reservations about being the Bachelorette,” she said in a recent interview before going on to explain why she would do something like this to herself (and her six-year-old daughter). “You know, they had asked me to do it previously and I said no to anyone who would listen. I told everybody I would never do it – never in a million years.”

Dharun Ravi
Another hot Yahoo! topic is Mr. Ravi, the former roommate of Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi. Clementi jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge after discovering that Ravi was spying on him during intimate moments via webcam. In March, Ravi was convicted on counts of bias intimidation, invasion of privacy, witness tampering, hindering apprehension and tampering with evidence. Ravis’ sentencing will happen today. He faces up to 10 years in prison and possible deportation to his native India.

Nothing too serious is happening over at Twitter. There are your normal #MondayMorning trends and also this, a list of things that the video game Grand Theft Auto has taught its users.





Falling in Love With ‘The Bachelor’ Blogger Jenna Burke

First things first: I have never watched The Bachelor. That is, I had never watched it until last night, when I came home to find that my roommate was checking out the season premiere. Obviously, my first thought was, "Well, shit, now I have to sit here for the next two hours to watch these dental hygienists and ‘account managers’ vie for the affections of some dude who lost The Bachelorette, because what else would I do? It’s on." You can imagine how pleased I was to discover that one of the contestants was a 27-year-old New York-based blogger named Jenna Burke, author of a site called The Over-Analyst. Ohhh, boy.

Would it come as a surprise to learn that the self-described over-analyst is a bit of an emotional roller coaster? It didn’t take her long to get into an argument with a blonde named Monica, who confessed to being not blown away by Ben, the poor man’s Josh Groban that the women will spend the next few weeks fighting over. Combining the emotional vulnerability of someone who writes about themselves on the internet with the attention-seeking nature of an aspiring reality TV star, Jenna, obviously, broke down in tears and locked herself in the bathroom for a while, showing up late to the rose ceremony. This was after she attempted to patch things up with Monica by saying, "Maybe we can share a tampon sometime." Sure!

With Twitter blowing up with fans watching the show in earnest (or, more likely, with irony), it’s not surprising that Ben handed over his last rose to Jenna. We need that crazy as much as Ben does! And kudos to the producers for casting a nutty relationship blogger, if only to ensure the free publicity from mesmerized writers online.

Jenna’s blog can be found here, and it’s pretty boring — she hasn’t posted anything since August. But don’t worry, what’s actually there is pretty laughable. Take, for example, the following text she uses to describe herself:

I enjoy analyzing. It’s one of the things people may consider a problem, yet it’s one of the things I really like to do. I think it makes us more interesting and leads us to new discoveries. Overanalyzing happens because you really have a deep interest in learning about life, the good and the bad. I embrace my desires, I feel inspired and I witness the beauty.

It seems a little suspect, however; the template still has filler words like "your default text," leading me to believe that this could possibly be a vast ABC conspiracy to grab the attention from bloggers across the country. (You know, because our demographic has so much power as taste-makers.) Jenna has seemingly written several posts tagged under "love" (there’s a review of Crazy, Stupid, Love, about which she writes, "Everyone deserves their crazy stupid love and they shouldn’t settle for anything less. Move on and don’t look back."), they’re all pretty light. I’m not suggesting she’s supposed to be an intelligent reflective — we learned that much from last night’s episode — but you’d think that a blogger could muster up more than two paragraphs about a dumb movie. (I mean, look how much I’ve mustered up this morning about this stupid show!) 

Links: RIP JD Salinger; Chris Matthews Forgets He’s on TV for One Minute

Catcher in The Rye author JD Salinger died. [NY Times] ● South Park creators at work on a new musical. I humbly suggest “What Would Brian Boitano Do,” from the original South Park musical, be re-imagined as “What Would Johnny Weir Do.” [NY Times] ● Tom Selleck+ sandwiches+ waterfalls. It’s as good as you would expect. [Selleckwaterfallssandwich]

● Oh vomit: Bachelor Jason Mesnick and his lady will have their wedding taped for reality TV. Vows just don’t count if they aren’t nationally televised. [Hollywood Reporter] ● Dinosaurs were redheads. Now you know. [BBC] ● Chris Matthews “forgot Obama was black for an hour” during the State of The Union, which is about how long we forgot Chris Matthews was an idiot. [EW]