With all the "top 10 foo of 2003" lists floating about, I'm becoming more and more aware how mainstream I'm not. It all started with reading the Top Searches 2003 from Yahoo! and the 2003 Google Zeitgeist.

I have never used KaZaA, didn't read or see Harry Potter, haven't seen the new Matrix film, never watched American Idol, and I don't find Britney Spears attractive. I couldn't tell you what sport Kobe Bryant plays (and don't care either, thanks). Last night I even discovered that Paris Hilton (and the famed video) has nothing to do with a hotel in Paris!

Oh, well. She has a misleading name anyway.

And in looking at the top albums list, I realized that not only do I not own a single one of the albums, I haven't even heard them, and I don't even know who most of the artists are. That's not to say I don't still accumulate music. It's just not what the majority is listening to.

Am I trying to be different or ignore what the rest of the world (at least the US-centric pop culture herds) are doing, buying, watching, listening to, and gossiping about?

No, not really. I just happen to have my own interests. Few of them revolve around the front page of People magazine or the latest Fox "reality" TV show.

I do own and love my iPod, which is pretty popular I guess. And I've been using Linux as my "desktop" (and laptop) OS for a few years now. That's becoming more and more The Thing To Do in some circles too.

Hmm. Or maybe I'm just weird.

If I had the ambition, I'd aggregate a bunch of these "top 10" lists and create some sort of "How mainstream were you in 2003?" quiz that provides a color-coded terror level style score graphics that people could slap on their blogs in the first week of 2004.

But to do that I need to know a lot more about the stuff on those lists. Obviously I'm not the guy for the job. However, if you feel like doing it, knock yourself out. Just make sure I get credit for the idea. :-)

Posted by jzawodn at January 01, 2004 01:17 PM

Reader Comments
# joat said:

Buck up. All it means is that you're mainstream geek, not mainstream couch potato or mainstream rebel.

on January 1, 2004 02:06 PM
# Bill Humphries said:

For what it's worth, the infamous Ms. Hilton is from the Hilton family that brought you the Hilton hotels.

I hear enough 'bout Ms. Hilton's reality TV adventures from friends who get into that whole thing.

Happy new year.

on January 1, 2004 02:10 PM
# Staats said:

Doesn't that just mean you're sliding into middle-age? This is the stage preceding the one where you just don't "get" what the whipper-snappers are all about.

on January 1, 2004 03:27 PM
# Jeff Bearer said:

The top 10 albums are a little suspect for being the mainstream top 10 albums of 2003. Like you I've fallen out of what people are listening to this past year, but I'm pretty sure that Rufus Wainwright is only getting air play on Independent Public Radio. Which hardly puts him in the same list as fity cent.

But then again Pittsburgh is a bass ackward town so he could be a huge hit everywhere else while the commercial radio stations are busy playing the Alman Brothers or Nickelback and wouldn't think to spin Rufus..

on January 1, 2004 04:02 PM
# kasia said:

You're pretty mainstream for a geek though!

on January 1, 2004 04:27 PM
# enloop said:

I think it means that the mainstream, God help us, is comprised of 13-year-old boys.

on January 1, 2004 04:31 PM
# Tina said:

Heh... You are not alone... The only 2 on both of those lists that I'm familiar with are Lord of the Rings (and only since a few weeks ago) and Britney Spears, but only because she's from Louisiana, like me, and I try to keep track of people from my home state that have become famous (Ali Landry would be another one...)

All the rest on those lists, I have never heard of, or have no interest in... ;p

on January 1, 2004 05:50 PM
# Joe said:

LOL, nice try! You're just trying to play ignorant while you actually used Kazaa to download the Paris Hilton video! Never heard of Paris Hilton - ha ha ha that's a good one!

on January 1, 2004 09:34 PM
# Joe said:

You pretty much spoke my mind. I couldn't give a shit about [b]any[/b] of the top ten queries. But I do know what/who they all are. Yet, never saw/read Potter, Matrix 2 [b]or[/b] 3; am annoyed by Eminem, Britney, Cristina, WWE; care less about Nascar; never followed Idol; don't know squat about 50 cent or shakira; never saw Paris Hilton's video, and think she's probably a no talent rich brat who is riding off her parents money and contacts.

OTOH, I [b]did[/b] have some/considerable interest in Iraq, LOTR, Tour de France. I probably don't mind Beckham, but I don't know much of anything about him (soccer player from Britain - right??!!).

on January 1, 2004 09:45 PM
# Jessica Prabhakar said:

Is 'going to India' on the top 10 lists as well? ;)
Happy New Year!

on January 1, 2004 10:16 PM
# Dirty Old Man said:

I think "mainstream" might be describing the younger majority of the net. You're just getting older.

oh, and you know you've heard of Paris.

on January 2, 2004 08:27 AM
# Will Cox said:

My wife and I were talking about this subject last night after watching Entertainment Tonight. Who are these people, and why should I care?

Apparently there's this show called Will and Grace that people watch. And something about some Friends who won't be seeing each other anymore. So we watched a bit of Will & Grace last night. It's just not funny.

on January 2, 2004 09:25 AM
# Gerald said:

as yahoo search 2003 has been powered by google, does it mean this is something like a second google zeitgeist ;-)
i am a little bit curious - when will yahoo start it's inktomi search solution?

on January 2, 2004 10:04 AM
# Joe said:

Friends - good lord how I have hated that show since day one.

on January 2, 2004 11:31 AM
# pb said:

You have to be pretty pompous to brag about how un-mainstream you are.

on January 2, 2004 12:57 PM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:


on January 2, 2004 02:26 PM
# The Wolf said:

Whoa! That makes me very un-mainstream!

Yahoo List:
1. I know what kazzar is, and I also know thats its crap.
2. Never read any harry potter books, or seen the movies.
3. Don't like * Idol shows, or anything to do with 'reality' tv.
4. Britney should be taken out back and shot for making such BAD music.
5. Don't really know who he is, but shoot him anyhow.
6. Same as Britney, only make sure he doesn't life (please?).
7. WTF is WWE?
8. I have heard of Paris Hilton, but who is she?
9. NASCAR? Something to do with cars?
10. Christina should suffer the same as Britney...

Google List:
1. Already talked about Britney...
2. "
3. Seen the first two Matrix movies, probably get the next one later this year.
4. What is Shakira?
5. Who is David Beckham?
6. Already talked about 50 cent...
7. I hate whats happening in Iraq.
8. I will see Lord Of The Rings sometime soon.
9. Who is kobe bryant?
10. I know what tour de france is...

I don't own any 'popular' music either, I like stuff like Rage Againstr The Machine, not very mainstream.

on January 3, 2004 11:35 PM
# Joe said:


Britney Spears has reportedly gotten married in Las Vegas!! It's also rumored that she's already seeking an annulment!

You can find more info about this HUGELY IMPORTANT news item on the front fucking page of Yahoo (and probably every other news site)!

on January 4, 2004 11:24 AM
# Lord said:

What is it like now? LOTR is so great and so popular, it should definitely be in the top 10!!!

on December 9, 2004 10:47 AM
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