Michele Bachmann Google search results

How Google Sees It: Michele Bachmann Hasn’t Changed Much

When last I checked on the Google instant search results for soon-to-be former Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann — during her failed bid for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination — she wasn’t looking too good. And now that she has announced she’s not going to seek re-election to her seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, I thought I’d see if her image has improved over the last few years.


Michele Bachmann Google search results

Still crazy after all these years.

It seems that in addition to still being crazy and hot, Bachmann is now a racist. That’s a shame. We’ll always have the corn dog at least.

Michele Bachmann corn dog

The Best of The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit (2011)

The Best of the Man in the Gray Flannel Suit — 2011

The Best of The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit (2011)

It’s been another fun and challenging year heading up my little internet concern, The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit. As always, I want to take this opportunity to thank those of you who stop by regularly and even share my content with others. This is not a money-making operation for me, so it’s gratifying to know that if my site went poof tomorrow there’d at least be a few of you who would notice for a few minutes.

The biggest happening around these parts is that I finally launched a more permanent site, of which this blog is now but a section. If you haven’t done so yet, please stop by the home site, browse around, and tell your friends and enemies!

OK, enough schmaltz and plugs. I wrote a lot of stuff this past year, some of which was actually pretty popular. Here are the ten most popular posts from this site in 2011.

#10. Commercials I Hate — “Honeymoon” (Subaru Outback)

Yup, turns out annoying hipster douchebags in car commercials boil your blood as much as they do mine. Take this young married couple from this Subaru commercial. And then roll them and their car into a lake.

#9. Album covers of the week: 1962-1966 & 1967-1970

Many of my most enduring posts are from the Album Cover of the Week series, and this one is the all-time winner. It’s a two-volume Beatles compilation, known more commonly as the Red Album and Blue Album.

#8. Graphicity: Sources of antiques in the U.S.

If you haven’t watched the History Channel show American Pickers, you can probably stay away from this pie chart I designed. If you have, then look at it now.

#7. People holding their headphones while listening to music

I was inspired by the popular Women Laughing While Eating Salad gallery to create this one, featuring people holding their headphones while… well, the title pretty much gives it away.

#6. How Google sees it: Barack Obama vs. John Boehner

I love these Google matchups, and really should do more of them. This one came about over the summer during the nut-punchingly obnoxious pissing match over America’s debt ceiling. Remember that?

#5. America the Brave: A selection of Veterans Day images

This is probably my most enduring image gallery, which is just fine by me. It’s just my tiny way of paying tribute to all who have sacrificed for our country since its founding.

#4. This is the most accurate (and funny) map of New Jersey ever

I was shocked at the reaction to this one. It went live earlier in December and it cracked the top five. You’d think I drew this map of New Jersey, divided into sections based on the types of people who live here, but I didn’t.

#3. Deadliest Catch drinking game

The most popular crab fishing-related post I’ve done, my Deadliest Catch drinking game was published in 2009. I was still a big fan of the show then, although I didn’t even bother watching after Captain Phil Harris died.

#2. Commercials I hate – Hyundai Sonata hipster Christmas

This moved up four spots from last year’s list, even though these spots (featuring Pomplamoose) didn’t even air this holiday season. It probably found traction this time thanks to a new round of annoying Hyundai commercials, but none of them made me want to kill nuns like the Pomplamoose spot.

#1. To Arms! A Gallery of War Recruitment Posters

Credit the power of StumbleUpon for the popularity of my little gallery of wartime propaganda posters. It was fun to put together, as it combined my love of history and ephemera, so that’s a bonus too.


Damn Gumby, you scary!

GumbyToday is the celebration of Gumby creator Art Clokey’s 90th birthday. If you check out the Google home page today you can see a Gumby-inspired doodle. There’s also a new site called Gumby World that has a wealth of information on everyone’s favorite little green slab of clay.

I loved Gumby growing up — still do — and I especially cherish the classic 1950s episodes. They were kid’s stuff for sure, but some of them had a really trippy and slightly creepy side to them.

Take, for instance, this 1957 episode called “In the Dough.” It starts off in typical fantastical fashion as Gumby and Pokey are invited into an oven to see how baked goods are made. But when the dough seems to turn on the pair, shit gets real. Check it:

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Michele Bachmann

How Google sees it: Michele Bachmann Isn’t Looking So Good

I know it’s way too soon to know who will win the 2012 presidential election, much less the Republican nomination. Rick Perry is certainly on a hot streak, but we all know that can change in a minute. That said, Michele Bachmann has a bit of an uphill climb ahead of her. Her poll numbers have been slipping in recent days, and pictures like these certainly won’t help her much:

Michele Bachmann

You old corn dog, you!

Michele Bachmann

Now that’s just unfortunate timing

Things are only getting worse for Bachmann, if Google is any indication:

How Google sees Michele Bachmann

Hard to put a positive spin on Bachmann’s campaign woes when she’s apparently thought of as: an idiot, Israel (??), crazy, hot, stupid, nuts, a moron, batshit crazy, or evil.

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Why I pulled the plug on Disqus

Note: Since this post was published in September 2011, Disqus has sufficiently improved their product that I have decided to re-enable it. But in the interest of intellectual honesty, I’m leaving this post intact.


DisqusRegular readers of this site may notice that I am no longer using Disqus to handle my commenting. And if you haven’t noticed, well, that’s one of the reasons why. Allow me to explain.

I installed Disqus to replace the native WordPress comment functionality on this site, oh, at least a few years ago. My little blogger head was filled with the promise of even more interactivity and ease with regards to commenting, as well as more traffic.I liked Disqus enough that as recently as April 2011 I listed it as one of my 10 favorite WordPress plugins.

The thing is, none of those promises ever really amounted to much. As of this writing I have 828 posts and 1,660 comments, for an average of two comments per post. That sounds like a decent ratio for a minor internet destination like mine, but I can tell you anecdotally that quite a few of those comments are mine — I do try to be a responsive and friendly writer — and that a large percentage of posts receive no comments at all.

This certainly isn’t the fault of Disqus, but it simply shows that at least for me, it did nothing spur people to leave feedback. But there are other, more concrete reasons why I went back to native WordPress comments.

Disqus, despite how easy it is to set up, doesn’t always play nice with other plugins and themes. I ran into a rather ugly layout issue several months ago that turned out to be a conflict between Disqus and W3 Total Cache. It was essentially solved with a minor coding change to Disqus, but it was a red flag for me. Disqus also tends to slow down the load time of my site — not always by a great deal, but enough to notice. And with Google now taking load times into even greater account in its page rankings, I felt that potential SEO hit wasn’t worth the hassle.

Lastly, I never really became entirely comfortable with the notion of having all my comments hosted by a third party. Disqus seems to have staying power, but in the back of my mind I was always waiting for the day when the whole operation went up in smoke and took my comments with it.

Maybe one day, when each one of my posts gets dozens of comments, I will consider moving back to a third party commenting system like Disqus (or a competitor like Intense Debate, Livefyre, or even Facebook). But until then, I will just have to hope that if someone feels strongly enough to leave some feedback for me they’ll be OK with the few clicks necessary to do so through WordPress.

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Happy 65th birthday Freddie Mercury

You have been and always will be missed, Farrokh Bulsara (aka Freddie Mercury). Has it really been almost twenty — that’s 20 — years since you left us?

Well thanks to awesome tributes like the latest Google doodle — featuring the Queen classic “Don’t Stop Me Now” from the Jazz record — you will also always be remembered.

This is so cool I won’t even quibble over the fact that Freddie didn’t sport a mustache when this song was released, and therefore the part with him riding the tiger is incorrect. Aren’t you glad I didn’t bring that up?

On a more serious note, please take a minute today to at least stop by the website for the Mercury Phoenix Trust — helping in the fight against AIDS.

Admiral Ackbar

Here’s some stuff I enjoyed this week

Admiral Ackbar

Here’s a fresh batch of some quality interweb finds I’ve come across over the last 7 days or so:

  •  You’ve read endless commentary on the Miami University football booster scandal involving Nevin Shapiro, why not read the original investigation by Charles Robinson? (Yahoo! Sports)
  • A very cool photo gallery by Natsumi Hayashi, the “levitating girl” from Tokyo (Geekologie)
  • Will Google+ be able to unseat Flickr as the premiere destination for photographers on the web? (TechCrunch)
  • A fascinating gallery of photographs taken by the East German Stasi (secret police) during the Cold War era. (Conscientious Extended)
  • You’d swear this article on the role of police patrols and the impact of broken windows in a neighborhood wasn’t written almost 30 years ago, it’s so relevant (The Atlantic)
  • There Once Was a Man Named Leotard: People Who Became Nouns (Slate)
  • According to this essay, the explosion of student debt in the last decade is a pernicious trend that the colleges themselves are encouraging. (The Atlantic)
  • How to protect yourself against a possible privacy hole on Amazon (Wish List Exposed)
  • The nature of Marty McFly and Doc Brown’s friendship is explained by Back to the Future co-writer Bob Gale (I Watch Stuff)
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Retro Spider-Man kills a guy

Here’s some stuff I enjoyed this week

Retro Spider-Man kills a guy

Here’s a fresh batch of some quality interweb finds I’ve come across over the last 7 days month or so:

  • Awesome internet meme of the day — Retro Spider-Man, bringing that classic ’60s animated version of our favorite webslinger back to life in the internet age (Know Your Meme)
  • Yet another way to get the most out of Spotify — a ridiculous collection of shared playlists (ShareMyPlaylists)
  • Not even the discovery of a fourth moon around Pluto can get it back in the big kids’ club. (Defective Yeti)
  • An extremely detailed and thoroughly riveting account of the operation to kill Osama bin Laden (The New Yorker)
  • Productivity + internet = No Productivity (The Daily What)
  • 21 Google+ circles you can actually use (HappyPlace)
  • A giant list of movie references seen in The Simpsons (Joey deVilla)
  • Five tools to download anything from Google Books and save it as a PDF (Binary Head)
  • A very cool vintage Space Age album cover from Dave “Baby” Cortez (LP Cover Lover)
  • The Tea Party, the debt ceiling, and white Southern extremism (Salon)
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Barack Obama is...

How Google sees it: Barack Obama vs. John Boehner

Two of the most powerful men in the free world — President Barack Obama and Speaker of the House John Boehner — took to the nation’s airwaves last night to continue their economic slap fight, in what will prove to be one of the low points in American political history. It’s too early to say who won (although I get the feeling the rest of us lose, again), but Google has already rendered a verdict.

Barack Obama is…

Barack Obama is...

John Boehner is…

John Boehner is...

Not surprisingly, both Obama and Boehner are gay (thanks as always, Google). It’s hard to say who comes off worse though. I mean, Obama is the antichrist, but then again he is a cactus and is my new bicycle. Boehner, on the other hand, is a douchebag, a loser, and of course orange. Hmmm, this is just too close to call.

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