There's no way to sugarcoat this: We are one shallow nation. Google today revealed its annual Zeitgeist, in which it crunches billions of Google searches "to capture the year's 10 fastest-rising global queries and the rest of the spirit of 2011." Here's what the spirit of this year was comprised of: Rebecca Black, Google+, Ryan Dunn, Casey Anthony, and Battlefield 3. And what's beyond the top 5 is only slightly more encouraging, and much more Apple-flavored: (the non-existent) iPhone 5, Adele, TEPCO, Steve Jobs, and iPad 2.
Writing for Gizmodo, Sam Biddle notes that "we should all be ashamed of ourselves"—sorta. Luckily, "our zeitgeist isn't a series of persistent trends, or the truly influential. It's people and things that were tossed in the grease pit of the global consciousness, fizzed for a while, and then burned out—tablet fire sales, memes, fake weddings, Google+." So it's not what really mattered. Thank goodness. You can search the list by a ton of different categories and countries; click to dig in. (Read more Google Zeitgeist stories.)