Silicon Insider: Britney, Paris... and Saddam?

And if you thought you'd see some demanding lyric from Wilco or the Decemberists on this list -- well dream on.

One more: movies. It's the predictable list -- all of the blockbusters of the year, including "Spider-Man 3," "X-Men 3" and "Pirates of the Caribbean 2" (No. 1,2,3 and all sequels).

But then it gets strange.

No. 4 is "Star Wars." Exactly what is there left to learn about that 20-year-old series? No. 6 is "Transformers." Huh? Then "Saw III" and "The Da Vinci Code." Double huh? And, at No. 9, "Talladega Nights" -- was there some subtlety in that movie I missed that compelled people to search for deep insights into its plot?

Depressing or Illuminating?

OK, so that's all pretty depressing.

We Americans actually live up to some of the worst stereotypes that the world holds about us.

We're a bunch of mouth-breathing, celebrity-soaked, violent rubes -- just like Gwyneth Paltrow and her friends say we are (BTW, if that young lady seriously believes that Brits are the height of worldly sophistication, she needs to get out more). At least that's the depressing impression one gets from a first glance at Yahoo!'s list.

But a closer inspection gives a different impression.

For example, why are these lists so relentlessly lowbrow? On consideration, the reason becomes obvious: The Web is now, at least in the United States, the most democratic of mediums, even outdistancing television as part of the average person's daily life.

That is an incredible accomplishment for a technology that, in general use, is less than two decades old.

As the lists also show, the Web is unmatched by its inclusiveness: witness Top 10 lists that include black and Latin entertainers and their songs, kids' movies, and international sports teams.

Look even closer and you see odd and compelling anomalies that unexpectedly surface out of the pablum.

For example, in the top news stories, the Saddam Hussein trial and the Danish cartoon scandal took No. 9 and No. 10 -- at least a few people are keeping up on their current affairs after all.

On the Top 10 TV show searches, "South Park" unexpectedly shows up at No. 10 after all of these years. I sure didn't see that one coming.

Blog Readers Like Skin, Politics

But most remarkable is the list of Top 10 blog searches.

The first surprise is that seven of the 10 are sleazy Hollywood gossip sites, with Perez Hilton at No. 1 -- didn't it break the Britney crotch shots? -- followed by the Superficial and Pink Is the New Blog.

As you may remember, I wrote about this phenomenon a few weeks ago, but I had no idea it was anything more than a strange little niche business. The joke is on me.

But mixed into this list are three very different sites: the Huffington Post (4), Daily Kos (6) and Little Green Footballs (9).

Boy, I read those blogs, and I never would have guessed. A year ago, the Huffington Post was little more than a vanity site for political essays by bonehead celebrities. Now it appears to be the most popular political blog on the planet. That's the astounding power of the Web.

Kos, an influential leftist site, is a little more understandable. Markos Moulitsas Zuniga is one of the most important people in the Democratic Party these days, and his pronouncements carry a lot of weight in that world.

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