|Wally Skalij/Getty Images: Shuttle passing Crenshaw Ave, Inglewood CA|
Looking at Google's 2012 Zeitgiest one can't help but notice we're moving away from Google searches of newspaper headlines, exposes, novels, and texts, towards a world of sound bites, technology and visual images.
First, what is Zeitgiest?
According to Wikipedia:
"The Zeitgeist (spirit of the age or spirit of the time) is the intellectual fashion or dominant school of thought which typifies and influences the culture of a particular period in time."www.thefreedictionary.com/Zeitgeist defines it as:
"Zeit·geist (ts t g st , z t -). n. The spirit of the time; the taste and outlook characteristic of a period or generation"
"(Historical Terms) the spirit, attitude, or general outlook of a specific time or period, esp as it is reflected in literature, philosophy, etc. "Below are four different Zeitgeist 2012 impressions: Google's, The New York Times', YouTube's, and mine. With mine, however, I intentionally left out one component that I hope you'll help me with...but more about that later. First, enjoy Google, The New York Times, and YouTube's Zeitgeist 2012:
Google's Zeitgeist 2012 represents an "aggregation" of over one trillion searches typed into Google Search over 2012. Filtering out spam and repeat queries Google came up with 'top searches' the world performed over 2012. These 'top ten' lists, according to Google reflect the world's current Zeitgeist.
According to Google, "2012 was a year of big moments, from global games to historical elections and everything in between." Based on their analysis, Google's 'most searched' categories were:
- Searches (Whitney Houston, Gangnam Style, Hurricane Sandy, iPad 3, Diablo 3, Kate Middleton, Olympics 2012, Amanda Todd, Michael Clarke Duncan, and BBB12)
- Images (One Direction, Selena Gomez, iPhone 5, Megan Fox, Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Harry Styles, Minecraft, Nicki Minaj, and Katy Perry )
- Athletes (Jeremy Lin, Michael Phelps, Peyton Manning, McKayla Maroney, Junior Seau, Sarah Burke, Tom Daley, Lance Armstrong, Mario Balotelli, and Ryan Lochte)
- Events (Hurricane Sandy, Kate Middleton, Olympics 2012, SOPA Debate, Costa Concordia crash, Presidential Debate, Stratosphere Jump, Penn State Scandal, Trayvon Martin shooting, Pussy Riots)
- People (Whitney Houston, Kate Middleton, Amanda Todd, Michael Clarke Duncan, One Direction, Felix Baumgartner, Jeremy Lin, Morgan Freeman, Joseph Kony, and Donna Summer)
- Feature Films (The Hunger Games, Skyfall, Prometheus, The Avengers, Magic Mike, John Carter, Ek Tha Tiger, Paranormal Activity 4, Taken 2, and Dark Shadows)
- TV Shows (BBB12, Avenida Brasil, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, The Voice, American Idol, Game of Thrones, Homeland, Revenge, Cheias de Charme, and Carrossel)
- Performing Artists (Whitney Houston, Michael Clarke Duncan, One Direction, Donna Summer, Lana Del Rey, Carolina Dieckmann, Dirk Bach, Carly Rae Jespen, Michel Telo, and LMFAO)
- Consumer Electronics (iPad 3, Samsung Galaxy S3, iPad Mini, Nexus 7, Galaxy Note 2, Play Station, iPad 4, Microsoft Surface, Kindle Fire, and Nokia Lumia 920)
- Videos (Gangnam Style, Somebody That I Used to Know by Walk of the Earth, KONY 2012, Call Me Maybe featuring Justin Bieber, Obama vs. Romney Epic Rap Battles of History, A Dramatic Surprise on a Quiet Square, Why You Asking All Them Questions? Crystallize by Lindsey Stirling, Facebook Parenting: For the Troubled Teen, and Felix Baumgartner's Supersonic Free Fall)
|NYTimes 2012: The Year in Graphics|
The New York Times has collected infograhic representations of 2012 events. Here are a few of my favorites. Check the link above for their complete compilation.
[NOTE: As these are large graphic representations, I couldn't reproduce them here but they are WELL WORTH a LOOK.]
- Covering the Olympics:
- The US Presidential Election:
- Hurricane Sandy Surveying Hurricane Sandy's Destruction
- The World:
- The Nation:
YouTube's 2012 Zeitgeist:
In short, over the past few years there have been some significant cultural changes that have resulted to a large extent from the explosion of the Internet and social networking.
As a result, comic books and graphic novels are becoming core elements of our culture (with The New York Times now including graphic novels in their Book Reviews). According to sales figures (calculated by Comichron), year to date 2012 comic book and graphic novel sales (as of September 2012) stood at 16.16% over 2011 Sales. Graphic novels host vibrant sections in book stores, libraries and classrooms, and their content extends way beyond superheroes, high school teens and detectives.
Whether we like it or not, visual and verbal communication in short bursts over text messages, twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Facebook, are now key elements of communication, and we need to understand how best to use, compose and interpret them.
That said, here is my ZEITGEIST 2012 (minus one component I need your help with- can you guess which one it will be? Check for details below):
OLYMPICS 2012 (Compliments of Sports Illustrated):
|Photo: Peter Read Miller/SI|
|PBS "Storm of Debt and Downgrades"|
|PBS: "China Looks to the Future"|
|PBS: "Beached Concordia"|
|AP/Ng Han Guan: North Korea's Kim Jong Un|
|AP Photo/Altaf Qadri: Mynamar's Aung San Suu Kyi|
|Thetimes.co.uk: Athens riots|
|AP/Manish Swarup: Tibetan protester in New Delhi|
|NASA/Reuters/Robert Markowitz: Last Shuttle flight|
|Pete Souza/White House Photo via Getty Images: President Obama on Rosa Parks bus at Henry Ford Museum 4/18/12|
|Reuters/Esam Al-Fetori: Benghazi- US Consulate burns|
|The Atlantic: damaged Aleppo's Salaheddin neighborhood, Syria|
|Reuters/Yves Herman: Milk Protest, Brussels|
|Reuters/Mohamed Abd El Ghany: Anti-Mursi Protesters in Tahrir Square, Cairo 11/27/12|
US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS 2012:
|NYDaily News: Clint Eastwood, Republican Convention|
|PBS: "The Challenger"|
|Scout Tufankjian/Obama for America: "Four More Years"|
|Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images: Loser's Concession Speech|
|Reuters/Phillip Andrews: The Winner|
|Reuters/Eric Thayer: Hurricane Sandy:Seaside Heights, New Jersey|
|Iwan Baan/Getty Images:Sandy hits NYC|
|AP/John Minchillo: Sandy hits Ground Zero|
IMAGES OF SPACE 2012: from the International Space Station, Curiosity rove, Solar Dynamics Observatory, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and Spitzer - they are mind-boggling, breath-taking inspiring, and worth your time and viewing:
This is where I need your help. I am leaving this open intentionally. Please leave YOUR IDEAS of 2012's epic ENTERTAINMENT EVENTS AND PERSONALITIES (in the comments)- from music, television, shows, movies, plays and art - those that YOU think best represents 2012. I will compile and post the most mentioned songs, artists, events, films, TV shows, plays, etc. in the space below.
Check back next week to see how we've addressed this component of 2012 Zeitgeist!
Your ENTERTAINMENT choices: As of January 28th, Gangnam Style has won in the comments with honorable mention for Justin Bieber and "Me So You So Me" Here are some links.
First, Gangnam Style (note that the English translation is just too racy for me and so be forewarned):
And for the older 'classic' fans "Me So You So Me":
And if you want more resources, here are additional links to THE BEST images of 2012:
- National Geographics's Editor's Picks of Best Space Pictures of 2012
- Sports Illustrated Pictures of the Year 2012
- PBS Best (and Oddest) Photos of 2012
- The Atlantic 2012 in Photos Part 1 (of 3)
- The Atlantic: 2012 in Photos Part 2 (of 3)
- The Atlantic: 2012 in Photos Part 3
- The Guardian: Best Photographs of 2012
- NYTimes 2012: The Year in Graphics - note that this site contains infographics and graphics depicting the year 2012
As always, thank you for your visits, and please leave your impressions of Zeitgeist ENTERTAINMENT 2012 in the comments.
[Note: In compiling this post I have taken images from various sources and have tried my best to acknowledge original sources. If you have any further citation information for the images above, please leave the information in the comments and I will address them appropriately.]