Google's Valentine's doodle might make you cry

Google creates an animated doodle that features a boy, a girl, Google's search engine, and a jump rope. But might there be darker, more analytical, more troubling interpretations to this tale?

Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

There are several reasons why Google can affect one emotionally. It's true these emotions aren't always positive. Sometimes, even, they verge on exasperation at Google's trickeration.

Happily, though, Google's small, but powerful Dept. of Human Beings--aka the Doodlers--is always trying to create an urge to cuddle, rather than cudgel.

Google's doodle for Valentine's Day offers a girl who is jump roping--or skipping, as they call it overseas. A boy offers her a flower. Oddly, the girl is not impressed.

The boy slinks away and googles some more ideas. He comes back with chocolates. She is equally unimpressed. He tries other gifts stimulated by Google's fine sales engine--I'm sorry, I meant search engine.

There is a frightening dinosaur sweater and, um, a diving helmet. Clearly the algorithm has been drinking. Nothing works. So he comes back with his own jump rope. Now the girl falls in love with him. All she wanted was a jump-roping partner, one who wouldn't skip town.

The music, Tony Bennett's "Cold, Cold Heart," is delightful, as is the animation. It ends charmingly with images of lovely pairings fill the screen-- the astronaut and the alien, the princess and the frog, the dog and the cat. Surely tears of joy will run down many cheeks and jowls.

How hard it is to find someone with whom one can do the simplest things: a gourmet meal, a day at the beach, a Golden State Warriors game.

However, I feel that if this film were played to a focus group of the analytical (perhaps some Googlies might be included), there might be another interpretation, one that would engender tears of anxiety.

For this film--to those of a left-minded bent--might be seen to be setting a very bad example for any little boys and girls who might watch.

It might be saying that the best way to catch a man is to get him to do exactly what you are doing--even if that means jumping rope. Or, one imagines, having a pedicure or reading People magazine.

What a troubling and retrograde suggestion this is. How frightfully illiberal, some might conclude.

On a day that is supposed to symbolize the essence of human love, I can only hope that any tears shed as a result of this noble attempt at art are of the loving kind.

Please monitor your work stations tomorrow to see whether some people are undergoing adverse, teary reactions. Please try to soothe them appropriately if they are.

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Show Comments Hide Comments
Latest Galleries from CNET
10 mobile gadgets gone gonzo (pictures)
Apple in 2014: iPhone 6, iCloud hack, Beats and more (pictures)
The 12 most distinctive phones of 2014 (pictures)
Best mobile games of 2014
Nissan gives new Murano bold style (pictures)
Top great space moments in 2014 (pictures)